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April 27, 2012 at 10:39 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Special Future-centric Edition!

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This Author

"Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty."

                                            -Stephen Hawking

This week we take a trip to an asteroid, go over some plans to save humanity, introduce some tech that could possibly save the planet, and control robots with our brains. You know...the usual. So strap in with your favorite tunes and let's take ourselves a little trip shall we?

mind control

Mind Controlled Robot? Yes Please...

Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, is currently doing a victory jig. After years of the US and Germany attempting to create a robot "body" that is able to be controlled by a human mind, AND doesn't involve invasive brain implants, or a completely healthy human test subject, the Swiss have pulled it off. In the reported study, a partially quadriplegic patient controlled a foot-tall bot in the Lausanne lab from his home...62 miles away!

Take some time to pick up your gray matter...

Blinded Me With Science!blinded

Researchers from the University of Southern California have recently developed solar cells, made from nanocrystals, so small that they could be painted on any clear surface and you would barely notice them! While these cells are far from consumer ready, tests show an exponential rise in efficiency compared to current iterations of solar energy cells. This isn't hard to believe when over 250 billion of the sun suckers could fit on the head of a pin.

save everyone

Mission: Save Everyone

"I think it's important that humanity become a multiplanet species," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said in an interview that aired on CBS' "60 Minutes" last month, "I think most people would agree that a future where we are a spacefaring civilization is inspiring and exciting compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event. That's really why I started SpaceX."

Um...yeah. Sign me up for the galaxy far, far away. One way ticket please! Elon Musk, my new favorite filthy rich person.

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Drillbigger drill

Planetary Resources Inc., a billionaire-backed company, has plans to begin drilling on localized asteroids. Sound too "large" to be true? Don't worry, James Cameron is an adviser to the company, meaning that, if nothing else, we'll get a "good" movie out of it.

"They've literally created robotic cities on the bottom of the ocean, 5, 10 thousand feet below the ocean floor to gain access to oil, "said co-founder Peter Diamandis. "For me, that kind of work makes going to the asteroids to extract resources look easy."

Yea, totally easy, except for the environment will literally suck the life right out of you...piece of cake. People like this man scare me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the enthusiasm for space exploration, but really? Easy?

See you next week nerds...

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  • Ah, mind controlled robot for a quadrapalegic? THAT is awesome.

    Also on a sidenote, a friend of mine made a device that you only have to blow in and attached it to a lawnmover so a quadraplegic could easily mow his lawn. I'm not sure about the specifics...but pretty cool science stuff.

  • Wow! I'm not sure which of these stories is my favorite - the paintable, nanocrystal solar cells are probably the most important development, but I've got a weakness for robots. :) Fascinating.

  • Mind control robot, hand down! If we can figure out how to mental multi-task, I could be golfing while controlling my weed-pulling robot.

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