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Robot ethicist Dr. Kathleen Richardson doesn't want to see robots developed for a primary function of sexual interaction with humans. In her public campaign, Dr. Richardson said developing robots for this use is unnecessary and undesirable, as more advancements progress.
"Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on - how they will look, what roles they would play - are very disturbing indeed," Dr. Richardson told the BBC. "We think that the creation of such robots will contribute to detrimental relationships between men and women, adults and children, men and men and women and women."
Some "adult entertainment" companies are implementing robots and electronics into their products, and True Companion is preparing Roxxxy - the first "sex robot" - which is expected to launch sometime in 2015.
Boeing has quite the exclusive on its hands, announcing the world's first satellite that uses an all-electric propulsion system. The new Boeing ABS-3A is a 4,300 pound telecommunications satellite will provide both C- and Ku-band service to South America, the Middle East and Africa.
What makes Boeing's ABS-3A different than other satellites in orbit, is that the ABS-3A doesn't use tanks of inert gas for propulsion and orbit maintenance. This is where the all-electric technology comes into play, with Boeing using the Xenon Ion Propulsion System (XIPS) which blasts out a magnetic field to push ions around, generating thrust.
Boeing's ABS-3A will use just 11 pounds of Xenon annually, which is quite generous considering its 15-year operational lifespan. This is around one-tenth the amount of propellant that a normal satellite would require. The company launched its new ABS-3A abord the Falcon 9 rocket that launched in March, and handed over control to ABS-3A to its new owner, Asia Broadcast Satellite, last month.
Qualcomm has been mostly down and out with its current Snapdragon processor, with Samsung opting for its Exynos 7420 inside of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge handsets, but the company wants to see its Snapdragon processors inside of drones in the future.
Qualcomm has just announced its new Snapdragon Flight, which is their optimized platform for everything drones and robotics. Snapdragon Flight is a tiny 58 x 40cm circuit board, which will be used on drones and other robotics in the future. The new Snapdragon Flight features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.5GHz.
Senior Vice President of Qualcomm, Raj Talluri, explains: "Today, drones are made from multiple component vendors providing separate solutions for photography, navigation and communications, adding to the cost and bulk of consumer drones. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight brings together the technologies that have defined the mobile industry onto a single board, enabling OEMs to build drones that are lighter, smaller, easy to use and affordable with long battery life and superior functionalities".
The new Snapdragon Flight supports:
- Real-time flight control on the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP
- Built-in Qualcomm 2×2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Leading global navigation satellite system (GNSS) optimized to support highly accurate location positioning
- 4K Video support
- Robust camera and sensor support
- Qualcomm Quick Charge
NASA is providing you with a reason to use your 4K TV for more than just upscaling content and the occasional series on Netflix that streams at 4K, with the US space agency to soon launch 4K content onto its NASA TV channel on YouTube.
NASA is teaming up with Harmonic, where the first 4K content won't just see the US space agency uploading the latest high-resolution video and images from the ISS and other NASA missions, but they've teased that they'll upload "historical missions" in 4K, too. Harmonic is talking with pay TV providers to broadcast the NASA TV channel through cable, satellite and optical networks.
In order to watch the 4K content on the NASA TV channel, you'll need an Internet connection with 13Mbps downstream.
Each day is another day we move closer to Skynet activating, with NASA saying that it has found a new material that is capable of self-healing from a bullet being shot at it within two seconds. Insanity.
The US space agency has said that the discovery has far-reaching applications, where it could be used on spacecrafts so that they could take a few hits from micro asteroids that would otherwise cause catastrophic damage, or down to 'self-healing' military equipment - you know, Terminators. NASA says that when one or both of the polymer layers were punctured, oxygen entered and mixed with an ingredient inside the gel called tributylborane.
When this reaction takes place, it caused the liquid center to solidify and heal the wound. NASA researchers told IFLScience: "Within seconds of coming into contact with the atmosphere, it goes from a liquid to a solid".
Tech entrepreneur and author Martin Ford has again expressed concern that robots will take over the workforce, stealing much-needed jobs from human workers.
"It's not just about doing manual labor as it was in the past," Ford recently said. "Now we've got robots and machines and algorithms that are taking over brain power and it's much more broad-based, it's ubiquitous. These technologies are everywhere; they're going to invade every industry across the board."
Ford recommends humans create some time of contingency plan, especially if the already competitive workplace faces added pressure from robotic automation. It may be a while before artificial intelligence (AI) - which some experts have showed concern regarding - actually goes mainstream, though robotic automation is already happening.
Space agencies have shown a great interest in manned missions to Mars, even though the technology and resources available will need to greatly advance in coming years. Some critics wonder if we should try to send humans to a planet so far away - especially since Earth and Mars were 34.8 million miles apart at their known closest pass to one another.
However, the European Space Agency (ESA) feels like mankind has the ambition - and evolving technological prowess - to make a manned mission possible. It would take up to 10 months to reach the Red Planet, and a crew could stay up to one year, and then take up to 10 months to make a return trip home again.
"Humans will go to Mars, I'm very sure of this," said Alexander Gerst, an astronaut for the ESA, in a statement published by Euronews. "You just have to look back in human history and you'll know. As soon as we learned to build ships, we took them not only to go to the next island, we took them to sail over the horizon."
Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin is working on a so-called "master plan" to help colonize the Red Planet of Mars sometime in the next 25 years. Aldrin, the second person in history to walk on the moon, hopes for a Mars settlement by 2039, but admitted it's an "adjustable" schedule.
If a Mars settlement can be created, it wouldn't be a one-way mission, and believes a 10-year duration could be created. NASA hasn't spoken publicly about Aldrin's plans, however, he believes the US space agency would at least listen to the mission plan. NASA is actively working on a next-generation rocket and spacecraft that would allow for the long journey to Mars.
Aldrin has partnered with the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) to develop the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute - designed to promote manned missions to Mars. The new university program backs the following mission: "commercial and international development of lunar resources to support an eventual Mars settlement."
The NASA-funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) experiment has started on Earth, designed to simulate a Mars mission.
The six participants, three men and three women, are scientists - and will be in tight quarters, living inside a 36-foot-wide dome that is 20-feet high. The project began on Friday and will last 365 days. Researchers will collect information regarding cognitive, social and emotional factors between each participant - and how they interact with one another.
NASA believes a mission to Mars could take more than three years to complete, so this is an important step to gather data.
Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State member reportedly in charge of the Cyber Caliphate hacker division, was killed earlier this week by a US drone strike. Hussain served a 6-month sentence after sharing former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's contacts in 2012.
The 21-year-old convicted computer hacker was the No. 3 person on an IS kill list, because he served as an important part of the Islamic State's infrastructure. Hussain also reportedly played an important role in recruiting members for the group, in addition to influencing "lone wolf" attacks.
"If you don't have anybody who is kind of fluent in computer operations, you've got a problem," said Michael Sulmeyer, project director at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. "The ballgame is pretty much the coder or the individual."