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Links of science fiction becoming reality

Haven’t posted in a while.  Recently I was emailed a few links I wanted to share.

The first was shared by Rose, the URL is worth sharing:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/15/proper_science_monkeys_with_robot_arms/

“Proper science!”

Therein, the link describes efforts to equip robot monkey arms with a sense of touch:

“If you really want to create an arm that can actually be used dexterously without the enormous amount of concentration it takes without sensory feedback, you need to restore the somatosensory feedback,” explains Sliman Bensmaia, Chicago uni prof.

But the (convincing) explanation is unnecessary, for my exhiliration, anyway.  THEY ARE EQUIPPING MONKEYS WITH ROBOT ARMS.  HUMAN TRIALS ARE ANTICIPATED WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR.

We should probably reflect on the implications of this.  Even the article notes,

This research is funded by our old friends at the US military bonkers-boffinry bureau DARPA, hoping to deliver better replacement limbs for American troops injured in the Wars on Stuff.

But for today, I’m just going to enjoy it.

I decided to save the next link for a later post.

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Jinnayah November 12th, 2013 10:20 pm

    I have to admit I don’t have the heart to follow through on those links.

    But this does make me want to share the link to the “remote-control rat” news item I could swear I saw in The Economist the other month. Naturally enough, I can’t find it now (admittedly my search is hampered by the fact that I never read beyond its headline, being just too dang scared), but I’m pretty sure this is the science it must have been about: Harvard creates brain-to-brain interface, allows humans to control other animals with thoughts alone.

    Ew.

    While we’re on the subject of rats, they maybe have near-death experiences, too. (I love rats, by the way. They’re much better pets than any other small rodent or rodent-like creature.)

    While we’re on the subject of frightening SF-like real scientific advances, I still say Gattaca is TOTALLY going to happen, and I can only pray (but no longer expect) that I’ll die first. Latest scary step that way: “We’re closer to identifying the genes that cause laziness.” I came across this little keep-me-up-at-night after a few not uneducated family members expressed rank disbelief that there might be any actual use, let alone commercial potential, in non-invasive whole-genome sequencing.

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