We’ve heard rumors for years about engines capable of getting 100 miles to a gallon of fuel, but the reality is much closer than you might think. Josh “Mac” MacDowell says he not only has the engine, he has come up with an idea, strong enough the U.S. patent office has given him a patent for it. MacDowell is using a Stirling engine, coupled with thermopile technology to make it possible to drive a Hybrid electric car and never have to stop to charge it.
The Stirling engine was actually invented 200 years ago, in 1816. The engine is driven by the exchange of hot and cold air, much like nature drives a thunderstorm. The Stirling engine is capable of using roughly 50% of the energy it produces. An internal combustion engine, like the ones in our vehicles, uses about 14%. Continue reading »
The Toru robot can take items off the shelf all by itself, which means less need for human helpers.
A German firm called Magazino believes it has built a better warehouse robot: the Toru. Unlike the robots used in Amazon warehouses that help locate items for shipping by moving entire shelves, Toru robots can pick up individual items.
“The [Amazon] approach saves a lot of human work spent on walking around, but there is still the need for a human worker to eventually pick the item off the shelf,” explains Magazino CEO and cofounder Frederik Brantner (see “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse, Human-Robot Symbiosis”). Continue reading »
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is working with a robotics company to develop a shopping cart that helps customers find items on their lists and saves them from pushing a heavy cart through a sprawling store and parking lot, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Such carts are an emerging opportunity for robotics companies as brick-and-mortar stores look for innovative ways to match the convenience of Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers, said Wendy Roberts, founder and chief executive officer of Five Elements Robotics. Continue reading »
China plans to continue to develop the South China Sea. This time, Beijing has set a goal to build an oceanic ‘space station’, as deep as 3,000 meters underwater, Bloomberg reports, quoting a Science Ministry presentation.
If successful, this will be the first project for long-term human habitation at such depths.
“Having this kind of long-term inhabited station has not been attempted this deep, but it is certainly possible. Manned submersibles have gone to those depths for almost 50 years. The challenge is operating it for months at a time,” Bryan Clark from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments told Bloomberg. Continue reading »
Those concerned about a robot uprising in the future may be able to rest a little easier, as Google is working on a “kill switch” to prevent robots from turning on their masters.
While Google continues to create more intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and repeatedly shows us just why robots might turn on humanity, the tech giant has published a new paper detailing the development of “Safely Interruptible Agents” to prevent robots from doing things that they shouldn’t. Continue reading »
One of the drone models used by Russia is to be modified to be used as a kamikaze, Russian media said. Such drones can be used to suppress enemy air defenses or to provide tactical-level air support to units in the field.
“A drone which would act similar to a fire ship is being developed now. It detonates after hitting a target,” a defense source told TASS. Continue reading »
If you thought that $80 billion a year would be a sufficient enough budget for the US government to systematically upgrade its computer systems, think again.
In a report released by nonpartisan congressional investigators found that about $60 billion of the government’s $80 billion IT budget goes straight to maintenance just to keep the aging technology running, not to modernization according to ABC News.
Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how we’re manipulated upstream by limited menus we didn’t choose.
This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose. I can’t emphasize how deep this insight is.
Energy is perhaps the most important issue of human civilization at this time, and we are fortunate to bear witness to many exciting changes happening right before our eyes when it comes to creating the shift away from destructive fossil fuel power.
Inspired by the geniuses Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, teenager Max Loughan loves to invent things, in fact, he says he has known his entire short life that his purpose was to change the world with his inventions. And he may just do it.
“As cheesy as this sounds, from day one, on this planet that I knew I was put here for a reason,” said Max. “And that reason is to invent, to bring the future.” [Source]
Wearing a lab coat while speaking in a televised interview with KTVN Channel 2 in Reno and Tahoe, Nevada, Max explains the free energy device that he made in his parents’ boiler room turned laboratory. Continue reading »
Founded by four ex-Google engineers?—?including Anthony Levandowski, the man who built Google’s very first self-driving car?—?Otto is applying Google’s all-or-nothing approach to commercial big rigs: ditch human drivers, avoid thousands of road deaths, help the environment, and if all goes well, make a ton of money along the way. Continue reading »
The Japanese X-ray telescope Hitomi has been declared lost after it disintegrated in orbit, torn apart when spinning out of control. The cause is still under investigation but early analysis points to bad data in a software package pushed shortly after an instrument probe was extended from the rear of the satellite. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, lost $286 million, three years of planned observations, and a possible additional 10 years of science research.
Colonel Sanders is raising a robot army to serve fried chicken at a restaurant near you. KFC’s first automated restaurant, called Original+, went live in Shanghai on April 25th, complete with an artificially intelligent robot manager named “Du Mi” who works at the front counter.
According to Chinese news outlet Sohu, “‘Du Mi’ marks the first commercial use of artificial intelligence in the fast food industry. The artificial intelligence robot was launched by China’s leading web services company Baidu during its World Conference in 2015.” Continue reading »
Dubai received bid of $.0299/kWh for 800MW of solar power. This price represents the lowest yet recorded for solar power (and might not represent the end of the price drops…).
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 5 bids from international organisations for the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, said HE Saeed Mohammed AlTayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. The lowest recorded bid at the opening of the envelopes was US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. The next step in the bidding process will review the technical and commercial aspects of the bids to select the best one.
First its new president, Jean-Bernard Levy, said French state utility EDF would delay a decision on its joint French-Chinese nuclear project in the UK, Hinkley Point. That was over a year ago. Then the CFO of EDF, Thomas Piquemal, quit reportedly because he opposed the project on financial grounds. That was a short time ago. Then after a slew of leaked memos, the French government just announced that EDF would be raising more money and the Hinkley decision would now come in September.Continue reading »
This week, Ford and Volvo announced they are forming a “coaliton” – along with Google – to push not only for the development of self-driving cars, but for federal “action” (their term) to force-feed them to us.
The reasons are obvious: There’s money – and control – in it.
To understand what’s going on, to grok the tub-thumping for these things, it is first of all necessary to deconstruct the terminology. The cars are not “self-driving.” This implies independence.
A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs — or drive more economic efficiency — than the driverlesstruck.
Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings aren’t the only gains to be had from the adoption of driverless trucks. Continue reading »
A bridge needs to be built, so time to bust out the cranes, right? Not so fast, a Chinese company has built a machine that has a creative way of setting girders into place.
The SLJ900/32, made by the Beijing Wowjoint Machinery Company, is a 580 ton, 300 foot long and 24 foot wide mega machine that looks more like a train than a crane and acts a lot like a Stretch Armstrong action figure. Instead of using a stationary or crawler crane to lift the girder of a bridge from the ground and drop it into its place, the SLJ900/32 drives the girder onto the previously placed girder, slowly extends its arms to the next support platform, pushes the girder towards the front of the machine and then lowers it into place.
British programmer Joshua Browder is helping people save a lot of money on legal fees with his latest project – the world’s first robot lawyer. The 19-year-old developed a free service that allows users to ask any kind of legal question and receive relevant answers autogenerated by bots.
Browder first started the project last summer as a free website to help people appeal unfair parking tickets. He came up with the idea after getting a series of tickets himself for “trivial reasons”. Having wasted several hours on writing appeals to these tickets, he realised that many people do not have the time, legal knowledge or even the energy to appeal. So he decided to create an automatic appeal generator, using previously successful letters as a template. He aptly named the service DoNotPay, given that the legal fees involved in challenging tickets could mount up to sizable amounts between $400 to $900. Continue reading »
Two Columbia University astronomers, Professor David Kipping and graduate student Alex Teachey, suggest humanity could use lasers to conceal the Earth from searches by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.
Several prominent scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have cautioned against humanity broadcasting our presence to intelligent life on other planets. Other civilizations might try to find Earth-like planets using the same techniques we do, including looking for the dip in light when a planet moves directly in front of the star it orbits. Continue reading »
The “body hacking” movement is about implanting into the human body technology such as RFID chips, cameras and even LED lights. By bypassing health and ethical issues associated transhumanism, this body hacking pushes this movement to strange new frontiers.
The evolution of humanoid robots is well into the concerning stage at this point. DARPA’s latest incarnation of its Atlas robot is seen in the following video beginning to walk at a pace with a sense of balance equal to most humans. Strangely, toward the end of the video, it is being “abused” by its human handler, which begs the question if a true artificial intelligence is permitted to flourish in this robot, if it might strike back at some point. At the very least, this robot’s demonstration of dexterity in the warehouse is likely to threaten humans economically as humans continue to be outsourced to machine labor at record levels.
But it’s the latest humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics that might further heighten the level of concern. As you will see below, the “Sophia” robot is being designed to walk among us in the future and fully integrate as part of the consumer experience and on into the family, according to CEO Dr. David Hanson. Continue reading »
The truth is slowly becoming stranger than fiction in the modern police/warfare state. Recently declassified information about an experiment out of the little known Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) backs up this notion and is cause for major concern.
The SCO was launched in 2012 as a means of secretly strategizing for a war against China and Russia. Outside of this one video, they just released, very little is known about their experiments or weapons building. Continue reading »
(ANONHQ) In the classic science fiction movie The Matrix, which was released in 1999, martial arts was uploaded into Keanu Reeves’ (Neo) brain through a cable connected from a computer to Neo’s skull. He received the skills of the art instantly, and was able to use it to perfection.
This happened in a science fiction movie. But what you were about to hear that this isn’t science fiction any longer? The reality is, that a team of researchers in the United States of America are currently developing this technology. Continue reading »
Recently, Anti-Media covered the revelation that Samsung transmits audio commands recorded by their Smart TVs to a third party company, which raises all sorts of red flags regarding encryption standards and, more importantly, people’s privacy in their own homes.
Guessing the location of a randomly chosen Street View image is hard, even for well-traveled humans. But Google’s latest artificial-intelligence machine manages it with relative ease.
Here’s a tricky task. Pick a photograph from the Web at random. Now try to work out where it was taken using only the image itself. If the image shows a famous building or landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower or Niagara Falls, the task is straightforward. But the job becomes significantly harder when the image lacks specific location cues or is taken indoors or shows a pet or food or some other detail.
Nevertheless, humans are surprisingly good at this task. To help, they bring to bear all kinds of knowledge about the world such as the type and language of signs on display, the types of vegetation, architectural styles, the direction of traffic, and so on. Humans spend a lifetime picking up these kinds of geolocation cues. Continue reading »