Technology Tuesday: May 19
AI Dedicated To Making You Happy
The latest AI devices can’t just gauge your mood from what you say and how you say it, they can work out the best way to respond to cheer you up
“BRIAN? How are you, Brian?” The voice is coming from a screen dominated by a vast blue cartoon eyeball, its pupil dilating in a way that makes it look both friendly and quizzical. Think HAL reimagined by Pixar.
This is EmoSPARK, and it is looking for its owner. Its camera searches its field of view for a face and, settling on mine, asks again if I am Brian. It sounds almost plaintive.
Reversing Antibiotic Resistance
A newly published study details how a team of researchers returned drug-resistant bacteria to a pre-resistant state.
Biologist Miriam Barlow of the University of California, Merced, and mathematician Kristina Crona of American University tested and found a way to return bacteria to a pre-resistant state. In research published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, they show how to rewind the evolution of bacteria and verify treatment options for a family of 15 antibiotics used to fight common infections, including penicillin.
A Robotic Octopus Tentacle For Surgery
The unparalleled motion and manipulation abilities of soft-bodied animals such as the octopus have intrigued biologists for many years. How can an animal that has no bones transform its tentacles from a soft state to a one stiff enough to catch and even kill prey?
A group of scientists and engineers has attempted to answer this question in order to replicate the abilities of an octopus tentacle in a robotic surgical tool. Last week, members of this EU-funded project known as STIFF-FLOP (STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learnable manipulator for surgical OPerations) unveiled the group’s latest efforts.
Revolutionary Wireless Technology
Radio systems, such as mobile phones and wireless internet connections, have become an integral part of modern life. However, today’s devices use twice as much of the radio spectrum as is necessary. New technology is being developed that could fundamentally change radio design and could increase data rates and network capacity, reduce power consumption, create cheaper devices and enable global roaming.
3D Printing Circuit Boards For The First Time
While studying mechatronics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Alroy Almeida, Jesus Zozaya, and James Pickard became frustrated by the inefficiency of designing circuit boards. “We’d spend a couple hundred dollars to get prototypes made at a factory and wait a few weeks, and they would come in and be wrong,” Almeida says. After they revamped the design, the agonizing process would begin again, sometimes through multiple prototypes.
Meanwhile, they watched as 3D printers rapidly prototyped other kinds of products. An inkjet printer that deposited circuits would speed up electronics design–but conductive material was too thick to squeeze through existing print heads. So when the friends graduated in 2013, they teamed up with nanoscientist Katarina Ilic to build their own device. Two years of R&D later, the team is preparing to ship the V-One to Kickstarter backers.
Know any interesting stories we missed?Let us know in the comments!
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