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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.
Urinate on certain walls in San Francisco, and you can expect a bit of splash damage on your legs or pants.
Public Works has painted 10 walls using the custom UV-coated paint that helps repel urine - following a similar move in Hamburg, Germany.
To warn potential violators, signs with the following notice also have been included: "Hold it! This wall is not a public restroom. Please respect San Francisco and seek relief in an appropriate place."
Will "killer robots" end up causing harm to humans, especially with militaries interested in developing robots that would be able to engage human forces?
Telsa and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, physicist Stephen Hawking, and more than 1,000 scientists and engineers have signed an open letter to prevent a future open arms race focused on killer artificial intelligence. The idea of robot regulation was mentioned earlier in the year, and there appears to be growing momentum to make sure things are kept within human control.
"AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of [autonomous weapons] is - practically if not legally - feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms," according to the letter.
Dr. Jack Horner consulted on all Jurassic movies, and believes it's just a matter of "fixing" birds so they look "a little more like a dinosaur."
Horner believes research is about 50 percent there in regards to creating a so-called "chickenosaurus." Researchers would need to give the chicken teeth, a long tail, and turn the chicken's wings into arms and hands. In addition, researchers have already successfully created a modified mouth for the chickenosaurus.
It seems like the biological project is "well on its way to becoming reality," and trying to create the tail remains the most difficult challenge. The project requires reverse evolution and a significant amount of trial and error - and researchers will continue trying out new things.
Panasonic and subsidiary ActiveLink have developed a new exoskeleton suit that is affordable and could find its way to workers in factories and manufacturing facilities. The new technology has already been tested in Osaka, Japan, and forestry workers are now giving it a try.
The suit, which connects to the back, thighs and feet of the wearer, is just 13 pounds and allows a person to carry an additional 33 pounds. The custom exoskeleton suit features a carbon-fiber motor and sensors able to determine when a person is lifting or carrying a heavy load.
"We expect that exoskeletons, or power-assist suits, will be widely used in people's lives in 15 years," said Mio Yamanaka, spokesperson for Panasonic, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review. "We expect that they will be used for tasks that require physical strength, such as moving thinks and making deliveries, public works, construction, agriculture, and forestry."