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Dave Brain: What a planet needs to sustain life

September 24, 2016

“Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, and Earth is just right,” says planetary scientist Dave Brain. But why? In this pleasantly humorous talk, Brain explores the fascinating science behind what it takes for a planet to host life — and why humanity may just be in the right place at the right time when it comes to the timeline of life-sustaining planets.

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Riccardo Sabatini: How to read the genome and build a human being

May 04, 2016

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Secrets, disease and beauty are all written in the human genome, the complete set of genetic instructions needed to build a human being. Now, as scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini shows us, we have the power to read this complex code, predicting things like height, eye color, age and even facial structure — all from a vial of blood. And soon, Sabatini says, our new understanding of the genome will allow us to personalize treatments for diseases like cancer. We have the power to change life as we know it. How will we use it?

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Atlas, The Next Generation

March 03, 2016

A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

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Jeremy Howard: The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

February 03, 2016

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What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize objects in photos, or to help think through a medical diagnosis. (One deep learning tool, after watching hours of YouTube, taught itself the concept of “cats.”) Get caught up on a field that will change the way the computers around you behave … sooner than you probably think.

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Super Samurai: Robot beats Japanese master swordsman

May 16, 2015

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Japanese engineers have come up with a robot that can copy the moves of a samurai sword master and then beat his “teacher” in a fight. The samurai machine carries out hard-angled cuts with speed and precision – without breaking sweat.

Among the robot’s most spectacular accomplishments is a party trick: being able to slice a runner bean lengthways.

The robot competed against renowned Japanese swordsman Isao Machii, from whom it learned how to fight by motion capturing his moves.

Machii can slice a fried shrimp fired at him at about 130 km per hour, according to The Independent, but he still lost his swordfight against the machine.

Robot arms, which have truly amazing skills, have recently entered the spotlight: one beat a world table tennis champion in March, while Russian military robots scored high at a shooting challenge a month ago during field training.

In April, a UK company unveiled a robo-chef capable of preparing meals from scratch.

http://rt.com/news/265243-robot-sword-blade-arm/