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May 29, 2016

U.S. Army using Michigan interstate to test driverless vehicle tech

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, robotics/AI

LAPEER COUNTY, MI – U.S. Army convoys are set to roll down the interstate in Lapeer and St. Clair counties as part of a first-time testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways in the state.

If successful, officials say the technology that may save the lives of soldiers thousands of miles away.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, and Michigan Department of Transportation met with residents in Imlay City and Capac on May 23 to discuss the testing scheduled for late June along Interstate 69.

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May 29, 2016

Toyota is closing in on a deal to buy Google’s robotics company Boston Dynamics, and the ‘ink is nearly dry’

Posted by in categories: business, military, robotics/AI

One misstep after another for Boston Dynamics. First they get bought by the bunglers at Google, who dont want to do business with the Pentagon, so they buy a company who almost exclusively works for the Pentagon, and now getting sold to a foreign electronics company.

Pretty sad treatment for the company making some of the best robotics in the world. It should be sold to a US defense contractor.

Google is selling off robotics company Boston Dynamics, and Toyota is a serious contender.

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May 29, 2016

Ears, noses grown from stem cells in lab dishes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.

It is among several labs around the world, including in the U.S., that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab.

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May 29, 2016

Apple is working on an AI system that wipes the floor with Google and everyone else

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Apple recently bought a company called VocalIQ that can be used to vastly improve Siri.

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May 29, 2016

First Expandable Space Station Module deployed for Two-Year Test Run

Posted by in categories: habitats, space

The International Space Station grew in size on Saturday when the Bigelow Expandable Module (BEAM) was successfully expanded on the second attempt after the initial deployment on Thursday did not work out as planned.

Putting in a long weekend shift, teams at Mission Control and Astronaut Jeff Williams worked for close to eight hours to finally accomplish a safe expansion & pressurization of the module.

BEAM’s expansion marks the conclusion of a two-decade effort between NASA and private industry to test out expandable habitat technology in space.

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May 29, 2016

Google and Ray Kurzweil making chatbots that will allow for “interesting conversations”

Posted by in categories: Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI


Can we really have a conversation with a bot? Voice assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now make a good attempt at it, but these are still clearly machines. Their level of artificial intelligence is far behind human intellect. But you can bet Google is working on improving AI.

Renown author Ray Kurzweil has revealed him and his team have been working with Google to create chatbots. These are said to be advanced bots with which you can have ‘interesting conversations’.

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May 28, 2016

‘Minivan-sized’ sea creature discovered

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists in Hawaii discover a huge underwater sea sponge the size of a minivan, and it may be a new species.

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May 28, 2016

DARPA wants to find the vital limitations of machine learning

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Fun stuff.

What are the fundamental limitations inherent in machine learning systems?

That’s the central question of a potential new DARPA program known as the Fundamental Limits of Learning (Fun LoL) which according to the researchers will address how the quest for the ultimate learning machine can be measured and tracked in a systematic and principled way.

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May 28, 2016

Robot taught to flinch as though it’s reacting to pain

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Ok; a little different. Not sure why we need a robot to flinch.

It uses a ‘robot-tissue’ patch modelled on human skin to decide how much pain should be felt and thus what action to take. But now, a group of German researchers is embarking upon a new mission to gift robots with pain sensors — or their mechanical equivalents.

It’s only a matter of time before robots are practically human-like. This is why robots that work in extreme, unsafe environments might need an analog to pain to help them make decisions in chaotic workspaces, thereby acting to protect themselves or the humans and equipment around them.

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May 28, 2016

Innovations could help address abandoned mine problems

Posted by in category: innovation

An abandoned wheelhouse shed sits atop an old mine shaft high in the San Juan Mountains north of Silverton on Aug. 14, 2015. The mines that settlers built in the booms of the 19th century are an ever-present part of the landscape in this mineral-rich part of Colorado.

Associated Press file.

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