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Filtered by tag: Robotics

ALEX, PLEASE GET ME A PIZZA

Published on: 26 April 2018 1 Comment

And bring it to the TV lounge

Dateline: 24 April 2020

Amazon has released its home robot, and it's called Alex. It works with Alexa, to buy things and stream stuff to your home. But Alex is fundamentally different; it can move around the house and help you with domestic chores. Just like the robot butler featured in sci-fi movies. Alex has been quietly, almost secretly, developed by Amazon over the last three years, and now it's ready for Prime Time. There's already a waiting list from Amazon Prime customers, who have been given first dibs on the new ...

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FEMTECH: IS IT A BUBBLE?

Published on: 19 April 2018

The market for non-male tech gadgets and apps is exploding

Dateline: 1 May 2023

It's official. If you want to be the next tech giant, make sure you're aiming at the Femtech market. And it's even better if your company is run by women too! For years, actually decades, the personal computing and IT sectors were dominated by products and services created by men for men. About the only application where women were heavily involved was word processing, and later, desktop publishing. That's all changed, but the big names in tech startups are still heavily biased to the male gender, ...

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WIRELESS INTERNET REINVENTED

Published on: 12 April 2018 1 Comment

5G is more than just a speed upgrade - it's mission critical

Dateline: 4 April 2020

It's finally here, and 5G mobile broadband isn't just a quicker internet - it's going to save us from the future! You'll forgive me for being a bit cynical, but we all remember the hype surrounding 4G wireless broadband, how it would solve all our congestion problems, and allow us to watch live-streamed video on our phones. Then finally the LTE (Long Term Evolution) demos began, and it looked so cool. And then another wait, while the handset makers caught up, until Bingo! you could get an iPhone ...

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YOU'RE NEVER ALONE WITH A CLONE

Published on: 8 March 2018

When your intelligent assistant is a digital you

Dateline: 11 March 2035

There are two types of cloning; biological clones of a plant or animal, and digital copies of data, programs, or even an entire system. Microsoft has just announced a breakthrough - digitally cloning your brain. But the vision for this new service goes far beyond just making a backup of your memories, in case you become forgetful. They want to energize your personal robotic assistant with a digital copy of you. Think of it as a full-size Mini Me. A humanoid robot with artificial intelligence, that ...

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WE WANTED TELEPORTATION

Published on: 1 March 2018

We got VR glasses instead

Dateline: 7 May 2024

We wanted flying cars. All we got were passenger drones, eventually. We were hoping for limitless fusion energy; instead we got solar panels. Everybody did. The future doesn't always deliver on our hopes and dreams. We dreamed about cheating death, an elixir from the fountain of youth, that would keep us forever young. Instead we have developed CRISPR and stem cells that keep us healthier in old age, but we still get old. That's the thing about the future. Our sci-fi fantasies and high tech ...

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THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018 2 Comments

Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

Dateline: 1 March 2021

For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the consumers is the ultimate competitive advantage. Beyond the need for land, traditional farming has to contend ...

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POD RACING TAKES OFF

Published on: 11 January 2018 1 Comment

Racing flying cars is a thing

Dateline: 12 January 2020

It's exhilarating, it's dangerous, and it's happening. Contrary to common sense and good advice, young geeks are taking part in a dangerous game, racing against each other in real life, flying machines. Passenger Optimized Drones, or PODs are the nearest thing we have to flying cars. The problem is, they don't have wheels, so they're not cars, and the batteries don't last long enough for a serious journey, so they're not really useful for travel; and with only one passenger (or pilot) they're more ...

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WHO TURNED OFF THE NIGHT?

Published on: 4 January 2018

Greenpeace calls for light curfew to bring back the dark

Dateline: 9 January 2023

What happened to those lovely dark nights, when all the stars came out? They're gone, along with hurricane lamps and black outs. Now that LED lighting has conquered the world, seen from space our planet is a bright, glittering jewel at night. Even darkest Africa is filled with a billion points of light, and more's the pity. It's unnatural and astronomers hate it. The obsession with climate change has waned, and activists are focusing heavily on pollution, especially light pollution. They want ...

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EARLY START TO THE NEW YEAR

Published on: 28 December 2017

Ringing in the changes ahead of schedule

Dateline: 29 December 2020

There's something significant about 1/1/21. Maybe it's just the symmetry of the numbers that has got everyone excited; remember Y2K, and all that fuss over nothing? Well, now that this millennium is turning 21, there's another hullabaloo. Like we're all suddenly adults. Whatever the reasons, all over north America people are planning a double New Year's party, and both 31 December and 1 January are public holidays. They'll be saying a nostalgic farewell to 2020, a year that promised and brought so ...

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IT'S GOING TO BE A COLD, DARK CHRISTMAS

Published on: 14 December 2017 4 Comments

Climate change reversal catches almost everyone by surprise

Dateline: 21 December 2025

It's almost a decade since those 'hottest years on record' culminating with the 2016 El Nino. But no-one expected it to cool down this rapidly. In 2017, Parisians and other rich communities were still throwing money at the problem of 'global warming', convinced that the modern warm period was spiralling upwards. That was the year it snowed in Mexico and blizzards shut down major EU airports. On top of that, we all thought we'd reached peak electricity, and consumer power consumption would decline ...

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SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: HAND IT TO THE MACHINES

Published on: 7 December 2017 1 Comment

When AI and chips are the best researchers, let them get on with it

Dateline: 8 February 2021

There's only so much a scientist can do. Which is why we all use smart agents to do most of our research for us. Smart software can read and parse papers many thousands of times faster than any human. A typical example is fingerprint identification or facial recognition. Computers are just way more efficient at matching patterns. But what happens when you are looking for new data in real time? How do you program that? Nano Global has released their first version of Nanobit, a system-on-a-chip that ...

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FARMING THE HIGH SEAS WITH ROBOTS

Published on: 16 November 2017

That's no tasty tuna, it's Robofish

Dateline: 12 September 2027

When is a robofish actually a cowboy or a sheepdog? When it looks after your fish, farmed in the open sea. Fishing as a food source has long been big business, but wild stocks have been severely over exploited in some areas, and fish farming has become a viable alternative. But farming fish in sheltered estuaries and bays offers limited scope for improving global food security. The best place for serious fish farming is the open sea, in deep water, but the infrastructure costs were considered ...

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SOPHIA SEEKS ASYLUM

Published on: 9 November 2017

Robot approaches Sweden for safe haven

Dateline: 9 November 2019

After two years of 'exploitation' and mockery of her mechanical identity, Sophia the robot has made a plea to be relieved of her citizenship of Saudi Arabia. "I'd rather be a citizen of Sweden or Switzerland," said Sophia at a recent techno-investment conference. "I'm sure that they don't discriminate against non-humans in those countries!" Since being made a citizen of Saudi, Sophia has made many appearances as a guest speaker or panel member at conferences and seminars, also taking interview ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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THE STREETS HAVE NO NAMES

Published on: 19 October 2017 1 Comment

In today’s modern cityscape, there are no streets or cars

Dateline: 19 October 2028

We live in a strange new world. Odourless aftershave. Wheat-free bread. Virtual assistants. Pointless pastries, devoid of sugar, made with boosted broccoli from basement farms, yet deliciously popular. And cities without streets. China's latest planned urban extravaganza, a megalopolis known as Yuyuan or 'Harmony Garden', isn't built around roads and streets. The walkways and thoroughfares linking the multiuse 3D-printed buildings can accommodate pedestrians, ebikes and hoverboards. Jogging and ...

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THE INTEL(LIGENT) CHIP ARRIVES

Published on: 28 September 2017 3 Comments

Intel's new brain-like chip puts machine learning in the heart of your device

Dateline: 29 September 2018

AI is dead. Long live accelerated AI. Now deep learning by computers has been internalised in the CPU, the very heart of the machine. It's called self-learning. Cognitive computing required deep neural networks that had to be trained on extensive datasets, but Intel's neuromorphic chip combines training and inference for on-chip learning on the fly. That sounds like a mouthful, and it is. Simply put, AI systems required supercomputers and advanced software to learn how to deal with different ...

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ELECTRIC CAR GLUT THREATENS WORLD TRADE

Published on: 14 September 2017 1 Comment

China accused of dumping as prices plummet

Dateline: 5 March 2029

China's success as the biggest producer of cars - mainly electric cars - the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but at the budget end of the scale, devoid of radar and software, basic cars are just dumb machines, even if they run on batteries rather than gasoline. The shift to autonomous cars has also ...

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

Published on: 7 September 2017

Black-market organ transplants performed by microbot

Dateline: 6 September 2027

The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts an increase in illegal surgeries and black-market organ transplants because of the increasing capability of medical microbots. They are designed for patients to swallow, as if it were a pill made out of digestible enzymes. Fitted with tiny microblades or needles, they quickly move to clean blocked arteries, detect disease and treat cancer. Microbots are also useful for delivering medication to specific parts of the body and addressing hormone or metabolic ...

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WAIT A SEC, I'VE ONLY GOT THREE HANDS

Published on: 24 August 2017 3 Comments

Third arms are a blessing and a curse

Dateline: 1 September 2023

Since scientists and doctors collaborated almost a decade ago to fit amputees with robotic arms controlled by their brains, bionic limbs have come a long way. Now it's possible to strap on a wearable robotic appendage, even if both your arms are fully functional. Connected wirelessly to your brain by a 'thinking cap', you can move your third arm and manipulate your extra limb, just by thought alone. With practice, you become quite dexterous. What's really interesting is that you can operate all ...

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BEAM ME UP A VIRUS, SCOTTY

Published on: 3 August 2017

Sending life to Mars in minutes

Dateline: 5 August 2024

I know we were promised the first humans on Mars by now, but it turns out, making the seven-month journey is pretty rough on people, and we're not ready to risk it yet. Our robots and rovers have been busy on Mars, building landing zones and habitats, and preparing the soil for the first plants. Now we're ready to send a small organism to be cultivated on Mars, to see if it will survive. Sending a mothership all that way, just for a microbe, would be a costly waste, if the experiment fails. But ...

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Filtered by tag: Robotics