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SCIENCE: Electronic Skin May Help Prevent Robots from Crushing Us (Unless They Really Want To)

robot - pixabay

A metallic robot hand with “Terminator”-like power sounds good for the movies. But what about a real-life future where that android is now cradling your baby or just shaking your hand? That’s when attributes like “gentle” and “sensitive” might be more warranted to avoid a human-crushing outcome. Electronic skin may be the answer, as it could give such robots (and even prosthetic limbs) the ability to sense how forceful their handshakes and cradles are when interacting with humans. A new electronic skin may also prove more robust than previous versions to prevent accidental damage. It could even heal with the … Read more

TECH: Japan’s Next Robot News Anchor

Robot News Anchor

At a mere 23 years old, Japan’s latest news anchor would make her parents proud — if she had any. Erica, a lifelike android designed to look like a 23-year-old woman, may soon become a TV news anchor in Japan, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka Universityand Erica’s creator, the android will replace a human news anchor on the airwaves as soon as April, the Daily Mail said. Erica the android may be well suited for this desk job. For starters, she can capably recite scripted writing and sit … Read more

TECH: The Latest Tech Material: Cardboard?

Nintendo cardboard

Nintendo is going low-tech for its newest line of video game accessories. The Japanese company has unveiled a series of DIY cardboard toys, called Nintendo Labo kits, for its wildly popular Switch gaming console. Assembled from sheets of cardboard, the accessories are designed to interact with the Switch and its Joy-Con controllers in a variety of ways. For example, one toy is a 13-key cardboard piano that the console and controllers slot into. After putting it together, users can press the cardboard keys, and musical notes come out of the console. Another kit builds an interactive robot suit with a … Read more

TECH: Mysterious Malady in Cuba Embassy – Sound Weapon?

sound waves

A mysterious illness has been striking people associated with the US Embassy in Cuba — and a secret sonic weapon is rumored to be the source. Over the past year, diplomats in Cuba have experienced an unusual collection of symptoms that range from hearing loss, vertigo, and nausea to concussions, CBS News reported. Yesterday, the mystery grew even more complex when the Associated Press reported that the number of US victims has climbed to 21 people. Canadian diplomatic households were affected as well, the AP says. The Cuban government has denied involvement, and no “piece of equipment” that might be … Read more

TECH: Employees Can Now Get a Chip in Their Hands


A company called Three Square Market is offering to chip its employees to do various things at the company without ID. So far at least fifty have said yes. From the press release: Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all employees. Company employees will have the option to voluntarily implant an RFID microchip between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin. RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. The RFID chip will allow employees to make purchases in the company’s break room market, open doors, login to computers, use copy … Read more

TECH: Self-Driving Car Technology Foiled By Kangaroos

Kangaroo and car - pixabay

Driverless car makers are discovering a unique problem as they begin to test the vehicles in Australia. It turns out the unusual way that kangaroos move completely throws off the car’s animal detection system. “We’ve noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight … when it’s in the air it actually looks like it’s further away, then it lands and it looks closer,” Volvo Australia’s technical manager David Pickett said. Because the cars use the ground as a reference point, they become confused by a hopping kangaroo, unable to determine how far away it is. But Mr Pickett said it was … Read more

SCIENCE: What Will Humans Be Like in a Thousand Years?

Humans in 1000 Years

TechInsider tackled the question, and found that humans will probably incorporate more bionic parts, be taller, and may finally crack the secret to immortality. And after all that time, we will likely be even closer to our machines, if we don’t destroy the planet and ourselves first. By Rob Ludacer and Jessica Orwig – Full Story at SOURCE

TRENDS: Skyscrapers Suspended From Space

Analemma Tower

Skyscrapers are ambitious projects by nature, but one architecture studio is taking them to new heights. Clouds Architecture Office is a New York City architecture firm founded by Masayuki Sono and Ostap Rudakevych. They designed the Analemma Tower, which inverts the classical skyscraper by being suspended it from space, rather than standing on firm ground. Yes, you read that right. They essentially want to build a very tall tower dangling from space. Of course there’s more to it than that. The Analemma Tower would be suspended on a high-strength cable from an asteroid. It is also a proposal to build … Read more

TECH: My Flying Car is Almost Here

flying car

Traffic could be a thing of the past if this new concept design from Airbus ever comes to fruition. The Pop.Up is the aircraft company’s epic idea for a hybrid driving and flying machine that would serve commuters in a transportation network. Its detachable capsule connects to either a four-wheeled driving base or a set of high-tech wings, depending on road conditions. Simply plug your destination into the capsule’s app, wait for it to arrive, and let it drive or fly you from Point A to B. By Suzy Strutner – Full Story at The Huffington Post

Technology: Oculus Rift Adds Touch to Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift Touch

The Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset earlier this year to much fanfare, but it was missing something that would have made playing around in the digital world even better: the ability to move your hands independently. Oculus has released a pair of new controllers, called Touch, which give you a controller to use with each hand. It’s hard for me to overstate how much of a difference this makes in terms of immersion. Everything feels different when your arm and hand movements are reflected into the digital world — pointing at objects, reaching for handholds and even pulling a trigger is … Read more