Edition 8

Hello 👋


Hope you’ve all had an amazing week last week 😁

Without further ado, let’s get right into it 🎪

Near Future

🌑 Designing Lunar Habitats

The same company that designed and engineering the Burj Khalifa, the worlds tallest building, is designing a moon base. In collaboration with the European Space Agency and MIT.

The organisation says the 3 most important factors in identifying a site for lunar settlement are:

Location, location, location

One of the key factors in living on the moon is defending from radiation. Long term occupants need up to 3 metres of shielding.

It doesn’t make sense to ship tons of concrete from Earth to the Moon. So the astronauts will make use of what is already on the moon (in situ resource utilisation).

One way to do this is to 3D print the walls, either all in one piece where they’ll stand or as bricks that lock together when stacked.

Looking into my 🔮, we’ve seen 3D printing being worked on for the creation of homes on Earth. Not too long ago we saw robots that can 3D print bricks, or 3D print walkways. It makes sense to ship a 3D printer and use the material on the Moon to create walls.

🛰 Archinaut Takes $73 Million In Funding To 3d Print In Space

To bring 32 feet of solar panels into space, you would need to pack them in the launch. Archinaut has received funding to show how they could 3D print solar panels in space.

As we saw earlier, 3d printing in space is becoming an ever more important topic. I look forward to seeing the next big startups creating 3D printers for space.

🌝 Squeezing Rocket Fuel From Moon Rocks

In this paper, the author argues that the water on the moon (if it exists) can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be used to create rocket fuel.

It’s pretty farfetched, but as we come closer to habitat on the moon, we’re starting to try to find out what we can do with the materials on the moon itself.

🚁 Super Fast Helicopter For Army Use Is 100mph Faster Than Current Army Scout Helicopters

  • 137 mph

The speed of Bell’s OH-58 Kiowa, the Army’s current light scout and attack aircraft.

  • 238 mph

The speed of the new (and still in testing) S-97

The new wacky design is created to be faster and more agile than current helicopters. You’d have to see it to believe it!

Looking into my 🔮, I can see this being used in the near future, and the long term. I don’t know much about the aviation industry, but helicopters mixed with planes seems like a really cool idea. Especially in drones, where it is utilised better. Combining this new helicopter technology with a smaller drone would be amazing to see.

🤖 California Law Banning Bots From Pretending To Be Real People Without Disclosure

California put the law into place to prevent fraud. The bot will have to reveal itself as an “artificial identity” if it:

  • Sell a product
  • Influence a voter

Originally, the law covered all bots.

Looking into my 🔮, it’s sad to see certain states deciding such sweeping and wide internet rules like this. Under the previous legislation, let’s say I tell Google to buy me something and it reveals to the buyer that it’s a bot. Doesn’t the buyer have the right to not sell to me, as I’m using a bot?

This is going back to “do robots have rights?” Which is a very, very hard argument. And one that I’m not knowledgable enough about to argue.

Discrimination based on bots could be a good thing. You can stop mass ticket buyers and resellers. But at the same time, you make some peoples lives harder.

I know lawmakers are looking at this from a fraudulent content perspective. But they are going to be hard-pressed to do anything in the long run to quell this.

📺 Using Google Ads For Social Good

Content warning: Suicide

In this New York Times people, the author uses Google ads for social good.

They create adverts to prevent suicide, talk about adverts to prevent extremism.

If you can create adverts for good, you could also create adverts for bad.

🔮 What’s interesting is that Google may know who is vulnerable, who is likely to commit suicide. But yet, they aren’t doing anything about it. Should they do anything about it?

Google is already working on preventing suicide using their platform. If you search “commit suicide” in Google, you’ll see a help number at the top of the result. Often by websites saying not to do it.

Google’s working hard to make sure their platform doesn’t promote extremism or radicalisation. But it’s a slippery slope and they’ve got to be careful.

📺 Why The Bbc Does Not Want To Store Your Data

The BBC is developing a personal data box that analyses information from multiple sources.

The BBC will use the information to recommend events, holidays, music, BBC shows, and activities.

The BBC does not have access to your personal data box. Nor does it upload any data. Your device, locally, does all the datamining.

It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi and the Databox Personal Data Management System.

Also, slight warning. I’ve learned to like the BBC more and more ever since they started these futuristic experiments. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but I’ve tried to get rid of my bias for liking them.

🔮 I can see the future is related to boxes like these. Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the WWW) talks about the idea of data boxes. The Brave Browser sends adverts to your browser and does the data mining locally to decide what adverts to show you.

Giving you the power to delete your personal information at will. To decide what to share and what not to share. This is the future of the internet.

🗣 Machine Learning Has Been Used To Automatically Translate Long-lost Languages

Google’s AI lab has successfully decoded to automatically translate a long-lost language.

The language has been translated by hand (about 100 years ago) so they know it correctly deciphered it.

The lab is looking at applying this to other long-lost languages that have no correct translations.

The article is interesting, as it talks in detail about how the algorithm is used.

🛒 Amazon Asks FCC For Permission To Launch Internet Satellites

Amazon wants to launch 3,236 satellites into 98 orbital planes. These fly at altitudes of 366 and 391 miles.

The idea is to provide “internet to the entire world”.

🔮 We see many companies try to do this. Including SpaceX’s missions. By building our artificial solar rings (filled with satellites and junk) we make it harder for us to enter space. We’re filling space with junk.

This is the next big problem for many space agencies around the world. There’s so much stuff, it’s hard to imagine us being able to fly outside of the atmosphere soon.

Kessler proposed the  Kessler Syndrome. It states that a small ding of a satellite, or a rock hitting it in the right way would teat apart the satellite. Bouncing those parts to other satellites.

Creating a cascade where more collisions exponentially create a higher chance for a collision. Until, , all our satellites are dead and turned into space trash. Hence why so many countries are building Space Forces.

All it takes is for one rogue nation to force one of their satellites to collide with another.

The idea of a space army sounds silly. But, what they plan to be working on is satellites that can defend from rogue satellites. That can dodge. And even, those that could attack and destroy other satellites.

🛒 Amazon Introduces Computer Vision Into Warehouses

Workers had to scan the barcodes on each bin and each product so the warehouse could track where everything is.

This cost time. Some items were small and easy. Some were much larger and required the worker to find the barcode.

In the Amazon Go store, you pick up an item and a computer vision algorithm recognises this. You put it down and it recognises that too.

This same technology is being used in warehouses now. No longer will workers have to fiddle around with scanning barcodes.

🔋 Solar Power Could Power 7% Of Los Angeles, California By 2023

The deal calls for a huge solar farm backed up by a very large battery. It’s estimated to provide 7% of the power for Los Angeles at a cost of 1.997 cents per kilowatt-hour (cheaper than most fossil fuels).

Distant future

🤖🌴 Robots Made Out Of Branches Use Deep Learning To Walk

The robots learnt how to walk virtually first, then did it in the real world.

Looking into my 🔮 the idea of being able to construct a mobile robot out of whatever is lying around is intriguing.

I can definitely see this technology being ever more relevant to our world, especially on a lunar colony. Imagine sending a robot to a distant planet (or even, to places on earth such as forests). This robot then builds other robots out of whatever’s lying around.

We’re getting closer and closer to being able to create robots that can create other robots.

And to think, this is all possible with what’s lying around. You do not need to carry that much to create a hoard of robots.

🐝 Robobee Flying, Diving, Swimming

RoboBee (a tiny robot) is quickly becoming my favourite robot.

In this video, the small robot flies, dives, and swims.

You can see how small the robot is in the video too (very, very small).

🔮 I’m so excited about the possibilities of a hoard of drones that can work together.

Looking for a shipwreck? Send in a bunch of drones to check it out. They’ll work together to find it.

Citywide emergency? Small drones could be the answer.

CCTV? Small drones.

A large part of our future is within small, tactile drones that work together with humans to produce amazing results.

🚢 Shipping Industry Investing Heavily Into Iot

Small devices placed into each shipping container will track shocks, jolts, temperature and more.

The idea is to keep food fresh, keep food cold (if needed). Keep the food at an optimal point.

By adding more IoT you increase the cybersecurity risks. I don’t know much about this industry, but I’m excited to see shipping containers talk to each other.

Smart shipping containers may also allow parts of the world to try food that would rot or go off before it gets there.

🦑 Robot Squid And Robot Scallop Showcase Bio-inspired Underwater Propulsion

The underwater autonomous vehicle industry is still being built. These biology-inspired robots seem to hit a sweet spot at being low powered and having alright propulsion.

🤖 Unsupervised Learning Could Imbue Machines With The Ability To Reason

The chief AI Scientist at Facebook and a professor at NYU, Yann LeCun, claims that unsupervised learning could give machines the ability to reason.

Algorithms are typically based on supervised learning.

You have a picture of the letter “1” and you label the image “1”. Given enough of these labelled images, the machine learns.

Unsupervised learning is where you give the machine data and it tells you what the connections are.

Natural language processing has used these algorithms because of their ability to find relationships between billions of worlds. This proves useful for auto-complete or generating convincing prose.

🔮 It’s possible. There hasn’t been as much research into unsupervised learning as there has been on supervised learning.

🚁🤖 Drone Explode Into Maple Seed Microdrones In Midair

As we saw a few weeks ago, the idea of maple seed drones seems cool.

Now, researchers have developed a drone that explodes into many maple seeds in midair.

The idea of releasing a bunch of them from the back of an aircraft is long gone. Fly the drone into the right spot and get it to explode.

I’m super excited to see drone networks like this being used in the future.

🐜 Robot-ants That Communicate And Work Together

The three-legged, T-shaped robots are called Tribots. They’re assembled in only a few minutes by folding a stack of thin, multi-material sheets.

Making them suitable for mass production.

These bots communicate together and work together.

The robots are modelled after Odontomachus ants. There are 3 jobs in this robotic colony.

  1. Explorer

These ants explore and detect physical objects in the path.

  1. Leader

Gives instructions & commands.

  1. Workers

These ants pool their strength together to move objects.

🔮 A recurring theme is smaller robots that work together to achieve great things. I’m so excited to see this future being played out. To see farm bots working together. Ant bots that work together. Robots that work together to build other robots.

Until next time,

  • Brandon 🐝