Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 168
Great, this is just what we needed: robotic dogs. Boston Dynamics has been hard at work making some of the scariest robots outside of the movies, with the company showing off the latest version of their SpotMini robotic dog.
The new SpotMini dog looks much cleaner and more '2017-y' as the firm has used a proper body on the robotic dog, with movements that are scarily real. It seems very quiet, so you won't hear it sneaking up on you, which I don't know whether that's a good, or a bad thing. I'm still undecided on that, as robotic dogs are freaky as hell.
The cable that is providing millions of people with internet access, and even the cable you have running to your router - heck, the same fiber optic cable that is going into my router here as I type this, could soon be an early earthquake detector.
Researchers have developed a new technology that detects seismic activity through the "jiggling" in fiber optic cables, with 'laser interrogators' looking for disturbances in the fiber, and then sending that information about the magnitude and direction of the tremors. Using fiber-based detections isn't something that's completely new, but it has previously been used for acoustic sensing that needed them wrapped in cement,or sticking them to a surface so that you ensured contact was made to the ground.
But this new system is capable of detecting different types of seismic waves, so it would know if the impending earthquake was something worth alerting someone, or a system somewhere about it. The new system is also capable of detecting very small, or localized quakes that would otherwise not be noticed.
TSMC is ramping into 3nm as soon as possible, with the Taiwanese semiconductor giant spending $20 billion on a next-gen 3nm manufacturing plant, so that it can keep customers like Apple happy in the future.
Samsung and Intel have been in the fab game for a while now, but TSMC has been spending around $10 billion per year in order to keep up to, or exceed what their two main competitors are doing. TSMC has announced its building a next-gen 3nm technology plant in Southern Taiwan, but to put it into perspective... 1nm is one billionth of a meter, and measures the width of each transistor in the chip. It's an incredibly intricate process, with TSMC leading the world in many ways.
Morris Chang, founder of TSMC and 86-year-old ultimate boss of the company said: "By the time we're through, by the time we've built all the necessary capacity, I think we would have spent upwards of $15 billion. That's a conservative estimate. Maybe it's safer to say upwards of $20 billion". Don't worry, TSMC won't be going out of business any time soon, as his company is worth a whopping $190 billion.
TSMC's new 3nm plant will be ready by 2022, so expect next-gen Apple smartphones and tablets to rock TSMC's upcoming 3nm node sometime after 2022. 3nm will usher in a 3x reduction in semiconductor size, giving us faster processors that use less power. We should expect quite a leap in smartphone battery life with 3nm, which is the part I'm looking forward to most.
OMRON has been making a table tennis robot for a while now, with the AI-powered future table tennis champion dubbed FORPHEUS in its fourth-generation state now able to use its new companion robot arm that throws the ball up in the air so that it can serve.
This means that FORPHEUS is a great trainer and/or opponent for would-be table tennis players, with the fourth-gen robot featuring a display on both sides of the "net" that display players' status.
There's also a three-camera system that faces the human player that is built into the main body, and a bat that is driven by three arms and a 5-axis motor.
All of this is run by a huge motion controller computer that is behind the stage.
TSMC is running directly into the arms of 3nm fabrication, with the Taiwanese semiconductor company announcing the locaiton of their first 3nm fab, which will be build in Tainan Science Park, in southern Taiwan.
The decision to build it in Taiwan versus the rumors of a US production plant is so that TSMC can use their assets and supply chain for the production and support of many customers like AMD, NVIDIA, who will want 3nm designs made. The Taiwanese government also provided a lending hand, with land, water, electricity and environmental protection offered to TSMC for their latest manufacturing plant. Some of the new 3nm manufacturing machines will be supplied by ASML, a Netherlands-based company.
As for when we can expect 3nm production to kick off... 2022 at the earliest. TSMC has teased that the 7nm yields are currently ahead of schedule, so we should expect 7nm-based products released in 2018. The 5nm roadmap is still on track, expected to launch in Q1 2019.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk visited my state last week, where here in South Australia his company along with the state government are erecting the largest utility-grade battery bank in the world.
The 100mW Hornsdale Wind Farm is around an hour drive from where I live here in SA, which will be the largest grid-tied system in the world when it's turned on. The largest grid-tied system to date is a 30mW/120mWh system built by AES Energy Storage in Southern California, but the Hornsdale Wind Farm rocks a huge 100mW of power.
Musk was in town recently, and didn't respond to my tweets unfortunately, where he took the stage with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. Weatherill was at Tesla's party on Friday night, telling the crowd: "There were lots of people that were making jokes about South Australia and making fun of our leadership in renewable energy. Well today they're laughing out of the other side of their face". Musk added: "To have that [construction] done in two months ... you can't remodel your kitchen in that period of time".
NVIDIA has just announced that it is going all-in with AI, pushing into the world of deep neural networks (DNNs) and artificial intelligence, with a bunch of new tools and huge partnerships with some of the largest technology companies in China.
NVIDIA founder and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage as usual, saying: "At no time in the history of computing have such exciting developments been happening, and such incredible forces in computing been affecting our future. What technology increases in complexity by a factor of 350 in five years? We don't know any. What algorithm increases in complexity by a factor of 10? We don't know any. We are moving faster than Moore's Law".
Huang unveiled NVIDIA's new TensorRT 3, which is a new inferencing platform that the company claims allowed a previously-trained DNN to run in a production environment capable of going through 45,000 images per second. This is all powered by the HGX server that has 8 x Tesla V100 accelerators.
The big difference here is that NVIDIA's HGX server consumes 3kW to do this with the 8 x Tesla V100 accelerators, but compared to the traditional CPU-based platform that rocks 160 dual-CPU servers, which draws 65kW... making NVIDIA's GPU-based solution 2066% more power efficient. We can see why NVIDIA is pushing into the AI and DNN markets so hard.
Brushing your teeth every morning hasn't changed much, and while the introduction of electric toothbrushes made it more convenient... we live in a 'smart' world now, right?!
This is where Oclean One steps into the foray, with the team hitting Indiegogo trying to secure $20,000 - but quickly reaching $103,647 from 999 backers at the time of writing. What is Oclean One? It's the fastest electric toothbrush in the world, with a 60-day battery life, ultra-fast charging, "best-in-class bristles", a bunch of presets, and even a freakin' AI-enabled application, and a speaker.
The best part about the Oclean One is the personalization that you get, with the Oclean app recommending brushing plans that are based on your age, gender, eating habits, and more. There are 12 preset brushing plans that will help you reach your pearly white goals, such as whitening your teeth, strengthening your sensitive teeth, and protecting your gums.
We've all seen movies like The Terminator and The Matrix, where AI wipes out the human race, because reasons. But AI can be a force for good as well, with some researchers using AI to detect Alzheimer's earlier than ever before.
Some researchers have looked at blood and cerebrospinal fluid test, while others are developing tools to find early signs of Alzheimer's. But a team of researchers from the University of Bari in Italy might have found the answer, where they've developed an algorithm that can spot tiny structural changes in the brain that are caused by Alzheimer's... up to 10 years before symptoms appear.
The trained AI has received 67 MRI scans, with 38 of them from Alzheimer's patients, and 29 from healthy patients. The researchers divided the scans into small regions, with the AI system analyzing the neuronal connectivity between.
Astronauts on-board the International Space Station should be frightened and/or excited that they've found a new "shape-shifting" bacteria on-board the floating technology fortress.
The "clever shape-shifting" was detected in bacteria that was being experimented on in the near-weightlessness of space, something that scientists believe the bacteria was doing to survive. In what feels like as a scenario ripped right out of a movie 'Life' with Ryan Reynolds (trailer below), the space bacteria showed a 13x increase in cell numbers, and a 73% reduction in cell column size.
The study's lead author, Dr Luis Zea, explains: "We knew bacteria behave differently in space and that it takes higher concentrations of antibiotics to kill them. What's new is that we conducted a systematic analysis of the changing physical appearance of the bacteria during the experiments".