Via amor mundi, Dale Carrico hopes to douse some sober reality onto those awaiting a transhumanist, technocratic future: Any child can indulge in wish fulfillment fantasizing. It’s not a philosophy [or] a…
DARPA takes one of their prototype robots for a jog through the countryside.
Remember daydreaming about robots and cyborgs as a kid? They’re almost here! Bad news, though: They’ll be killing machines. What could possibly go wrong? You’re welcome, future. WIRED reports on some of…
Via the New Yorker, Gary Marcus on how we will soon need our machines to be ethical, but have no idea how to do this: Google’s driver-less cars are already street-legal in…
Good to know that we may finally have an answer on this. The BBC reports: Cambridge researchers at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) are to assess whether technology…
What’s that? You’re all out of nightmare fuel? Here’s an undead-cyborg-slime-bot cobbled together out of rat heart cells and gel. Possible use? Drug screening. Fill er’ up. Via NBC: With the aid…
Zurich, Switzerland-based Disney Research has unveiled its new method of creating eerily perfect copies of human faces for use on robots, pointing the way toward a world in which everyone has an android identical twin. The robot countenances are made of silicone, capable of portraying the full range of emotions, and most disturbingly, will be used for animatronic characters at theme parks:
We propose a complete process for designing, simulating, and fabricating synthetic skin for an animatronics character that mimics the face of a given subject and its expressions.
We use physics-based simulation to predict the behavior of a face when it is driven by the underlying robotic actuation. Next, we capture 3D facial expressions for a given target subject. We demonstrate this computational skin design by physically cloning a real human face onto an animatronics ﬁgure.
With municipalities desperate to reduce budgets, use of remotely-controlled robots for some law enforcement duties is an inevitability. CNET reports: Researchers at Florida International University’s Discovery Lab are working with a member…
Drawing inspiration from the concept of the “robot-readable world” — i.e. people and places as perceived through the eyes of smart machines such as face-detecting cameras — Quiet Babylon describes the “corporate…
The video manifesto of the Japanese art collective and new age cult AUJIK:
A guide named Nashi narrates the audience journey in an uncanny forest. What are the creatures that live there, living beings or robots? Nashi states that even the things we consider synthetic and artificial are as sacred as plants and stones.
AUJIK are a new age group that shares Shintos’ belief that everything of nature is animated. Just as with other forms of animism, AUJIK worships everything that comes out of nature, the main difference with AUJIK is that science and technology is considered as sacred as stones and trees.
The Shinto priest Hideaki spoke about similar things in the 18th century after he had seen a Karakuri doll(a clockwork robot made of wood) and claimed that in the future we will create mechanical characters that will become so superior to our own intelligence that we will subject [ourselves] as they were gods.
E! Science News reports that the DHS is building a robot tuna. Just pray that the terrorists don’t get access to weaponized mayonnaise… The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology…
Instead of being pre-programmed with experiential knowledge, a robot named Nico is learning the relationships of its grippers and sensors, space and environment. Nico may be slowly approaching self-awareness, and its programmers are…
We envision a future in which the repetitive, manual labor is performed by robots with human overseers. But suppose we are headed for the reverse? Computers are brighter than us, after all….
How does one love something that is not alive? With humanity becoming both ever more socially awkward and more attached to its devices, the quest to invent the perfect synthetic romantic partner will only intensify. Wired on the film The Mechanical Bride and the history of consumerist technosexualism, which goes back further than you may realize:
“Advertising’s ideal woman is a fragmented body of replaceable parts, whose origin is the assembly-line logic of consumer capitalism,” said de Fren, a professor of media culture at Occidental College who honed her robotics chops in Paul Allen‘s future-tech think-tanks. “The RealDoll is the culmination of that kind of logic. It’s ordered in the exact same way as a car, with detailed customization including head and body type, hair and eye color, breast size and lips.”
You may recall hearing about Affetto, the robotic infant that a Japanese team of scientists is building for research purposes. Well, prepare for the creep factor to be magnified by a thousand with the addition of wriggling arms and a half torso. Read the last sentence of this excerpt and try not to get chills:
Ultimately, the robot will be used in behavioral experiments. For now, the researchers are trying to “build a realistic child robot with a muscle-skeletal system.”
Now witness the power of this fully ‘armed’ and operational robo-baby!
This is real, folks! John Biggs reports for Techcrunch:
The Kuratas Mecha robot is an art/aspirational nerd project by Suidobashi Heavy Industry. This full-sized Mech robot features a ride-in cockpit, “rocket” launchers, and a “smile controlled” BB Gatling gun. That’s right: when you smile, this thing unleashes thousands of tiny plastic BBs.
Unveiled at Wonder Fest 2012 in Tokyo, you can control the robot with either a set of master-slave joysticks or using a more fluid Kinect interface. It runs something called the V-SIDO (Bushido) OS and includes touchscreen support inside the cockpit as well as 3G wireless connectivity so you can control it via phone.
You can “price out” your own Mech here but rest-assured you won’t be able to drive one of these off the lot any time soon….
With jails fuller than ever and government budgets being slashed, is the future of prisoner management the robo-correctional officer? Via CBS News:
The world’s first corrections service robot allows for efficient prisoner management and takes on a number of simple tasks for guards while closing the communication gap between prisoners and their guards. The prisoners are protected from situations such as suicide, arson and assault. Furthermore, it recognizes repeated behaviors of prisoners, and detects anomalies in advance, protecting incidents from happening in the first place.
The bee population may be collapsing, which potentially means a big blow to our food supply and civilization itself. But, at least we have an idea of the replacement that will emerge from the rubble — the beautiful, tiny, easily mass-produced robo-bee that will flutter through the future:
The Harvard Monolithic Bee is a millimeter-scale flapping wing robotic insect produced using Printed Circuit MEMS (PC-MEMS) techniques.
The top speed may not be that impressive versus a real cheetah, but for a robot it’s like greased lightning… Via Fox News:
A cheetah robot funded by the U.S. military has broken the land speed record while running on a lab treadmill. Its robotic display of athleticism gives hope for new battlefield robots that could prove nimbler than existing robots on wheels or tanklike treads.
The cheetah robot’s record-breaking sprint appeared in a new video posted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today (March 5). Its top running speed of 18 mph (29 kph) is faster than…
Starting this year, check the plates color to know whether the driver of another vehicle is human, or other. Singularity Hub reports: Other states like Hawaii, Florida, and Oklahoma may follow Nevada’s…
See through the eyes of a robot — a bit bleak, no? Culled from dozens of sources by Timo Arnall:
How do they extract meaning from our streets, cities, media and from us? This is an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye.
What happens when the unfathomable/intangible and the logical/mechanical intersect? Robots designed to tap into the spirit world — meet the priests/shamans of the twenty-first century. Via Discover Magazine: These bots wait in…
A century or two from now, pretty much most of the world will be a flooded/radioactive zone being farmed by robots. The Telegraph reports: The project, masterminded by the Ministry of Agriculture,…
My prediction — in the future, if you do not meet a husband/wife by age 40, you will have the option of being given a robot boyfriend/girlfriend:
Pretty interesting where robotics is going. It will really get interesting with the merging of artificial intelligence, prosthetic development, innovative CPU processing developments, low cost storage (SSD) and a connected Internet…. the next 50 years will allow for some crazy and perhaps scary, developments.