Tag: answers with joe

Meet MiRO: The robot dog with a mind of its own

Attendees of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation last year met MiRO. The robotic pet dog that has been built to provide the elderly with company.

MiRO – designed by Consequential Robotics looks and behaves like a pet dog, and has six ‘senses’ including touch sensitivity, light sensitivity, stereo eyesight and sharp hearing.

The robot dog uses a sonar sense, like bats and dolphins, to help navigate its surroundings, and MiRO’s cliff sensors help to ensure that it does not fall off a table or down a flight of stairs.

“At the heart of our approach is human-centred design – understanding the practical  needs  of  our  users  as  well as  their  emotional  wants  and  dreams,” said designer, Sebastian Conran.

Although the long-term plan is for MiRO to be a companion robot, initially the robot will be marketed to researchers who are interested in  developing  companion  robots  and  to  universities  doing  research  in robotics  or  offering training  in  robot  programming.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

People Are Turning Ocean Plastic Wastes From Haiti’s Beaches Into Laptop Packaging

One of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers will incorporate recovered marine plastics into packaging for one product line.

Texas-based Dell will begin using recovered HDPE from the marine environment in a tray for its XPS 13 2-in-1 notebook, which is a combination laptop/tablet.

The tray will be made of 25 percent ocean plastics and 75 percent recycled HDPE food packaging obtained via established recovery systems.

“This is the first time my 10-year-old daughter has gotten excited about what I do,” Kevin Brown, chief supply chain officer for Dell, stated in a press release. “This new packaging initiative demonstrates that there are real global business applications for ocean plastics.”

Dell’s commercial-scale pilot program will use an estimated 16,000 pounds of ocean plastics in 2017. It will produce about 300,000 trays.

Ocean plastics use by the company is expected to scale to 20,000 pounds in 2018, according to Dell.

Dell created a web page with details on the pilot project. It also includes a white paper that explores how other companies can incorporate ocean plastics in their supply chains.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

Charging Your Phone While Moving Around? Be Amazed By This Wireless Gadget Charger!

Scientists at Stanford University in the US have developed a device that can wirelessly charge a moving object at close range.

The technology could one day be used to charge electric cars on the highway, or medical implants and cellphones as you walk nearby.

“In addition to advancing the wireless charging of vehicles and personal devices like cellphones, our new technology may untether robotics in manufacturing, which also are on the move,” said Professor Shanhui Fan.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature, wireless charging would address a major drawback of plug-in electric cars their limited driving range. A charge-as-you-drive system would overcome these limitations.

“We can rethink how to deliver electricity not only to our cars but to smaller devices on or in our bodies. For anything that could benefit from dynamic, wireless charging, this is potentially very important,” Fan said.

The team transmitted electricity wirelessly to a moving LED light bulb but the demonstration only involved a one milliwatt charge, far less than what electric cars require.

The scientists are now working on greatly increasing the amount of electricity that can be transferred, and tweaking the system to extend the transfer distance and improve efficiency.

According to the research, the transfer efficiency can be further enhanced if both coils are tuned to the same magnetic resonance frequency and are positioned at the correct angle, but scientists found that was a complex process.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

 

An Area Of Antarctica Larger Than Texas Partially Melted Last Year

Scientists think strong El Niños, like the one that melted so much surface ice in Antarctica last year, will become more common in the future.

An area of Antarctica larger than Texas partially melted last year, a group of international researchers has found.

And while it’s pretty well known ice at both poles has been melting for a while now, this ice is a bit different. In this case, it was surface ice the scientists were monitoring, not sea ice.

The melting was likely caused by a strong El Niño, something scientists expect will become more common as the climate continues to warm.

Normally, strong westerly winds keep El Niño’s warm weather away from the continent, so the melt that it causes isn’t as bad. But one member of the research team said El Niños seem to be winning the “tug of war” between westerly winds and warmer air.

And combining more frequent air driven warming from above and ocean driven melting from below could spell bad news for those living on the coast. The West Antarctic ice sheet has the potential to raise the sea level by over 10 feet if it were to collapse or fracture.

This time the melting didn’t do any permanent damage. But the scientists are worried it could be a sign of things to come.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

The Coral Reefs Are Showing Signs Of Global Warming Stress But We Can Still Do Something About It

With coral reefs all over the world suffering ongoing bleaching and death at the hands of warming ocean waters from remote coral atolls in the Indian Ocean to Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, the future of these beloved marine ecosystems appears increasingly grim.

But while experts almost universally agree that global warming will continue to shape the future of the world’s corals, some scientists insist that there’s still hope for them.

In a paper out last Wednesday in the Journal Nature, more than a dozen experts from around the world say that coral reefs are likely to undergo major changes as a result of continued global warming and other human activities, like fishing.

But while future coral ecosystems might look a lot different than they do today, from the species they contain to the places they live, they aren’t necessarily doomed. In fact, accepting this transition and helping them through it might be the best and even only way to save them.

Scientist also recommends an updated approach to the research of coral reefs one that focuses increasingly on the cumulative impact of multiple disturbances working together (for instance, warming waters combined with pollution and over-fishing) instead of focusing on one single factor at a time.

With a commitment to active management and an open mind about what the future of coral reefs might look like, scientists say we can now allow ourselves a little more optimism.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

4 Steps to Immortality: From Neuralink to Nirvana

I submit this humble plan for your consideration.

Step 1: Create a brain/computer interface

The first step in getting our minds outside our body is creating a conduit through which it can travel.

Elon Musk is already working on this of course, with his company Neuralink, which I covered in detail on a previous video.

Ultimately the idea is we’ll be able to integrate our minds with the internet, have instant seamless access to information, store our memories, communicate telepathically, and enter virtual worlds in our own mind.

New technologies required to get there would be advanced brain mapping technologies and developing the ability to interface with enough of the brain’s surface to be able to fully integrate it. And that would require nanobots.

Really the only viable option for doing that would be microscopic bots that would travel to the brain cortex and build themselves into a lace across the surface and the folds of the brain. Anything else would just be too invasive to be feasible.

This leads us to the second step:

Step 2: Replacing neurons with synthetic circuitry

The only way to ensure that your continuity of consciousness goes unbroken is for your brain itself to become computer hardware.

So in the same way that the nanobots formed a neural lace across the surface of your brain, the next step would be for them to build synthetic neurons at the cellular level, slowly over time replacing your organic circuitry with digital ones.

This whole thing should be painless because there are no sensory nerves in the brain. And the experience could produce a feeling of heightened cognition, enhanced creativity and memory retention… If everything goes right.

If things don’t go right, you could expect massive feelings of deja vu, mood swings, fogginess, hallucinations, and maybe even seizures.

Nobody ever said immortality was free, son.

In order to get here we’d need to see advancements in synthetic neurons and nanotechnology.

Step 3: Build simulated worlds

Virtual reality and simulated worlds are everywhere these days, and video games have become near photorealistic.

But still those experiences only involve two senses: Sight and sound.

There are some tactile devices that simulate touch in the works but still, that’s interfacing through the body.

We’d need to be able to hack all the senses, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and pair those sensory stimuli with the physics of the virtual world.

Want to play basketball on Pluto? You could do that.

Want to engage in all manner of sexual perversions? You will do that.

An endless number of doorways you could step into that lead to different worlds with different rules, some free, which means they’ll be filled with billboards and advertising, and some premium rooms you pay for.

Everything that we use the internet for today will take real, physical form that we can step into and interact with.

And just like professional gamers make a living in these virtual worlds, entire economies and job markets will spring up in the simulation with opportunities that we can’t even imagine right now.

The earliest versions of this VR world would probably be like recalling a memory. Later versions may feel more like stepping into a dream, ultimately one where you can interact like lucid dreaming.

This is a direction that many, many futurists believe we’re headed, a future with multiple layers of reality, both simulated and real where we can choose which reality we want to exist in. This will be an interesting time.

Step 4: Permanent Residence in the Simulation

Now, ultimately, one way or another, our consciousness has to get inside that computer. Luckily, our brains have become computers.

So when time has its way with you and your body finally kicks, your digital brain can be removed and physically connected, permanently, to the supercomputer housing the simulation.

One of the arguments many people give for this kind of simulated immortality, that it would still be a kind of death because you’d be leaving all your loved ones behind.

But maybe not. For one thing, they would be able to visit you in this world.

They could come by your simulated house, you can take simulated trips together, when grandma dies, she really would just be going to another place. A place you can actually visit.

But she could also visit you through an avatar. A humanoid robot that an expired person could step into. One that translates all the senses of the outside world back to the person in the simulation.

Just like real people enter the virtual world, virtual people could enter the real world.

How You Can Help Fight Climate Change In Your Daily Life with Tom Mills of Green Shortz

Today I’m talking with Tom Mills from Green Shortz, Tom is a fellow YouTuber and environmental advocate, he runs a few YouTube channels where he teaches people the ups and downs of sustainable living, including one where he’s building a house from scratch with green practices.

We’re going to be talking about how where you live makes a difference to your carbon footprint, why composting is awesome and the little things you can do in your daily life that can make a big difference for the environment and society as a whole.

69-Question Lightning Round Video

This time around I got almost 70 questions and I answer them all right here. Grab a snack. It’s gonna take a while.
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LINKS LINKS LINKS:

Hilbert’s Unanswered Problems:
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Millennium Prize Problems:
http://www.claymath.org/millennium-problems

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Can A Fidget Spinner Make You Smarter? | Answers With Joe

According to the authors of the book Fidget to Focus, they make the argument that our brains are actually hardwired to not be focused.

It has an evolutionary explanation. Back in caveman times, if you were too focused on, say, weaving a basket or some other repetitive task, you might not notice the cougar sneaking up on the rock behind you.

So people who were more distracted by all the things going on around them were more likely to survive deadly predators. Then they passed those distracted genes forward.

It makes sense when you think about it. Go outside your front door and look. You see any squirrels or birds intensely focused on anything?

No, their attention is all over the place, constantly looking around, sniffing the air, interrupted by the slightest sound.

Seriously, is there any animal that isn’t easily distracted?

The point is, focusing is a very unnatural act. Something only humans can do, and we don’t do it very well.

So the theory is that we fidget because it’s a way of occupying that animal brain that’s constantly on the lookout for dangers.

This is why fidgeting also reduces stress levels, especially in kids on the autism spectrum or with ADHD.

So a lot of schools are starting to embrace fidgeting, some even providing desks with foot bars and other sensory stimulating tactile surfaces that allow kids to move and feel while they learn.

Other research that has backed up this conclusion is research into flow states.

The flow state is when you’re in the zone, when your brain is firing on all cylinders and often when your greatest insights come to you.

We’ve all been there. A problem you’ve been wrestling with for days, you just can’t figure out how to handle this and then one day you’re in the shower and BOOM… Revelation.

You know, right when you can’t possibly document it in any way, shape, or form.

Flow states are often triggered by thoughtless, repetitive motions, the kinds of motions that we’ve done a million times and can be done unconsciously, like taking a shower, mowing the lawn, or walking the dog.

Walking the dog, by the way, is my go-to action when I’m trying to figure out how to structure these videos.

Researchers studying flow states once believed that those superpowers moments of thought were brought about by more areas of our brain engaging and connecting, but it turns out, not so much.

By performing fMRI brain scans of people in flow states they found that actually, it’s the exact opposite.

In a flow state, large chunks of your brain shut off. It’s that clarity that allows the brilliant ideas to shine through.

So by focusing all those chattering voices in your head on fidgeting, the voice with the great idea can be heard.

In this same way, some studies have shown that information retention is higher when a person is fidgeting.

Fidgeting has also been shown to burn calories, now it’s not like a weight loss regimen or anything, but it’s a welcome little bit of activity in an otherwise sedentary school or office environment.

So, can fidgeting actually make you smarter…? Well, the jury’s still out on that.

All of the stuff I’m talking about here are preliminary research that was mostly conducted on children with ADHD, so whether or not a normal-functioning adult gets the same benefit is too early to say. But the concepts involved are in line with our current understanding of the brain.

Basically, if it feels right, if it helps you to focus and think more clearly, have at it.

But, if you’re in the middle of the woods where a cougar could sneak up on you… I recommend putting the spinner away.