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Some Crazy New Tech

Posted on 21st Mar 2016

School's kept me pretty busy the last few months but I'm back with an update. There's been a lot of exciting developments in the news in just the beginning of 2016 that I wanted to share.

In February, Boston Dynamics, a robotics company owned by Google, released an amazing video of their next generation of robots, dubbed Atlas. The video is pretty nuts. Basically, this humanoid robot (minus the face) can open doors, pick up boxes, walk on variable terrain, catch itself if it stumbles, and get back up again if it's pushed down (all autonomously). The video is definitely worth a watch. It's the kind of thing that makes you wonder how we could possibly NOT all have humanoid robot helpers in the house 10 years from now.

This month, another interesting finding was made. Singularity Hub (yes, Ray Kurzweil's website...), released an article about a research publication exploring the possibilities of downloading knowledge into your brain. The study followed the learning progress of test subjects as they tried to pick up a new task through transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS. By encoding the brainwaves of subjects who had mastered the task and transmitting them through elecrodes on the other subjects, it was thought that the encoded signals could influence the brains of the participants. It is definitely still too early to tell how viable this technology is. However, if successful, sci-fi fantasies of downloading new skills may become obselete as people put on head sets on instead for rapid learning.

And finally, with just under two months left at school, I have made some goals for projects I want to complete this summer: building a neural network, making an Arduino board project (perhaps a drone, I'm currently working on a project for my Process Controls class in which I'm building a 2D drone guidance system), and make an original Javascript game.

 

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

–IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, 1943