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What would you prefer: a robot that takes care of you, or the opposite?

July 9, 2013

Robot butler Nao, a social robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics vs. robot-simulating mom (credit:  Aldebaran Robotics)

To determine how human perception of a robot changes based on its role, Penn State researchers observed 60 interactions between college students and Nao, a social robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics, a French company specializing in humanoid robots.

Each interaction could go one of two ways. The human could help Nao calibrate its eyes, or Nao could examine the human’s eyes like a concerned eye doctor and make suggestions to… read more

What will your next body be like?

December 25, 2012

A scene from R.U.R., showing three robots (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“Many engineers, including me, think that some time around 2050, we will be able to make very high quality links between the brains and machines. … If your mind is so well connected, you could inhabit a new body, without having to vacate your existing one,” suggests futurologist Ian Pearson.

“Using a detachable brain is one option, or not to put a brain in at all, using empty immobile husks that… read more

What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2189?

March 5, 2007

A new fictional children’s book, “21st Century Kids” by Shannon Vyff (Warren Publishing, March 2007), explores the idea that two children, killed in a car accident, are cryonically preserved and reanimated in the year 2189.

Vyff’s own children were the inspiration for the main characters in the book and served as sounding boards. They are also featured along with Vyff in an upcoming Barbara Walter’s Special, “How… read more

What will happen to us? Forecasters tackle the extremely deep future

May 1, 2011

“The community of thinkers on distant-future questions stretches across disciplinary bounds, with the primary uniting trait a willingness to think about the future as a topic for objective study, rather than a space for idle speculation or science fictional reverie,” says writer Graeme Wood.

They include British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, theoretical cosmologists like Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology, who recently wrote a book about time,… read more

What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

June 28, 2004

Privacy advocates are hindering development of sophisticated pattern-analysis and data mining tools for detecting terrorist networks, say some experts.

What We Can Learn from Robots

December 28, 2004

Mitsuo Kawato, director of the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, believes that experiments on humanoid robots can provide simplified models of what certain groups of neurons in the brain are doing.

Then, using advanced imaging techniques, he looks at whether brain cells in monkeys and humans accord with the models.

By combining magnetic-resonance imaging, which offers millimeter-level resolution, with electrical and magnetic recording techniques, which resolve… read more

What ultra-tiny nanocircuits can do

February 10, 2011

Researchers have used germanium wires to create a 'nanochip'. (Lieber Group/Harvard Univ)

Engineers and scientists collaborating at Harvard University and the MITRE Corp. have developed and demonstrated the world’s first programmable nanoprocessor.

The groundbreaking prototype computer system, described in a paper appearing Feb. 9 in the journal Nature, represents a significant step forward in the complexity of computer circuits that can be assembled from synthesized nanoscale components.

It also represents an advance because these ultra-tiny nanocircuits… read more

What to Wear: Why Not a Computer?

October 15, 2002

Wearable computers are especially well suited for disabled people. Under development: a universal control interface that would allow cell phones, PDAs and wearable control systems read simple hand gestures to control a wide variety of devices; small head-mounted visual displays to provide on-the-fly captioning to manage a variety of devices with wireless connections; tele-health systems for monitoring real-time vital signs in patients; and “way-finding systems,” which use a global positioning… read more

What to expect from the Google I/O conference

Tablet, Maps, Cloud Services, Drive... and maybe Google Glass -- where to watch live starting Tuesday 6/26
June 26, 2012

chromebookbox_top610

Google’s annual developer conference starts today (June 26) at Moscone Center in San Francisco, ReadWriteWeb reports, with these expccted announcements:

  • Tablet: Google is expected to unveil a seven-inch, $199 tablet under the flagship Nexus brand., or possibly a tablet running Chrome OS.
  • Maps: Google is taking Maps to “the next dimension” with new 3D technology and an improved user interface, Google Maps, and apps built

read more

What to Expect at CES 2012 and Beyond

January 11, 2011

Improved video will be a key focus for future consumer electronics, according to a panel at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE). The cutting edge is now processing HD video at 60 frames per second, capturing several images from the sensor and combining them into one “good” picture or frame of video.

The algorithms used to perform this processing will receive a significant performance boost… read more

What the Web knows about you

January 28, 2009

Much of the publicly available information on individuals online is sourced from online county, state and federal government records databases, with little or no attempt made to redact sensitive personal data such as Social Security numbers — a treasure trove for data aggregators, brokers and criminals.

A Computerworld special report explains how individuals can play a role in reducing their information footprint and shaping the information that is available… read more

What the net did next

January 7, 2004

The Internet is set to become the basis for just about every form of communication, according to net pioneer Vint Cerf.

The Enum initiative attempts to turn phone numbers into net addresses and give people a universal way of contacting anyone, provided they know at least one e-mail, address, phone or pager number for them.

Naming Authority Pointer (NATPR) allows almost anything, such as book or magazine ISBN… read more

What technology from science fiction would you most like to see as science fact?

June 17, 2012

Stargate (credit: MGM)

Friday, @DARPA asked the twitterverse, “What technology from science fiction would you most like to see as science fact?

Amusing answers, ranging from Stargate to “very tiny Rick Moranis” and Andy Levy’s “Black goo that tears apart your DNA.”

Your ideas?

 

What technologies will crowdfunding create?

September 17, 2012

IMG_9407

Inventor Jay Silver, creator of MaKey MaKey, an “invention kit” consisting of a processor board and alligator clips that turns objects with high electrical resistance — bananas, Play-Doh, human flesh — into computer controllers, listed the project on Kickstarter this year hoping to raise $25,000.

He ended up with $568,106 from 11,124 people, Technology Review reports.

In the U.S., Internet funding occurs on Indiegogo,… read more

What running robots can learn from turkeys

October 30, 2014

Model of motion (Credit: OSU)

With an eye toward making better running robots, researchers from from Oregon State University, the Royal Veterinary College and other institutions have made surprising new findings about some of nature’s most energy-efficient bipeds — running birds.

These are some of the most sophisticated runners of any two-legged land animals, including humans, the researchers found in a study published Wednesday (Oct. 29) in the Journal of Experimental Biology, with an… read more

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