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MIT: How to make big things out of small interlocking composite components

MIT: How to make big things out of small interlocking composite components | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

MIT researchers have developed a lightweight structure whose tiny blocks can be snapped together much like the bricks of a child’s construction toy. The new material, the researchers say, could revolutionize the assembly of airplanes, spacecraft, and even larger structures, such as dikes and levees.

 

Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, likens the structure — which is made from tiny, identical, interlocking parts — to chainmail. The parts, based on a novel geometry that Cheung developed with Gershenfeld, form a structure that is 10 times stiffer for a given weight than existing ultralight materials. But this new structure can also be disassembled and reassembled easily — such as to repair damage, or to recycle the parts into a different configuration.

 

The individual parts can be mass-produced; Gershenfeld and Cheung are developing a robotic system to assemble them into wings, airplane fuselages, bridges or rockets — among many other possibilities.

The new design combines three fields of research, Gershenfeld says: fiber composites, cellular materials (those made with porous cells) and additive manufacturing (such as 3-D printing, where structures are built by depositing rather than removing material).

With conventional composites — now used in everything from golf clubs and tennis rackets to the components of Boeing’s new 787 airplane — each piece is manufactured as a continuous unit. Therefore, manufacturing large structures, such as airplane wings, requires large factories where fibers and resins can be wound and parts heat-cured as a whole, minimizing the number of separate pieces that must be joined in final assembly. That requirement meant, for example, Boeing’s suppliers have had to build enormous facilities to make parts for the 787.

 

Pound for pound, the new technique allows much less material to carry a given load. This could not only reduce the weight of vehicles, for example — which could significantly lower fuel use and operating costs — but also reduce the costs of construction and assembly, while allowing greater design flexibility. The system is useful for “anything you need to move, or put in the air or in space,” says Cheung, who will begin work this fall as an engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Center. 

 

The concept, Gershenfeld says, arose in response to the question, “Can you 3-D print an airplane?” While he and Cheung realized that 3-D printing was an impractical approach at such a large scale, they wondered if it might be possible instead to use the discrete “digital” materials that they were studying.

“This satisfies the spirit of the question,” Gershenfeld says, “but it’s assembled rather than printed.” The team is now developing an assembler robot that can crawl, insectlike, over the surface of a growing structure, adding pieces one by one to the existing structure.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Ruth Obadia's curator insight, August 17, 2013 1:51 PM

MIT researchers have developed a lightweight structure whose tiny blocks can be snapped together much like the bricks of a child’s construction toy.

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A World of Affect

A World of Affect | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Back in the fall of 2005 I took a class at the MIT Media Lab called Commonsense Reasoning for Interaction Applications taught by Henry Lieberman and TA'd by Hugo Liu.For the first programming assignment I made a project called AffectWorld, which allows...
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3D visual forensic facial reconstruction of a Neanderthal face in front of your eyes

One of the coolest visualization techniques to come along in recent years is the careful forensic reconstruction of likely facial features of deceased people from their bony remains, based on subtleties in bone structure and the knowledge of what each variation means, on average. Originally developed so police could put a face to unknown human remains (an application where it has been quite successful), the technique has spilled over into anthropology.


Recreating a face from the underlying bone involves painstaking work with myriad precision measurements so the muscle and skin will have the correct thickness and placement. It also involves having access to a database of enough samples so that the assigned features have a statistical likelihood of being correct. These are not wild guesses or dreamy-eyed artists impressions, but a reasonable recreation of a face that actually existed.

 

Done with: Timelapse 3D scanning of skull; Python Photogrammetry Tools; 3D Sculpting; Blender Screen capture; FFMPG Video edigint; Kdenlive.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The History of Early Computing Machines, from Ancient Times to 1981

The History of Early Computing Machines, from Ancient Times to 1981 | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

From the abacus to the IBM personal computer, calculating devices have come a long way. Let's take a look through the history of these machines and the remarkable progress that came with the 20th century.


Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET
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marc augier's curator insight, July 1, 2013 10:57 PM

Somes machines are missing (read the comments) but it is a great view of how things evolved from analogic to digital.

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Rover Finds New Evidence That Ancient Mars Was Habitable and Had Neutral-pH Water Flowing at Surface

Rover Finds New Evidence That Ancient Mars Was Habitable and Had Neutral-pH Water Flowing at Surface | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity has made perhaps the biggest discovery of its nearly 10-year career, finding evidence that life may have been able to get a foothold on the Red Planet long ago.

 

The Opportunity rover spotted clay minerals in an ancient rock on the rim of Mars' Endeavour Crater, suggesting that benign, neutral-pH water once flowed through the area, scientists said.

 

"This is water you could drink," Opportunity principal investigator Steve Squyres of Cornell University told reporters today (June 7), explaining why the rock, dubbed "Esperance," stands out from other water-soaked stones the rover has studied.

 

The golf cart-size Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, landed on the Red Planet in January 2004 on three-month missions to search for signs of past water activity. The robotic explorers found plenty of such evidence (much of it indicating extremely acidic water, however), then just kept rolling along.

 

Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010 and was declared dead a year later, but Opportunity is still going strong. In August 2011, the six-wheeled robot arrived at the rim of the 14-mile-wide Endeavour Crater, which it has been investigating ever since.

 

Opportunity has seen signs of clays in Endeavour rocks before, but in nowhere near the concentrations observed in Esperance, researchers said. Overall, Esperance provides strong evidence that ancient Mars was habitable.

 

"The fundamental conditions that we believe to be necessary for life were met here," Squyres said. The neutral-pH water that generated the clays probably flowed through the region during the first billion years of Martian history, he added, stressing that it's nearly impossible to pin down the absolute ages of Red Planet rocks without bringing them back to Earth.

 

Opportunity's latest discovery fits well with one made recently on the other side of the planet by the rover's bigger, younger cousin Curiosity, which found strong evidence that its landing site could have supported microbial life in the ancient past.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Vloasis's curator insight, June 9, 2013 10:14 PM

Also cool and of note: Opportunity is about to break the record for distance traveled on another world.

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Language Does Not Shape Thought

Language Does Not Shape Thought | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Cognition causes language, not the other way around. Correlations between changes in thought with changes in language abound.
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The Future of Health Is Social | HealthWorks Collective

The Future of Health Is Social | HealthWorks Collective | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Social media in healthcare is primarily about reach, and what social media can provide healthcare stakeholders on the whole.

Via Fab GOUX-BAUDIMENT
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Symbol Grounding and Symbol Tethering

Symbol Grounding and Symbol Tethering | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Philosopher Aaron Sloman claims that symbol grounding is impossible. I say it is possible, indeed necessary, for strong AI.
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Sherlock Holmes, Master Of Code

Sherlock Holmes, Master Of Code | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
What if I told you that fictional mysteries contain practical real-world methodologies? I have pointed out the similarities between detectives solving mysteries to software debugging before.
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NASA - Engineers Building Hard-working Mining Robot

NASA - Engineers Building Hard-working Mining Robot | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
NASA engineers designed a robot intended to dig soil 16 hours a day for five years.

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How Children Succeed : Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character: Paul Tough

How Children Succeed : Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character: Paul Tough | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs.

 

But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.

 

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough traces the links between childhood stress and life success. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to help children growing up in poverty.

 

Early adversity, scientists have come to understand, not only affects the conditions of children’s lives, it can also alter the physical development of their brains. But innovative thinkers around the country are now using this knowledge to help children overcome the constraints of poverty. With the right support, as Tough’s extraordinary reporting makes clear, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things.

This provocative and profoundly hopeful book has the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and how we construct our social safety net. It will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

 


Via Ashish Umre
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All Minds Are Real-Time Control Systems

All Minds Are Real-Time Control Systems | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
I conjecture that all minds are real-time control systems.In this post I will explain what that means and why it seems to be true.Creatures and Real-Time SystemsConsider, if you will, artificial creatures that exist in either the real world or some...
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Woods Hole Researchers Using Robots To Detect Rare Whales

Woods Hole Researchers Using Robots To Detect Rare Whales | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
The torpedo-shaped underwater robots, called gliders, can read calls from four types of endangered whales and relay their locations in real time.

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman, ROBOLUTION CAPITAL
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Experience of action depends on intention, not body movement: An experiment on memory for mens rea

Experience of action depends on intention, not body movement: An experiment on memory for mens rea | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

How do we know whether our own actions were voluntary or involuntary? Intentional theories of sense of agency suggest that we consciously perceive the intentions that accompany our actions, but reconstructive theories suggest that we perceive our actions only through the body movements and other effects that they produce. Intentions would then be mere confabulations, and not bona fide experiences. Previous work on voluntary action has focused on immediate experiences of authorship, and few studies have considered memory for voluntary actions. We devised an experiment in which both voluntary action and involuntary movement always occurred at the same time, but could either involve the same hand (congruent condition), or different hands (incongruent condition). When signals from the voluntary and involuntary movements involved different hands, they could therefore potentially interfere in memory. We found that recall of a voluntary action was unaffected by an incongruent involuntary movement. In contrast, recall of an involuntary movement was strongly influenced by an incongruent voluntary action. Our results demonstrate an “intentional capture” of body movement by voluntary actions, in support of intentional theories of agency, but contrary to reconstructive theories. When asked to recall both actions and movements, people's responses are shaped by memory of what they intended to do, rather than by how their body moved.


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Pandoraviruses: Amoeba Viruses with Genomes Up to 2.5 Mb Reaching That of Parasitic Eukaryotes

Ten years ago, the discovery of Mimivirus, a virus infecting Acanthamoeba, initiated a reappraisal of the upper limits of the viral world, both in terms of particle size (>0.7 micrometers) and genome complexity (>1000 genes), dimensions typical of parasitic bacteria. The diversity of these giant viruses (the Megaviridae) was assessed by sampling a variety of aquatic environments and their associated sediments worldwide. We report the isolation of two giant viruses, one off the coast of central Chile, the other from a freshwater pond near Melbourne (Australia), without morphological or genomic resemblance to any previously defined virus families. Their micrometer-sized ovoid particles contain DNA genomes of at least 2.5 and 1.9 megabases, respectively. These viruses are the first members of the proposed “Pandoravirus” genus, a term reflecting their lack of similarity with previously described microorganisms and the surprises expected from their future study.

 

Pandoraviruses: Amoeba Viruses with Genomes Up to 2.5 Mb Reaching That of Parasitic Eukaryotes
Nadège Philippe et al.

Science 19 July 2013:
Vol. 341 no. 6143 pp. 281-286
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1239181


Via Complexity Digest
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Life as we know it

This paper presents a heuristic proof (and simulations of a primordial soup) suggesting that life—or biological self-organization—is an inevitable and emergent property of any (ergodic) random dynamical system that possesses a Markov blanket. This conclusion is based on the following arguments: if the coupling among an ensemble of dynamical systems is mediated by short-range forces, then the states of remote systems must be conditionally independent. These independencies induce a Markov blanket that separates internal and external states in a statistical sense. The existence of a Markov blanket means that internal states will appear to minimize a free energy functional of the states of their Markov blanket. Crucially, this is the same quantity that is optimized in Bayesian inference. Therefore, the internal states (and their blanket) will appear to engage in active Bayesian inference. In other words, they will appear to model—and act on—their world to preserve their functional and structural integrity, leading to homoeostasis and a simple form of autopoiesis.

 

Life as we know it
Karl Friston

J. R. Soc. Interface 6 September 2013 vol. 10 no. 86 20130475

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/ rsif.2013.0475


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ComplexInsight's curator insight, July 27, 2013 2:56 AM

one for reading list for later.

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Nature-Inspired Development as an AI Abstraction

Nature-Inspired Development as an AI Abstraction | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
I'm working on some ideas and a paper to present my version of biologically-inspired development.
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Distinguishing Brain From Mind

Distinguishing Brain From Mind | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
In coming years, neuroscience will answer questions we don't even yet know to ask. Sometimes, though, focus on the brain is misleading.

Via Spaceweaver
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luiy's curator insight, May 31, 2013 5:53 AM

Understanding the brain is of course essential to developing treatments for devastating illnesses like schizophrenia and Parkinson's. More abstract but no less compelling, the functioning of the brain is intimately tied to our sense of self, our identity, our memories and aspirations. But the excitement to explore the brain has spawned a new fixation that my colleague Scott Lilienfeld and I call neurocentrism -- the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely or primarily at the brain.

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Researchers Create Touch-Based Interface That Can Be Applied Anywhere - RedOrbit

Researchers Create Touch-Based Interface That Can Be Applied Anywhere - RedOrbit | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
RedOrbit
Researchers Create Touch-Based Interface That Can Be Applied Anywhere
RedOrbit
In 2002, Tom Cruise used “smart gloves” to manipulate images and video on a virtual touchscreen in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report.
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Haptic Technology – The Sensitivity of Surgical Robots

Haptic Technology – The Sensitivity of Surgical Robots | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Haptic technology is breaking new and promising ground in the field of surgical robots. Learn more about haptics and how it is changing the idea of senses.

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
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Ooh la la: French town says it will deliver daily newspapers by drone

Ooh la la: French town says it will deliver daily newspapers by drone | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Residents of Auvergne, a province in south central France, may soon receive their daily paper by drone.

 

According to a blog post published yesterday, local postal service La Poste Groupe has been working for several years to modernize its delivery processes. A plan has been hatched to implement paper delivery by drone in early May with the help of local volunteers, and tests are already underway.


The drone is a quadricopter, which can be controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and costs over $300. It is manufactured by Parrot.com, a French wireless devices maker that also announced a partnership with La Poste this morning.

 

We have not heard back from Parrot.com after reaching out for comment. It’s not quite April Fools — but there are legal issues to consider with this insane (but awesome) idea


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Music and the Science of Learning - Association for Psychological Science

Music and the Science of Learning - Association for Psychological Science | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
RT @PsychScience: Cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus asks, "Are musicians born or made?" http://t.co/T3JLAzTZ @GaryMarcus #music #learning
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On the Concept of Shaping Thought with Language

On the Concept of Shaping Thought with Language | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
Psychologist Lera Boroditsky says she's "interested in how the languages we speak shape the way we think" [1].This statement seems so innocent, and yet it implies that language definitely does shape thought1.
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Archeodatalogy :Entwined ,Enmeshed, Entangled

Archeodatalogy :Entwined ,Enmeshed, Entangled | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it

Entwined, Enmeshed, Entangled – Three modes of ‘being’ pertinent to our cyborgization process

Abstract:

By redesigning the conceptual landscape of our networked inter-relationality we may finally disentangle ourselves from the all-pervading occlusion of the cyborgization process and allow a fresh recognition of the manifold human sensorium extended in hyperconnectivity.
In the re-conceptualizing of our cyber existence we may need relinquish a few cherished objects of identity such as man machine interface, virtuality and man machine co-existence but more importantly the dualistic distinction between ‘real’ life and our virtual extensions as existence.
All of these descriptive objects of identity I suggest should become ‘naturalized’ in a new cyber-existential language.

This is the first part of a three pronged approach to what I believe is the foundation of a future philosophy of and for the hyperconnected individual.
I will try to show that these three modes of beingness are the quintessential infrastructures necessary for a future of a technological civilization aiming for the firmament of freedom and equality, personal responsibility and open access culture.
A civilization, which roots, we currently inhabit but that promises changes to the perception of ourselves, the understanding of the universe and the manner by which we may develop in tandem.
The three lines of approach that will be used are: Entwinement, Enmeshment, and Entanglement.
Each of these terms represents a similar but different manner to realize the state of affairs of hyperconnectivity as the threshold infrastructure in the process of becoming a citizen of the future, a cyborg netizen and perhaps a posthuman.Entwinement, Enmeshment and Entanglement each represent a different level of intimacy in the infocology (see lexical index) one exists in and partakes of. The three terms offered here are suggestions for an illustrative strategy that will allow a deeper and more accurate description of the state of affairs of our cyber existence. Each of these terms will be expanded upon later, for now suffice it to say that the terms are distinguished primarily by the amount, depth and extensiveness of the connectivity between minds in the hyperconnected infosphere. Entwinement stands for the lowest level, Enmeshment for the medium level and Entanglement for the highest or deepest level.


Via Wildcat2030
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Wildcat2030's curator insight, February 18, 2013 11:00 AM

This is my latest essay, please read. comments are welcome

Alistair Parker's curator insight, February 19, 2013 9:51 AM

add your insight...

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What Is A Room?

What Is A Room? | AI_interfaces_cogsci | Scoop.it
We all share the concept of rooms. I suspect it's common and abstract enough to span cultures and millennia of history.The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
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