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Archive for the ‘habitats’ category

Jan 24, 2020

Facebook has trained an AI to navigate without needing a map

Posted by in categories: drones, habitats, information science, robotics/AI

The algorithm lets robots find the shortest route in unfamiliar environments, opening the door to robots that can work inside homes and offices.

The news: A team at Facebook AI has created a reinforcement learning algorithm that lets a robot find its way in an unfamiliar environment without using a map. Using just a depth-sensing camera, GPS, and compass data, the algorithm gets a robot to its goal 99.9% of the time along a route that is very close to the shortest possible path, which means no wrong turns, no backtracking, and no exploration. This is a big improvement over previous best efforts.

Why it matters: Mapless route-finding is essential for next-gen robots like autonomous delivery drones or robots that work inside homes and offices. Some of the best robots available today, such as Spot and Atlas made by Boston Dynamics and Digit made by Agility Robotics, are packed with sensors that make them pretty good at keeping their balance and avoiding obstacles. But if you dropped them off at an unfamiliar street corner and left them to find their way home, they’d be screwed. While Facebook’s algorithm does not yet handle outside environments, it is a promising step in that direction and could probably be adapted to urban spaces.

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Jan 22, 2020

Are bats to blame for China’s virus?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, habitats

Zoonotic diseases may become the source of more outbreaks in the future. People must take note and pass the appropriate regulations to prevent future outbreaks.

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/01/22/996315/are-bats-to-blame-for-chinas-virus#


As bats and humans cross paths more viruses are making the jump from bat to people. China’s latest scare is the latest coronavirus to affect humans likely to have its origins in bats.

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Jan 17, 2020

NASA Wants to Grow a Moon Base Out of Mushrooms

Posted by in categories: energy, habitats, space

Fungus Among Us

The idea is to ship dormant fungus to a Moon base and, once it arrives, give it water and the right conditions to trigger growth, according to a NASA press release. That would also require a supply of photosynthetic bacteria to provide the fungus with nutrients. Once the fungus grows into the shape of a structure, it would be heat-treated, effectively killing it and turning it into a compact brick.

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Jan 16, 2020

This New Sensor Could Start Pushing Smart Home Technology From ‘Nice To Have’ To ‘Must Have’

Posted by in categories: habitats, health

Sekisui House has upped its ante in a potentially game-changing, life-altering home health technology at this year’s CES.

Jan 15, 2020

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, habitats, health, security, space

Location: Manhattan, KS

NBAF - National Agor-Defense Facility

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) will be a state-of-the-art biocontainment laboratory for the study of diseases that threaten both America’s animal agricultural industry and public health. DHS S&T is building the facility to standards that fulfill the mission needs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which will own, manage and operate (PDF, 16 pgs., 165 KB) the NBAF once construction and commissioning activities are complete. The NBAF will strengthen our nation’s ability to conduct research, develop vaccines, diagnose emerging diseases, and train veterinarians. DHS S&T will leverage the facility as a national asset to fulfill homeland security mission needs.

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Jan 14, 2020

Google acquires AppSheet to bring no-code development to Google Cloud

Posted by in category: habitats

Google announced today that it is buying AppSheet, an eight-year-old no-code mobile-application-building platform. The company had raised more than $17 million on a $60 million valuation, according to PitchBook data. The companies did not share the purchase price.

With AppSheet, Google gets a simple way for companies to build mobile apps without having to write a line of code. It works by pulling data from a spreadsheet, database or form, and using the field or column names as the basis for building an app.

It is integrated with Google Cloud already integrating with Google Sheets and Google Forms, but also works with other tools, including AWS DynamoDB, Salesforce, Office 365, Box and others. Google says it will continue to support these other platforms, even after the deal closes.

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Jan 12, 2020

This autonomous security drone is designed to guard your home

Posted by in categories: drones, habitats, robotics/AI, security

One of the new products unveiled at CES this year is a new kind of home security system — one that includes drones to patrol your property, along with sensors designed to mimic garden light and a central processor to bring it all together.

Sunflower Labs debuted their new Sunflower Home Awareness System, which includes the eponymous Sunflowers (motion and vibration sensors that look like simple garden lights but can populate a map to show you cars, people and animals on or near your property in real time); the Bee (a fully autonomous drone that deploys and flies on its own, with cameras on board to live-stream video); and the Hive (a charging station for the Bee, which also houses the brains of the operation for crunching all the data gathered by the component parts).

Roving aerial robots keeping tabs on your property might seem a tad dystopian, and perhaps even unnecessary, when you could maybe equip your estate with multiple fixed cameras and sensors for less money and with less complexity. But Sunflower Labs thinks its security system is an evolution of more standard fare because it “learns and reacts to its surroundings,” improving over time.

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Jan 12, 2020

Israeli Water-From-Air Technology Named ‘Energy Efficiency Product of Year’

Posted by in categories: energy, habitats, sustainability

Residents of El Talento, a small town in Colombia adjacent to the city of Cúcuta, have been introduced to the GEN-M, Watergen’s medium-scale atmospheric generator that produces water out of air, October 2019. Photo: Courtesy.

JNS.org – An Israeli-made machine that creates fresh drinking water from air was named the “Energy Efficiency Product of the Year” in the 2020 Smart Home Mark of Excellence Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Presented annually during CES by the Consumer Technology Association, the Mark of Excellence Awards recognize the technology industry’s top smart-home innovations. The water-from-air appliance, named “GENNY,” was manufactured by the Rishon Letzion-based company Watergen.

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Jan 7, 2020

Samsung made a rolling robot called Ballie that runs your smart home

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

The company sees robots as life companions in what it calls the Age of Experience.

Jan 6, 2020

Graziano Lab: CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE SOCIAL BRAIN

Posted by in category: habitats

If you’re interested in mind uploading, then I have a chapter that may be of interest to you. The title is:

by Michael Graziano and Taylor W. Webb.

This chapter describes in straightforward language a theory of consciousness termed Attention Schema Theory.

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