Archive for the ‘Nanotechnology’ Category

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects — a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet — that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail. (Followed by a Q&A with TED’s Chris Anderson)

Regina Dugan directs the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the DoD innovation engine responsible for creating and preventing strategic surprise.

“Since we took to the sky, we have wanted to fly faster and farther. And to do so, we’ve had to believe in impossible things and we’ve had to refuse to fear failure.” (Regina Dugan)

Via Scoop.itKnowmads, Infocology of the future

Life may be the software that makes its own hardware, but where is the compiler? If we plan to start programming life itself, we are going to need a radically different and better tool kit than the one available to geneticists today. Omri lays out a concrete vision for how such a tool would work and for how it would be used to create the bio-products our future needs so badly. Omri is the founder & CEO of Genome Compiler Corp, a Synthetic Biology venture. His background is in biochemical and structural studies of membrane protein complexes involved in bio-energetics.   Solve for X is a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork. http://www.wesolveforx.com G+: http://goo.gl/T3qQo Life may …
Via www.youtube.com

John Smart at Global Future 2045 Moscow,Race to Inner Space:

Many thanks to John Smart for providing the link to the ppt.
for the full ppt presentation

John Smart, on Evo-Devo, Inner space, and the future of mankind.

Daisy Ginsberg, designer, artist and writer, explores the social, ethical and cultural implications of emerging technologies, especially synthetic biology. Her projects open up a creative space to imagine the potential scientific triumphs and disasters on the horizon.

Daisy Ginsberg: Synthetic aesthetics from PopTech on Vimeo.

more at Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg site

Marvin Minsky is worried that after making great strides in its infancy, AI has lost its way, getting bogged down in different theories of machine learning. Researchers “have tried to invent single techniques that could deal with all problems, but each method works only in certain domains.” Minsky believes we’re facing an AI emergency, since soon there won’t be enough human workers to perform the necessary tasks for our rapidly aging population.

So while we have a computer program that can beat a world chess champion, we don’t have one that can reach for an umbrella on a rainy day, or put a pillow in a pillow case. For “a machine to have common sense, it must know 50 million such things,” and like a human, activate different kinds of expertise in different realms of thought, says Minsky.

Minsky suggests that such a machine should, like humans, have a very high-level, rule-based system for recognizing certain kinds of problems. He labels these parts of the brain “critics.” When one critic gets selected in a particular situation, the others get turned off. In the “cloud of resources” that comprises our mind, mental states, from emotions to reasoning, result from activating or suppressing the right resource. Minsky further refines his machine’s reasoning architecture with six levels of thinking that attempt to emulate the different kinds of reasoning humans may engage in, often simultaneously: These include learned reactions, deliberative thinking, and reflective thinking, among others. A smart machine must have at least these levels, he says, because psychology, unlike physics, doesn’t lend itself to a minimal number of laws. With at least 400 different areas of the brain operating, “if a theory tries to explain everything by just 20 principles, it’s doing something wrong.”

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read all at MIT world

From human organ printing to hologram TV, here are 10 technologies that come straight from the future.

h\t to ieet

Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between  prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves.

This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat.

Successful completion of the fiber optic link will allow for sending signals seamlessly back and forth between the brain and artificial limbs, allowing amputees revolutionary freedom of movement and agility.

Partners in the Neurophotonics Research Center also envision man-to-machine applications that extend far beyond prosthetics, leading to medical breakthroughs like brain implants for the control of tremors, neuro-modulators for chronic pain management and implants for patients with spinal cord injuries.

The researchers believe their new technologies can ultimately provide the solution to the kind of injury that left actor Christopher Reeve paralyzed after a horse riding accident. “This technology has the potential to patch the spinal cord above and below a spinal injury,” said Marc Christensen, center director and electrical engineering chair in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. “Someday, we will get there.”

A link compatible with living tissue

The goal of the Neurophotonics Research Center is to develop a link compatible with living tissue that will connect powerful computer technologies to the human nervous system through hundreds or even thousands of sensors embedded in a single fiber. Unlike experimental electronic nerve interfaces made of metal, fiber optic technology would not be rejected or destroyed by the body’s immune system.

“Enhancing human performance with modern digital technologies is one of the great frontiers in engineering,” said Christensen. “Providing this kind of port to the nervous system will enable not only realistic prosthetic limbs, but also can be applied to treat spinal cord injuries and an array of neurological disorders.”

The center brings together researchers from SMU, Vanderbilt University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas. The Neurophotonics Research Center’s industrial partners include Lockheed Martin (Aculight), Plexon, Texas Instruments, National Instruments and MRRA.

Integrated system at cellular level

Together, this group of university and industry researchers will develop and demonstrate new increasingly sophisticated two-way communication connections to the nervous system. Every movement or sensation a human being is capable of has a nerve signal at its root. “The reason we feel heat is because a nerve is stimulated, telling the brain there’s heat there,” Christensen said.

The center formed around a challenge from the industrial partners to build a fiber optic sensor scaled for individual nerve signals: “Team members have been developing the individual pieces of the solution over the past few years, but with this new federal funding we are able to push the technology forward into an integrated system that works at the cellular level,” Christensen said.

The research builds on partner universities’ recent advances in light stimulation of individual nerve cells and new, extraordinarily sensitive optical sensors being developed at SMU. Volkan Otugen, SMU site director for the center and Lyle School mechanical engineering chair, has pioneered research on tiny spherical devices that sense the smallest of signals utilizing a concept known as “whispering gallery modes.” A whispering gallery is an enclosed circular or elliptical area, like that found beneath an architectural dome, in which whispers can be heard clearly on the other side of the space.

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain