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This is the personal blog of a science writer and journalist. It's for anyone who loves, wants to love or doesn't know how to love science.
Everyone, I’m elated to tell you that Tumblr will be joining Yahoo.
Before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns:...
Home made noodles made by robots.
Meet Chef Cui, the noodle shaving robot. Chef Cui Runquan was sick and tired of having to shave noodles by hand and pouring them into a pot of boiling water, so he built a robot to do the job for him.
Here is his robot noodle chef army!
A floating robot has been deployed to track great white sharks in the Pacific as part of efforts to understand the giant predators.
The “wave glider”, which from above looks like a yellow surfboard, picks up signals from tagged fish up to 1,000 feet away in the ocean and then sends their positions to researchers via a satellite transmitter.
Scientists have only a hazy understanding of where great white sharks, portrayed as ferocious killers in films like “Jaws”, swim in the oceans. The new robot will give insights into their movements.
“Here we are in the 21st century and scientists have just put a rover on Mars. And we don’t understand what is going on in the oceans,” said Barbara Block, a marine sciences professor at Stanford University in California in charge of the project.
“We will send a wave glider out to follow the sharks,” she told Reuters. In one eight-day test, the glider, made by California-based Liquid Robotics and which moves at less than walking speed, made 200 detections of 19 individual sharks.
The glider, about 7 feet long with solar panels above and a wave-power system below, could also give clues to other tagged creatures ranging from mako sharks to tuna and salmon.
It can only notice creatures that have been previously tagged by scientists with tiny battery-powered acoustic transmitters that bleep once every two minutes. Thousands of creatures carry the tags, Block said.
The glider, and listening buoys in fixed positions chained to the seabed, are building on a previous project for the tagging of Pacific predators, which was part of an international census of marine life from 2000-10.
Block said that scientists already knew that great white sharks wandered across the Pacific from North America, often all the way to Hawaii.
There were also mysterious gatherings, including in one mid-ocean area dubbed the “white shark cafe”. Unlike the fixed buoys, the gliders can monitor such “ocean wi-fi hotspots”.
The researchers are setting up an app, “Shark Net” allowing people to track the fish.
Block hopes to extend the ocean observing network down the west coast of the United States, likening the region to a “blue Serengeti” as rich in wildlife as Tanzania or Kenya.
NAO getting the dirt of its shoulders Jay-Z style!
(from 5:12 in the video ).
Judging from this awesome progress NAO’s made jumping, spinning and some back flips will surely be added soon.
Probably one of the coolest recruitment videos ever - if you love robots that is…!
Aldebaran Robotics, maker of the NAO robot, has released a recruiting video seeking “Europe’s best engineering talents” to help it build the next phase of the NAO dream team.
Kahp-Yang Suh and colleagues at Seoul National University in South Korea wove together thousands of individual polymer nanohairs to make a flexible touch sensor that is more sensitive than human skin.
The idea for the device came from the interlocking of cells in human hair and organs.These organically woven-together cells translate inputs of force into electrical signals that are then interpreted by the brain. Similar to their organic counterparts, the 50-nanometre-wide hairs of Suh’s device twist and bend against each other when an external force like a beating heart or a soft touch is applied.
The contact between the hairs generates an electrical current which the sensor identifies as specific changes in pressure, shear or torsion. These results are displayed on a computer monitor in real time.
Researchers demonstrated the sensor’s extreme sensitivity in more than 10,000 test cycles. It could detect the dynamic motion of a tiny water droplet bouncing on a hydrophobic plate and the physical force of a heartbeat. A skin of hairy sensors like these could clothe prosthetic limbs and robots.
When sandwiched together, two layers of tiny hairs can sense pressure, shear and torsion. Scale bar, 1µm.
It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it’s more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time.
The Omnibot i-SODOG, a robotic dog about the size of a chihuahua is expected to have realistic dog-like movement utilizing 15 custom designed servo motors. It will feature voice recognition and respond to hand signals using motion detection sensors. In addition to a dedicated remote control that looks similar to the i-SOBOT humanoid control unit, i-SODOG can be controlled using a smartphone. It is expected that the interface will be Bluetooth. Launch date for the product is yet to be confirmed in the meantime check it out in this video here.
Researchers Chung Changhyun and Motomu Nakashima at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a robot that can reproduce a swimmer’s whole-body motion while measuring water resistance. Called the SWUMANOID (Swimming Humanoid).
To create the robot, the researchers first performed a 3D body scan of a real person. A 1/2 scale model was built using 3D printed parts. The robot was then fitted out with 20 water-proof motors, and programmed the necessary motions to reproduce crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and even dog paddling and treading water.
Due to its smaller size, the robot is slower than a real person. It takes two minutes thirty-six seconds to swim a hundred meters. In the future, the team would like to build a life-sized robot that will have even more degrees of freedom to better model real swimming.
Editor’s note: 2min 36seconds is a great time for a beginner!
NAO is back! And now with some awesome moves, too. Clearly the cutest robot to date. Love!
Last week we witnessed a robotic arm being moved with thought; enabling a 58-year-old woman, paralyzed by a stroke for almost 15 years, to grasp a bottle of coffee, serve herself a drink, and return the bottle to the table.
The Global Future 2045 Congress predicts fully-functioning thought-controlled avatars in less than 8 years, and: flying cars.
In February of 2012 the first Global Future 2045 Congress was held in Moscow. There, over 50 world leading scientists from multiple disciplines met to develop a strategy for the future development of humankind. One of the main goals of the Congress was to construct a global network of scientists to further research on the development of cybernetic technology, with the ultimate goal of transferring a human’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier.
The three-day event concluded with the finalization of a resolution that will be submitted to the United Nations demanding the implementation of committees to discuss life extension Avatar projects as a necessary tool in the preservation of humankind, as well as defining ethical parameters for scientists worldwide.
The next GF2045 International Congress will be held in June 2013, in New York City.
Here is a timeline published by the Global Future 2045 Congress.
2012-2013. The global economic and social crises are exacerbated. The debates on the global paradigm of future development intensifies.
2013-2014. New centers working on cybernetic technologies for the development of radical life extension rise. The ‘race for immortality’ starts.
2015-2020. The Avatar is created — A robotic human copy controlled by thought via ‘brain-computer’ interface. It becomes as popular as a car.
2020. In Russia and in the world appear — in testing mode — several breakthrough projects:
Android robots replace people in manufacturing tasks; android robot servants for every home; thought-controlled Avatars to provide telepresence in any place of the world and abolish the need business trips; flying cars; thought driven mobile communications built into the body or sprayed onto the skin.
2020-2025. An autonomous system providing life support for the brain and allowing it interaction with the environment is created. The brain is transplanted into an Avatar B. With Avatar B man receives new, expanded life.
2025. The new generation of Avatars provides complete transmission of sensations from all five sensory robot organs to the operator.
2030-2035. ReBrain — The colossal project of brain reverse engineering is implemented. World science comes very close to understanding the principles of consciousness.
2035. The first successful attempt to transfer one’s personality to an alternative carrier. The epoch of cybernetic immortality begins.
2040-2050. Bodies made of nanorobots that can take any shape arise alongside hologram bodies.
2045-2050. Drastic changes in social structure, and in scientific and technological development. All the for space expansion are established. For the man of the future, war and violence are unacceptable. The main priority of his development is spiritual self-improvement.
Meet Olly and Polly - two bots bringing the digital into the physical world.
Olly is the web-connected smelly robot and will gently puff out your favourite scent whenever you get a mention, notification or comment on a post online.
‘Beam me up Scotty’ - This simple phrase reminds us of Captain Kirk, whisked from alien worlds back to the Starship Enterprise via the magic of “teleporting”, in the cult TV series Star Trek.
The BBC reports a breaking story on a project called ‘Beaming’ by the University College of London (UCL). Beaming allows someone to instantaneously transport themselves physically to another location via a robot or avatar. In beaming the robot or avatar interacts with real people in a real place. Project leader Mel Slater, professor of virtual environments and his team have beamed people from Barcelona to London.
One avatar was able to rehearse a play with a real actor, the stage being represented by the cave’s walls - screens projecting 3D images.
Beaming, of a kind, is no longer pure science fiction.
Read the full article here.
NAO Development Days in Paris.
This 5 member dance crew opened the first ever NAO Spring Dev Days in Paris.
“Bring NAO to Life!” was a contest for the best application produced in 24 hours. The winner was Craig Schulman with his project “Work Out Nao!” aimed at turning a NAO bot into a fitness trainer. As a prize he got his very own Next Gen Nao.
The music in this demonstration video is not quite ‘Eye of the Tiger’ but NAO’s push up skills are still impressive.