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Yearly Archives: 2013

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Rise Of The Robot Security Guards: R2D2 Lookalike K5

Knightscope’s K5 is a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound robot that patrols areas like school campuses. But the company is now marketing K5 as a security tool for corporate campuses, warehouses and even communities.

3D Systems and Motorola Explore 3D Printed Lego-Like Modular Smartphones

Motorola's Project Ara aims to build custom, open source smartphones out of easily replaceable, updatable, snappable blocks. They hope such modular smartphones will do away with today’s rapid cycles of device obsolescence, and they recently added a new co-conspirator—3D printing giant, 3D Systems.

IBM to Offer App Developers Access to Resident AI and Jeopardy Champ Watson

The age of the pocket AI is imminent. IBM recently announced they’re opening their supercomputer, Watson, and its natural language powers to developers. The hope is apps drawing on Watson might soon reside on smartphones everywhere.

Flying Robot Jellyfish an Exceedingly Light, Simple Design

NYU's Leif Ristroph wanted to design an exceedingly simple miniature flying robot. Instead of finding inspiration in insects, he turned to the jellyfish, a water dweller. Whereas insect-like bots require heavy processors and sensors to stay stable—lacking a brain, jellyfish are still efficient, elegant swimmers. Ristroph’s robots are as dumb as a jellyfish—and similarly simple and efficient.

Amazon: Drones Could Deliver Orders in Half an Hour, But Feds Need To Allow It

In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos boasted that his company would soon offer 30-minute delivery by drone in a feature called Prime Air. Justifiably or not, Bezos is very, very bullish on commercial drones. Just think, they are to trucks and planes what the Internet is to paper.

Matternet CEO Tells TED Global Internet of Drones Could Positively Impact a Billion

A billion people have no access to all-season roads. Over three billion live in cities or megacities. Quick access to goods faces either impassible mud or impenetrable gridlock. But Singularity University Labs startup, Matternet, has a plan. Speaking to an audience at TED Global last summer, co-founder and CEO, Andreas Raptopoulos said Matternet is “a new idea about a network for transportation that is based on the ideas of the internet.”

Google Glass Makes Its Way Into Operating Rooms

Hands-free devices like Google Glass can be really transformative when the hands they free are those of a surgeon. And leading hospitals, including Stanford and the University of California at San Francisco, are beginning to use Glass in the operating room.

Eat Nuts, Live Longer? Study Says Yes

To live longer and healthier, the best current advice is exercise, maintain healthy weight and eat dark leafy greens. But we're likely to increasingly see eating nuts included in that list. Those who ate nuts nearly every day were 20 percent less likely to die in the course of two 30-year cohort studies. Nut eaters were almost 30 percent less likely to die of heart disease and more than 10 percent less likely to die of cancer than those who never at them.

FDA Approves Brain Implant to Monitor and Autonomously Respond to Epileptic Seizures

In recent years, brain implants have been used to control tremors from Parkinson’s Disease and help quadriplegics move robotic arms. We can now add epilepsy to the list—a brain implant for patients suffering epileptic seizures was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA Tells 23andMe to Stop Marketing DNA Sequencing Service

The FDA told 23andMe on Monday that it must stop marketing its hallmark personal DNA sequencing kit. The agency informed the company that it considers its 2012 petition for approval withdrawn because it has not received the information that it required.

NASA’s Next Frontier: Growing Plants On The Moon

A small team at NASA’s Ames Research Center has set out to “boldly grow where no man has grown before” – and they’re doing it with the help of thousands of children, a robot,...

Fleets of Robots Take To the Sea, Autonomously Collecting Data

Autonomous robots are plumbing the ocean’s depths with increasing regularity. This hurricane season, a research project called GliderPalooza 2013 deployed some twelve sea drones to take a snapshot of the mid-Atlantic ocean. Ocean-going robots can go where humans can’t, are cheaper than ships, and easier to maintain than buoys. Combined traditional data sources, scientists are piecing together an increasingly complex map of the ocean.

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