Machine gun-toting drone threatens to change combat forever

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The idea of reducing both civilian and military casualties through the deployment of weaponized drones is, on one hand, an appealing prospect, but it’s also undeniable that the idea of a fleet of drones with machine guns flying through the air is absolutely horrifying.

Source: Machine gun-toting drone threatens to change combat forever

Single-lens, light field 4D camera to give robots and autonomous cars better vision

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These lenses were produced to provide a field of view encompassing nearly a third of the circle around the camera to create 360-degree images at a resolution of 125 megapixels per video frame. In the original version, the video camera used fiber optic bundles to convert the spherical images into flat focal planes. It worked, but it was also expensive.The new camera dispenses with the fiber bundles in favor of a combination of lenslets developed by UC San Diego and digital signal processing and light field photography technology from Stanford, which is what the team say gives the camera a “fourth dimension.”

Source: Single-lens, light field 4D camera to give robots and autonomous cars better vision

The “Quantum Internet” Is Just a Decade Away. Here’s What You Need to Know.

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In a quantum internet, signals would be sent through a quantum network using entangled quantum particles.Following what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” entangled particles exist in a special state that allows information carried in one to be instantaneously reflected in another — a sort of quantum teleportation.Researchers have recently made significant progress in building this quantum communication network. China launched the world’s first quantum communication satellite last year, and they’ve since been busy testing and extending the limitations of sending entangled photons from space to ground stations on Earth and then back again. They’ve also managed to store information using quantum memory. By the end of August, the nation plans to have a working quantum communication network to boost the Beijing-Shanghai internet.

Source: The “Quantum Internet” Is Just a Decade Away. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Researchers Have Officially Discovered a New Kind of Chemical Reaction

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Researchers from several universities have teamed up to develop a radical kind of transistor. Instead of using silicon, the team used graphene to build a logic gate series that uses less power but could work 1,000 times faster than current ones.GRAPHENE AT IT AGAINThe discovery of graphene in 2004 began a flurry of studies to isolate other two-dimensional materials. Graphene was found to be a wonder material, possessing a set of unique and remarkable properties. One of these is its ability to conduct electricity ten times better than copper, the most commonly used conductor in electronics. At room temperature, graphene is also capable of conducting electricity 250 times better than silicon, a rate faster than any other known substance.

Source: Researchers Have Officially Discovered a New Kind of Chemical Reaction

Neurable ushers in age of hands-free gaming with brain-controlled VR

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Neurable’s brain computer interface (BCI) technology identifies brain activity through electroencephalography (EEG) and can translate those brain signals into specific directions within the VR environment. The company is ultimately interested in developing BCI technology that functions across a variety of platforms, but initial demonstrations focus on VR gaming.UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUSMore than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADERecently, the company demonstrated a functional VR game preview at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. The VR game demo is experienced through a HTC Vive with an integrated Neurable headband. The game is a completely hands-free interactive experience where players can reportedly move, pick up objects, and fight robots, all with the power of their mind.

Source: Neurable ushers in age of hands-free gaming with brain-controlled VR

Edible Innovations: This Autonomous Soda Making Bot Helps Campaign for Machine Rights

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Marie Caye and Arvid Jense created SAM, an autonomous soda making robot, to help them prove that machines are alive and deserve rights too.

Source: Edible Innovations: This Autonomous Soda Making Bot Helps Campaign for Machine Rights

John Deere has learned there’s no shortcuts to autonomous vehicles — Quartz

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That’s to say, in order to build a fully autonomous tractor, there are no shortcuts. While a blend of GPS and other location tracking sensors, image sensors, and telematics assist John Deere vehicles to navigate fields today, the company still can’t truly replicate everything a human would see and feel sitting in the tractor cab. The company’s latest commercially-available machine with autonomous features, the S700 combine (a vehicle which harvests grain), can automatically adjust its harvesting equipment based on the condition of the crop it sees—but still gives the farmer sitting in the tractor a camera on the process to make sure it’s happening correctly. Right now all of John Deere’s tractors still require a human to sit inside—a sign that autonomy is a long road even in controlled environments.

Source: John Deere has learned there’s no shortcuts to autonomous vehicles — Quartz