It’s entirely possible for robots to juggle or play catch. They’ve usually been relegated to playing with their own kind, however, which is as good an excuse as any for Disney Research to experiment with a ball-tossing robot tailored to games with humans. The animatronic creation uses a depth-aware motion camera — there’s conflicting mentions of using both the Microsoft Kinect and ASUS’ Xtion Pro Live that we’re hoping to sort out — to track any mid-air balls as well as throw them back to a human participant. Disney’s robot does more than just move the robot’s arm to account for imperfect tosses, too, as it knows to feign a dejected look after a botched reception. The company suggests that its invention would ideally bring two-way interaction to theme parks, so it’s more likely to show up at Disneyland before it stands in for a parent in the backyard. It’s just as well; when the Robopocalypse comes, the last thing we’ll want at home is a machine that can toss grenades.
Source: Popular ScienceRelated Posts:
It’s been three months since NASA’s Curiosity rover set foot wheels down on Martian terrain, and now the space agency has divulged what it’s learned about radiation on Mars. Marking the first time radiation has been measured from the surface of another planet, preliminary data collected using the rover’s Radiation Assessment Detector (or RAD for short) revealed that levels on the ground are similar to what astronauts encounter on the International Space Station. What’s that mean for space travel? “The astronauts can live in this environment,” Don Hassler, principal investigator on Curiosity’s RAD hardware, said in a press conference. However, humans would still experience higher levels of radiation on the way to and from the red planet than on its surface. The results are encouraging, but they’re just one of many developments left before Homo sapiens set foot on Mars. For more details on the RAD’s findings, look below for the press release.
It’s impossible to predict the future, but the idea that our technology will soon collide with our biological sense of vision continues to pop up in the world. Minority Report is the best fictional example, while Google Glass is obviously the closest real-world iteration of this type of collision to date.
But a new video (below) posted by Sight Systems takes a stab at how this marriage of sight with technology could manifest itself in the coming years (or perhaps decades).
The video depicts some kind of system in which the technology itself is embedded in your eyeball, meaning that tons of apps lead you through your day without any extra hardware at all. You see the main character, Patrick, work out on his floor, watch TV (on an entirely blank wall), get dressed using some type of virtual closet app, and use the Wingman app to help him through a date.
As with any large shift in technology, this type of lifestyle will have its pros and its cons.
People are constantly complaining about a lack of real-life interaction now that smartphones have pervaded the our world. You can’t talk to someone for five seconds without either their phone or your phone interrupting. And even without an interruption, there’s this constant need to Instagram it, post it to Facebook, tweet about it, text someone else about it, or even whip out the phone to look up the next stop on tonight’s journey. Sight Systems, if it was real, would change that disconnect a bit, but it would also externalize even more knowledge.
Devin explains it best in his post on the matter, but in short, the more we use knowledge found on the Internet (and not in our own minds) the less capacity we have to actually hold that knowledge internally. The best example in the video would be Patrick making his breakfast. Rather than knowing the recipe and cooking it, his Sight System gamifies the process and walks him through each individual step, virtualized on his counter-top.
While we’re already sliding down this slippery slope, Googling knowledge instead of retaining it, there are still limitations to it. Even in our hyper-connected world, there are certain times when you simply don’t have access to the Internet, and even if you do, there are things (very few things, but they exist) that cannot be looked up.
But by embedding the technology within our bodies, the externalizing of knowledge becomes internal. That sounds really meta — let’s see if I can clarify. Here’s an example:
The other day I realized that I can’t quite remember which temperature certain types of clothes should be washed at. I looked it up, and washed the clothes. That is knowledge that my mother gave me, but that I pushed out of my memory because I knew it was easily accessible (this is all subconscious, of course). If the Internet were broken, globally, and there was some sort of world disaster, the consequence wouldn’t just be me not knowing how to wash my clothes. The consequence would be billions of people who have no idea how to deal with an Internet-less world.
By embedding this type of technology in our bodies, there is absolutely zero freedom from this externalized knowledge. There is no way to resist the temptation to “look it up.” And thus, everything we know comes from the technology inside us rather than our own brains.
It’s a scary thought, but so is the ending of the video.Related Posts:
Japan got itself in the good graces of many a Futurama fan after creating Bender’s ancestor. Then again, another Japanese robotic creation — one that specializes in rock, paper, scissors — may actually have more in common with the morally questionable, beer-guzzling bot. That’s because this sneaky little future overlord wins 100 percent of its matches by using an oh-so human trait known as cheating. See, the researchers at the University of Tokyo’s 4chan, er, Ishikawa Oku Laboratory programmed the “Janken” robot to recognize its human opponent’s hand shape and counter it within a millisecond. Adding to the troll factor is the fact that it was unwittingly named the “Human-Machine Cooperation System” because, well, it needs the cooperation of some poor human sap to work its magic. The achievement joins other man-versus-machine milestones, including losses by humans in chess and shogi. Of course, the question now is, what happens if you pit two “Janken” machines against each other?
This is audio from a make-believe series of relaxation tapes for humans the Daleks produced while absent from the Dr. Who series. They…are not very relaxing. I made some chamomile tea, ran a bath with aromatic bath salts and made sure to breath real heavy like a creeper and I am STILL not relaxed. Shit, I just spent five minutes yelling at the mailman for bringing me paper bills even though I always view and pay them all online! You know what he said to me? Why don’t you sign up for paperless billing? That’s when I let my dog bite him. Paperless billing, please — what is this, the future? Oooooooh, a new Victoria’s Secret catalog.
Hit the jump and get your deep breathing on.Related Posts:
www.ipadgameforcats.com BRAND NEW VIDEO! This video brings even more iPad loving cat action. Stay to the end and see a jealous dog! Download now for free! http Note that I do have a plastic covering to protect from cats claws. Cats claws are technically softer than glass, but who knows what metal dust they might pick up. Better safe than sorry! Music is: 8bc.org Artist page: 8bc.org Art by TJ Fuller. See his blog here: timothyjacobfuller.blogspot.com Cats and Dog are owned by singer/songwriter Flavia Watson. Checkout her awesome videos here: www.youtube.com Video Rating: 4 / 5Related Posts:
We’re one step closer to the Robocalypse: Japan-based Kawada Industries has developed a humanoid robot that’s specifically designed to work alongside human beings. The so-called Nextage is certainly not the first robot of its kind, but his specs are pretty impressive, and he’s already commercialized, too.
Nextage is equipped with a high-speed stereo-camera and two arms that have 12 joints each and can be positioned within 30 microns. When a human worker gets near, the robot stops working immediately for safety reasons.
We’ve created these robots to work alongside people, and to cooperate with people in the same environment. Work done by people doesn’t involve handling large objects or moving very fast. Our aim is for industrial robots to do human work like that, so people can be more productive by working together with robots.
In the video below however, you can see three networked Nextage robots at an exhibition in Tokyo assembling objects by themselves (and showing the finished products to the crowd) – no human help needed:
Video courtesy of Diginfo TV
Seen here in his audition tape for that Hugh Jackman ‘Rock Em Sock Em Robots’ movie that just came out, an old man demonstrates Raytheon-Sarcos’ new “slave arms”, a pair of giant robotic arms that can mimic the movement of a user’s. You…probably don’t want to get hit by one. By Cupid’s arrow, absolutely. *twang* Haha, that was a poison dart.
As Vice President of Operations Fraser Smith describes, “every way you move, your three degrees of freedom in your wrist, the one in your elbow and the three in your shoulder –the slave arms can move the same way you do.”
“Anything that slave encounters in terms of force is also fed back to the operator so he can actually feel what’s happening in the workspace,” said Smith. “With added strength, the operator doesn’t need two or three guys trying to muscle something around. This thing just picks it up and dexterously positions the material.”
Admittedly, I could see myself making a pretty sweet Incredible Hulk Halloween costume out of one of these things, but that’s about it. *daydreaming* ROAR! HULK WANT FULL-SIZE CANDY BARS OR HULK SMASH HOUSE!
Hit the jump for a worthwhile news interview with gramps here playing Stretch Armstrong.Related Posts:
According to a recent experiment conducted at the Techfetish Techniche festival in India, Cleverbot is getting increasingly well at convincing people it’s actually human. Probably because it makes zero f***ing sense to talk to, which is what we’ve come to expect from people on the internet.
Proposed by British computer scientist Alan Turing in the 1950s, the [Turing] test states that if a human talking to a machine believes the machine is human, it passes.
…Thirty volunteers conducted a typed 4-minute conversation with an unknown entity. Half of the volunteers spoke to humans while the rest chatted with Cleverbot. All the conversations were displayed on large screens for an audience to see.
Both the participants and the audience then rated the humanness of all the responses, with Cleverbot voted 59.3 per cent human, while the humans themselves were rated just 63.3 per cent human. A total of 1334 votes were cast – many more than in any previous Turing test, says Cleverbot’s developer and AI specialist Rollo Carpenter.
Admittedly, I was doing some research by talking to Cleverbot earlier and let me tell you: I don’t know how it could fool anyone. Imagine the most inept person you’ve ever talked to online, quadruple that, dumb down the grammar, and throw in the worst case of ADD ever diagnosed. That’s pretty much Cleverbot in a nutshell. Also: yours truly. BEEP BOOP PIZZA.
Software tricks people into thinking it is human [newscientist] or Go talk to Cleverbot yourself
Thanks to Denise, who’s convinced people are sounding more and more like robots than robots are of people. Oh that’s deep.Related Posts:
Lasers make everything better, including (but not limited to): microphones, kidneys and Audi’s electric A2 concept. This newest flight of fancy uses a laser diode as the rear fog lamp, which projects a red triangle onto the road to let other drivers know you’re there. The German car-maker has tricked out the rest of the EV’s lighting system as well by implementing matrix beam technology using LEDs and microreflectors — giving it high resolution, non-glaring beams and intelligent tail lights that change in intensity based on weather conditions. Claiming other state-of-the-art features like gesture controls instead of keys, and brake lights that glow brighter the harder you press, it sounds like this would be a pretty sweet ride — if it ever makes it to market. No word on the other, insignificant details (ya know, like what actually powers the thing) but there’s plenty more about the car’s lighting system in the PR after the break.
Continue reading Audi announces A2 electric concept car, uses lasers to ensure safety of future humans
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