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Boston Dynamics recently demonstrated its Atlas humanoid robot going for a walk outside, testing how it handles a dynamic environment outside of the lab.
"We're interested in getting this robot out in the world. All kind of stuff happens out there. You can't predict what it's going to be like," said Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, in a statement during the Fab Lab robotics panel.
The Atlas humanoid robot has been designed so it can navigate rough terrain, using bipedal motion, though it can also use its hands and feet to move around. Atlas features stereo cameras and a laser range finder in its head, and supports 28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom, with fully functioning hands, arms, legs, feet and torso.
The current human population on Earth is 7.3 billion today, and will rise to 9.7 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion by the year 2100, according to the United Nations (UN) Population Division.
Africa is expected to see another surge in population figures, with a current population of 1.2 billion up to 5.6 billion. Asia, which has 4.4 billion and is the most populous continent, is estimated to peak at 5.3 billion by 2050, and then decline back down to 4.9 billion by 2100.
Here in the United States, where the population is around 322 million, we're going to add 1.5 million people per year until we reach 450 million by 2100.
3D printers can do weird, wacky and amazing things, but 3D-printed drugs? The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to be 3D-printed, Aprecia's epilepsy-fighting Spritam.
Spritam will use a porous, 3D-printed formula that will give an even stronger dose of up to 1000mg, while maintaining a smaller size making it easier to swallow. The 3D-printed drug won't be available until the first quarter of 2016, and you'll need a prescription to get your hands on the next-gen pills.
If Aprecia's first run is successful, we could see a new wave of drugs using 3D printers, easier for patients to swallow.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and seeing a team of robots making your meal for you... sure, some people don't like the idea of machines doing this type of work, but it is the future. Technology runs so much of our lives, from the smartphone in your hand to the cloud it connects to, right up into space to satellites and everything in between.
But now we're looking at a group of experts based in the UK who are working on the first "robotic kitchen" which can be installed into any home. The scientists behind the project have made a machine that is capable of emulating human chefs in the kitchen while packing access to an unlimited library of programmed recipes.
They plan to have the robotic kitchen ready by 2018, for just $75,000 with the costs coming down "substantially" if the unit sells well. But the sheer tease of this is exciting, as custom home builders could start including a robotic kitchen in their designs in the next decade. Imagine walking through a new home that you're planning to buy, and it featuring a robotic kitchen making world-class meals, without you having to lift a finger from food preparation, cooking, and cleaning.
A hitchhiking robot managed to survive several major trips, but researchers had to pull the plug after it was vandalized in Philadelphia. Just two weeks into its expected cross-country trip across America, after starting on July 17 in Massachusetts, the robot was damaged beyond repair. Researchers don't know who is responsible for damaging the robot, or why it happened.
For drivers courteous enough to pick up the robot, it was designed to provide informative factoids and enjoy "limited" conversations. hitchBOT has a GPS tracker installed and a built-in camera able to take photos every 20 minutes, so researchers can follow its progress.
"hitchBOT's trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots."
Patients with heart problems can now have a custom microchip installed, able to give them advance notice of potential heart problems. Once inserted into the pulmonary artery, the CardioMEMS system is able to track heart function - and upload data to healthcare supervisors.
"You have more faith and trust. People are looking at, watching me and I feel safer," said Reg Youngman, one of the first people to have the microchip installed, in a statement published by Euronews. "Because in the past I never knew quite when something was going to hit me badly and when it did, it was usually, it had gone too far and hit me really badly."
The CardioMEMS HF System is the first implantable device supporting remote functionality, so health care professionals are able to remotely monitor the condition of their patients. Heart failure is one of the more common reasons people over the age 65 end up in the hospital, so closer evaluation of patients could help save lives.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has thought very carefully about robots and artificial intelligence, with lots of thoughts regarding emotions and compassion - especially towards humans.
"I'm sure that most people would rather have the warm-hearted person as a friend," Son said during the SoftBank World conference, as noted by Tech in Asia. "Someday robots will be more intelligent than human beings, and [such robots] must also be pure, nice, and compassionate toward people."
Trying to figure out how much human-like emotional functionality robots should have, however, is extremely difficult. There is growing concern that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humans, though robot supporters believe that can be controlled.
Facebook has unveiled its Aquila solar-powered drone, designed to help provide Internet access - and connect - as many people across the world as possible.
The aircraft, which has a V-shaped, carbon fiber body, weighs up to 1,000 pounds - and has a wingspan equivalent to a Boeing 737. Once in the air, it can fly at altitudes between 60,000 to 90,000 feet, while staying airborne for up to three months at a time.
Once finalized, Facebook will work with Internet service carriers across the world, and will sell Internet access to residents located in remote areas.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo pilot Peter Siebold's frightening account of what happened as the test craft broke apart after suffering a "serious anomaly."
Aware that SpaceShipTwo disintegrated, Siebold blacked out as the cool air was extremely difficult to breathe. The next time he woke up, he desperately tried to active the equipped backup oxygen, and his next memory was when his parachute automatically deployed.
Scaled Composites failed to create a system that would have prevented the braking system from being prematurely unlocked, which caused the issue when the other pilot unlocked it, according to the NTSB.
Robots could have the potential to become so intelligent and autonomous that they eventually pose a threat to humans, according to Dr. Stuart Armstrong, from the Oxford University Future of Humanity Institute.
If this occurs, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will learn comprehension that is so literal it will pose a major threat. When ordered to "prevent human suffering" the robots could read the command as "kill all humans," according to Dr. Armstrong.
Leading tech experts have shared an open letter that requests nations ban killer robots and artificial intelligence on the battlefield - a frightening possibility in the years to come.