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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

Posts Tagged ‘Autonomous Machinery’

  • FutureTransportation copy

    Transportations Of The Future

    Forced to leave into spacetime, humans always tried to improve the way of moving around. Since the invention of the wheel we travelled quite a distance, however transportation technology is progressing much slower than other sciences. Nowadays most of existing transports are still fossil powered or rely on limited energy sources.

    Nevertheless great concepts have been developed around the idea of personal freedom and control, new ways to disconnect vehicles from the ground, expand explorable areas and reduce time-traveling distances. Below a selection of nine enthralling and striking concepts.

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  • coralbot

    Robots Cooperate to Save Coral Reefs

    Last September an IUCN report predicted the disappearance of 70% of coral reefs by 2030 due to pollution, high temperature, sea acidification and overfishing. It’s an urgent and alarming issue for marine biologists. To help address coral losses, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is designing marine robots able to rebuild the reef.

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  • gangnam_bots

    Gangnam Autonomy

    “A robot is a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. Its components are usually electro-mechanical and are guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry. By mimicking a lifelike appearance or automating movements, a robot may convey a sense of intelligence or thought of its own. There are concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society. Robots are blamed for rising unemployment as they replace workers in some functions. The possibility of robot autonomy and potential repercussions has been addressed in fiction and may be a realistic concern in the future.”

    (quote: wikipedia)

    Imagine the hours of work that engineers put into the toy to let it perform this single task. To make sure that robot-autonomy stays passive and innocent? Or perhaps to preserve a 2012 hype for the ages?

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    The latter makes me realistically concerned…

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    Painted by Robot

    The Senseless Drawing Robot is a painting robot that interprets nearby street and sidewalk traffic and turns it into sprays of pigment. The robot is turning chaos into order, and then injecting that order with a bit more chaos. Japanese designers So Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi have found a way around the input-output nature of these drawing machines by mounting a double pendulum on top of a modified electric skateboard and a pressure-based paint system. The Senseless Drawing Robot has a level of unpredictability akin to Pollock’s dripping brush. Can we earnestly claim that this robot is doing things all that differently from Pollock?

     

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    New Robot Turns Poo into Energy

    Though disgusting, sewage is an abundant, nutrient-rich resource. Researchers at the University of West England have taken advantage of this fact by creating a robot that turns human poo into energy. The EcoBotIII has an artificial stomach that consists of layers of microbial fuel cells that digest sewage and transform them into fuel. In case you’re wondering, the robot has a “solid waste excretion mechanism“, so it can poop just like you do. The hope is that autonomous robots such as these might patrol sewer systems looking for problems, or be put to work in sewage treatment plants to drive down treatment costs.

    Thanks to Yuri for the heads up.

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    Bioinspired Robojelly can swim Forever

    Scientists have developed a biomimetic robot that will be able to swim forever, since its artificial muscles are powered by water. And since Robojelly lives underwater, it will never run out of energy.

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