After the Tsunami that devasteted the coast of Japan, there's a lot of people in the field of robotics who have shifted their research in a different direction. Rescue workers put their lives in great danger every time they enter the field, and there's a lot of places they can't go, situations they can't be in: the risk is simply too great.
What if we could just send in a robot instead?
A team of researchers from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands Defence Academy and TNO Defence, Security, and Safety are working on a little black box which can distinguish just how much of an emergency a caller has. In other words, you call 911 to report that your house is on fire, and a 'trained' computer figures out how desperate you are.
We've all seen the studies- keyboards and cell phones generally contain more germs on their surface than a toilet seat. Kind of a disturbing statistic, if you think about it. I mean, we're putting our hands and faces on and against these things for what sometimes amounts to hours at a time. The potential number of illnesses you can pick up in this way is staggering, to say the least. And the fact is, disinfectant wipes can only do so much. Sure, they get rid of bacteria, but...there's more than just bacteria lurking on our electronics.
A company called Virwall Systems believe it has the answer.
It sounds like something out of the realms of science fiction, doesn't it? Turn on a computer with a thought. Drive a car using brainwaves. Control a prosthetic limb in the same way as you would an ordinary one. As technology advances further and further, we're coming ever closer to unlocking the secrets of the inner workings of the most advanced computer ever made- the human brain.
This is just the start.
If someone were to ask you to name the world's oldest computer, you'd probably mention The Babbage Engine, Konrad Zuse's Z3 or The UK's Colossus. If you were asked when humanity built the first computing device, your estimates wouldn't go higher than a few hundred years or so.
What if I told you that there exists a computer system that was operational almost two thousand years ago?
NASA has recognized inXitu, Inc. with its 2010 Invention of the Year Award for inXitu's invention of the powder vibration chamber The chamber is used in inXitu's portable X-ray scattering device (XRD) and represents such a 'leap forward' in materials analysis technology that it has been chosen to launch on the Mars Science Laboratory later this year.
When you think of a computer or robot putting someone out of a job, what sort of job comes to mind? If you're like most people, it's probably a lower-end career: one which requires minimal education and may or may not involve manual labor (for example, a supply line worker at an automotive plant).A lot of people decry such a situation, but at the same time sit secure in the fact that their own job is safe from such an occurence.
Or is it?