Impact Lab

Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter
November 16th, 2019 at 11:12 am

Russian startup sells robot clones of real people


Will robots like this eventually replace human workers?

“Everyone will now be able to order a robot with any appearance — for professional or personal use. Thus, we open a huge market in service, education and entertainment. Imagine a replica of Michael Jordan selling basketball uniforms and William Shakespeare reading his own texts in a museum?” said Aleksei Iuzhakov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Promobot, in a statement

The company’s Robo-C has a neck and torso that each have three degrees of freedom of movement, but it cannot walk.

The robot’s face has 18 moving parts, allowing it to make 600 “micro-expressions,” and its artificial intelligence contains 100,000 speech modules.

“Promobot believes that a robot like this is capable of removing the barrier in human-machine interaction and replacing a number of employees in crowded places– post offices, banks, and municipal institutions,” the company states in a press release.

However, the android — which Promobot calls a “completely anthropomorphic machine,” only has 8 hours of battery life.

Via Fox News


comments Comments Off
November 16th, 2019 at 11:08 am

China is selling autonomous killer drones to the Middle East


Chinese military contractors have already started to sell dangerous, autonomous killer robots to customers in the Middle East.

For instance, a Chinese company called Ziyan is actively marketing its Blowfish A3 — an autonomous helicopter-like drone armed with a machine gun — to international buyers, according to Defense One. While several countries have been working towards this tech for years, this news means we’re finally, and unfortunately, living in the era of killer robots.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
November 16th, 2019 at 11:04 am

How cheap robots are transforming ocean exploration


Backed by billionaire philanthropists and Silicon Valley venture capitalists, a wave of entrepreneurs are developing high-tech, low-cost technologies to probe the watery realms we still barely understand. Are the oceans finally getting their moon-shot moment?

The robot was born out of a treasure hunt.

It all started in 2010, when Eric Stackpole was a promising young engineer designing satellite technology as an intern at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was simultaneously working toward a master’s degree at nearby Santa Clara University and was prone to procrastinating. Lately, he’d become taken with the idea of building his own underwater robot.

Continue Reading »


comments Comments Off
November 16th, 2019 at 10:58 am

ATHENA laser weapon counters multiple drones in full-integration test


The ATHENA system shown here destroyed multiple drones in a real-world demonstration for the Air ForceLockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser weapon engaged and destroyed multiple drone threats in a recent field test at a US government test range at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The laser weapon system being developed for the US Air Force was used against a mix of fixed-wing and rotary drones with the aid of government command and control systems.

The development of laser weapons requires more than just creating more and more powerful beam generators. Such systems must also be compact, portable, and robust enough to deploy in the field; able to track and lock onto a target; and be able to keep the beam stable over long distances.

In addition, to be practical, such weapons must be able to integrate with existing command and control systems and radar sensors. It was to demonstrate this that was the focus of the Fort Sill test, where the ATHENA laser was operated by airmen, who were given radar tracks of the drones, which then allowed ATHENA’s beam director to slew, acquire, track, and shoot down the targets using its high-energy laser.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
November 15th, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Elon Musk says building the first sustainable city on Mars will take 1,000 Starships and 20 years


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went into a bit more detail about the timelines and vehicle requirements to not only reach Mars, but to set up a sustainable base on the Red Planet that can serve as an actual city, supporting a local population. That’s the long-term vision for Musk and his space technology company, after all — making humans an interplanetary species. The timeline that Musk discussed today, replying to fans on Twitter, might be incredibly impressive or incredibly ambitious, depending on your perspective.

Addressing a question about comments he made earlier this week at the U.S. Air Force startup pitch day event in California, Musk said that his stated launch cost of only around $2 million per Starship flight are essentially required, should the final goal be to set up a “self-sustaining city on Mars.” In order to make that city a reality, he added, SpaceX will need to build and fly around 1,000 Starships according to his estimates, which will need to transport cargo, infrastructure and crew to Mars over the course of around 20 years, since planetary alignment only really allows for a realistically achievable Mars flight once every two years.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off