Daily Mail - Science & tech


The 'inner pickpocket' trait inside all of us lets us tell what an object is by touch alone

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Researchers have identified how the human brain is able to determine the properties of a particular object from touch alone, a so-called inner pickpocket trait. This so-called inner pickpocket trait is inherent in all of us, they say, and is the reason a thief can pilfer a handbag and instantly pull out the most valuable item. It relies on the brain's ability to break up a continuous stream of information and turn it into smaller chunks. This manifests itself for professional pickpockets as being bale to interpret the sequence of small depressions on their fingers separate well-defined objects. 'Notably, the participants in our study were not selected for being professional pickpockets - so these results also suggest there is a secret, statistically savvy pickpocket in all of us,' said Professor Máté Lengyel from the University of Cambridge, who co-led the research.


Drones may soon come with 'spidey-senses' as tiny detectors pick up on vibrations

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Drones and self-driving cars may soon come with'spidey' senses. That's according to engineers in America, who believe the unmanned machines would benefit from sensory detectors similar to those often seen in arachinds. Specifically, they're referring the hairs on a spider's legs, which are linked to special neurons called mechanoreceptors, which flag-up danger through vibrations. If machines had similar characteristics, they'd be able to navigate more effectively in dangerous environments. Until now, sensor technology hasn't always been able to process data fast enough, or as smoothly, as nature.


Documents reveal NASA's moon mission will require 37 launches and plans to build a moon base by 2028

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA's next trip to the moon will entail 37 separate launches over a decade and culminate in the construction of a moon base by 2028, according to leaked documents that detail the agency's'Artemis' plan. Information on the nascent mission come from documents obtained by Ars Technica, and, for the first time, show a detailed glimpse of America's first human-led mission to the moon since 1972. In a graphic, NASA breaks down a year-by-year guide of the construction of the'Gateway' a space station and waypoint on the way to the moon, human test flights, and a lunar landing slated for 2024. Russia and the United States are cooperating on a NASA-led project to build the first lunar space station, codenamed the Lunar Gateway. The agreement, signed in September 2017, is part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.


China is using facial recognition to track and monitor giant PANDAS for conservation database

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Surveillance isn't the only application of China's advanced facial recognition software. Conservationists are now using the technology too, as a tool to help protect wild panda populations. According to a report from Xinhua News, researchers at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas in Chengu have begun using facial recognition software to identify the often similar-looking faces and markings of wild pandas. Giant pandas are the latest subject of China's facial recognition software. Conservationists are now using the technology to monitor and track the animals.


Some Facebook users don't have the option to turn off facial recognition technology, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology. Consumer Reports examined a set of Facebook accounts and found that a significant number didn't have the ability to toggle off Face Recognition, a feature that uses facial recognition technology to identify users in tagged photos. That's despite Facebook announcing almost two years ago that all users would be able to opt out of facial recognition entirely through the setting. A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology Users can control whether they're part of Facebook's facial recognition technology by selecting'privacy shortcuts' in the righthand corner of their News Feed. From there, select'Control face recognition' under Privacy.


Build your own best friend! Students design $3,000 kit robo-dog that can jump, flip and dance

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A robotic dog that can dance, do flips and jump has been created by a team of students - and they are encouraging people to build their own. The robo-dog senses when it is out of position and uses'virtual springs' to pop upright with precision. It has been created with the goal of being reproduced by anyone and the team has published their designs and blueprints online to encourage people to make their own robots. Doggo's creators wanted to share their joy so much they have made the plans, code and a supply list all freely available on GitHub, a specialist platform for developers to share computer code. On the Stanford Doggo Project Github blog, the students describe themselves as undergraduate and graduate students in the Stanford Student Robotics club and part of the club's'Extreme Mobility team'.


NASA's free-floating robo-assistant Bumble passes first tests in space ahead of housekeeping mission

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A recent hardware test of NASA's robotic assistant, 'Astrobees,' takes a new wave of space-bound autonomous helpers one step closer to reality. According to NASA, this month astronaut Anne McClain ran a hardware test of the robot, named'Bumble,' one of three robotic assistants launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 15. Scientists hope Bumble will carry out an array of housekeeping tasks like monitoring equipment and keeping inventory of supplies that NASA hopes will free up its astronauts to perform other more critical tasks relating to with their missions and experiments. Astrobees are just one of many robotic applications from NASA who is also studying the use of'soft' robotics that replace traditional hardware with malleable plastics'Astrobee will prove out robotic capabilities that will enable and enhance human exploration,' said Maria Bualat, Astrobee project manager at NASA's Ames Research Center in a statement. 'Performing such experiments in zero gravity will ultimately help develop new hardware and software for future space missions.'


Inside Facebook's robotics lab where it teaches six-legged bots to walk and makes its AI smarter

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Facebook isn't often thought of as a robotics company, but new work being done in the social media giant's skunkworks AI lab is trying to prove otherwise. The company on Monday gave a detailed look into some of the projects being undertaken by its AI researchers at its Menlo Park, California-based headquarters, many of which are aimed at making robots smarter. Among the machines being developed are walking hexapods that resemble a spider, a robotic arm and a human-like hand complete with sensors to help it touch. Facebook has a dedicated team of AI researchers at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California that are tasked with testing out robots. The hope is that their learnings can be applied to other AI software in the company and make those systems smarter.


Google's latest Translate function turns speech of one dialect directly into another

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Google has announced a new translate tool which convert sone language into another and preserves the speaker's original voice. The tech giant's new system works without the need to convert it to text before. A first-of-its-kind, the tool is able to do this while retaining the voice of the original speaker and making it sound'more realistic', the tech giant said. Google claims the system, dubbed'Translatotron', will be able to retain the voice of the original speaker after translation while also understanding words better. Google has announced that their new translate tool will convert one language into another without the intermediate text-based process.


Alphabet-owned Wing will begin making drone deliveries in Finland next month

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Wing, an offshoot of Google's parent company, Alphabet, will launch drone deliveries to one of Finland's most populous areas next month according to a recent blog post from the company. Pilot deliveries will be rolled out in the Vousari district of Finland's capital, Helsinki, and will deliver products from gourmet supermarket Herkku foods and Cafe Monami. As noted by Wing, deliveries will include'fresh Finnish pastries, meatballs for two, and a range of other meals and snacks' that can be delivered in minutes. Wing will launch deliveries for customers in Finland starting next month. Wing, the first commercial drone company approved by the FAA in the U.S. will start delivering in Virginia.