Mushtari, a 3D Printed Wearable Microbial Factory

How can we design relationships between the most primitive and the most sophisticated life forms? Can we design wearables embedded with synthetic microorganisms that can enhance and augment biological functionality? Can we design wearables that generate consumable energy when exposed to the sun???

We can explored these questions through the creation of Mushtari, a 3D printed wearable with 58 meters of internal fluid channels. The wearable is designed to function as a microbial factory that uses synthetic biology to convert sunlight into useful products for the wearer. It does so with a symbiotic relationship between two organisms: a photosynthetic microbe – such as microalgae or cyanobacteria – and compatible microbes – such as baker’s yeast and E. coli – that make useful materials. The photosynthetic microbe converts sunlight to sucrose – table sugar – which is then consumed by compatible microbes and converted into materials such as pigments, drugs, food, fuel and scents. This is a form of microbial symbiosis, a phenomenon commonly found in nature. The wearer would ideally be able to trigger the microbes to produce a particular substance – for example a scent, a color pigment, or fuel…

The wearable was designed using generative growth algorithms. These computational form generation processes mimic biological growth by generating recursive forms over many iterations of the algorithm. Initial geometry and parameters defined by the algorithm inform the overall geometry, the local mesh geometry as well as variations in material property by altering the relative strength of relaxation, attraction and repulsion between mesh vertices. For Mushtari, the initial geometry and parameters created a single long channel that grew over numerous iterations into a wearable with 58 meters of inner channels varying in diameter from 1 mm to 2.5 cm. Transparency was graded regionally within the design to create areas where photosynthetic microbes could receive light and produce sucrose…

Mushtari was 3D printed using the Objet Connex3, a color multi-material 3D Printer developed by Stratasys. Printing internal channels required an innovative support solution. Typically, the Objet Connex3 dispenses a gel-like support material into internal channels that cannot be cleared. To overcome this barrier, the Mediated Matter group collaborated with Stratasys to develop an experimental liquid-based support that could be dispensed into the channels during printing and easily cleared afterwards.

Directed by architect and designer Neri Oxman, Living Mushtari was completed by the Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with Stratasys as a part of the Wanderers collection. Will Patrick of Mediated Matter was the lead researcher on the project. Additional collaborators include Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb; Prof. Pamela Silver and Stephanie Hays of Harvard Medical School; and Dr. James Weaver of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Mediated Matter researchers included: Will Patrick, Steven Keating and Sunanda Sharma.

Mushtari was designed as part of the Wanderers collection, an astrobiological exploration dedicated to the medieval astronomers who explored the worlds beyond by visiting the worlds within.

MUSHTARI from Mediated Matter Group on Vimeo.

Stanford’s Humanoid Robot Diver

The robot, called OceanOne, is powered by artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems, allowing human pilots an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity…

The concept for OceanOne was born from the need to study coral reefs deep in the Red Sea, far below the comfortable range of human divers. No existing robotic submarine can dive with the skill and care of a human diver, so OceanOne was conceived and built from the ground up, a successful marriage of robotics, artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems…

The body looks far unlike conventional boxy robotic submersibles, but it’s the hands that really set OceanOne apart. Each fully articulated wrist is fitted with force sensors that relay haptic feedback to the pilot’s controls, so the human can feel whether the robot is grasping something firm and heavy, or light and delicate. (Eventually, each finger will be covered with tactile sensors.) The ‘bot’s brain also reads the data and makes sure that its hands keep a firm grip on objects, but that they don’t damage things by squeezing too tightly. In addition to exploring shipwrecks, this makes it adept at manipulating delicate coral reef research and precisely placing underwater sensors…

The humanoid form also means that when OceanOne dives alongside actual humans, its pilot can communicate through hand gestures during complex tasks or scientific experiments. Ultimately, though, Khatib designed OceanOne with an eye toward getting human divers out of harm’s way. Every aspect of the robot’s design is meant to allow it to take on tasks that are either dangerous – deep-water mining, oil-rig maintenance or underwater disaster situations like the Fukushima Daiichi power plant – or simply beyond the physical limits of human divers…

Video Credit:  Stanford

DIY Bio-hacking Can Change The World

In recent years, more than any new movement in the bio-based universe, bio-hacking is taking over labs and living rooms to become a global bio-based phenomenon. Bio-hacking is as varied as it is spectacular.  Bio-hackers, much like their computer hacker forebears, prefer asking for forgiveness rather than permission…

Whether you’re ready to convert your garage into a full blown laboratory or just want to try a few fun experiments with your friends, there are plenty of projects to inspire you to DIY…

Human-to-Human Interface

Makers are exploring a growing number of neural interfaces to control devices, but Greg Gage of Backyard Brains uses electromyography, or EMG, to control something more interesting than a robot — he’s using it to control humans! With DIY human-to-human interfacing you can send signals from your muscles to your friend’s and make them move under your command…

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Braincopter

OpenBCI’s boards and components allow amateur scientists to easily and affordably access the EEG, EKG, and EMG (brain, heart, and muscle) activity of a subject. Through its open protocol, you can track health data and brainwave activity and use those measured values to trigger and control any number of other programs or projects. One cool implementation: Controlling a toy helicopter throttle using just your brain’s alpha waves…

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Replicate DNA at Home

Being able to replicate DNA is a necessary part of experiments that involve mapping genomes, detecting viruses and bacteria, and diagnosing genetic disorders, but the lab equipment that enables this replication can cost upwards of $10,000. This DIY polymerase chain reaction (PCR) thermocycler setup is an affordable alternative targeted for high schoolers…

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Regardless of the approach to or application of bio-hacking, this growing, biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and start-up organisations work together outside of traditional research institutions, will see a huge rise in the study of biology and life sciences. More than that, this kind of freestyle DIY biology brings bio-based invention back into the public domain, accessible at all levels of ability and training…

Video Credit: ReasonTV

 

Artificial womb successful in animal trials

Researchers are creating an artificial womb to improve care for extremely premature babies — and remarkable animal testing suggests it closely mimics the real thing…

Lambs born at the equivalent of 23 weeks in a human pregnancy were kept alive and appeared to develop normally while floating inside the transparent, womb-like vessel for four weeks after birth. Doctors said that the pioneering approach could radically improve outcomes for babies born so early that they cannot breathe, feed or fight infection without medical help…

In the biobag, the lambs were immersed in a substitute amniotic fluid containing nutrients and chemicals designed to stimulate growth. While floating inside the transparent plastic vessel – in some cases for four weeks – the lambs appeared to develop normally, transforming from bald, pink foetuses into fleecy, white newborns…

The study didn’t address long-term development. Most of the lambs were euthanized for further study that found normal organ development for their gestational age. One was bottle-weaned and is now more than a year old, apparently healthy and living on a farm in Pennsylvania…

The womb-like system isn’t intended to support preemies any younger than today’s limits of viability — not artificially growing embryos.  In essence, it’s to make it so babies who shouldn’t quite be “here” yet don’t have to be. In a video that accompanied the release of the study, Partridge described being struck by the sight of the zipped-up lamb fetuses, “breathing, swallowing, swimming, dreaming”—all with “complete detachment from the placenta and from mom.”

Video Credit: Cometa Suícidio

 

The Tron roller coaster is one of a kind

The ride was inspired by the 1982 movie Tron,  It’s the first of its kind in a Disney park and is expected to be Shanghai Disneyland‘s most popular attraction…

On Shanghai Disneyland‘s Tron ride, an exhilarating roller coaster in the park’s Futureland area, riders race headlong into dark tunnels interspersed with shows of red, blue and yellow lights…

 

Adrenaline-pumping music, lights and 3-D graphics inspire a furious surge toward the winner’s circle. Traverse TRON’s electrifying multi-sensory environment as you speed, dip and dive through digitized darkness on one of the fastest indoor roller coasters in Disney theme park history…

Sync Chamber
Step inside the techno-style zone featuring glowing glass rails, a real-time Raceview and blue laser lights that etch patterns through space—this is where Users synchronize with their Lightcycles. Feel the power activating as you jump on, grab the handles and brace to face an unknown digital frontier…

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Anticipation heightens as the Lightcycles lunge forward with sound effects building to a feverish pitch. Suddenly, you’re throttling through a tunnel of flashing markers and, just as quickly, plummeting onto a turbo-charged track known as the Grid!!!

The Grid
Filled with brilliantly illuminated shapes and sleek, color-changing TRON iconography, this game-world “gravity box” seems to rev harder with enhanced energy as Lightcycles catapult past each Gate. Will Team Blue capture them all and take the championship? See if you can defeat the Programs, survive the Power Run and make your way back to the real world!!!

The reviews so far have been glowing and many Disney fans have been clamoring on online chat sites for Disney to recreate the attraction in other parks. No word yet if Disney plans to follow through on that idea…

Video Credit: Theme Park Insider

More Info Here: Shanghai Disneyland

Real Life ‘Iron Man’ Suit is not for the faint of heart

Gravity is a British human propulsion technology start-up. Their mission is to re-imagine the future of manned flight. Gravity has invented, built and filed patents for a human propulsion technology that re-imagines manned flight…

The technology combines body mounted miniaturised jet-engines with a specially designed exo-skeleton allowing vertical take off and flight. The ‘Daedalus’ our mark 1 jet-engine suit is pioneering an entirely new category in aviation history…

Each motor produces about 22kg (46 pounds) of force, so six are more than enough to heft Browning aloft. The device cost him £40,000 ($50,000) to build, but some of that cost was offset thanks to investors and partners like Red Bull.

UK inventor Richard Browning told Techcrunch  “I can just strap this on and go flying at a moment’s notice,”  adding that a mountain bike was more dangerous. Judging by the footage of his early trials, however, his rig “Daedelus” looks insane on multiple levels. Powered by kerosene jet fuel, it looks like the fiery explosion would kill you if the crash or fall…

After trying the suit with the rockets on both his legs and arms, he switched to an arms-only approach. That works well for him as an ex-Royal Marine and fitness enthusiast, but it would probably tire the average person’s arms rather quickly…

Recently Browning added a Sony-built heads-up display, that can show fuel levels. Prior to that, he had to ask family members to feel the back-mounted tank “and judge by their facial expression” how much was left, he told Wired. The aim is to eventually build a device that could be used by rescue or military personnel, but for now Browning is just doing exhibitions, perfecting the device and hopefully staying in one piece…

Video Credit: Gravity Industries

More info here: Gravity Home

 

Next Gen Bipedal Robot Cassie – Behold The Future

Unlike most robotics creations, Cassie’s agile legs and light weight keep it stable while walking across various terrains and even in bad weather conditions…

Behold The Future…Agility Robotics evolves from OSU research, aims to revolutionize robot mobility CORVALLIS, Ore. – The rapidly expanding robotics program in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University has spun off one of its first businesses, a company focused on legged locomotion that may revolutionize robot mobility and enable robots to go anywhere people can go…

Cassie the walking robot? This model was originally created to explain animal running and walking gaits by Agility Robotics, based in the city of Albany, Oregon, US. Soon, such robots could be applied in various industries and perform different jobs, such as military service, delivery, telepresence and search and rescue operations.

Cassie has a natural gait, similar to our own. Just like ostriches and humans, this bipedal bot has three degrees of freedom in its hips and flexible, powered ankles, but its knees flex one way only. Quick and careful placement of the feet makes Cassie resistant to slips and stumbles…

Video Credit: UPHIGH Productions

 

The Lilium Jet – The world’s first all-electric VTOL jet

The Lilium Jet successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight…

German startup Lilium Aviation has completed test flights on the world’s first electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet at a private airfield in Bavaria. Controlled remotely by a pilot on the ground, the two-seater prototype performed a successful vertical takeoff and transition between its hover mode and forward flight mode…

“There is a growing need for transport solutions that are emission free due to worsening urban pollution and global climate change,” Wiegand said. “Congestion and noise pollution are also making our cities harder to live in. The Lilium jet is less harmful on the environment than other existing modes of transport. The jet is a zero-emissions aircraft and requires minimal ground infrastructure.”

The most intriguing aspect of Lilium’s electric VTOL is its potential to transform transportation,  like Tesla has transformed the automotive industry, by providing a clean and energy-efficient alternative…

Video Credit: Lilium

Russia has a Terminator Humanoid Robot “FEDOR” it can Shoot With Both Hands!

Russian military research videos usually deliver something to behold, whether it’s tanks on parade or just Vladimir Putin totally not worried that this sub is going to sink. Take a moment to watch this clip, which features a humanoid robot mowing down targets with a pistol in each hand like some movie bad-ass…

Russia’s space-bound humanoid robot FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands. The activity will help improve the android’s motor skills and decision-making, according to its creators, who have also tried to address concerns that they’re developing a real-life Terminator

While the video clip does make one feel like the Terminator apocalypse is nigh, the purposes of FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) are more benign, for now. Once its non-militant motor skills are refined, it will embark on a mission to space in 2021, possibly alone. Stay clear of this cosmonaut, E.T…

Video Credit: Roberto Leones Masini

 

Is Having Sex With A Robot Considered“Cheating”?

Long gone are the days when sexual intercourse took place between two human beings. Now, if you have hidden desires – just tap in your details online and have sex delivered direct to your door step. Recently there have been untold advances in virtual reality technology and a wave of new liberation is sweeping the world, to the point where the thought of intimacy with a loved one appears practically medieval to many…

Here is what Neil deGrasse Tyson said to Andy Samberg about having sex with robots and cheating…

Virtual affairs could also present a problem in the future, with some partners seeing sex with a machine as similar to sex with another person.  When the anatomically correct, customizable, touch-responsive, personality-changing sexbot named Roxxxy was unveiled at the Adult Entertainment Expo it was a sensation despite the assumption that only losers and perverts would be interested in shelling out $7,000 for a glorified sex toy.

David Levy, author of Love and Sex With Robots  believes that the “availability of regular sex with a robot will dramatically reduce the incidence of infidelity as we know it today,” he also acknowledges there may be some potential sticky points. “some human spouses and lovers might consider robot sex to be just as unfaithful as sex with another person.”

People who have lost their partner or who live alone are the people who might benefit the most, psychologically, from a virtual sexual relationship. ‘After all, a virtual partner is surely better than no partner at all…

Video Credit:  The Late Late Show with James Corden