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Nov 1, 2017

Sony’s new Aibo pet robot goes on sale tonight in Japan

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

After more than a decade away, Sony’s Aibo pet robot is making a return. The original dog-like robot launched in 1999, while Sony says its followup is “capable of forming an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion.” Its OLED eyes allow for “nuanced” expressions as fisheye cameras see and recognize individual faces while new actuators allow its body to move smoothly along 22 axes. Pre-orders for the new robot begin tonight via Sony’s online store in Japan for 179,000 yen (about $1,739 US), with shipments scheduled to begin on January 11th.

Of course, because this is 2017, not only is the new Aibo powered by AI (that learns and develops a unique personality over time) but it’s also connected to the cloud. An Aibo Basic Plan subscription not only backs up your robot’s unique identity but also turns on the connection for owners to access their remote via WiFi or a mobile connection.

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Oct 31, 2017

This handheld 3D body scanning device could replace the MRI — using the motion-sensing technology from a Nintendo Wii

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Emergency Physician Joshua Broder realized his son’s Wii controller could detect movement than a $50,000 ultrasound machine. So he combined them.

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Oct 31, 2017

Truck attack in Manhattan kills 8; mayor calls it act of terror

Posted by in category: terrorism

NYC attack kills 8, injures 9; suspect in custody.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror,” he said.

[Previous story, posted at 5:19 p.m. ET]

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Oct 31, 2017

Alzheimer’s may be able to spread through blood transfusions

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Alzheimer’s may be contagious.

A protein might be capable of spreading Alzheimer’s through blood transfusions and surgical equipment, but we don’t know yet how much of a risk this is.

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Oct 31, 2017

Robot bees can now dive in and out of water using tiny combustible rockets

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Take that, real bees.

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Oct 31, 2017

The Race to Create a Star on Earth

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

If the processes powering the fusion reactor at the Sun’s core could be recreated on Earth, it would be one of the most important events in the history of our species. Nuclear fusion power plants could end our dependency on fossil fuels and provide a virtually limitless, highly efficient source of clean energy.

We went to two of the world’s leading nuclear fusion research centers—Sandia National Labs in New Mexico and General Fusion outside Vancouver—to see how close we are to bringing the power of the stars down to Earth.

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Oct 31, 2017

The robots helping to clear up Fukushima

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, robotics/AI

Robots have become central to the cleaning-up operation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, six years after the tsunami that triggered the nuclear meltdown.

It is estimated that around 600 tonnes of toxic fuel may have leaked out of the reactor during the incident.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company is using a variety of robots to explore areas too dangerous for people to go near.

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Oct 31, 2017

Gene-editing tool CRISPR can now manipulate more types of genetic material

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

‘It’s another tool in the toolbox’

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Oct 31, 2017

Can artificial intelligence beat musicians at their craft?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence is automating tasks in many domains. Do musicians have reason to worry?

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Oct 31, 2017

Why tech giants are investing millions in AI that can play video games

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

For any AI people out there. I’d really like to see an AI get dropped into Ocarina of Time, and then Skyrim. The day an AI can be dropped into those, and complete the entire games, and go out and complete all the weird random tasks, it should be pretty close to human level.

AI just beat a top human professional in the game Dota 2, but the technology could help with much bigger strategic problems.

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