Robot technology often invokes sophisticated mechanisms, in order to perform a task, that mimic those of living creatures. When done right, the visual effect can be startling, even creepy. Mark Serrels writes: “Meet “Salto-1P” a robot being designed by the Biomimetic Millisystems lab at Berkeley, University of California. The work is being supported by an Army Research Office Grant, which makes me wonder if one of these things is gonna kill me one day.” Better check under your bed again, Mark.
Anki has a promotion video out for Vector, the company’s new personal robot. And the good news is that Vector won’t destroy humanity. Though, to be fair, what else would a robot say, unless, of course, it had been programmed not to lie…OK, I’m off track. This is a funny and well made spot. I supported Vector on Kickstarter and am waiting for delivery now (by October 9th!). This pet robot looks fun, and Anki is doing some really cool stuff. Now that the Kickstarter is over, Vector is available for preorder for $212.49. That’s a little more than Kickstarter, but still less than the planned retail price of $249.99. Check it out, and enjoy the promo video.
Consumer Reports compared five mobile payment systems and found big differences in security and privacy practices.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of Apple’s journey to a trillion dollar valuation — and why it matters to investors and customers.
A recent article starts to genuinely approach the real danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We’ll have zero visibility into how it thinks and its internal cultural values.
The battlefield amongst the tech giants is constantly shifting. Each is innovating while looking for weaknesses in the competitors. A formal Apple partnership with Microsoft would change the balance of power.
Dr. Kiki Sanford is a neurophysiologist, a popular science communicator and creator of This Week in Science (TWIS) podcast and radio show. This is her fourth appearance here. In this episode, we chat about some some very interesting recent topics on TWIS. 1) Researchers showed that mini human brains implanted into mouse brains survived and functionally integrated into the host tissue. 2) Magnetoreception in birds is possible thanks to a protein in their eyes. They may actually have a heads-up display in their eyes for the Earth’s magnetic field. 3) Amazon’s announcement of its Vesta family robot project. 4) A new, non-invasive patch is being developed to allow diabetics to monitor their gluscose levels. Kiki has a special way of inspiring us to learn about science, so don’t miss BGM’s most popular guest.
Our popular culture carries with it themes, pseudo-science, and technical fears. Woe to any company whose product missteps into that quagmire.
Apple’s educational coding environment Swift Playgrounds 2 for iPad is available now with support for subscribing to playgrounds from third-party developers and additional robots.
Apple’s free Hour of Code classes for kids in its retail stores runs December 4th through 10th, and registration is open now. The sessions are open to kids age 12 and older and uses Swift Playgrounds on the iPad to teach coding concepts with robots. The company’s Hour of Code curriculum is available for free online, too, so schools can take advantage of Apple’s materials, too. You can sign up your kids for sessions at the special Today at Apple Hour of Code website.
From every quarter, details are emerging about the amazing nature of the iPhone X.
The new Apple TV 4K ushers in a new era of TV technology for Apple customers, so it’s time to learn some new tech.
Apple has been all about making our digital lives better with beautifully integrated hardware and software. What’s the thinking behind a billions dollars to compete with Netflix and Amazon?
Siri is our first exposure to artificial intelligence and may tell us something about whether AIs and robots will put us all out of work.
Apple announced exciting new Macs at WWDC 2017, but there are some loose ends that need attention before all’s well.
Apple Camp, which is Apple’s annual summer creative learning series for kids, is open for registration.
Robots are finding their way into our homes, and John Martellaro thinks Apple needs to set the bar for quality and security. John, along with Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Apple’s place in the personal robot market, plus they look at today’s iPhone 8 leak showing the Touch ID sensor embedded in the display.
Several things have become clear regarding AIs in our lives. There is little regulation. AIs can be manipulated in clever ways. Small devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo have very indirect business models so that they can be priced for the middle class, but have hidden drawbacks. John wonders where all this will lead with family service robots if Apple doesn’t step in and do it right.
If you love robots, there are a bunch of robotics competitions happening across the United States right now. Jeff Butts has all of the details about this steamworks-themed event pitting high school students against the clock and their opponents.
We write here a lot of about small drones. Amazon wants to deliver packages with drones. Drones have taken breathtaking aerial views of Apple Park. But what happens when one of the larger drones accidentally slams into a human being? Time for the automotive crash-test dummies to step up and tell the story! Well, the instrumentation does. Bloomberg has a great story on “Crashing Drones into Test Dummies for Safety” Watch a drone disintegrate as it strikes a crash-test dummy. It’s a battle of the bots. All for human safety, of course.