Innovation

Plant Power

Researchers at the Centre for Micro-Bio Robotics of IIT in Pontedera in Italy have discovered that certain plants generate electricity when touched that can power up to 100 LEDs (150V) per leaf. The leaves gather electric charges on their surface as a result of contact electrification and transmit the current directly to the stem of the plant, which can then be harvested. the researchers built a hybrid Nerum oleander tree with artificial leaves that touch the natural leaves and generate electricity.

Spotmini Arms

youbionic have developed a set of 3D printed remote controlled robotic arms that can be mounted onto things. To demonstrate this, they mounted their bionic arms on Boston Dynamics Spot Mini quadruped robot. The STL files for 3D printing the set of bionic arms can be downloaded from the youbionic website for $179.

Solar Powered Website

Low-tech Magazine have launched a new version of their website which is a low tech, self hosted, solar powered site. The new site drastically reduces the amount of content served and the page size delivered by dithering images, using a default font and removing the logo and cookies. Using solar power, the site boasts approx. 90% uptime, and uses an overlay to show users the current charge of the battery.

Spatial Web & Web 3.0

This is an interesting article by Singularity Hub on the possibilities for the next generation of the web, what they term the spatial web and web 3.0. The article describes how 5G, AI and the IoT landscape could allow realtime generation of AR and VR scenes sources from multiple public cameras in realtime, allowing the user to embed in a street protest, sporting or news event. Other technology possibilities discussed are always-available AR virtual sales people and ads, yay!

First Ionic Flight

Inspired by the shuttlecraft of Star Trek, researchers at MIT have successful performed the first ionic flight of a solid state fixed wing aircraft using electroaerodynamic thrust! layers of wires underneath the wings create a 20,000 Volt differential between the front and the rear wires, with cause charged electrons to travel through the air from the positive wires to the negative wires. The charged particles push air particles over the wing as they travel, creating a small amount of lift.

AI Gone Awry

Victoria Krakovna has a fantastic list of examples of AI systems that have misbehaved and subverted their way to meeting their incentive goals by sometime hilarious means! Some game systems evolved to clap body parts together to exploit a collision detection bug and generate free game enerrgy.

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