A Collection of Real and Imagined Robots

As the future of robotics develops, Hollywood gets to run a little bit faster. Here is an example of the newest robot creation from director Ridley Scott, contrasted with video compilations of real, high-functioning robots. If you don’t already know what they’re capable of, it will blow your mind!

In a commercial that is startlingly similar to the emotional android Kara, Weylan Industries introduced David 8, a robot who looks, acts, and seems totally human. This commercial for the upcoming film Prometheus, focuses on the emotional aspect of future-imagined androids, and explores the enmeshing of robotic-stoicism and genuine human feeling.

If this seems like a imagining of the future, think again. Right now scientists and engineers are working on building emotional androids based on cognitive modeling of emotions and a “language of mind.” At the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland, scientists seek to imbue these robots with subjectivity and hope that situation recognition will trigger an elicitation of emotions with emotional mimics, using “gesture, posture, action tendencies and speech act latencies.” The technology is almost there: “these dimensions are shown to be integrable into a common structure which can be transformed into various applications like innovative structures of MMI and HRI, ranging from service robots to virtual interactions up to MMI-management of driver assistance systems.”

Here is a video composite of several top-notch robots of today, well, kind of. This video was made last year!

And, check out more from Asimo, arguably the world’s most advanced robot.



Wireless Electricity from 2011 Still Totally Futuristic

A tour of the possibilities wireless electricity inside of a kitchen can offer happened at CES 2011, the worlds largest technological trade show, and it’s like taking a step towards George Jetson’s home front. Their “groundbreaking intelligent inductive coupling technology” from Fulton Innovation is called eCoupled, and it allows for the wireless (and almost invisible) use of blenders and stove-tops, a cabinet-front display of your pantry inventory, as well as a screen for issuing instructions and reading temperature.

Here it is in action at CES 2011:

Now, add ubiquitous computing and George, we’re coming up.

Current Video Manipulation Technologies

The abilities out there with human face mapping and distant object manipulation are pretty mind-boggling. Here are some examples of the beauty of these technologies, the behind-the-scenes, and uses:

Samsung Portugal designs a human face map to project onto, creating a level of fluidity and accuracy in facial mapping that is simply magical. Watch them transform the human face and body into any number of styles and abstractions.

Paul Debevec animates a photo real human face; the results are pretty incredible, the applications are really fun to ponder.

Kind of a funky video, but the idea and reality of tele-immersion is fascinating. In real-time, a room full of cameras can capture your image and project it into a virtual space where you can manipulate virtual objects by the “real” movement of a hand, or dance with a partner countless miles away in another video room. Check out this video and come up with some applications yourself.

Data Through Illumination

Forget WiFi, Connect to the Internet Through Lightbulbs

Whether you’re using wireless internet in a coffee shop, stealing it from the guy next door, or competing for bandwidth at a conference, you’ve probably gotten frustrated at the slow speeds you face when more than one device is tapped into the network. As more and more people—and their many devices—access wireless internet, clogged airwaves are going to make it increasingly difficult to latch onto a reliable signal.

But radio waves are just one part of the spectrum that can carry our data. What if we could use other waves to surf the internet?

One German physicist, Harald Haas, has come up with a solution he calls “data through illumination”—taking the fiber out of fiber optics by sending data through an LED lightbulb that varies in intensity faster than the human eye can follow. It’s the same idea behind infrared remote controls, but far more powerful.

Haas says his invention, which he calls D-Light, can produce data rates faster than 10 megabits per second, which is speedier than your average broadband connection. He envisions a future where data for laptops, smartphones, and tablets is transmitted through the light in a room. And security would be a snap—if you can’t see the light, you can’t access the data.

You can imagine all kinds of uses for this technology, from public internet access through street lamps to auto-piloted cars that communicate through their headlights. And more data coming through the visible spectrum could help alleviate concerns that the electromagnetic waves that come with WiFi could adversely affect your health. Talk about the bright side.

from Good