World’s Worst Job? Being a Human Robot at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center
Workers are completely controlled by algorithms in Amazon's fulfillment center
The First Recorded Attack on a Cyborg
By his own account Steve Mann, also known as “the father of wearable computing” and “the first cyborg,” was attacked by McDonald’s employees for wearing his “EyeTap” digital eye glass last July in Paris. Still far away from the intelligence gathering “gargoyles” described in Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” the EyeTap allows Mann to improve sight and film his surroundings while projecting the captured image with an added layer of augmented reality to his eye.
We Feel Empathy for Robots (Even if They Don’t Look Human)
Although this information might not come as a surprise to you, it’s now scientifically proven that humans feel empathy for robots. Researchers from the University of Duisberg Essen in Germany compared the brain function of people viewing images of violence and affection being inflicted on humans and robots and found similar results.
The “Actroid” Lives in the Uncanny Valley
Deep, Deep in the uncanny valley lives this Japanese humanoid robot, aptly called an ‘actroid’. She can function autonomously, talking and gesturing while interacting with people. While her appearance may not be as hyper-realistic as her cousin Geminoid F, her interaction is autonomous instead of tele-operated. This makes her at the same time more effective and a bit creepier.
A Frankenstein-esque System
Life-support machines, they are designed to activate our bodies when anatomy fails. But what will happen when the machines keep each other alive?
Designers Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen created The Immortal; a machine which exists out of several life-support machines connected with wires and electric cords. They keep each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood.
Prosthetic Limbs Straight from Versailles
We often bemoan the design issues with skeuomorph prosthetics: Why make a weak re-creation when you can make aesthetic or functional improvements on the original? The Alternative Limb Project takes this philosophy to heart by creating gorgeous new limbs that call attention to their artificiality with jewels, hand-painted flowers, and see-through anatomy.
Above, Jo Cranston wears the Snake Arm. Click through for more photos.
3D Print Your Body in Gummy Candy
People use 3D printing for various reasons, from toys to surgery to yes, even candy-making. The FabCafé in Tokyo allows you to print a perfect copy of yourself as a gummy candy. Personally, eating something with my exact features would give me a bit of anthropomorphobia!
More pictures after the jump. Story via Fubiz
Swap Your Bones for an Improved, 3D-Printed Version
3D printing technology is improving quickly. The applications of these revolutionary devices are obvious regarding medicine and body science. Scientists have already created 3D-printed ears. It may be that more complex organs are only a few years away.
The medical applications are clear, but what if we thought about 3D organ printing in a more cosmetic way ? Nowadays, piercings and tattoos are not limited just to rebels, but are popular for many people. On the more extreme end, subdermal implants have appeared too, borrowing both from plastic surgery and from piercing. Changing your outside apparence is a common practice. But we could use 3D printing to change our inside appearance too.
Maya YogHurt: Fermented Drink Made with Human Lactic Acid
Slovenian bioartist Maja Smrekar modified the genome of yeast with a part of her own DNA. This synthetic gene codes for the production of lactic acid, one of the most common food additives. The lactic acid was used to create “Maya YogHurt“, a fermented drink that was sampled by visitors to the Kapelica Gallery in Slovenia.
In a series of works entitled Human Molecular Colonization Capacity (Hu.M.C.C.) Smrekar explored the possibilities that our own enzymes might hold as a natural resources. She claims that our body is one of the few “uncolonized biotechnological materials” and could become a “trade tool” based on a system of genetic credit.