MIT researchers seek to create robotic 'self-sculpting sand' By Doug Gross, CNN It could be something out of "Harry Potter," or a scene from "Terminator 2" if you want to take it to a creepier place. Take a box full of sand and tell it what you need - say a hammer, a ladder or a replacement for a busted car part. Bury a tiny model of what you need in the sand, give it a few seconds and - voila! - the grains of sand have assembled themselves into a full-size version of the model. MIT robotics researchers say such a magical sandbox could be no more than a decade away. A team from the school's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory says they've developed algorithms that could enable "smart sand" - essentially miniscule, simple robots that would communicate with each other about how to align together properly once they've been given a model to copy. The team has already done limited testing with larger cubes - 10 millimeters wide with rudimentary microprocessors inside and magnets on four of their sides.
Robot Prostitutes, the Future of Sex Tourism Let's cut to the chase. Would you pay to have sex with a robot prostitute? Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars think someone will. BLOG: Bar-coded Condoms Track Where You Have Sex In their paper, they envision a future where robotic prostitutes are the solution to the sex industry's most glaring problems, such as human trafficking, human degradation and the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Playing off the "Yab-Yum," once one of Amsterdam's most exclusive brothels before its closure in 2008, Yeoman and Mars imagine what the red-light district will look like in the year 2050: The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam's top sex club for business travelers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. With the wide availability of Internet pornography, online escort services and such things as the Fleshlight iPad case, it's obvious the Digital Age has revolutionized the sex industry. BLOG: Sex Robot Initially Designed As a Health Aid What's your opinion? via io9
A Former Chicago Meatpacking Plant Becomes a Self-Sustaining Vertical Farm - Design Launch Slideshow The Plant occupies a former meatpacking plant and slaughterhouse in the Union Stock Yards, transforming a huge brick building that once specialized in bringing red meat to the masses into a green space all about urban farming without waste. The interior looks like something straight out of a scientific-environmental fantasy. Tenants include aquaponic farms (think vegetables on water beds flourishing under colored UV lights), a tilapia fish farm, beer and Kombucha tea breweries, a mushroom garden, and a host of independent bakers and caterers that will work together in a communal kitchen space. Future plans include living walls and rooftop gardens. But the most ambitious part of the building is its focus on producing "net-zero waste" in its 93,500-square-foot space. “Industrial ecology—the concept of using other people’s waste as input—is fascinating. The building, which was purchased in July 2010, is currently undergoing renovations by a team of volunteers.
Solar-Powered Supertrees Sprout at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay – New Photos! Gardens by the Bay-Grant Associates We just caught sight of this incredible crop of solar-powered Supertrees rising at Singapore's Gardens By The Bay, a 101-acre conservatory that will soon blossom with 226,000 plants and flowers from all over the world. Designed by Grant Associates, the 18 Supertrees will serve as towering vertical gardens that collect rainwater, generate solar power, and act as venting ducts for the conservatories. Although the gardens aren't expected to be complete for another full year, construction is moving right along and the Supertrees are truly a magical sight to behold. Gardens by the Bay will be Singapore’s largest garden project and is central to the country’s continued development of Marina Bay. One of the more impressive elements will be the Supertrees, which are tree-like structures ranging in height from 25 metres and 50 metres in height (9 to 16 stories). Aerial walkways will connect a couple of the taller Supertrees together so visitors can see the gardens from up high.
Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies : et3 Network : Space Travel on Earth™ The Tesla Gun | dɸ/dt The year was 1889. The War of the Currents was well underway. At stake: the future of electrical power distribution on planet Earth. With the financial backing of George Westinghouse, Tesla’s AC polyphase system competed for market dominance with Edison’s established (but less efficient) DC system, in one of the ugliest and most epic tales of technological competition of the modern age. More than a hundred years after the dust settled, Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders published The Five Fists of Science: a rollicking graphical retelling of what really happened at the turn of the last century. (Get yourself a copy and read it immediately, unless you’re allergic to AWESOME). See that dapper fellow in front? Yep. As I read this fantastic story, gentle reader, certain irrevocable processes were set in motion. The Tesla Gun is a hand-held, battery powered lightning machine. [flickr id="7004633580" thumbnail="medium_640" align="center"] Aim away from face. Real sparks! Save your soda cans.
Artificially Intelligent Being Designs Videogame for Humans Writers such as Ray Kurzweil defined the so called "Singularity" as the moment in time when an artificial intelligence becomes powerful enough to design another intelligence that surpasses, and ultimately renders powerless, human intelligence. The new game designed from scratch by a freaking computer, may not be enough to push mankind over the Singularity hump once and for all, but I do know one thing: We're a hell of a lot closer now that an artificially intelligent robot has personally developed a game in which other artificially intelligent robots try to hunt and kill human beings. Now, before you try to arm yourselves with makeshift mobile EMPs and struggle to remember the correct pronunciation of "Klaatu barada nikto," perhaps a more detailed explanation is in order. Angelina created the game using an extremely clever technique known as "cooperative co-evolution," which mimics biological evolution and development in organics. Source: NewScientist
How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change - Ross Andersen - Technology Some of the proposed modifications are simple and noninvasive. For instance, many people wish to give up meat for ecological reasons, but lack the willpower to do so on their own. The paper suggests that such individuals could take a pill that would trigger mild nausea upon the ingestion of meat, which would then lead to a lasting aversion to meat-eating. The lead author of the paper, S. Judging from your paper, you seem skeptical about current efforts to mitigate climate change, including market based solutions like carbon pricing or even more radical solutions like geoengineering. Liao: It's not that I don't think that some of those solutions could succeed under the right conditions; it's more that I think that they might turn out to be inadequate, or in some cases too risky. One human engineering strategy you mention is a kind of pharmacologically induced meat intolerance. Liao: There is a widely cited U.N. S. What are the various ways humans could be engineered to be smaller?
Flying Swarm Of Robots Gives Protesters And Activists Free Wi-Fi, On The Go During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the government unplugged the Internet. Protesters were left without Internet, and thereby the ability to communicate even locally, instantly. Electronic Countermeasures is a project by Liam Young of think tank Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today and Unknown Fields Division, with assistance from Eleanor Saitta, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu, and Superflux. The project is essentially an autonomous, roaming Internet swarm, constructed from repurposed UAVs. “These drones would fly off and hover above the city, and create ad hoc connections and networks in a new form of nomadic territorial infrastructure,” Young tells Co.Design, “a flock of interactive autonomous drones that form their own place specific, temporary, local, Wi-Fi community--a pirate Internet.” “Architecture is typically such a slow medium and we wanted to develop alternative strategies for how an architect may operate and alternative forms of projects that could play out with much more immediacy,” he writes.
Rapid self-healing hydrogels Author Affiliations Contributed by Raghunath A. Mashelkar, January 23, 2012 (sent for review December 2, 2011) Abstract Synthetic materials that are capable of autonomous healing upon damage are being developed at a rapid pace because of their many potential applications. Despite these advancements, achieving self-healing in permanently cross-linked hydrogels has remained elusive because of the presence of water and irreversible cross-links. Footnotes Author contributions: A.P., G.A., and S.V. designed research; A.P., C.Z., B.A., C. No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart Meeko the calf stood nuzzling a pile of hay. He didn't seem to have much appetite, and he looked a little bored. Every now and then, he glanced up, as though wondering why so many people with clipboards were standing around watching him. Fourteen hours earlier, I'd watched doctors lift Meeko's heart from his body and place it, still beating, in a plastic dish. As many as five million Americans suffer some form of heart failure, but only about 2,000 hearts a year become available for transplant. To understand why they still haven't succeeded, pick up a two-pound barbell and start curling it. The problem is the "beating" part. It turns out that imitating a beating heart with metal and plastic has several limitations. Clark probably would not have been able to hang on much longer in any case. A transplantable heart, alas, is an increasingly rare find. "His giant heartbeat," Rainer Maria Rilke wrote of God early in the past century, "is diverted in us into little pulses."
Sony Nextep Computer Concept for 2020 by Hiromi Kiriki In 2020 We Can Wear Sony Computers On Our Wrist Our present need for internet connectivity is so profound that secondary devices like the Nextep Computer are bound to happen. Developed to be worn as a bracelet, this computer concept is constructed out of a flexible OLED touchscreen. Earmarked for the year 2020, features like a holographic projector (for screen), pull-out extra keyboard panels and social networking compatibility, make the concept plausible. Ten years from now is not too far away, so how many of you think we’d be buying such gadgets? Designer: Hiromi Kiriki Ask Nature - the Biomimicry Design Portal: biomimetics, architecture, biology, innovation inspired by nature, industrial design - Ask Nature - the Biomimicry Design Portal: biomimetics, architecture, biology, innovation inspired by nature, industrial desi