Can you say, “Surrogates”?

Oh sure, this is how it starts…

Thought-controlled Robot Avatars Provide New Help for the Disabled

From the article:

In the end, robotic avatars could become part of everyday society, as accepted today as a wheelchair and handicapped parking. Sawyer says the only gating factor is whether society accepts them.

I feel like I’ve seen the future of this technology.  It seriously is pretty remarkable, though.  I commend the scientific community for making this sort of advancement.

Naval lasers NOT gone for good?

So even after my blog post a few weeks ago about the future of naval weapons, I see this article today.

Boeing, BAE to Build “Laser Machine Gun”

How freaking cool is that?!  I mean, just the article title alone has me excited!  My favorite part of the article is the last paragraph:

It’s anybody’s guess what kind of threat a machine guns or lasers can’t defeat on their own (Mothra? Decepticons? Kraken?). But now that 19th century ballistic technology has teamed up with 21st century ray gun tech, whatever that enemy may be will think twice about messing with a U.S. Navy warship.

So it looks like there might still be some hope for us getting some awesome new weapons on our warships.  I, for one, am very excited about the proposition.  We’re gonna need something to defend against the aliens when they invade…

Take that how you will.

 

Robotic Octopus?! TERROR OF THE DEEP!!!

THIS IS HORRIFYING!  Robot octopus?!  I don’t even want to fathom coming across something like this in the water!

Robotic Octopus Tentacle Wants to Become Robotic Octopus

From the article:

The Octopus Project has one 17-inch prototype working and it plans to deliver a full robotic octopus to the EC before its 2013 deadline. Just seven more tentacles to go.

And for more information on this aquatic robotic nightmare-inducing abomination of science, click the follow-up link in the article:

‘Octobot’ Could Save Your Life

Although the Octopus Project didn’t start with specific application goals, such a robot could have a number of uses. Laschi said that a team of British surgeons are interested in applying their technology to an endoscope that turns from a soft tool into a hard one that can perform surgery.

Wait… have the British been watching Japanese anime?  They want to stick this tentacle INSIDE OF US?!?!  What the EFF?!  And then there’s this:

“The challenge for the future — I don’t think they’ve addressed it yet — is how do you actually control a device that has so many different degrees of freedom?”

He calls the octopus a genius among mollusks in part because its nervous system is human-like. That complexity means we still have a way to go before replicating Paul the Octopus, of World Cup prediction fame.

“If we could do something like that, it would be extremely impressive,” Chiel said. “And a little scary.”

Just a little scary?!  How about the stuff H.P. Lovecraft stories are made of?!

That’s no sinkhole, it’s a BURROWED TUNNEL!

Ok, I don’t think I commented about the really BIG Guatemala sinkhole when it happened last May, but I did talk it over with my friends a lot.  My theory was a very large subterranean tunneling cryptid.  I mean, look at that hole… it’s perfectly round!  So anyway, now this pops up, also in Guatemala…

That sinking feeling: Woman finds giant sinkhole under her bed

From the article:

That’s what one Inocenta Hernandez from Guatemala City learned after a sudden noise caused her to run outside, thinking there had been an explosion nearby. When she realized the problem was inside her home, she returned to find a gaping, three feet wide, 40 feet deep sinkhole beneath her bed.

The sinkhole just happened to open up under her bed?!  I think maybe there’s something fishy going on.  It seems to me that Guatemala City might have itself a problem with some graboids.  Ok, maybe not that, but still.  There’s monsters in Guatemala that need killin’.  Maybe someone higher-up in the Mayan religion (that is having a resurgence due to cultural protections established under the peace accords) is sending this creature out into the city to attack people and bring them back for sacrifice?  Hmm… I’ll have to ponder further on this.

Moral of the story: don’t go to Guatemala City until this creature (and its controller) are found and put do death (and/or brought to justice… you know, whatever).  For those of you familiar with Monster Hunter International, I bet the PUFF bounty on these things is pretty big.  And if you’re not familiar, you need to get that way!

Alaskan “Loch Ness Monster”

Man, I really hope this is real.  I’d love to see some good footage collected of the monster.

Fisherman Catches Alaskan ‘Loch Ness Monster’ On Tape

From the article:

“We saw a big, long white thing moving in the water. We chased it for about 20 minutes,” Hillstrand told Discovery News. “Spray came out of its head. It was definitely not a shark. A giant eel may be possible, but eels don’t have humps that all move in unison. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Hillstrand is well aware of the controversial nature of his claim but gave credit to local fishermen who have reported seeing the Cadborosaurus.

“They are not a bunch of fruitcakes. These are people who are familiar with the local marine life.”

I think America needs it’s own Nessie.

A robot more like us

Just another piece of the human annihilation puzzle…

In search of a robot more like us

From the article:

There is still significant debate about how even to begin to design a machine that might be flexible enough to do many of the things humans do: fold laundry, cook or wash dishes. That will require a breakthrough in software that mimics perception.

Today’s robots can often do one of these tasks in limited circumstances, but researchers describe their skills as “brittle.” They fail if the tiniest change is introduced. Moreover, they must be reprogrammed in a cumbersome fashion to do something else.

Many robotics researchers are pursuing a bottom-up approach, hoping that by training robots on one task at a time, they can build a library of tasks that will ultimately make it possible for robots to begin to mimic humans.

Others are skeptical, saying that truly useful machines await an artificial intelligence breakthrough that yields vastly more flexible perception.

Yep… just what we need.  A robot with fine manipulation skills that can think for itself.  Check out some of my other warning blogs about robots.  Now pair all the technology together.  Can you say, “Yikes!”?  I know I can…

Robots, people.  They’re bad news.  Mark my word.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon…

Robots can “love” us. We’re effed.

If love is the most powerful emotion, then wouldn’t that make hate the second-most powerful?  And wouldn’t it be more efficient for a computer to find an easier way to feel emotion than a harder way?

The science of human-robot love

And what happens when the robot feels “scorned”?  Jilted lover deathbot, anyone?!

Also, now they’re also trying to be that awkward guy who makes the “that’s what she said” jokes at mostly the right times, but not always.

Computer program knows when to say, “That’s what she said.”

Hey, I’ve got an idea!  QUIT TRYING TO MAKE ROBOTS HUMAN!!!