VISIONS OF A SMART FUTURE
VISIONS OF A SMART FUTURE
“We try to prove that we’re getting things wrong”
ASTRO TELLER is known as the “Captain of Moonshots” at X (formerly known as Google X). In the research lab of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, the developers have come up with a self-driving car, augmented reality goggles, and many other inventions in the “moonshot” category. Teller and his team aim to do nothing less than change the world. To make sure its researchers don’t get frustrated by the many setbacks they inevitably suffer on the road to a better tomorrow, X has a policy of celebrating defeats. For projects that flop, developers receive bonuses or even promotions. And at a festival analogous to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, they celebrate a Day of the Dead Projects with stage shows. On the next day they think about how to do better. It’s another kind of “error culture.”
“This robot works hand in hand with humans”
YuMi is the world’s first genuinely collaborative dual-arm robot. He has been designed to work in close proximity to humans. Each of his two arms has seven degrees of freedom that enable it to move within the narrowest of spaces with a flexibility similar to that of human limbs. Moreover, thanks to diverse security features YuMi does not need a protective cage. “He works hand in hand with humans,” says Per Vegard Nerseth, Head of Robotics at the Swiss technology company ABB. The company also uses YuMi on its own production line at the ABB plant in the Czech Republic.
“We are revolutionizing the way we move around in the world’s major cities”
DAS LUFTTAXI from Lilium Aviation is the world’s first electric aircraft that can take off vertically like a helicopter—and then fly forwards like an airplane. The air taxi takes advantage of uplift under the wings, thus significantly saving energy. Lilium Aviation is a startup that was founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand together with three colleagues in Munich. Wiegand wants to achieve nothing short of a revolution in urban transportation. The first air taxis will soon be rising into the sky. These battery-driven aircraft will fly at speeds up to 300 kilometers per hour and be CO2-neutral. Wiegand envisions being able to fly from Manhattan to JFK Airport in New York in only five minutes. For road traffic, that trip takes 75 minutes.
“How does it feel to be a robot? I was never anything else”
BINA48 is a machine that can learn. She is a speaking robot head that was developed by Terasem Movement Inc. The company’s American founder, Martine Rothblatt, is one of the most dazzling personalities in the US tech community. She’s a lawyer, space expert, inventor, and the CEO of the biotechnology company United Therapeutics. And she earns up to US$38 million annually, which makes her one of the best-paid women entrepreneurs in the world. BINA48 was based on the model of her partner, Bina. She is a “social robot” who was designed to interact with human beings, and she even has a sense of humor.
Source: The New York Times
25 April 2018
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