What is lurking in that North Carolina sewer?

by twit

Finally!  The mystery has been solved.

The robot, “Plasmobot,” will be created using vegetative slime mold called plasmodium (Physarum polycephalum) that is commonly found in forests, gardens, and most damp places in the UK.

Horrible moving blob things were filmed awhile back by an apparent sewer colonoscopy, and the commentariat developed various  theories about the creatures in the video:  bryozoans, tubifex worms, or plasmodial slime mold.

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hallelujah, it’s raining brains

by twit

Good news, everybody! Scientists have figured out how to build living brains:

Because the brain is living tissue, it must be housed in a special temperature-controlled unit — it communicates with its “body” via a Bluetooth radio link.

… From the very start, the neurons get busy. “Within about 24 hours, they start sending out feelers to each other and making connections,” said Warwick. “Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity” similar to what happens in a normal rat — or human — brain, he added.

These built-from-scratch brains are independent:

The robot has no additional control from a human or computer.

and unique, too.

“It’s quite funny — you get differences between the brains,” said Warwick. “This one is a bit boisterous and active, while we know another is not going to do what we want it to.”

Funny is one way to describe it…

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welcome to the future

by twit

https://i1.wp.com/www.robots.com/images/robots/050217_3d_robot_feeding_hmed_3ph2.jpg … also known as “brain-machine interface technology” or “controlling robots with your mind.”

The BBC reports on May 28, 2008:

Monkeys have been able to control robotic limbs using only their thoughts, scientists report.

The animals were able to feed themselves using prosthetic arms, which were controlled by brain activity.

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welcome to the future

by twit

it turns out Gary Larson was right…

Any kid who grew up with a PlayStation will be able to come in here and learn this in seconds,” reports the Associated Press on April 28, 2008:

https://i0.wp.com/www.defense-update.com/images/guardium-M-guard.jpg NES TZIONA, Israel (AP) – Israel’s newest “soldier” can see at night, never nods off on sentry duty and can carry 660 pounds without complaining.

The Guardium, a remote-controlled, unmanned vehicle commissioned by the Israeli military and shown to The Associated Press on Monday, is among the first such machines to be ready for the battlefield. The army said it had not yet entered service, however, and declined further comment.

The four-wheeled vehicle is designed to replace human soldiers in dangerous roles, and sometimes tedious missions, cutting casualties.

Like the pilotless drones that have become a mainstay of air forces in Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere, the Guardium is operated from a command room far from the front line. It can carry cameras, night-vision equipment and sensors, as well as weapons like machine guns.

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postcards from the internets

by twit

have you seen this pig? if so, there’s a $10,000 reward for its safe return…

https://i2.wp.com/blog.wired.com/music/coachella/coachella_sunday_37_Pig_Blimp.jpg

The spray-painted pig balloon was released during Roger Waters’ performance Sunday at the festival. The school-bus-size prop emerged during “Pigs,” a song from Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals.

“A pig got loose last night,” said Bill Fold, one of the festival’s producers, on Monday. “We really like him and want him back…. It’s a very emotional time for us.”

The pig was covered with political graffiti: “Don’t be led to the slaughter,” read one slogan. “Fear builds walls,” read another. A cartoon Uncle Sam painted on the pig held two bloody cleavers, and the porker’s belly read “Obama,” with a checked ballot box alongside, according to the Associated Press.

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welcome to the future

by twit

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:p95ucgaL8pM8tM:http://www.openthefuture.com/images/things_to_come.jpg

Neurowarfare is defined, at least in part, as the “direct neurological control of weapon systems,” and the application of the technology involved includes “the control of prosthetics of wounded soldiers” and “the guidance of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

The term neurowarfare or neurotechnology may also be used to describe “the use of weapons that target the human central nervous system,” including research into “creating agents that would cause fatal overloads of bliss.”

Per a Cornell International Law Journal article, “Brave New World: Neurowarfare and the Limits of International Humanitarian Law,” DARPA has been working on “Human Assisted Neural Devices,” previously referred to as “Brain-Machine Interfaces.”

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