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Posts from the ‘Robotics’ Category

5 Reasons Why Humans Is The Best TV Show About The Future of Robot Companions

I love all the branches of science fiction either in books or movies but the favorite kind is when authors and creators depict the future of our lives. We might soon live with robot companions that possess artificial intelligence and they could change how healthcare is delivered too. So far, the 2012 movie Robot & Frank has seemed to be the best example, but now I have a new favorite, Humans. It premiered on Channel 4 and AMC this June and has been receiving positive reviews.

Here is the plot summary:

In a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant that’s so similar to a real human it’s transforming the way we live.

AMCs-New-Hit-Show-Humans

I think there are five reasons why it might be the best TV series ever about our future robot companions.

1) It’s more about characters than science fiction.

When you start using a futuristic device at your home, it gets incorporated into everyday life instead of the technological backround playing the most important role. In this show, characters are better described than the actual technology behind the robot companions. What matters is how we will live with them, not how they will function.

2) These companions are on the verge of becoming conscious.

They possess artificial intelligence, but the desired friendly kind. This is the kind many scientists think we wouldn’t be able to create. The main plot of the show is about a few robots becoming conscious. And this is a crucial issue regarding the future of humanity.

3) There are companions designed for taking care of the elderly.

Some robots are depicted as healthcare professionals that can take care of the elderly at their homes. They have pre-programmed protocols and were designed to make sure those people live a healthy life and get help in emergency.

4) Companions can measure any parameters at home.

It’s not even too futuristic, but those robots can measure any health parameters and vital signs by looking at the patient or touching them for a second. They have all the medical records of the patient and keep the information private.

5) Companions have sexual features too.

Those who think users will not have sexual fantasies about robots that look perfectly like a human are wrong. In the show, this delicate issue is handled properly and honestly. The robots have a special +18 code with which some additional features can be unlocked.

Beautiful scenes, good plot and actors who play robots in a perfect way. Don’t miss it.

Check out the trailer:

The World’s Most Lifelike Robot Prosthetics

Nicky Ashwell was born without her right arm and now she got equipped with Steeper’s bebionic small hand. This seems to be one of the most sophisticated robotic prosthetics out there. For years, Touch Bionics has seemed to be in the forefront but now there are more competitors.

First UK user receives world’s most lifelike bionic hand: Nicky Ashwell becomes first UK user

First UK user receives world’s most lifelike bionic hand: Nicky Ashwell becomes first UK user

Her bionic hand costs about $11,000 and has 337 mechanical parts and 14 precision grips. Its makers want to transform the lives of 3 million amputees. An excerpt from the article:

“I realized that I had been making life challenging for myself when I didn’t need to,” she continued. “The movements now come easily and look natural. I keep finding myself being surprised by the little things, like being able to carry my purse while holding my boyfriend’s hand.”

With such developments (cost goes down while functionalities improve), soon, all prosthetics will be as futuristic as Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand in the trailer of Star Wars Episode VII (at 00:45 in the video below).

Watch A Robot Drawing Blood From Patient

About a year ago, I wrote about a robot prototype made by a company based in California that aims at combining robotics and image-analysis technology so then it can find a good vein in your arm and also draw blood. Well, it seems now it became reality.

Boston Dynamics Showcases Their Robotic “Animal Park”

If you ever wonder where the developments of robotics are heading, check what Boston Dynamics has been working on:

Microrobots Swim Through Bodily Fluids

When I wrote about nanorobots living in our bloodstream and detecting diseases before they could even develop in my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, some readers said that might be a too futuristic concept. Now, here is a great report on Medgadget about microrobots that can swim through bodily fluids. These are developed with the long-term goal of transporting drugs to places in the body we cannot reach now.

A collaboration between scientists in Europe and Israel has developed a novel propulsion system modeled on scallops that can move tiny objects through many of the body’s fluids. The tiny scallop is powered by an external magnetic field that makes the device open and close. Because bodily fluids are typically non-Newtonian, meaning their viscosity changes depending on how fast an object is moving through them, flapping the scallop’s opposing shells at different speeds on the closing than the opening stroke allows it to propel confidently in one direction.

micro-scallop

We might be still far away from developing functional nanorobots, but such microrobots definitely represent an important step into that direction.

How Robots Could Help Beat Ebola

I recently had a radio interview on NPR Health about how I think robots could and should be used in dealing with the ebola outbreak.

You can listen to the interview and read my lines here.

A crucial reason Ebola hasn’t taken off more widely in the United States and elsewhere is that it’s spread only by direct human-to-human contact involving bodily fluids. What if technology could create distance between the virus and the health care worker – remove the human touch?

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The Guide to the Future of Medicine is Available: Download the E-book for Free!

I cannot tell you how happy I’m to announce the official release of my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine which was just made available in black & white paperback, colored paperback and Kindle formats. Moreover, the Kindle format is for free (yes, totally free) until the 6th of September.

It contains over one year of hard work, 70 interviews and 22 trends that will shape the future of medicine including Augmented Reality, Surgical and Humanoid Robots, Genomics, Body Sensors, The Medical Tricorder, 3D Printing, Exoskeletons, Artificial Intelligence, Nanorobots, Virtual–Digital Brains, The Rise of Recreational Cyborgs or Cryonics and Longevity.

Through these, I challenged myself to prove that it is possible to use more and more disruptive technologies in medicine while successfully keeping the human touch.

With Lucien Engelen’s foreword, the many examples and extraordinary stories depicted in the book, you will hopefully get a clear picture where medicine and healthcare are heading at the moment, and more importantly, what we can do as patients, medical professionals or policy makers to prepare for the waves of change.

Please use the #medicalfuture hashtag on Twitter and tell me what you think!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

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