Cultibotics
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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
Curated by John Payne
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Curiosity finds active organic chemistry on Mars | Gizmag

Curiosity finds active organic chemistry on Mars | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Drill samples taken from an area called "Cumberland," which was once mudstone comprising an ancient Martian lakebed, have yielded the first definite proof of the existence of organic chemicals on Mars. The organic molecules were detected beneath the surface in powdered rock brought up by the rover's drill, where the sample was protected against the destructive radiation and volatile chemicals of the Martian surface.”

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Electronic skin can sense the direction in which it's being touched | Gizmag

Electronic skin can sense the direction in which it's being touched | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“We've already seen artificial skin capable of sensing touch and prosthetics that sense texture, but now a group of Korean scientists has come up with a stretchable electronic skin that 'feels' in three dimensions. The artificial skin is made from arrays of microscopic domes that interlock and deform when pressed. It can detect the intensity, location, and direction of pressure, whether from an object or a mere gust of wind.”

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iRobot Create 2 arrives | IEEE Spectrum

iRobot Create 2 arrives | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Just like with the first Create, the new Create is a Roomba with most of its guts ripped out. It’s based on a refurbished 600 series Roomba, which makes it cheap, but it’s also as reliable as a robot that’s successful in millions of homes can be.”

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4 cores at 1.5 GHz, SBC for $35 | LinuxGizmos

4 cores at 1.5 GHz, SBC for $35 | LinuxGizmos | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Hardkernel's $35 "Odroid-C1" SBC runs Android or Ubuntu on a 1.5GHz quad-core Amlogic SoC, and boasts 1GB RAM plus quasi-RPi-compatible 40-pin expansion.
John Payne's insight:

Small SBCs just officially got interesting!

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Foxconn robots unsuitable for iPhone assembly, new design coming | MacRumors

Foxconn robots unsuitable for iPhone assembly, new design coming | MacRumors | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Foxconn recently deployed robots to help assemble iPhones and other Apple devices, but so far the program may not be as successful as first anticipated. According to the Chinese economic website Jiemian (via G for Games), the first-generation Foxconn robots are not precise enough to meet Apple's standards.”

John Payne's insight:

It's a safe bet that Apple engineers are in the thick of this.

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Humorous MOSS video | Modular Robotics

What happens when you give puppies and kitten robots? Pure glee. Special thanks to our partners at 4 Paws 4 Life and MaxFund in Denver, Colorado for sharing their adorable, adoptable animals with us.”

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Aquaponic urban farm puts seniors to work | Gizmag

Aquaponic urban farm puts seniors to work | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Homefarm would mix accommodation with vertical aquaponic farming (fertilizing plants from the waste produced by fish also being farmed) and ground-level and rooftop soil planting of vegetables. Rainwater would be collected for use in the aquaponic system and plant waste collected for use in biomass energy generation. Not only would the accommodation be designed specifically to meet the needs of seniors, but it is proposed that the seniors would be instrumental in running the farm under the instruction of a professional team.”

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Iowa professor developing robotic weeder | Iowa State Engineering

“Weeding has been a long-standing problem for many years because there is no silver bullet—there are just too many variables. And for organic farmers, their options are very limited. Their options are either chemical, laborious or expen­sive,” says Tang. “My robot design offers the producer a more effective and sustain­able alternative.”

John Payne's insight:

According to the NYTimes article linked below, Lie Tang hopes to have his weeding robot ready for testing next spring.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/business/working-the-land-and-the-data.html

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CMU unveils lunar rover: “Andy” | Carnegie Mellon News

CMU unveils lunar rover: “Andy” | Carnegie Mellon News | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

"Every extraterrestrial robot carries some DNA from Carnegie Mellon, but Andy would be the first true CMU robot to make the leap from Earth," said William "Red" Whittaker, professor of robotics and director of the Field Robotics Center. "This is the culmination of lots of work by lots of people and is the next step toward Carnegie Mellon becoming a spacefaring university."

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New projection of world population growth | SciAm

New projection of world population growth | SciAm | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“United Nations leaders have worried for decades about the pace of population growth. A few years ago leading calculations had global population peaking at nine billion by 2070 and then easing to 8.4 billion by 2100. Currently it stands at 7.2 billion. Recently the U.N. revised these numbers steeply upward: the population is now expected to rise to 9.6 billion by 2050 and continue to 10.9 billion by 2100.”

John Payne's insight:

In my response to this news...

 

http://cultibotics.blogspot.com/2014/11/human-population-projections-raised.html

 

...I argue that we should avoid allowing ourselves to be pushed into poor decisions that undermine long term prospects.

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First person flier: Parrot's Bebop + VR | The Verge

“The best part of our demo session with the Bebop, however, was testing out an integration with headset technology that puts you inside the drone with a first-person perspective. We tried it out with a pair of ZEISS Cinemizer OLED glasses, and the experience was terrific. Even within the very limited confines of our indoor space, you could still get a rush from flying through a drone's-eye view. I imagine it would be far more exciting when zipping over cliffs and under bridges outside.”

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Intelligent force sensor demo | Adept

“Adept’s Intelligent Force Sensor uses feedback from the tool tip to control the motion of the robot. The robot’s path is continuously modified in order to prevent excess force on the surface of an object.”

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Microsoft testing Knightscope security robots | ExtremeTech

Microsoft testing Knightscope security robots | ExtremeTech | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Microsoft has become one of the first companies to deploy autonomous robot security guards. Dubbed the K5, this roughly human-sized 300-pound (136 kg) robot is equipped with enough cameras, sensors, and alarms that it can replace most human security patrols -- but fortunately, despite looking like a Dalek from the Doctor Who universe, it is not equipped with a ray gun or any other method for harming or detaining humans.
John Payne's insight:

Knightscope's website:

http://knightscope.com

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Reaction to the Sony hack incommensurate with real damage/threat | Motherboard

Reaction to the Sony hack incommensurate with real damage/threat | Motherboard | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Peter W. Singer:  ‘There's two layers to it now. There's the definition of terrorism and the reaction to it, which has been a combination of being both insipid and encouraging to future acts.’”

John Payne's insight:

Motherboard's Jason Koebler interviews Peter W. Singer (Wired for War, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know) regarding the theft of data from Sony Pictures' network.

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The 2015 3D Printer Guide | 3D Hubs

The 2015 3D Printer Guide | 3D Hubs | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Looking for the best 3d printers? The 3D Hubs 2015 3D Printer Guide answers it, and while doing so it digs deep and reach far beyond what today's 3D Printer Reviews reveal. 2,279 3D printer owners have told us the good, bad and the ugly about all the 3D Printers currently on the market.
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Lethal effects of short-wavelength visible light on insects | Nature Publishing Group

Lethal effects of short-wavelength visible light on insects | Nature Publishing Group | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
We investigated the lethal effects of visible light on insects by using light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The toxic effects of ultraviolet (UV) light, particularly shortwave (i.e., UVB and UVC) light, on organisms are well known. However, the effects of irradiation with visible light remain unclear, although shorter wavelengths are known to be more lethal. Irradiation with visible light is not thought to cause mortality in complex animals including insects. Here, however, we found that irradiation with short-wavelength visible (blue) light killed eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults of Drosophila melanogaster. Blue light was also lethal to mosquitoes and flour beetles, but the effective wavelength at which mortality occurred differed among the insect species. Our findings suggest that highly toxic wavelengths of visible light are species-specific in insects, and that shorter wavelengths are not always more toxic. For some animals, such as insects, blue light is more harmful than UV light.
John Payne's insight:

So what? So, this could turn out to be one more tool in the Integrated Pest Management toolkit. If it proves useful, robotic implementations should be fairly straightforward.

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New Horizons spacecraft awakens for close approach to Pluto | NASA

New Horizons spacecraft awakens for close approach to Pluto | NASA | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation today for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system.”

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Your food will be grown by robots | Fast Company

Your food will be grown by robots | Fast Company | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The automation of agriculture is upon us. There are already dozens of robots churning around the countryside—chopping, weeding, digging, and pot-moving—and, in the future, there'll likely be many more. Dozens of companies are working automated farm machines that reduce costs, extend harvesting periods, and improve safety, or so they say.”


Via ROBOLUTION CAPITAL
John Payne's insight:

Not all of these developments lead to improvements in agricultural practice, but some certainly do.

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Fraunhofer developing flying inventory robots | Gizmag

Fraunhofer developing flying inventory robots | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
The Fraunhofer Institute's InventAIRy Project is developing a new flying robotic drone that not only takes over the drudgery of stock taking, but also acts ...
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Hawking: AI could end human race | BBC News

Hawking: AI could end human race | BBC News | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.”

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Technology pushes productivity, but at a steep price | NYTimes

Technology pushes productivity, but at a steep price | NYTimes | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Equipment makers like John Deere and AGCO, for example, have covered their planters, tractors and harvesters with sensors, computers and communications equipment. A combine equipped to harvest a few crops cost perhaps $65,000 in 2000; now it goes for as much as $500,000 because of the added information technology.”

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Human population projections raised | Cultibotics blog

John Payne's insight:

“So many mouths to feed, we must do everything possible to feed them, or so goes the argument, used to justify practices that produce maximum yield (in the short term), while glossing over their long-term and collateral effects – exhausting soils, polluting streams and oceans, further contributing to climate change, and ensnaring farmers in a cycle of debt.”

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Antarctic sea ice mapping by underwater robot put to test | Gizmag

Antarctic sea ice mapping by underwater robot put to test | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Antarctic scientists have combined measurements provided by an underwater robot with existing satellite data to show that Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought. Their first-of-a-kind high-resolution 3D maps cover over 500,000 square meters (5.4 million sq ft) in the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica…”

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A fast-paced survey of 3D printing | DNews

“It seems like 3D printers can print just about anything, but is there any future in the world of printing? Trace examines how 3D printing is actively changing the world.”

John Payne's insight:

The title is a come-on.  In this video Trace Dominguez effuses over the burgeoning significance of 3D printing, offering examples from low-cost architecture, prosthetics, and organ regeneration.

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Making geese poop elsewhere | Motherboard

“While American Predator drones drop missiles on suspected terrorists in Yemen, one Canadian drone maker is deploying his “Goosebuster” on packs of pesky geese pooping on a beach in Ottawa, Ontario.”

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