Showing posts from May, 2018

Back-flipping Robots

Atlas, the Acrobat Robot with Purpose

Atlas can backflip and do half-turn jumps.  It's an amazingly agile athlete and acrobat.  Boston Dynamics created Atlas.  It's the latest in their series of highly advanced humanoid robots.  Boston Dynamics works with DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA's mission is to provide the US military with overwhelming technological advantages including robotic. The company calls Atlas, the world's most dynamic robot.  Back-flipping and On a Mission
Atlas is designed to operate in emergency and disaster situations.  For instance, going into buildings leveled by bombing or earthquakes to search for signs of life.  It's primary purpose is to help the military and first responders stay our of harms way.  In dynamic military and emergency situations, robotic flexibility and agility such as backflips and jumps are keys to mission success.  Atlas can do all of that.
Humanoid Jumping Robot
Atlas is 4.9…

AI Israeli Style

Sherlock Holmes with AI

Israel is a global center of innovation in a number of sectors, including 3D Printing, cancer research and Artificial Intelligence.  Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are putting AI to work to predict, deter and fight crime.  It's fascinating research developing AI innovation that could be highly beneficial to fight crime globally.  You might call the program "Sherlock Holmes empowered by artificial intelligence."

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev- Israeli Police AI Program

Israeli researchers are using AI tools, incorporating advanced cyber and big data, to predict and prevent crime.  They believe they're on the threshold of the next big crime-fighting breakthrough.  Specifically, analyzing big data to uncover patterns that result in crime prediction and prevention.  It's an AI pre-emptive strike on crime.
University Center for Computational Criminology
The University just launched the Center for Computational Criminology. …

Restaurant Robots

Tip for a Restaurant Robot

Robots are on duty in restaurants from China to Boston.  They work as chefs, cooks, waiters, hosts, even entertainers.  The robots are delivering a lot of good food and entertainment value.  The question is:  do you have to leave them a tip??  The tip is up to you.  But the point is, robotics is at a tipping point for the restaurant industry.

Boston's Restaurant Robots

In Boston, 4 MIT engineers and Michelin-starred Master Chef Daniel Boulud just opened a robotic restaurant.  It's called Spyce and is a fast casual restaurant primarily for the lunchtime, office worker crowd.  The robots prepare all the meals.  The owners claim the robots cook your made-to-order meal in three minutes.  The robots specialize in cooking grains and vegetables.  It's an example of the growing use of robotic technology in restaurants.
China's Robot Restaurant  In Harbin, China 20 robots serve diners at the Robot Restaurant.  They cook, wait tables and usher in the gue…

Body Bots

Wednesday Series Innovation Addressing Pressing World Needs:  Defeating Cancer

It's a cancer fighting robotic army.  Miniscule robots, the size of a blood cell, swarming the human body to detect, precisely deliver drug therapies and defeat cancer.  Mind-blowing, exciting research programs are underway worldwide.  Two research programs are leading the way:  Chinese University of Hong Kong and Philips Innovation Center in Germany.  Both are developing "body bot" armies.  It's important innovation addressing the pressing world need of defeating cancer.

Army of Cancer Fighting Mini Robots

Both Philips and Chinese University of Hong Kong have aggressive research and testing programs underway.  The robots are microscopic.  Their motion is controlled by magnetic fields.  They swarm inside the human body to detect and treat disease.
Chinese University Body Bots
The Chinese scientists have developed mini-robots by coating tiny particles of algae with biocompatible magnetic prop…

Flying Trucks - Coming to a Highway Near You

DARPA's ARES Program

Flying trucks for US combat troops in the midst of battle.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, has an ambitious program well underway to rapidly supply and also evacuate troops in volatile circumstances with flying trucks.  The code name is ARES, Aerial Reconfigurable Enabled Systems.  Vehicles that drive and fly nimbly and with speed.  ARES is part of DARPA's Transformer program which has been very successful in the development of flying cars.
ARES Awesome Military Technology
DARPA's flying trucks are dual-function vehicles for high speed vertical takeoffs and landings.  They hover and land with two tilting fans.  The vehicles are capable of high speeds during flight.  To reduce ground threats, DARPA researchers focus on unmanned, autonomous aerial logistics systems. Aerial threat evasion from, for example surface to air missiles, is being built in.  Also resistance to IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) is a prior…

Robo Fish

MIT's Groundbreaking Robot Fish for Marine Exploration

It's called SoFi, the robo fish.  SoFi is a soft robot developed by a research team at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). True to MIT's robotic legacy, SoFi is highly advanced and has achieved underwater firsts.  In fact, it's considered the most advanced robot of its kind.
Swim with the Fish - SoFi the Explorer
The little robot recently swam untethered alongside of unsuspecting fish off Fiji's Rainbow Reef.  It reached depths of 50 feet for as long as 40 minutes at a time.  That's a first.  What makes this important innovation is that it's a groundbreaking new way to study marine life, up close and personal.  Equipped with cameras, Sofi can shoot footage safely in places, at close range, that humans can't get to. The swimming robot explorer opens up underwater worlds not seen.  

Fish Tale
SoFi is a biomimetic bot that closely resembles a fish.  It's composed of 3D…

Eyepopping Travel Tech

Beneficial Innovations:  Flying & Driving Drones, Supersonic Flights & the Hyperloop Tube

MIT roboticists are advancing development of flying-driving drones.  They believe it facilitates the next generation of flying robotic cars.   The concept is vertical takeoff and landings.  The robot car is your driver.  Cruising speeds up to 200 miles per hour.  And, if it's electric, you help save the planet.  No carbon emissions.  Terrafugia, founded by MIT PhD. Carl Dietrich has a concept flying car, the TFX with vertical takeoffs and landings.  The company created the world's first FAA and NTSB approved flying car The Transition with a team of MIT engineers.
MIT researchers call their flying, driving drones the "flying car".  They've developed 8, quadcopter drones.  They're powered by 4 motors and 2 small motors attached to the wheels at the base.  They can swarm in groups without colliding.  The drones enable the scientists to test various concepts for flyi…

Rockin' Robots

Dancing, Rockin' Robots

Robots taught to dance.  It's one of the most intriguing projects now underway at the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA.  The purpose:  provide robots with much more agility and maneuverability.
Dancing for a Military Purpose
DARPA's mission is to develop breakthrough innovation that provides the US military with overwhelming technological advantages. It developed the internet, GPS, cloud computing and has led the way in advancing robotics.  Now, DARPA wants to expand robotic freedom of motion through dance.  Specifically to provide robots with more flexibility in military situations.
Dancing Algorithms
Robot mobility has progressed very slowly.  Their motion is pre-programed, mostly linear and lacks fluidity.  DARPA researchers are increasing robotic motion through computer algorithms transcoding the lexicon of dance. It's providing the robots with a much higher level of maneuverability, which is very valuable i…

The Hypersonics

Hypersonic Travel

It's called the Phantom Express or XS-1.  A space plane that launches satellites at a minute's notice.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - is spearheading the concept.  Boeing is building it for test flights in 2020.
The Phantom Express flies at hypersonic speeds up to Mach 10 or 7,600 miles per hour.  It climbs to an altitude of 12,250 kilometers (7,611 miles) and higher.  It's an experimental space plane/booster.  The vehicle does vertical takeoffs and horizontal landings. DARPA designed it to launch small satellites for the US military.
Robotic and Reusable
XS-1 is unmanned, robotic and reusable.  It's neither a traditional aircraft nor a conventional satellite launch system.  It's a hybrid of both.  DARPA's mission for XS-1 is to cut satellite launch costs by a factor of ten.  Also, to greatly cut wait times between launches.
Mission Possible
Phantom Express has some hurdles to clear. …

Magic Carpet Ride

Caltech's Orbiting Flying Carpets

Scientists from California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab are wishing on Aladdin's Lamp for a magic carpet ride.  Their solar energy research project involves launching 2500 "magic carpets" tightly side by side into space orbit to absorb the sun's energy.  The carpet system would beam the energy back to earth ground-stations to generate electricity.
Orbiting Carpets to Light the World The carpets will fly over an area the size of 1,670 football fields or 3.5 square miles. The carpets are only one inch thick.  They're designed to precisely beam energy back to earth to targeted locations.  Primary targets would be global areas in need of energy, particularly in the third world.  It would be the largest space structure ever built.  And the targeted beam precision is provided by technology called "phased array" and is currently used in radar systems.  The principle is controlling the timing and…

Wednesday Series: Important Innovations Addresing World Needs - Climate Change

Important Innovations Addressing World's Most Pressing Needs - Climate Change

There is no magic bullet to solving global warming. But there are a series of innovations and emerging technologies across industries that individually reduce climate change.  They are the building blocks that together start to provide a solution through innovation to save the planet. We choose to start with Green Transportation - Electric Planes, Electric Cars and NASA's futuristic electric orbiting carpets.  Electric powered vehicles are a big component part of reducing emissions.
Climate Forecast: HOT and HOTTER

The plight of polar bears and penguins in the warming world of the Arctic and Antarctic frames where Planet Earth is headed.  Clearly, a hot and disastrous collision with Climate Change.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the problem is too much heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.  They warn these emissions need to be cut by at leas…

Gremlin Drone Airforce

Flying, Swarming, Killer Drones

This is not pure fiction.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Project Agency - DARPA - has an ambitious research program well underway to develop flying, swarming, killer drone aircraft. It's "The Gremlin Drone Airforce" for national security and military protection in time of war.

The Gremlins UAS

DARPA's program is called The Gremlins UAS, unmanned aircraft systems. The concept is to launch swarms of killer drone aircraft mid-air from large aircraft carriers out of range of enemy forces.  When they complete their mission, The Gremlins would be retrieved by C-130 transport planes.  They would go back to base and be prepared for more combat missions.
Multi-Tasking Gremlins
DARPA and the US Military intend to test the Gremlins in 2019.  The drones would swarm together to carry out missions on the frontlines. Each drone has different capabilities. Their tasks are mission critical including intelligence, surveillance and reco…

Brain-Machine Connectivity

Highly Advanced Neural Interface to Integrate Humans and Machines
The concept of a neural interface linking the human brain with technology is futuristic, ambitious and controversial research.  But the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - is leading the way.  A highly advanced neuro-technology program is underway to create unprecedented brain-machine connections. It's a 4 year, top level project to develop ubiquitous, noninvasive neuro-technology to integrate humans and machines.
Neural Interface for Military: N-3 It's called the N-3 Program.  The genesis of it is 21st century war fighting.  There's a compelling need for combat units to quickly process and transmit vital information between cyber systems, unmanned platforms and the human brain.  DARPA's mission is to develop advanced technology to provide the US military with overwhelming technological advantages.  N-3's purpose is to strategically connect the soldier with technolo…

Intergalactic Vacations

Orbiting Space Hotels

In 2022, you can take a 12 day vacation in space.  Houston, TX based Orion Span is developing the world's first luxury space hotel  It's called the Aurora Station. And the first 4 months of orbit aboard Aurora are sold out.  $80,000 per passenger deposits came from North America, Europe and the Middle East.  Actual 12 day vacation packages start at $9.5 million.  Orion plans to launch the space module in 2021 and put the first guests into orbit in 2022.
Close Quarters - Not Much Space
Aurora accommodates 4 passengers and a 2 member crew of astronauts.  The station is 43.5 feet long and 14 feet wide.  The International Space Station is 8 times that size.  It orbits at an altitude of 200 miles above the earth every 90 minutes.  So passengers would see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets per day. Passengers must complete a 3 month astronaut training program at Orion in order to get on board.
Orbital Experience
It would be an experience of a lifetime.  12 days of zero g…

Secret Agent Fish

DARPA's Underwater Intelligence Agents

It's almost too good to be true.  The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA - is deploying fish and other marine life as underwater James Bonds.  The research project is called the "Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors Program".  DARPA wants to gather the responses of living marine life like shellfish to underwater vehicles.  The data would be relayed back through a hardware network that also gathers and interprets the fish responses.

Aquatic Surveillance

This research is no tall fish tale.  DARPA is a global epicenter of innovation.  It created the internet, GPS, cloud computing and much more. Its mission is to provide the US military with overwhelming technological advantages.  DARPA scientists believe that monitoring marine life's reaction to their environment will better track enemy manned and unmanned vehicles.  They plan on using crustaceans, mollusks and certain types of fish as a sensor n…
Innovative Helmet Technology Fights Sports Brain Injuries

A pediatric neurosurgeon has developed a highly engineered helmet that starts to fight sports brain injuries.  Dr. Sam Browd of Washington is the innovator.  He and his engineering team at VICIS have created a multi-layered helmet that mitigates rotational and linear impact force.

Cushions Like a Car Bumper
The helmet is called Zero 1.  It's a softer, stronger helmet that works like a car bumper.  The outer shell is composed of flexible polymer that cushions the impact.  Zero 1 earned top spot in the NFL's 2018 helmet test for the ability to reduce impact forces that lead to brain injury.  The VICIS team of professional athletes, engineers and neurosurgeons spent 3 years and $20million on R&D to develop the helmet.  They recommend it for professional athletes and student athletes in high school and college.  VICIS plans on developing a smaller, lighter helmet for younger athletes in the near future.  A number of NFL …

Marsbees Explore Mars

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction.  But it's a fact.  NASA is developing autonomous tiny drones, the size of bees.  NASA's Marsbees  will explore the planet Mars for any signs of Martian  life. The drones are cutting edge robotic innovation.  NASA views them as potentially leading the way for the eventual colonization of Mars.

Swarming Marsbees

Marsbees is an extraordinary, artificial intelligence (AI), drone development NASA project.  The tiny drones are shaped and sized like bees with one exception.  Their wingspan is much larger.  The wings are the size of cicada's.wings  They're designed to fly through Mars' thin atmosphere with speed, distance, agility and duration.  They handily outpace NASA's cumbersome rovers.  Rover Curiosity landed in 2012 and has only travelled 12 miles.
Wireless Transmissions
The drones are steered by artificial intelligence.  Like satellites, they transmit data to scientists wirelessly.  NASA plans on launching them from a …

Swimming Robots

How's this for a dream vacation?  You're in a tropical resort and diving underwater with cutting edge robotic geer.   Your swimming robot is video recording the marine life and ocean surrounding you.  Later, from your boat, you launch the swimming robot with imbedded cameras into the sea to glide along to places you can't reach.  The robotic tech live streams, video-recorded images.  You and your ship mates enjoy the oceanographic display above water.  It's possible and has just been developed.

FIFISH P3 - Swimming, Video Recording Robotic Innovation

FIFISH P3 is an underwater explorer drone with highly advanced video, video streaming and photographic capabilities.  It can record high quality video and highly professional photographs at depths up to 328 feet.  QYSEA of Shenzhen, China developed FIFISH.  They call it the first truly professional underwater robot.  And it's an award winner.  It's the recipient of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 Innovati…

Important Innovations Addressing World Needs: Food

Global Food Fights

Increasing food supplies is one of the world's most pressing needs.  The supply-demand equation is so dire it eventually could lead to global food fights.  By 2050, world population will increase by 34% to 9 billion. Most of it in the third world.   Food production has to increase by 70% to keep pace.  Meat production has to double to 470 million tons.

Billionaire Bill Gates' Solution - Go Meatless

There are several important innovations that begin to address the global food shortage.  One novel idea comes from Microsoft's Bill Gates.  Go meatless.  The concept is to produce lab grown meat and meat substitutes that taste the same as the real thing.  Gates financially backed a company  Beyond Meat that produced the 1st meatless burger, made from peas.  There's an added benefit in going meatless.  25% of world emissions come from food production including meat.  Going meatless could reduce climate change.

Robot Farms

Robots and drones operate Hands Free …

Flying, Driving Drones and Flying Monkeys

Flying, Driving Drones

From the MIT roboticists who created the world's first flying monkey comes flying, driving drones.   Roboticists at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a quadcopter drone with wheels.  It drives and flies autonomously.  The drones can swarm in groups.  And they can do so without colliding with each other.  There's an important innovation breakthrough here.  Current drone robots that are good at one form of transportation aren't good at another.  The MIT drone is good at both flying and driving.

Flying Monkeys

This same team of roboticists previously created a robot called the "flying monkey".  The monkey flies, runs and grasps objects.  But it isn't autonomous.  The researchers program its paths.  It can't safely travel on its own.  But it has served as a foundation for the roboticists next iteration on their innovation theme - flying, driving drones.
Flying Cars
The MIT scientists call the…

3D Printing Rocks Heavy Metal

3D Printing Rocks Heavy Metal

The promise of  3D printing.  Experts call it "the next industrial revolution" that will disrupt industries.  They also forecast exponential growth.  For 3D printing that future just got a lot closer.  According to experts at MIT, 3D printers can now manufacture metal objects quickly and cheaply.  3D metal printing is a game-changer for manufacturing.
3D Printed Plastic
3D printing has been utilized for several decades.  But until now the printing substance of choice has been plastic.  Consumers and businesses globally 3D print clothing, glasses, toys, jewelry, dentures and even artificial organs.  Other substances, particularly metal, have been too expensive and slow to 3D print.
New Technological Take-off for 3D
Three leading companies, GE, Markforged and Desktop Metal are deploying new technologies that make 3D metal printing practical.  Their new technology printers create lighter, stronger and more complex metal parts that can't be done b…

Smarter Sensing Cities

Smarter Sensing Cities
Building cities smarter by using advanced digital technologies as their design and operating base.  It's a concept promoted by the World Economic Forum at Davos. Their specific reason is to impact and reduce accelerating climate change. A staggering 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings.  Lighting, heat, cooling and power for homes, office buildings, schools and hospitals account for 1/5th of global emissions yearly.
Looking for Energy Miracle World Economic Forum officials believe smarter cities are a key factor that could change that.  Microsoft's Bill Gates is part of a group which has created a fund to invest in climate change solutions through technology.  As Gates puts it "we need an energy miracle".  Meanwhile, a company called Sidewalks Labs is putting the smarter cities theory into practice.  Sidewalks is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet. Non-fossil fuel energy will power it.
Toronto Project - the Smarte…

Hard Wired Roads

Electric Cars  Wirelessly Powered by Charged Roads

It's an environmental dream come true.  Battery charging highways that wirelessly power electric cars as they drive along.  Imagine the additional mileage that would provide electric vehicles. Imagine how widespread use of electric cars would cut carbon foot prints globally.  Bottom-line:  electric cars would be a long distance practicality.
Game Changing Innovation Research
Stanford University has the project on the road.  Researchers are working on a new wireless power system embedded right beneath the surface of the road.  The wirelessly charged roads would power the electric car while it moves along the highway to its destination.  This important concept could result in widespread use of electric cars.
New Wireless Charger
Stanford researchers have produced a wireless charger that does something other wireless chargers don't.  The charger automatically calibrates the radio wave frequency.  That's the medium that transfer…

Important Innovations Addressing World's Most Pressing Needs

Important Innovations Impacting Global Needs

On Wednesday May 16, 2018, we will blog our first news post on important new innovation addressing the world's most pressing needs.  Every Wednesday thereafter, we'll provide similar posts to detail the innovation solutions to globally pressing issues.  These will be presented in a very understandable and accessible manner.
Some of the global needs and breakthrough innovations designed to solve them include:
Feeding the world's burgeoning populationClimate ChangeDwindling supplies of clean water and arable landDisease cures and treatmentsEnvironmentally clean and autonomous transportationArtificial IntelligenceBreakthrough roboticsTechnological journeys to space and other planets
As journalists, we strongly believe in the importance of clearly communicating the issues that humanity faces and the exciting innovations designed to make our world a better place.
We will also on regular basis blog lists of the most exciting and import…

Helicopter Cars

Helicopter Cars
Your dream commuter car is coming to your driveway.  TFX, the prototype flying car that takes off and lands like a helicopter.  It's brand new automotive and aviation innovation. You vertically take off from your driveway and land vertically in your office parking lot.  It also drives like a car on the road.  One of the selling points of the helicopter car is you can avoid and take-off from traffic jams.
Electric and Autonomous TFX is autonomous, electric and fuel efficient.  Vertical takeoff and landing means no need for an airport.  Chinese owned company Terrafugea says the vehicle will be on the roads and in the skies within ten years.  Company founder Dr. Carl Dietrich and his team of MIT engineers created the world's first FAA and NTSB approved flying car The Transition.  They designed and engineered the TFX.
Pushing Flying Car Technology Skywards Meanwhile, NASA and Uber are teaming up to make electric flying cars operational within six years.  Their dual v…

Robot Workforce

Robot Workforce

By 2030, the robot workforce could replace nearly one-third of US workers.  That's 70 million Americans out of their jobs in thirteen years.  Clearly, automation is disruptive innovation, dramatically changing the American workplace.  And, the US isn't alone.

Global Robot Workforces

McKinsey Global Institute forecasts the automation labor revolution.  They predict virtually every American worker will need retraining overtime.  Furthermore the robot workforce will replace some humans at every stage in their careers.  McKinsey forecasts technology could replace 375 million employees worldwide by 2030.  Like the US, Germany and Japan will see at least one third of their workforces disrupted.  Interestingly, the disruption is less for China.  12% of their jobs will go robotic.  The reason is Chinese wages are comparatively less.
More Key Findings by McKinsey for the Robotic Workforce by 2030
Jobs most at risk are repetitive tasks, such as assembly line workCreative jo…