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  • We still haven’t heard from aliens – here’s why we might never
  • Delaware witness says UFO was eight miles long
  • Lightning and Mystery Objects Spotted by Space Station (Video)
  • Distant Dwarf Planet DeeDee Stirs Up the Pluto Planethood Debate
  • 'Dragonfly' Drone Could Explore Saturn Moon Titan
  • Ruimtemissie die al bijna 20 jaar duurt staat vandaag voor laatste en spannendste opdracht - HLN.be
  • Leven op Mars mogelijk maken? Schiet eens een asteroïde op de Rode Planeet - HLN.be
  • People Are Seeing U.F.O.s Everywhere, and This Book Proves It
  • ARE WE ALONE? SOME
  • Verloren beschaving van aliens op aarde. Volgens deze professor kunnen we hier bewijzen vinden
  • Californians reported the most UFO sightings in recent years
  • Glowing Orb Seen Over Field In Spain On April 2017, Video, UFO Sighting News.
  • Three UFOs Over Old UK City Of Exmouth On April 2017, Video, UFO Sighting News.
  • UFOs Over Sydney, Australia Investigate Passanger Jet On Video, UFO Sighting News.
  • Douglas, Isle of Man UFO sighting
  • UFO sighting caught on tape over Carshalton (London), UK 26-Apr-2017
  • Black Smoke Ring In The Sky Left Russians Puzzled
  • Cylinder UFO Flying Low Reported Over California
  • Amazing footage of Orbs flying over Summerlin, Nevada 19-Apr-2017
  • Sinister 'black UFO' filmed tailing plane as young girl points out view
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    Beoordeel dit blog
      Zeer goed
      Goed
      Voldoende
      Nog wat bijwerken
      Nog veel werk aan
     
    The purpose of  this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and  free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category.
    Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
     
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    Rondvraag / Poll
    Bestaan UFO's echt? Are UFOs real?Les OVNIS existent-ils vraiement?
    Ja / Yes / Oui
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    Rondvraag / Poll
    Denk Jij dat UFO's buitenaards zijn? Do You think that UFOs are extraterrestrial? Les OVNIS sont- ils ET?
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    ">

    UFO'S - MET HET LAATSTE NIEUWS OVER UFO'S BOVEN BELGIË EN IN ANDERE LANDEN...
    UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld
    In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE ww.ufo.be. Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch... Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site www.ufowijzer.nl bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels. MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen. MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity... Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder www.mufon.com. Ze geven een maandeliiks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal. Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
    25-04-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Ook deze vliegende boot kun je later dit jaar aanschaffen

    https://www.scientias.nl/ }

    25-04-2017 om 23:40 geschreven door peter

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    Categorie:SF-snufjes ( E, F en NL )
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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.New 'Kitty Hawk' flying car footage revealed

    New 'Kitty Hawk' flying car footage revealed


    The Kitty Hawk Flyer operates over water. Image Credit: YouTube / Kitty Hawk
    The company behind the futuristic aerial vehicle was financially backed by Google founder Larry Page.
    The video, which is the first to feature a working prototype of the Kitty Hawk Flyer, shows an enthusiastic aviator flying the vehicle over a lake to meet up with a group of friends in a boat.

    Described as an "all-electric aircraft", the vehicle is only able to operate over water but doen't require a pilot's license to operate because it falls under the "ultralight" FAA category.

    According to the company, a consumer version of the Kitty Hawk Flyer will be available to purchase before the end of the year however it remains unclear exactly how much it will cost.

    Those particularly keen to get their hands on one though can sign up for a $100 membership that will net them priority placement on the waiting list and a $2,000 discount.

        
    Source: The Verge 

    Tags: Kitty HawkFlying Car

    http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/ }

    25-04-2017 om 21:49 geschreven door peter

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    24-04-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    UFOs could soon be spotted floating on the ocean as cool sustainable homes. Italian boating company Jet Capsule designed what may be the most stylish way to live off the grid: an Unidentified Floating Object powered by renewable energy that provides a chance for people to travel and live on the sea.

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun
    ‘UFOs’ surround the jet capsule, the machine’s predecessor

    Founders Pierpaolo Lazzarini and Luca Solla said they designed the UFO home for those who desire to “live in a floating house and move slowly around the world.” With 322 square feet of space, the flying saucer-shaped home includes a main floor kitchen and living area, and lower level bathroom and bedroom. Large windows will offer stellar panoramic views – underwater.

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Solar, wind, and water power propel the capsule so it functions entirely off the grid. A hydrojet on the bottom of the UFO draws power from rooftop solar panels to transport the home, while wind and water turbines provide additional power. A water generator provides drinking water via collected rain and even sea water. There’s also a vegetable garden on the rings surrounding the UFO, as well as a deck.

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Maximum speed for the UFO is only four miles per hour, so the houseboat won’t win any races. At the same time, there’s little to fear from stormy weather or choppy waves; Jet Capsule designed the home with an elastic anchor system to ensure it remains stable in rough weather.

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Not only is the home super sustainable, but it will likely be fairly affordable as well. The company is currently looking for investors so they can build their first prototype, and after that they hope to bring the UFOs to market with a price tag of only $200,000 – far less than your average houseboat.

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Off-grid UFO home is completely powered by wind, water and sun

    Source inhabitat.com

    http://alien-ufo-sightings.com/ }

    24-04-2017 om 12:04 geschreven door peter

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    22-04-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Meet the Most Advanced Drone for VR Video Yet

    Meet the Most Advanced Drone for VR Video Yet

    The Flying Eye, an expensive $75,000 drone, is the first of its kind to shoot 360-degree video in 6K and live stream broadcast-quality video from a range of 5 miles.

    https://futurism.com/ }

    22-04-2017 om 20:24 geschreven door peter

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    18-04-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.New Expeditionary Tiltrotor Aircraft to Replace V22 Osprey

    New Expeditionary Tiltrotor Aircraft to Replace V22 Osprey

    By:  

    18-04-2017 om 15:41 geschreven door peter

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    17-04-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Hoverboard Daredevil Speeds Over Atlantic Ocean

    Hoverboard Daredevil Speeds Over Atlantic Ocean

    Hoverboard Daredevil Speeds Over Atlantic Ocean
    The hoverboard flight was just under 7 minutes long and flew about 164 feet (50 meters) above the Atlantic Ocean.
    Credit: Breitling

    In a stunt straight out of a science-fiction film, a real-life, jet-powered hoverboard cruised over the Atlantic Ocean.

    Franky Zapata, a hoverboard, took to the skies in a promotional video for the watch company Breitling. The Swiss watchmaker announced its partnership with the Flyboard Air project in December with an incredible video that shows Zapata flying on his hoverboard, reported The Telegraph. Zapata flew about 164 feet (50 meters) over the Atlantic Ocean for almost 7 minutes, The Telegraph said.

    Breitling used the video to announce that it will be the main sponsor of Flyboard Air, with the partnership marking "a new chapter in conquering the skies." [Up She Goes! 8 of the Wackiest Early Flying Machines]

    "By supporting the FlyboardAir project, Breitling's intention is once again to foster the spirit of daring and invention that has always characterized aviation since the time of the very first 'magnificent men in their flying machines' — that taste for adventure [and] that combination of daring and discipline, which consistently drive aeronautics to push the boundaries of feasibility," Breitling officials said in a statement.

    Essentially a flying skateboard — like Marty McFly's famous ride in the 1989 classic movie "Back to the Future Part II" — several hoverboard prototypes have been developed in recent years. The Flyboard Air was invented by Zapata Racing and took four years of development, the company said. The Flyboard Air hoverboard is still a prototype and is not commercially available, the company said.

    However, Zapata and his hoverboard have already set numerous world records. In April 2016, Zapata flew the Flyboard Air almost7,400 feet (over 2,200 meters) from a height of about 160 feet (50 m), setting a new world record for the longest hoverboard flight.

    Unlike the company's original Flyboard, which connects to a watercraft turbine via a long hose, the Flyboard Air is hose-free. The system's "independent propulsion unit" allows the hoverboard to fly for up to 10 minutes, according to Zapata Racing, reaching a maximum speed of 93 mph (150 km/h) and an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).

    "This has really been a life's work," Zapata said, according to The Telegraph. "Who has never dreamt of leaping out of the water and soaring through the air, free of all constraints? This is the dream that is at the origin of the products we create." 

    Original article on Live Science.

    17-04-2017 om 15:52 geschreven door peter

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    31-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Spinach Leaves Used to Grow Human Heart

    Spinach Leaves Used to Grow Human Heart

    study published this month in the journal Biomaterials has proven once again that spinach is basically the best superfood to ever exist. A team of scientists from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro have successfully used spinach leaves to grow human heart tissue.

    While 3D printing definitely has a future in the medical sciences, the technology is still too new and does not have the ability to generate the intricate vascular systems a human heart needs in order to pump blood effectively. In simple terms, 3D printers can give you sledgehammers when you need needle points. However, using existing biological material, such as a plant, does provide the intricate vein system required, but trying to grow human tissue inside a plant is basically impossible. The trick is keeping the veins, but getting rid of the plant.

     

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    The authors of the paper wrote,

    Plants and animals exploit fundamentally different approaches to transporting fluids, chemicals and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures… The development of decellularized plants for scaffolding opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plant and animal.

    So how did the research team keep the intricate vein system needed? Detergent. Using spinach leaves, the team bathed the leafy salad greens in chemical detergents to remove its plant cells, but maintain the cellulose, the fibrous building block of plants. More importantly, cellulose is biocompatible which means that animal cells can build upon it as effectively as plant cells can. Infact, many medical practices already use plant based cellulose in healing wounds and mending cartilage.

    Once the leaf’s plant cells were completely removed, all that remained was the cellulose vein structure of the spinach. The team then immersed the ex-spinach into a bath of human cells, and allowed the cells to form around the veins, creating a sort of mini heart. Once the human cells latched onto and successfully grew around the veins of the spinach leaf, the team pumped fluid and microbeads through the vein system to simulate blood flow. As it turns out, the spinach veins handled the concoction perfectly.

    While the team admits there is still plenty of work to be done, the use of plant based cellulose in the production of organs, such as hearts, is incredibly efficient, inexpensive, and has almost no environmental impact compared to creating synthetic organs from plastic or other human made materials. The team concludes by explaining that,

    By exploiting the benign chemistry of plant tissue scaffolds, we could address the many limitations and high costs of synthetic, complex composite materials. Plants can be easily grown using good agricultural practices and under controlled environments. By combining environmentally friendly plant tissue with perfusion-based decellularization, we have shown that there can be a sustainable solution for pre-vascularized tissue engineering scaffolds.

    In other words, your next heart could be a nice leafy green grown by good old Mother Nature. Until then, keep eating your veggies kids, they are better for you than you know.

     

     TAGS: 

    31-03-2017 om 01:18 geschreven door peter

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    23-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Watch Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Control a Giant Mech Robot

    Watch Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Control a Giant Mech Robot

    Watch Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Control a Giant Mech Robot
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos piloted a giant "mech" robot at the 2017 Machine Learning, Home Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration (MARS) conference.
    Credit: Jeff Bezos/Twitter

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos got to live out every 6-year-old's fantasy when he got behind the controls of a giant "mech" robot.

    The Verge reports that Bezos tried out the 13-foot-tall (4 meters) robot yesterday (March 19) at his company's private Machine Learning, Home Automation, Robotics and Space Exploration (MARS) conference. Video of the bot, developed by Hankook Mirae Technology in South Korea, first surfaced in December in promotional clips. Live Science was skeptical of the robot's existence and functionality at the time. 

    But the new video reveals that the robot does, indeed, exist. However, it's far from clear how much the mech (a term for piloted, humanoid robots) can really do. Bezos flails the arms around using controls in the robot's torso cockpit, but the robot does not take any steps and is tethered to the ceiling, presumably for safety reasons. [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]

    The robot does not pick anything up in the video, either, which is notable because its developers say that one of their goals is to create piloted robots for real-world jobs, like cleaning up the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was damaged in 2011 when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. So far, none of the footage of the mech has shown it manipulating objects. The massive bot also runs on external power, which means that, so far, it's unable to work untethered.

    Such limitations could be overcome. Roboticists have already developed robots that can navigate uneven terrain, including Boston Dynamics' intimidating "Big Dog" and the bipedal "Atlas" humanoid robot. Atlas can open doors, lift boxes and even right itself when pushed, and operates with an internal power source. Those bots are much smaller than the giant mech Hankook Mirae is trying to develop, however, and don't present the same safety challenges as a piloted robot. According to Hankook Mirae's website, the mech robot, nicknamed Method 2, weighs a minimum of 1.6 tons.  

    A designer affiliated with Hankook Mirae, Vitaly Bulgarov, told Live Science in December that the giant mech has been under development for several years and is a prototype made to show off particular technologies, like the human-machine interface that controls the arms.

    In that case, the mech may never be used for more than demonstration purposes, while the individual technologies used to make it might be redirected to more practical designs.

    Whatever the ultimate function of the robot, it certainly taps into human fantasies of what robots should be. Mechs like the Method 2 design appear in the 2009 film "Avatar" as well as in "Starship Troopers" (1997) and in "Pacific Rim" (2013). The character of Ripley (played by actress Sigourney Weaver) also uses one in the classic sci-fi film "Aliens" (1986), which Bezos referenced during his ride in Method 2.

    "Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver?" Bezos quipped.

    Original article on Live Science.

    http://www.livescience.com/ }

    23-03-2017 om 00:22 geschreven door peter

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    10-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Scientists discover how to ‘upload knowledge to your brain’

    Scientists discover how to ‘upload knowledge to your brain’

    Feeding knowledge directly into your brain, just like in sci-fi classic The Matrix, could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, scientists believe.

    Researchers claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter amount of time, comparing it to “life imitating art”.

    They believe it could be the first steps in developing advanced software that will make Matrix-style instant learning a reality.

    In the neo-noir sci-fi classic, protagonist Neo is able to learn kung fu in seconds after the martial art is ‘uploaded’ straight to his brain.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    Researchers from HRL Laboratories, based in California, say they have found a way to amplify learning, only on a much smaller scale than seen in the Hollywood film.

    They studied the electric signals in the brain of a trained pilot and then fed the data into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an aeroplane in a realistic flight simulator.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 per cent better than a placebo group.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    “Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system,” explained Dr Matthew Phillips.

    “It sounds kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system.

    “The specific task we were looking at was piloting an aircraft, which requires a synergy of both cognitive and motor performance.

    “When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    “It turns out that certain functions of the brain, like speech and memory, are located in very specific regions of the brain, about the size of your pinky.”

    Dr Matthews believes that brain stimulation could eventually be implemented for tasks like learning to drive, exam preparation and language learning

    “What our system does is it actually targets those changes to specific regions of the brain as you learn,” he added.

    “The method itself is actually quite old. In fact, the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago used electric fish to stimulate and reduce pain.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'
    The Matrix-style learning could become a reality

    “Even Ben Franklin applied currents to his head, but the rigorous, scientific investigation of these methods started in the early 2000s and we’re building on that research to target and personalise a stimulation in the most effective way possible.

    “Your brain is going to be very different to my brain when we perform a task. What we found is … brain stimulation seems to be particularly effective at actually improving learning.”

    Source www.telegraph.co.uk

    http://alien-ufo-sightings.com/ }

    10-03-2017 om 14:31 geschreven door peter

    0 1 2 3 4 5 - Gemiddelde waardering: 0/5 - (0 Stemmen)
    Categorie:SF-snufjes ( E, F en NL )
    >> Reageer (0)
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Scientists discover how to ‘upload knowledge to your brain’

    Scientists discover how to ‘upload knowledge to your brain’

    Feeding knowledge directly into your brain, just like in sci-fi classic The Matrix, could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, scientists believe.

    Researchers claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter amount of time, comparing it to “life imitating art”.

    They believe it could be the first steps in developing advanced software that will make Matrix-style instant learning a reality.

    In the neo-noir sci-fi classic, protagonist Neo is able to learn kung fu in seconds after the martial art is ‘uploaded’ straight to his brain.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    Researchers from HRL Laboratories, based in California, say they have found a way to amplify learning, only on a much smaller scale than seen in the Hollywood film.

    They studied the electric signals in the brain of a trained pilot and then fed the data into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an aeroplane in a realistic flight simulator.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 per cent better than a placebo group.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    “Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system,” explained Dr Matthew Phillips.

    “It sounds kind of sci-fi, but there’s large scientific basis for the development of our system.

    “The specific task we were looking at was piloting an aircraft, which requires a synergy of both cognitive and motor performance.

    “When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

    “It turns out that certain functions of the brain, like speech and memory, are located in very specific regions of the brain, about the size of your pinky.”

    Dr Matthews believes that brain stimulation could eventually be implemented for tasks like learning to drive, exam preparation and language learning

    “What our system does is it actually targets those changes to specific regions of the brain as you learn,” he added.

    “The method itself is actually quite old. In fact, the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago used electric fish to stimulate and reduce pain.

    Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'
    The Matrix-style learning could become a reality

    “Even Ben Franklin applied currents to his head, but the rigorous, scientific investigation of these methods started in the early 2000s and we’re building on that research to target and personalise a stimulation in the most effective way possible.

    “Your brain is going to be very different to my brain when we perform a task. What we found is … brain stimulation seems to be particularly effective at actually improving learning.”

    Source www.telegraph.co.uk

    http://alien-ufo-sightings.com/ }

    10-03-2017 om 14:31 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Self-Replicating “DNA Computers” Are Set to Change Everything

    Self-Replicating “DNA Computers” Are Set to Change Everything

     
    Getty Images/Brand X
    IN BRIEF
    • DNA computers can create more storage as-needed through self-replication, and their computing potential is almost unfathomable.
    • Scientists know how to code information into DNA, but it costs $12,500 to code a single megabyte of information.

    DNA: THE BLUEPRINT OF COMPUTERS?

    Computers have without a doubt revolutionized modern society. They’re everywhere: our offices and homes, our pockets — even in our kitchen appliances. As for the next place computer technology could be headed, you already have the basic component: your DNA. It sounds strange, but researchers at the University of Manchester are working on turning strands of DNA into the next basis for computing.

    Scientists have actually created a DNA-based computing device that “grows as it computes.” While our current computers have a finite capacity for computations, DNA computers could be designed to self-replicate, making them able to create more storage as-needed. Computers today have gradually worked up to being able to hold a few terabytes — but DNA computing can work at 100 billion terabytesTo top it off, all of that storage is guaranteed with just one gram of DNA. While that’s impressive enough on its own, storage isn’t the only benefit a DNA computer can provide.

    With a self-replicating computer, there’s also the advantage of instantaneous computing power. In an interview with Popular Mechanics, lead researcher Professor Ross D King illustrated a maze with two paths — one leading left and the other leading right. He explained that current “Electronic computers need to choose which path to follow first.” On the other hand, a DNA computer “doesn’t need to choose, for it can replicate itself and follow both paths at the same time, thus finding the answer faster.”

    WHAT’S THE CATCH?

    While there are pioneering companies and individuals working on perfecting the system, at the moment coding just 1 megabyte of information into DNA costs $12,500. Most information we own contains thousands of megabytes, making encoding information a particularly expensive endeavor to undertake.

    However, cost is currently the only drawback to the operation. DNA is not only the most reliable resource to store information, but it’s also the best medium to copy information. Just as sequencing a genome dropped from $2.7 billion to a low of $280, experts hope to see a similar trend in encoding computing information in DNA.

    10-03-2017 om 13:56 geschreven door peter

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    09-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Airbus Reveals Modular Car, Quadcopter, and Hyperloop Pod

    Airbus Reveals Modular Car, Quadcopter, and Hyperloop Pod

    Ready to fly, drive and take the train to work? Airbus and Italdesign have taken the wraps off an incredible pod design that combines all three into the last vehicle you could ever need. The Pop.up system is a concept that combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and Hyperloop into a futuristic machine designed to traverse cities at speed.

    “Adding the third dimension to seamless multi-modal transportation networks will without a doubt improve the way we live and how we get from A to B,” said Mathias Thomsen, general manager for urban air mobility at Airbus, at the vehicle’s world premiere during the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday.

    At its core, the vehicle consists of a monocoque carbon-fiber pod with two seats, measuring 8.5 feet by 4.9 feet, standing 4.6 feet tall. The pod couples on the base with a four-wheel ground module for driving, but in certain situations, an air module will connect to the roof. The module, measuring 16.4 feet by 14.4 feet, has eight counter-rotating rotors that can propel it through the air at around 60 miles per hour. It can also drive at 60 miles per hour. Both the air module and the ground module take about 15 minutes to charge — the ground module has an 80-mile range, and the air module can go 60, without a payload. Airbus doesn’t state how far the air module can travel with passengers on board.

    Passengers will use an app to call a ride, the system will choose the best module for the occasion, and the whole pod will work out the best way to drive itself. Artificial intelligence is used to make the experience as seamless as possible, for example by choosing the air module to avoid traffic congestion in major cities. An augmented reality overlay provides details about sights throughout the city, allowing users to give their opinion on city proposals and accept event invites. At the end of the trip, the components all return themselves to a charging station for the next user.

    The batteries located inside the modules link up to the pod and share charge.
    The batteries located inside the modules link up to the pod and share charge.

    The modular system allows for integration with other forms of publicly-available transit, with Airbus naming Hyperloop as one example. Elon Musk’s design for a 700 mile per hour vacuum-sealed train has captured the imaginations of city and vehicle designers, and Pop.Up’s creators are no exception.

    “[The] passenger pod concept envisaged by Hyperloop could intuitively integrate well with Pop.Up,” an Airbus spokesperson tells Inverse. “For instance, the last mile to and from Hyperloop stations could be transported with the Pop.Up air module.”

    It’s not the first company to explore this idea. Hyperloop One, a company aiming to bring the train system to reality, has also described a system where self-driving cars can link up with the network, drive into the nearest Hyperloop portal and cut transit times dramatically. An Airbus spokesperson tells Inverse that the company does not yet have any direct contact with Hyperloop firms, but that it is open to exploring opportunities.

    As for when you’ll be able to try one of these, Airbus has no current plans to bring the vehicle to market, but believes a vehicle similar to the concept could debut somewhere in the 2024 to 2027 range.

    Watch the hypothetical pod in action here:

    Photos via Airbus, Airbus/YouTube

    WHAT'S NEXT

    https://www.inverse.com/ }

    09-03-2017 om 12:00 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.This House Was 3D Printed in Less Than 24 Hours

    This House Was 3D Printed in Less Than 24 Hours

    This House Was 3D Printed in Less Than 24 Hours
    The first demonstration of the 3D printing technology is a cozy, 400-square-foot (37 square meters) home with an unusual, curved shape.
    Credit: Apis Cor

    A new house has been erected in a town outside Moscow, but this home was not built in the traditional sense — it was constructed with 3D printing.

    The first 3D-printed residential home, engineered by the tech startup Apis Cor, took less than a day to construct and cost under $11,000 to complete. A mobile 3D printer created the building's concrete walls and partitions as a fully connected structure, rather than printing the building in panels at an off-site facility as is usually done, the company said. The portable machine was then removed from the building, and a group of contractors completed the home — adding the roof and windows, and finishing the interior.

    By shifting the construction of the building's shell to 3D printing, Apis Cor aims to prove that this type of construction can be "fast, eco-friendly, efficient and reliable." [The 10 Weirdest Things Created by 3D Printing]

    "We want to help people around the world to improve their living conditions," Nikita Chen-yun-tai, Apis Cor's founder and inventor of the mobile printer, said on the company's website. "That's why the construction process needs to become fast, efficient and high-quality as well. For this to happen, we need to delegate all the hard work to smart machines."

    The first example of this work is a cozy, 400-square-foot (37 square meters) home with an unusual, curved shape. The curved design of the home was chosen to demonstrate the 3D printer's ability to print the construction material in any shape, according to Apis Cor.

    Inside, the 3D-printed home has all of the standard features of a traditionally built house. The studio-style dwelling has a hall, bathroom, living room and compact kitchen. Apis Cor partnered with Samsung on the demonstration house; the electronics giant provided the home's appliances, including a TV with the same curvature as the living-room wall.

    Apis Cor estimated that the total cost of the demonstration house's construction was about $25 per square foot, or $275 per square meter. Of the total $10,134 it cost to build the home, the windows and doors were the most expensive components, the company said.

    While the total construction savings of the demonstation house compared to a tranditional home are difficult to estimate, Apis Cor representatives said in a statement that savings from 3D printing the building walls are guaranteed.

    Original article on Live Science.

    Editor's Recommendations

    09-03-2017 om 01:09 geschreven door peter

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    07-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.What You Need To Know About Artificial Intelligence

    What You Need To Know About Artificial Intelligence

    We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” – Ray Amara

    It’s hard to know what to think about Artificial Intelligence. Almost everyone in the industry believes it to be a revolution as deep and as fundamental as the industrial revolution or the birth of the computer. Yet the field seems divided over when we will get to general intelligence and what that will ultimately mean for us. Some believe it will be our greatest tool yet and others that it may lead to our doom.

    It seemed to frame every discussion the world leaders at Davos had this week, and with 2017 poised to be a big year for AI, it makes sense to try and understand where it is taking us. Let’s start by separating fact from fiction (courtesy the Future of Life Institute)….

    Print

    Machine Learning

    The most important subset of AI is machine learning. A field which made big breakthroughs in the latter half of the 20th century but then lay dormant waiting for the processing power of computers to catch up with the demands that machine learning algorithms placed on them.

    A key driver behind machine learning is the rise of big data. In 1992 we collectively  produced 100 GB of data per day, by 2018 we will be producing 50,000 GB of data per second. Data is permeating into every aspect of life and there is too much out there for any person, or any group of people, to be able to parse. Machine learning is helping us organize and make sense of these mountains of data.

    For an introduction to the nuts and bolts of machine learning watch this…

    The People behind AI

    With all the talk surrounding AI it can be easy to forget that this is still a human driven endeavor. People are behind all of the progress that has been made and are still (for now) doing all of the leg work. So to get some idea of where it is going it is probably best to listen to those driving it forward. Here are some of the most influential figures in the field and their takes on where machine learning will go.

    Geoffrey Hinton

    For a long time Geoffrey Hinton toiled away in relative obscurity developing his machine learning algorithms. His seminal papers on neural networks were scoffed at for decades, thought by many to never be able to work. Today his theories have become the framework upon which much of machine learning is based.

    He was one of the first to apply the study of human cognition to machines believing that the only way we were going to recreate intelligence was by trying to mimic the only other intelligent machine we knew of, our brains. Now almost all machine learning experts have some background in cognitive science thanks in large parts to his pioneering approach.

    He is also notable for some of the people that came out of his labs, the teams at Google and Microsoft and Baidu are filled with his former students. Two of his most notable disciples are Yann Lecun and Hugo Larochelle who have become world renowned machine learning experts in their own right.

    Here he is explaining how neural networks do what they do

    Andrew Ng

    Andrew Ng is a professor at Stanford and the chief scientist at Baidu. While he was getting his start in the field he supposedly was the one who convinced Larry Page that Google needed to start working on AI.

    He has become equally important in his role as a public educator. He is a strong advocate for democratizing knowledge about machine learning and made his course at Stanford free and open to the public in an attempt to do so.

    He believes AI to be the modern day equivalent of electricity. At first electricity was just used to power light bulbs but soon people realized they could apply it to other things and before long nearly everything was hooked up to an electric power source.

    He extends the analogy to the internet and its widespread adoption. It changed the way we do business, became our primary method of communicating, and it has seeped into our personal lives as most people now view their social media as extensions of their identity.

    Andrew’s contention is that the adoption of AI will be much faster, more pervasive and have a greater impact than either electricity or the internet.

    Michael Jordan

    Hard to believe but this Michael Jordan might actually go down in history as the more famous one. His biggest contribution was the popularization of Bayesian networks which are used in a wide variety of machine learning applications, most notably in medicine as it seems to be a particularly good method for matching symptoms to diseases.

    He recently teamed with an AI firm developing Jibo,  a cute helper robot designed to follow you around the house and actually initiate communication with the user rather than the current models that just wait for user commands.

    But he believes there is far too much hype surrounding AI. This is due in large part to a lot of misinformation and poor metaphors we use when describing it. We have made incremental steps, but have only begun to climb the ladder. The next big hurdle will be in developing more adaptive systems that recognize context.

    Ben Goertzel

    Founder of multiple artificial intelligence companies and chairman of the artificial general intelligence society, Ben Goertzel has devoted his life to solving intelligence and bringing about artificial general intelligence. He believes we will have machines as intelligent as humans by 2025. For more on his work check out this tour of his lab in Hong Kong where his team is working to bring human looking robots to life…


    Demis Hassabis

    As head of arguably the most advanced artificial intelligence lab in the world, Google’s Deepmind, Demis may be closer than anyone else to achieving AGI. He is a strong believer in a machine learning technique called deep neural networks and uses it to drive his groundbreaking program AlphaGo.

    Last year AlphaGo proved itself to be the world’s best Go player, a feat many in the field believed was still years away from being possible. The next step for AlphaGo is to become the world’s best Starcraft player. These feats may seem trivial at first but games are a key measure of intellectual ability.

    Martin Ford

    As his latest book title Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future implies, he is a staunch proponent of the idea that human labor is going to be replaced. He also predicted way back in 2009 that Artificial Intelligence would bring with it the end of the capitalist system as we know it and force us to adopt a form of universal basic income. However he points out that these forces would be largely beneficial for mankind as they would free us from much of the drudgery of daily life and allow us to pursue the things that truly make us happy.

    Gary Marcus

    One of the world’s leading neuroscientists and recent co-author of The Future of the Brain. He comes at the field from primarily a cognitive science background and is interested in it because it is essentially an exploration into the nature of consciousness and intelligence.

    His belief is that narrow AI, in which a machine learns how to do one specific task very well, such as playing a game or driving a car, will continue to develop and expand into many aspects of life. However we are no where close to getting to the holy grail that is general purpose intelligence, an AI that can be applied to any problem.


    Next steps for AI

    The real breakthrough in AI will not be when it starts driving our cars or taking some of our jobs, those are already inevitable. The real barriers still to be crossed are…

    1) Passing the Turing test. This will happen when in spoken or written conversation you can’t tell whether it is a human or a machine. We will know we are on the way when our machines start conversations with us rather than just responding to us.

    2) It starts taking actions independently without any human input. This would eventually include setting its own goals which would in essence mean having an independent will.

    3) It starts questioning its own existence and wondering if there aren’t better ways get things done.

    This is the most important issue we will face in the 21st century. The people developing it are not going to stop to wait and see what we think about it. Rather than spending our time bickering about politics we should be planning how to bring AI along safely as it will change everything and redefine life on earth.

    https://tmrwedition.com/ }

    07-03-2017 om 18:02 geschreven door peter

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    06-03-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Scientists Have Turned Cooking Oil Into a Material 200 Times Stronger Than Steel

    Scientists Have Turned Cooking Oil Into a Material 200 Times Stronger Than Steel

    UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences
    IN BRIEF
    • Researchers have discovered a way to make soybean oil into the super-strong material graphene. The material has a wide variety of potential uses and can revolutionize electronics.
    • The material could be used to make cell phone batteries last 25 percent longer, make more effective solar cells, and even filter fuel out of air.

    DEEP FRIED HIGH-TECH

    Researchers have found a way to turn cheap, everyday cooking oil into the wonder material graphene – a technique that could greatly reduce the cost of making the much-touted nanomaterial.

    Graphene is a single sheet of carbon atoms with incredible properties – it’s 200 times stronger than steel, harder than diamond, and incredibly flexible. Under certain conditions, it can even be turned into a superconductor that carries electricity with zero resistance.

    That means the material has the potential to make better electronics, more effective solar cells, and could even be used in medicine.

    Last year, a study suggested that graphene could help mobile phone batteries last 25 percent longer, and the material has the potential to filter fuel out of thin air.

    But these applications have been limited by the fact that graphene usually has to be made in a vacuum at intense heat using purified ingredients, which makes it expensive to produce.

    Until we can find a cost-effective way to mass produce the over-achieving material, it’s pretty much limited to labs.

    But scientists in Australia have now managed to create graphene in normal air conditions, using cheap soybean cooking oil.

    “This ambient-air process for graphene fabrication is fast, simple, safe, potentially scalable, and integration-friendly,” said one of the researchers, Zhao Jun Han from Australia’s CSIRO.

    “Our unique technology is expected to reduce the cost of graphene production and improve the uptake in new applications.”

    The team has called the new technique ‘GraphAir’ technology, and it involves heating soybean oil in a tube furnace for about 30 minutes, causing it to decompose into carbon building blocks.

    This carbon is then rapidly cooled on a foil made of nickel, where it diffuses into a thin rectangle of graphene that’s just 1 nanometre thick (about 80,000 times thinner than a human hair).

    Not only is this technique cheaper and easier than other methods, it’s also a lot quicker – to create graphene in a vacuum takes several hours.

    CSIRO
    Photo credit: CSIRO

    MORE CHEAP OPTIONS

    Zhao told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the technique could reduce the cost of making graphene 10-fold.

    Not only that, but it offers a more sustainable option for recycling waste cooking oil.

    “We can now recycle waste oils that would have otherwise been discarded and transform them into something useful,” said one of the team, Dong Han Seo.

    The question now is whether this new technique can be scaled up – finding a cheaper way to make graphene is awesome, but the graphene film produced so far was only 5 cm (1.9 inches) by 2 cm (0.8 inches) in size.

    The team says that the largest film they can make using the technique right now is around the size of a credit card.

    To really make graphene fit for commercial use, researchers will need to produce films that are a whole lot larger than that.

    “The potential’s enormous,” David Officer, a graphene expert from the University of Wollongong in Australia, who wasn’t involved in the study, told the ABC.

    “[But] the question will be whether you can economically scale a method like this, where they’ve sealed it inside a furnace tube, to create and handle metre-sized films.”

    The team is now looking for commercial partners to pursue this goal.

    But they’re not the only researchers working on it – last week, a team from Kansas State University patented a simple technique that creates graphene using only hydrocarbon gas, oxygen, and a spark plug. No vacuum required.

    Time will tell if they can use it to effectively make large films of graphene in one go, but it’s nice to know that researchers around the world are working on finding a way to take this incredible material out of the lab and into our lives.

    The research has been published in Nature Communications.

     Read more articles from Science Alert

    06-03-2017 om 16:29 geschreven door peter

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    23-02-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Straight Out of Sci-Fi: Hoverbike 'Surfs' Through the Air in Test

    Straight Out of Sci-Fi: Hoverbike 'Surfs' Through the Air in Test

    The hoverbike prototype, dubbed Scorpion-3, is capable of lifting itself and a driver into the air.
    Credit: Hoversurf/YouTube

    Think of it as half drone, half motorcycle: A new hoverbike prototype aims to make flying as simple as riding a bike.

    Hoversurf, a Russian drone startup, recently unveiled its Scorpion-3 hoverbike in a test- flight video — making it the first manned quadcopter that has undergone testing, reported Futurism, a science and technology news website.

    The Scorpion-3 combines quadcopter-drone technology with a traditional motorcycle design, resulting in an electric-powered hoverbike that can lift itself and a pilot into the air. According to Hoversurf's website, the hoverbike can be flown by both professionals and amateurs, because the bike's custom software allows for both manual and automated control. [Hyperloop, Jetpacks & More: 9 Futuristic Transit Ideas]

    "[The] Scorpion platform is the next step in accessible amateur flying developed to inspire athletes, engineers, scientists and inventors around the world," Hoversurf officials said on the company's website. "[It] is equipped with a safety system powered by state of the art flight controllers, special logical programing and passive elements with computer aided speed and altitude limiting."

    While the Scorpion-3 could offer new mass transportation options, like Dubai's recently announced passenger drone, Hoversurf said it designed the hoverbike with extreme sports in mind. A compact dirt bike inspired the hoverbike's sport-utility frame, and the pilot's uniform (seen in the video and on the website) is reminiscent of a motocross driver. The company describes the hoverbike's ride as "surfing through the air."  

    Scorpion-3 is not the only hoverbike to take to the skies. Beyond the autonomous "taxi drone" that is scheduled to launch in Dubai, there are both private and public prototypes of similar high-tech modes of transportation in the works. According to Futurism, the U.S. military partnered with Malloy Aeronautics to build a hoverbike that could help soldiers in the field.

    Aerofex, a California-based aerospace engineering company, is also developing a passenger drone. The company's so-called Aero-X is described as "a hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle," Live Science has reported, and can fly at 45 mph (72 km/h) up to 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground.

    Original article on Live Science.

    http://www.livescience.com/ }

    23-02-2017 om 17:05 geschreven door peter

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    13-02-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Future Robots May be Considered “Electronic Persons”

    Future Robots May be Considered “Electronic Persons”

     iStock/iLexx
    IN BRIEF
    • Few government bodies are considering how we will categorize machines with advanced artificial intelligence.
    • Some have proposed creating a separate category known as "electronic persons" as a basis for deciding questions of legal standing.

    Science fiction likes to depict robots as autonomous machines, capable of making their own decisions and often expressing their own personalities. Yet we also tend to think of robots as property, and as lacking the kind of rights that we reserve for people.

    humanoidrobot_home-600x600
    CLICK TO VIEW THE FULL INFOGRAPHIC

    But if a machine can think, decide and act on its own volition, if it can be harmed or held responsible for its actions, should we stop treating it like property and start treating it more like a person with rights?

    What if a robot achieves true self-awareness? Should it have equal rights with us and the same protection under the law, or at least something similar?

    These are some of the issues being discussed by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs. Last year it released a draft report and motion calling for a set of civil law rules on robotics regulating their manufacture, use, autonomy and impact upon society.

    Of the legal solutions proposed, perhaps most interesting was the suggestion of creating a legal status of “electronic persons” for the most sophisticated robots.

    APPROACHING PERSONHOOD

    The report acknowledged that improvements in the autonomous and cognitive abilities of robots makes them more than simple tools, and makes ordinary rules on liability, such as contractual and tort liability, insufficient for handling them.

    For example, the current EU directive on liability for harm by robots only covers foreseeable damage caused by manufacturing defects. In these cases, the manufacturer is responsible. However, when robots are able to learn and adapt to their environment in unpredictable ways, it’s harder for a manufacturer to foresee problems that could cause harm.

    The report also questions about whether or not sufficiently sophisticated robots should be regarded as natural persons, legal persons (like corporations), animals or objects. Rather than lumping them into an existing category, it proposes that a new category of “electronic person” is more appropriate.

    The report does not advocate immediate legislative action, though. Instead, it proposes that legislation be updated if robots become more complex; if and when they develop more behavioral sophistication. If this occurs, one recommendation is to reduce the liability of “creators” proportional to the autonomy of the robot, and that a compulsory “no-fault” liability insurance could cover the shortfall.

    But why go so far as to create a new category of “electronic persons”? After all, computers still have a long way to go before they match human intelligence if they ever do.

    But it can be agreed that robots – or more precisely the software that controls them – is becoming increasingly complex. Autonomous (or “emergent”) machines are becoming more common. There are ongoing discussions about the legal liability for autonomous vehicles, or whether we might be able to sue robotic surgeons.

    These are not complicated problems as long as liability rests with the manufacturers. But what if manufacturers cannot be easily identified, such as if open source software is used by autonomous vehicles? Whom do you sue when there are millions of “creators” all over the world?

    Artificial intelligence is also starting to live up to its moniker. Alan Turing, the father of modern computing, proposed a test in which a computer is considered “intelligent” if it fools humans into believing that the computer is human by its responses to questions. Already there are machines that are getting close to passing this test.

    There are also other incredible successes, such as the computer that creates soundtracks to videos that are indistinguishable from natural sounds, the robot that can beat CAPTCHA, one that can create handwriting indistinguishable from human handwriting and the AI that recently beat some of the world’s best poker players.

    Robots may eventually match human cognitive abilities, and they are becoming increasingly human-like, including the ability to “feel” pain.

    If this progress continues, it may not be long before self-aware robots are not just a product of fantastic speculation.

    The EU report is among the first to formally consider these issues, but other countries are also engaging. Peking University’s Yueh-Hsuan Weng writes that Japan and South Korea expect us to live in a human-robot coexistence by 2030. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has created a series of robot guidelines addressing business and safety issues for next generation robots.

    ELECTRONIC PERSONS

    If we did give robots some kind of legal status, what would it be? If they behaved like humans, we could treat them like legal subjects rather than legal objects, or at least something in between. Legal subjects have rights and duties, and this gives them legal “personhood”. They do not have to be physical persons; a corporation is not a physical person but is recognized as a legal subject. Legal objects, on the other hand, do not have rights or duties although they may have economic value.

    Assigning rights and duties to an inanimate object or software program independent of their creators may seem strange. However, with corporations, we already see extensive rights and obligations given to fictitious legal entities.

    Perhaps the approach to robots could be similar to that of corporations? The robot (or software program), if sufficiently sophisticated or if satisfying certain requirements, could be given similar rights to a corporation. This would allow it to earn money, pay taxes, own assets and sue or be sued independently of its creators. Its creators could, like directors of corporations, have rights or duties to the robot and to others with whom the robot interacts.

    Robots would still have to be partly treated as legal objects since, unlike corporations, they may have physical bodies. The “electronic person” could thus be a combination of both a legal subject and a legal object.

    The European Parliament will vote on the resolution this month. Regardless of the result, reconsidering robots and the law is inevitable and will require complex legal, computer science, and insurance research.

     Read more articles from The Conversation

    13-02-2017 om 23:07 geschreven door peter

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    12-02-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Robo-Bees Could Aid Insects with Pollination Duties

    Robo-Bees Could Aid Insects with Pollination Duties

    Robo-Bees Could Aid Insects with Pollination Duties
    illustration shows a tiny drone equipped with horsehair and coated with a gel that could be used to pollinate flowers.
    Credit: Eijiro Miyako

    Mini drones sporting horsehair coated in a sticky gel could one day take the pressure off beleaguered bee populations by transporting pollen from plant to plant, researchers said.

    Roughly three-quarters of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food crops depend on animals to pollinate them, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Some of nature's most prolific pollinators are bees, but bee populations are declining around the world, and last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed a native species as endangered for the first time. [No Creepy Crawlies Here: Gallery of the Cutest Bugs]

    Now, researchers from Japan said they've taken the first steps toward creating robots that could help pick up the slack from insect pollinators. The scientists created a sticky gel that lets a $100 matchbox-size drone pick up pollen from one flower and deposit it onto another to help the plants reproduce.

    "This is a proof of concept — there's nothing compared to this. It's a totally first-time demonstration," said study leader Eijiro Miyako, a chemist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science in Tsukuba, Japan. "Some robots are expected to be used for experiments in pollination, but no one has tried yet."

    The key innovation of the new study, published today (Feb. 9) in the journal Chem, is the so-called ionic liquid gel, but according to Miyako it was more down to luck than design. The gel was actually the result of a failed attempt to create electrically conducting liquids and had sat forgotten in a desk drawer for nearly a decade.

    But after eight years, it still hadn't dried out, which most other gels would have done, and was still very sticky, Miyako said. Fortunately, this discovery coincided with Miyako watching a documentary that detailed concerns about insect pollinators.

     "I actually dropped the gel on the floor and I noticed it absorbed a lot of dust, and everything linked together in my mind," he told Live Science.

    The gel has just the right stickiness, meaning it can pick up pollen but is not so adhesive that it won't let the grains go.

    The scientists next tested how effectively the gel could be used to transport pollen among flowers. To do so, the researchers put droplets of the material on the back of ants and left the insects overnight in a box full of tulips. The next day, the scientists found that the ants with the gel had picked up far more pollen grains than those insects that lacked the sticky substance.

    In a side experiment, the researchers found that it was possible to integrate photochromic compounds, which change color when exposed to UV or white light, into the gel. Scientists stuck this material onto living flies, giving the bugs color-changing capabilities. This, Miyako said, could ultimately act as some kind of adaptive camouflage to protect pollinators from predators.

    But while improving the ability of other insects to pollinate flowers is a potential solution to falling bee numbers, Miyako said he was not convinced, and so began to look elsewhere. "It's very difficult using living organisms for real practical realizations, so I decided to change my approach and use robots," he said.

    The hairs that make insects like bees fuzzy are important for their role as pollinators, because the hairs increase the surface area of the bees' bodies, giving pollen more material to stick to. In order to give the smooth, plastic drone similar capabilities, the scientists added a patch of horsehair to the robot's underside, which was then coated with the gel.

    The researchers then flew the drones to collect pollen from the flowers of Japanese lilies and transport this pollen to other flowers. In each experiment, the researchers made 100 attempts at pollinating the flower, achieving an overall success rate of 37 percent. Drones without the patch of hair, or with uncoated hair, failed to pollinate the plants.

    Miyako said there are currently limitations to the technology, because it is difficult to manually pilot the drone. However, he added that he thinks GPS and artificial intelligence could one day be used to automatically guide robotic pollinators.

    Before these robo-bees become a reality, though, the cost of the drone will have to come down drastically and it's 3-minute battery life will need to improve significantly, Miyako said. But he added that he is confident this will happen eventually.

    Dave Goulson, a professor at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, said he sees the intellectual interest in trying to create robot bees, but he's skeptical  about how practical they are and worries about distracting from more vital pollinator conservation work.Goulson specializes in the conservation of bumblebees but was not involved with the new research.

    In a blog post, he wrote that there are roughly 3.2 trillion bees on the planet. Even if the robo-bees cost 1 cent per unit and lasted a year, which he said is a highly optimistic estimate, it would cost $32 billion a year to maintain the population and would litter the countryside with tiny robots.

    "Real bees avoid all of these issues; they are self-replicating, self-powering and essentially carbon-neutral," Goulson wrote in the post. "We have wonderfully efficient pollinators already. Let's look after them, not plan for their demise."  

    Original article on Live Science.

    12-02-2017 om 01:18 geschreven door peter

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    11-02-2017
    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.The Future Belongs to Flying Robots

    The Future Belongs to Flying Robots

     
    Dawn, Drone, Dusk, Mountains, Outdoors
    Adam Vilimek/Shutterstock
    IN BRIEF
    The University of California system’s Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety is hard at work looking into the future of unmanned aircraft. The director sees a lot of potential in the technology for agriculture, environmental, and even social opportunities.

    The once-small community of drone hobbyists has transformed into a worldwide phenomenon. In 2016 especially, significant technology improvements and regulatory clarity have paved the way for even more dramatic changes in the coming years.

    Among the biggest adopters of drones, and experimenters with them, have been universities. As the director of the University of California system’s Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety – effectively the drone headquarters of our whole 10-campus system – I have an excellent view of the drone industry’s past, present and future.

    The truly surprising details are about how wide and diverse a range of purposes drones are serving on our campuses – and what’s coming next. As we begin exploring what drones can do, and identifying what social and commercial uses they might serve, the work provides a glimpse into the future of drone flight across the country, and throughout our economy.

    ENGINEERING RESEARCH

    Drones have only recently reached the commercial mainstream. However, university engineering departments have been designing and building them for decades. For years, engineering students, for instance, have studied the advanced control algorithms that keep drones flying level and straight. Their work has helped bring us to the point where drones are even available for sale in toy stores.

    It is no surprise that our engineers are still working on drones and related technology such as sensors, automation and innovative platforms. Some introductory engineering classes involve students building and flying drones; more advanced students learn about flight dynamics and algorithms that help drones stay aloft.

    In recent years, though, our engineering departments are focusing less on building the aircraft and more on improving safety, navigation and ability to carry equipment that allows drones to help with different tasks.

    For example, researchers are developing navigation systems that don’t rely on GPS satellites. This could help allow drones to navigate autonomously inside buildings, in deep canyons, underground or other places where GPS signals are unavailable or unreliable. Whether delivering packages to remote locations or handling emergency tasks in hazardous conditions, this type of capability could significantly expand drones’ usefulness.

    Another research group is working on ways for drones to help detect gas leaks from oil pipelines. With millions of miles of pipelines across the country, that is a monumental task. Attaching methane-sniffing sensors to drones could make it much easier: Autonomous drones could fly the routes of every pipeline nearly constantly, registering the location and volume of leaks, and alerting repair and cleanup crews.

    Image credit: jon11/iStock
    Image credit: jon11/iStock

    GROWTH IN AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL WORK

    Our largest use of drones has been out in the fields. Two-thirds of the UC system’s drone flights, which encompass thousands of flights and hundreds of flight hours, have been for agricultural and environmental research. This suggests that those areas could provide breakout opportunities for drone uses.

    Some scholars have found many ways drones can replace existing manned aircraft, like with a pesticide-spraying helicopter that could reduce time and costs and provide safer operations. But the biggest factor has been how easy drones make it to collect data that were extremely difficult, or even impossible, to collect before.

    For example, drones with special thermal cameras are allowing researchers to investigate water consumption rates of several varieties of crops in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The drones’ data collection is so detailed that the scholars can count individual melons, allowing much better estimates of crop yield. When farmers know much more precisely how big the harvest will be, they can better estimate how much money they’ll make – and can make better budget decisions with the information.

    Drones are also proving themselves useful in high-resolution aerial coastal survey mapping. In the past, researchers walked along the coast and took pictures to survey areas. This was difficult to do without disturbing wildlife. In addition, surveyors would take pictures from small planes to model and predict coastal erosion and flooding. With drones, they’re able to collect data more frequently with greater detail, and do a better job mapping and analyzing environmental data. That helps improve our understanding of coastal ecology, and prepares local residents and communities for possible disasters because the drones are able to get closer to certain environments which scientists will be able extract more information from.

    For instance, when monitoring giant sequoias, a team of five to seven people would have to map the area, which would take about a week. A drone flight has been able to replace that work with a two-minute flight. That makes it easier to track how the trees are growing and responding to changes in their environment.

    BEYOND THE ACADEMIC REALM

    To meet the demand from people with no experience in drone technology, we have developed special workshops for students, staff, faculty and UC research partners to learn about drone technology, regulations and flight instruction.

    Campus film and media departments regularly use drones to make sweeping images of our scenic campus locations for promotional videos and reports. Beyond that, though, university facilities workers have been using drones to monitor construction sites, inspect building areas that are hard to get to (like roofs) and keep an eye on the university’s sizable landholdings. All of these uses can significantly improve worker safety, productivity and cost savings.

    Students are also using drones recreationally, which has raised safety and privacy concerns on our campuses, just as it has off-campus. With plenty of green spaces, many students want to fly their drones and other model aircraft on campus, even near dorms or other housing. We’ve addressed this need with respectful solutions like helping students form clubs and organizing flying events, either on campus fields reserved for the day, or at off-campus parks. We are also seeing what may be the beginnings of a collegiate Drone Racing League.

    This sort of just-for-fun experimentation can make it challenging to regulate drone flights based on what the drone is doing. But universities are often test locations for new technologies. Our work – both formal and recreational – encourages creativity and can foster an entrepreneurial spirit. We can expect that at least some of these early uses for drones will eventually spill into the commercial and consumer markets.

     Read more articles from The Conversation

    {

    11-02-2017 om 01:34 geschreven door peter

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    Klik hier om een link te hebben waarmee u dit artikel later terug kunt lezen.Japan Has Created Black Mirror-Inspired Bee Drones
    Japan Has Created Black Mirror-Inspired Bee Drones
     
    DRAPER
    IN BRIEF
    • Researchers in Japan have created insect-sized drones capable of artificial pollination, thanks to the help of horse hair and an ionic sticky gel.
    • As bees enter the endangered species list in the United States, these natural pollinators will need all the help they can get.

    ACCIDENTALLY REDISCOVERED

    black-mirror-netflix
    Be careful what you tweet. Credit: Netflix

    In the final episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror, the government claims to be using Autonomous Drone Insects to counteract the collapse of the bee population. Spoiler alert: they’re lying.

    It’s soon discovered that these bee drones are actually being used for mass public surveillance. Worse, the drones are programmed to kill. The deaths are linked to a website promoting a ‘Game of Consequence’ where Twitter users can vote to kill one hated public figure using the hashtag ‘#DeathTo.’

    Now, similar drones are coming to Japan, without all the government secrets and Twitter deaths (we assume). Japan’s insect-sized drones were turned into artificial pollinators with the help of a coating of horse hair and an ionic sticky gel. The drones work like bees and use their hairs to pick up pollen from one flower and deposit it into another.

    Researchers from Japan actually discovered this ionic gel accidentally, and then published their work in the journal Chem. Back in 2007, one of the researchers, chemist Eijiro Miyako, was working on possible liquid electrical conductors. One attempt to do so produced a wax-like sticky gel. The gel was shelved after Miyako considered it a failure. It was rediscovered after a decade during a lab cleanup and, to Miyako’s surprise, the gel remained unchanged.

    “This project is the result of serendipity,” Miyako said. “We were surprised that after 8 years, the ionic gel didn’t degrade and was still so viscous. Conventional gels are mainly made of water and can’t be used for a long time, so we decided to use this material for research.”

    Miyako tested the pollen-grasping abilities of the gel by coating ants with it, which he then left to roam free in a box of tulips. Researchers observed that ants coated with the gel were able to collect more pollen than those that weren’t. In addition, a separate test applying the gel to houseflies revealed that it changes color when exposed to different sources of light — potentially giving it a camouflage effect that can help artificial pollinators avoid predators.

    Image credits: Eijiro Miyako
    Image credits: Eijiro Miyako

    DRONES HELPING NATURE

    With the gel tested and proven to be sticky enough, the next thing to do was to look for the artificial pollinator. Miyako found a $100-four propeller drone and gave it a fuzzy, bee-like exterior. It was the team’s AIST colleagues Masayoshi Tange and Yue Yu who decided to use horse hair on the drone’s surface. These bristles gave more surface area for pollen to attach to, and at the same time, provided electric charge that kept the pollens in place.

    The drones were tested on Japanese lilies, with the team flying them by remote control. The drones would pick up pollen from one flower, and then flew to another flower to deposit the pollen.

    “The findings, which will have applications for agriculture and robotics, among others, could lead to the development of artificial pollinators and help counter the problems caused by declining honeybee populations,” Miyako said. “We believe that robotic pollinators could be trained to learn pollination paths using global positioning systems and artificial intelligence.”

    As bees enter the endangered species list in the United States, these natural pollinators will need all the help they can get. Artificial pollinators can lessen the burden of modern agricultural demand, giving the bees breathing space to recover their numbers. Hopefully, these drones won’t turn out to the way their Black Mirror counterparts did, but we can worry about that later. For now, getting these drones out there to see just how much they could help will keep the world pollinated.

    11-02-2017 om 01:22 geschreven door peter

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