A new drone prototype has the ability to not only take off and land vertically, but it can also land against a wall, similar to a bird. The Multimodal Autonomous Drone (S-MAD) was created by researchers at Canada's University of Sherbrooke, utilizing microspineso to allow it to attach itself to these kinds of surfaces. "Microspines are used to cling to rough walls, while strictly onboard sensing is used for control," a paper on the drone reads. "The effect of thrust on the suspension's landing envelope is analyzed and a simple vertical velocity controller is proposed to create smooth and robust descents towards a wall." The prototype was first spotted by the tech website TechCrunch.
In hopes of keeping the attention of the modern child, the family restaurant chain is updating the in-store experience in seven southwestern locations by nixing the robotic musical performers, reports CBS. Beginning in San Antonio and Kansas City, Miss., locations, the robots will be replaced by a centralized dance floors where kids can shimmy and shake with live-action costumed characters. Founded in 1977, Chuck E. Cheese has over 500 locations worldwide. "The bottom line is that the animatronics they created decades ago were really cool and fun for that time. But kids today are living on their mobile phones, so this is probably pretty boring to them," said Phil Lempert, a Santa Monica-based expert on consumer behavior and marketing trends, to the Press Enterprise.
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk and other leading artificial intelligence experts have called on the United Nations for a global ban on the use of killer robots, which includes drones, tanks and machine guns, The Guardian reported on Sunday. "Once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be hard to close," Musk and 115 other specialists from around the globe wrote in a letter. The letter launches an International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne on Monday. The experts call autonomous weapons "morally wrong." The report said that the experts hope to add killer robots to the U.N.'s list of banned weapons that include chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons.
While self-driving technology should one day help to eliminate most kinds of collisions, there will still be instances where the sudden coming together of car and object will be unavoidable. For example, when someone rushes into the road from a spot unseen by the vehicle's sensors, the autonomous car may have too little distance in which to stop to avoid a collision. In such a case, the technology needs to decide if it's safe to swerve out of the way or simply apply the brakes and brace for impact. Google spinoff Waymo has been thinking a lot about how best to deal with such situations. As it continues to improve its sensor technology to help its vehicle understand its surroundings and respond quickly and safely to unfolding events, it's also been considering how to deal with unavoidable collisions, whether it's with a "soft" human that could easily sustain an injury, or a harder object like another vehicle.
SAN DIEGO – A 25-year-old U.S. citizen has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico, an unusually large seizure for what is still a novel technique for bringing illegal drugs into the United States, authorities said Friday. Jorge Edwin Rivera told authorities that he used drones to smuggle drugs five or six times since March, typically delivering them to an accomplice at a nearby gas station in San Diego, according to a statement of probable cause. He said he was to be paid $1,000 for the attempt that ended in his arrest. Border Patrol agents in San Diego allegedly saw the drone in flight on Aug. 8 and tracked it to Rivera about 2,000 yards from the Mexico border. Authorities say agents found Rivera with the methamphetamine in a lunch box and a 2-foot drone hidden in a nearby bush.
Nicholas Fuentes, an 18-year-old student who attended the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, said that he's received death threats for months over his conservative viewpoints -- enough for him to decide it's time to leave Boston University. Fuentes said he made the decision to abandon his Political Science degree a month ago after being constantly threatened over his conservative views. He said no longer felt safe on campus, and will not return for the fall semester. Still, despite the intensity of the backlash he's received, he has absolutely "no regrets" about taking part in the controversial white-nationalist movement. "I went to represent this new strain of conservatives, of people in the right wing who are opposed to mass immigration and multiculturalism," Fuentes told Fox News on Thursday.
White supremacist Chris Cantwell has been kicked off the dating website OkCupid following his participation in the recent Charlottesville, Va. In a series of tweets, OkCupid (owned by Match.com) said it had kicked Cantwell off the platform after being alerted of his profile. We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid. Within 10 minutes we banned him for life. "We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid," OkCupid wrote in a tweet.
Looking to ever expand ways to deliver goods to its customers, Amazon has patented a way to allow its drones to deliver packages without ever having to land. The patent would not only provide a safe distance between the UAVs and the people receiving the packages, but also cut down on noise pollution, BizJournals noted. Bezos, now the world's third-richest man with an estimated fortune of $83.3 billion according to Forbes, first showed off Amazon's drone delivery unit in a Dec. 2013 interview on "60 Minutes." It recently filed patents for a beehive-like structure that would allow drones to pick up and drop off packages.
The legendary Bigfoot is often described as the "missing link" between apes and man, but the Chilesaurus has an edge on Bigfoot: it is the missing link between herbivore dinosaurs and their carnivorous brethren. In a new study done by the University of Cambridge, Chilesaurus, which lived 150 million years ago, scientists now believe the dinosaur is an early member of the "Ornithischia," a "bird-hipped" group that includes dinosaurs such as the Stegosaurus and Iguanadon. Researchers found that the Chilesaurus has the same inverted hip structure of the Ornithischia group, which aids in complex digestive systems. But it also lacks the beak Ornithischia dinosaurs used for eating. "Chilesaurus almost looks like it was stitched together from different animals, which is why it baffled everybody," said Matthew Baron, a doctoral student in Cambridge University's Department of Earth Sciences and the paper's joint first author, in a statement.
Big changes are coming to your phone's smartphone camera next year, with Qualcomm previewing an update to its image signal processor (ISP) that will better support features like face recognition and mixed reality. Qualcomm's Spectra ISP is a part of the Snapdragon system on chip that's a popular mobile processor platform for many Android phones. While the next major Snapdragon update won't arrive until next year, the changes planned for the Spectra ISP have major implications not just for the cameras on 2018 Android phones but for virtual- and augmented reality headsets as well. That's because the next version of the Spectra ISP introduces a new architecture to support advances in image quality, image recognition and power efficiency. Specifically, Qualcomm is promising that its new camera module will feature improved biometric sensing for detecting people's faces and support for depth sensing that can power mixed reality features for smartphones and headsets.