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The Navy’s Exoskeleton Could Make Workers 20 Times More Productive


Pro-Statism Protester Reality Check: Meet the Minimum Wage Employee Replacement Bot

 

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China to Mass Produce Industrial Robots

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SHENYANG (Xinhua) — China’s first industrial robot production line is expected to start operation in the northeastern city of Shenyang this month.

“China became the world’s largest industrial robot market in 2013 with 37,000 industrial robots sold in the country, accounting for 20 percent of the global market.”

SIASUN Robot and Automation Co. Ltd. will be the first to jump start China’s industrial robot production with an annual capacity of 5,000. Their facilities will produce robots applied in welding, hauling, assembling, stacking, grinding and polishing, according to Qu Daokui, the company’s CEO.

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“Rising labor costs and aging population have prompted the application of industrial robots in China”

He said the production line is undergoing tests and the exact date of operation is yet to be announced. The application of robots has expanded from the high-end industries such as automobile and electronics manufacturing to traditional industries, including metal processing, bathroom hardware, food and drinks, said Qu, who is also director general of China Robot Industry Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] University of Tokyo Biped Robot Races Toward the Singularity at Record Speed

From JapanJun Hongo reports: A research team at the University of Tokyo has unveiled one of the fastest two-legged robots in the world that can reach speeds up to 4.2 kilometers per hour (2.6 mph).

While many robots are controlled using what is known as “zero moment point” dynamics to balance itself, the new robot uses a combination of a high speed camera and a stabilizing motor so that it can lean forward without tipping over, enabling it to run in a dynamic form, according to Prof. Masatoshi Ishikawa. The robot can even perform a somersault. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] A Robot on a Hoverbike – Why Not?

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NASA: Curiosity Team Studies Martian Rock, Chooses Not to Drill ‘Bonanza King’


Rare Photo of Pundit Planet Co-Founder

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Our co-found and Editor-At-Large. Though this snapshot looks vintage, it was actually taken fairly recently, around 2007, back when he had a bit less gray hair, and long before he had a 3-D printer. But his hobbies are essentially the same. He’s currently heading up our Hong Kong Bureau, where his time and space doesn’t allow for recreational rocket building, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy this archival snapshot as a winsome reminder of a cherished pastime.

 


Scientists Devise Swarm of 1,024 Tiny Robots


[VIDEO] Self-Folding Robots

A team of engineers at Harvard and MIT have designed and built a flat-packed robot that assembles itself and walks away. Learn more at http://hvrd.me/A2mM9

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Siri Emerges from Beta: ‘Do You Use it to its Fullest or is it Still a Party Trick?’

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“What I discovered…Siri seems to be one of those things that polarizes views: people either loving it and using it every day, or dismissing it as a useless gimmick. Not too many people seem to fall between the two.”

Yesterday our Hong Kong Bureau Chief posted a tantalizing peek into the future of AI – “Real AI in Your Pocket” — and in the comments section, I posted an anecdotal description of a recent experience using the still-developing Siri, and it led me to wonder who’s writing what about Siri these days, and I landed on this. Though it confirms that most of what can be done with Siri is conventional, to the point of being disappointingly trivial, sometimes the smallest things can yeild daily benefits, and are easy to overlook. The question is valid: Is Siri just a party trick?

ben-lovejoy-macFor 9to5MacBen Lovejoy writes: When Siri lost its beta tag almost a year ago, I suggested it might be a good time for those who’d been frustrated with its early performance to give it another chance. What I discovered through your comments was that Siri seems to be one of those things that polarizes views: people either loving it and using it every day, or dismissing it as a useless gimmick. Not too many people seem to fall between the two.

But Apple has continued to work hard on improving the service, adding new capabilities as well as refining its ability to handle existing ones. It might not yet be as sophisticated as its creators envisage for the future, but a year on seemed a good point to revisit the topic and find just how many of its capabilities people are using … 

“Most people know Siri can read your mail, but again you can be much more specific than this…”

Everyone knows you can ask Siri to call someone, and that if you’ve identified contacts by relationship you can say things like “Call my girlfriend,” but you can also get more specific. “Call my father on his work phone,” for example, or “Make a FaceTime audio call to Phil.”

Similarly, with text messages, you can be casual in your phrasing: “Let Sarah know I’m running ten minutes late.” Calendar queries, too, can also be more specific than general enquiries about your appointments, such as “When am I meeting Barbara?”

Using Siri to tweet? You can ask for your location to be added, along with any hashtags: “Tweet, with my location, having a great night out, hashtag drinking.” And if you want to know what’s trending on Twitter, you can simply ask “What’s going on?”

Digital Life Tech Test Apple iOS 7 Software

Apple Maps may not have gotten off to the best of starts, but there’s a lot of location-based functionality built into Siri to make your life easier. Some are basic, like “Give me walking direction to Alison Smith’s work.” Others are more sophisticated like “Make a reservation for two at a romantic French restaurant around here tonight at 7pm.”

Or fancy a movie instead? “Where is Guardians of the Galaxy playing?” will show you nearby locations and times, together with the Rotten Tomatoes review. If you’re in the U.S., you can also ask Siri to buy tickets. Not sure whether the movie is the right choice? “Play the movie trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.”

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Still got work to do in the meantime? “Show me the nearest WiFi hotspots.”

Location-based reminders are something without which I’d forget half the things I’m supposed to do. “Remind me to call Sam when I get home,” “Remind me to post the letters when I leave here” and “Remind me to buy milk when I’m at Tesco” are just a few examples. Read the rest of this entry »


FRICTION POWERED X-27 EXPLORER

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Fortune Cookie


Martha Stewart: Why I Love My Drone

Originally posted on TIME:

There’s been a lot of discussion and a tremendous amount of speculation lately about the nature of drones and their role in our society as useful tools and hobbyist toys.

Last year, while celebrating my birthday in Maine, I was given a drone fitted with a high-definition camera. After a quick introduction to the mechanics of operating the contraption and a few words about its idiosyncrasies, I loaded the appropriate app on my iPad and went down to the beach.

In just a few minutes I was hooked. In near silence, the drone rose, hovered, and dove, silently and surreptitiously photographing us and the landscape around us. The photos and video were stunning. By assuming unusual vantage points, the drone allowed me to “see” so much more of my surroundings than usual. The view I was “seeing” on my iPad with the help of the drone would have otherwise been…

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Driving Distances on Mars & the Moon

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From a great tumblr site, : This chart provides a comparison of the distances driven by various wheeled vehicles on the surface of Mars and Earth’s moon. Of the vehicles shown, NASA’s Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity are still active and the totals listed are distances driven as of July 28, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


GLOBAL PANIC OF JULY 2014 STRIKES SEATTLE: Space Needle Still Standing After Reported Drone Strike

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For Seattle Police Blotter reports: Seattle’s famous sky-high tourist attraction is still standing after police received reports of a drone crash Tuesday at the Space Needle.

Space Needle security called police just before 8:30 PM after several guests reported seeing a small drone buzznow-panic-and-freak-out_i-g-61-6183-1f81100z the top of the Needle, and possibly crash into an observation Deck window. Witnesses then saw the drone—described as a white, quad-propeller unmanned aerial vehicle, equipped with a camera—glide to a hotel two blocks east of the Needle, where it landed inside a fifth floor room.

Police found no signs of damage to the top of the Space Needle

Security staff pointed out the fifth floor hotel room where the drone had landed, and officers went and contacted a man inside. The man told police he’d just flown his drone past the Needle, but disputed he’d struck anything.

Read the rest of this entry »


OUT: 3D-Printed Guns. IN: 3D-Printed…

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My nomination for headline of the week, from Reason.com (read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


MakerBot in Home Depot: 3D Printing’s Mighty Move to the Mainstream?

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For Popular MechanicsDarren Orf reports: To the tech-obsessed or the well-informed DIYer, MakerBot is a name synonymous with additive manufacturing. Despite the rapid growth of 3D printing, however, it can still seem like a far-out future technology to plenty of Americans. Now, the company hopes to go mainstream with the help of Home Depot, announcing a partnership to sell and demonstrate MakerBot Replicators in 12 select stores in the U.S. This pilot program will be based primarily in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

The MakerBot models will appear in specially designed kiosks (pictured above), and MakerBot-trained retail staffers will give continuous demonstrations. They’ll also let you keep whatever they print during a demonstration—your very own 3D-printed souvenir.  Read the rest of this entry »


Tuna Robot! Navy Tests UUV

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The Future of Underwater Surveillance?

For Defense TechKris Osborn reports: The Navy is testing a stealthy, 4 foot-long fish-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle designed to blend in with undersea life and perform combat sensor functions, service officials explained.

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The so-called “bio-memetic” undersea vehicle is currently being developed as part of the Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Cell,  or CRIC – a special unit set up by CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert in 2012 to explore the feasibility of rapidly turning around commercially available technologies for Naval military use.

“You could have a sub with a fish-like UUV tethered onto a cable, giving real time feedback as opposed to current ones that come back for a download…”

– Capt. Jim Loper, Navy Warfare Development Command

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“It mimics a fish. It looks like a fish. We call it robo-tuna, affectionately, but it is a UUV (unmanned undersea vehicle).  It does not have a propeller or a jet. It actually swims by flipping its tail around,” said Capt. Jim Loper, concepts and innovation department head, Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan: World’s First Android Newscasters Are Here to Replace Cable News Hosts

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For Gizmodo, Casey Chan writes: In the future, we’ll get the news from fair and balanced android newscasters that’ll somehow terrify us more than the cable newspeople we have today. These android newscasters are frighteningly lifelike and can interact with humans, read the news and Tweets, tell a joke and basically replace the lousy talking heads on TV.

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The android newscasters were shown off in Japan at the Android: What is a Human? exhibition in Tokyo. At times, the two robots demoed—Kodomoroid and Otonaroid—look and act so real that they seem like human actors pretending to be a robot.

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Japanese scientists on Tuesday unveiled what they said was the world’s first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humour to match her perfect language skills. Duration: 01:20

Gizmodo


Neurobridge: Paralyzed Man Becomes First to Use Power of Thought to Move Hand

Ohio doctors insert microchip into Ian Burkhart’s brain allowing him to move hand for first time since accident

For the Telegraph, Rosa Prince reports: A young American paralysed in a swimming accident has become the first patient to move his hand using the power of thought after doctors inserted a microchip into his brain.

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Onlookers described the moment he was able to move by the sheer force of concentration as like watching “science fiction come true” Photo: Youtube/ MediaSourceTV

“Physically, it was a foreign feeling. Emotionally it was definitely a sense of hope and excitement to know that it’s possible.”

Ian Burkhart was able to open and close his fist and even pick up a spoon during the first test of the chip, giving hope to millions of accident victims and stroke sufferers of a new bionic era of movement through thought.

Doctors at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center created the “Neurobridge” technology, whereby a microchip reads patients’ thoughts in order to replace signals no longer transmitted by their broken bodies, in conjunction with engineers from Battelle, a non-profit research centre.

While doctors have seen some success in recent years in getting stroke victims to manoeuvre robotic arms

Ian Burkhart uses the power of thought to move his hand, having had a microchip inserted in his brain (Youtube/ MediaSourceTV)

Ian Burkhart uses the power of thought to move his hand, having had a microchip inserted in his brain (Youtube/ MediaSourceTV)

using their thoughts, Mr Burkhart is the first to move his own body.

Paralysed from the chest down during a swimming accident four years ago, the 23-year underwent surgery in April to drill into his skull and implant a chip into his brain.

At just 0.15 inch wide, the chip has 96 electrodes which ‘read’ what he is thinking and is housed in a port inside his skull.

After weeks of practice sessions, when Mr Burkhart focused intently on wiggling his fingers while the chip responded by moving an animated hand on a computer screen, the first proper test took place last week. Read the rest of this entry »


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