Cassie has made history as the first bipedal robot to complete a five-kilometer (5K) run, having done so in just over 53 minutes. Developed by Oregon State University, the two-legged machine with knees that bend like those of an ostrich, taught itself how to run through a deep reinforcement learning algorithm. Yesh Godse, an undergraduate in the lab, said in a statement: 'Deep reinforcement learning is a powerful method in AI that opens up skills like running, skipping and walking up and down stairs.' Cassie's total time of 53 minutes, three seconds, included about six and a half minutes of resets following two falls. Cassie first stumbled when its computer overheated and the other came after it took a turn at too high of a speed. The robot's makers foresee it eventually delivering packages, managing warehouse tasks and helping people in their homes.
Elon Musk might be well positioned in space travel and electric vehicles, but the world's second-richest person is taking a backseat when it comes to a brain-computer interface (BCI). New York-based Synchron announced Wednesday that it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials of its Stentrode motor neuroprosthesis - a brain implant it is hoped could ultimately be used to cure paralysis. The FDA approved Synchron's Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application, according to a release, paving the way for an early feasibility study of Stentrode to begin later this year at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. New York-based Synchron announced Wednesday that it has received FDA approval to begin clinical trials of Stentrode, its brain-computer interface, beating Elon Musk's Neuralink to a crucial benchmark. The study will analyze the safety and efficacy of the device, smaller than a matchstick, in six patients with severe paralysis. Meanwhile, Musk has been touting Neuralink, his brain-implant startup, for several years--most recently showing a video of a monkey with the chip playing Pong using only signals from its brain.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), a firm that provides drones and radar solutions for the US military, has released the first concept image for a missile-carrying air-to-air combat drone that can drop bombs in a war zone, engage in aerial threats or escort piloted plans into the battlefield. Part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) LongShot program, the system includes a manned craft that carries the unmanned aerial vehicle close to a warzone and then drops it mid-air to travel the rest of the way. GA-ASI notes that when carried by a bomber, the combat drone can clear the way for the piloted plane to carry out other missions without being attacked by enemy aerial vehicles. The new concept image shows a manned aircraft in the distance and a close look at the stealthy combat drone with a cockpit similar to a B-52 stealth bomber - but without the windows and a fraction of the size. There is a prominent V-shaped tail and a weapons bay on the side of the rear fuselage with two doors, The Drive reports.
From the approachable Geordie dialect to the instantly recognisable Liverpool lilt, many of England's most distinctive accents are from the north. But a new study has warned that northern accents could all but disappear in just 45 years. Using physics modelling, researchers from the Universities of Portsmouth and Cambridge predicted how accents are likely to change across England by 2066. Their findings suggest that northern accents could be replaced with'posh' south eastern pronunciations. However, certain north-south differences are predicted to remain - we will continue to disagree about the pronunciation of bath', according to the researchers.
Volcanologists can predict when volcanos are going to erupt if they have a full detail of its eruptions. But for potentially apocalyptic supervolcanoes, such as the one bubbling under Yellowstone National Park, it's nearly impossible, given how varied their known eruptions have been, according to a new study. Researchers at Cardiff University noted there is not a'single model' that can help scientists understand how eruptions from supervolcanoes happen, making it difficult to understand when they might occur in the future. The researchers looked at geochemical and petrological evidence of 13 supereruptions that have happened over the past 2 million years, including the most recent one, Taupō volcano in New Zealand, which happened more than 24,000 years ago. Experts said there is not a'single model' that can help them understand how eruptions from supervolcanoes happen There was no'single, unified mode' that showed how each of the 13 played out, with some starting gradually over a period of weeks to months, while others exploded suddenly and violently. The researchers also found that the eruptions lasted for varying times, some as short as a period of days or weeks, while others lasted decades.
From falcon-wing doors to in-car games, Tesla cars are known for their impressive, futuristic features. But it seems that one of Tesla's most popular features, Autopilot, is struggling to cope with a fairly basic obstacle – the moon. Tesla cars come standard with advanced hardware capable of providing Autopilot, enabling the vehicle to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane. However, one frustrated Tesla driver has revealed that the Autopilot system in his Tesla has been mistaking the moon for an amber traffic light, and has been slowing the car down in response. Hey @elonmusk you might want to have your team look into the moon tricking the autopilot system.
An international group of researchers led by the Harvard astronomer who believes the first interstellar object discovered was a'lightsail' from another civilization have announced a new project to search for signs of'extraterrestrial technological civilizations' (ETCs) in space. Known as the Galileo Project, the researchers - led by Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb - will use artificial intelligence and look at data from existing and future astronomical surveys and high-resolution telescopes. The project will have three objectives: to search for unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), other interstellar objects like'Oumuamua and satellites created by ETCs. A new project will search for'extraterrestrial technological civilizations' in space has been announced. Pictured is the famous Tic-Tac footage, which has been previously acknowledged as real by the Navy.
Researchers at Yale University have discovered that mammals have the ability to dream and make'visual sense' of the world before they've even opened their eyes for the first time. The new study looked at waves of activity in neonatal retinas of a group of mice that had not yet opened their eyes for the first time and found that they are'capable of pretty sophisticated behavior.' The retinal waves moved in a pattern similar to what would be seen if the animal was actually moving in a physical environment. 'This early dream-like activity makes evolutionary sense because it allows a mouse to anticipate what it will experience after opening its eyes, and be prepared to respond immediately to environmental threats,' the study's co-author Yale School of Medicine professor Michael Crair said in a statement. Yale researchers have discovered mammals dream before they've opened their eyes for the first time.
Amazon has started to roll out a male version of its smart assistant, called Ziggy, as an alternative to Alexa. Users of Amazon smart speakers in the US now have the option to choose from either Alexa or Ziggy when they're saying a vocal command. They can simply say'Alexa, change your voice' to hear the male voice coming out of their speaker, or go to settings in the Alexa app. There's a short snippet of Ziggy's voice – which has a generic but robotic-sounding American accent – to listen to here. Amazon's smart assistant powers the Echo speakers, including the spherical fourth generation Echo released last autumn (pictured) Note that this option is only available for US users for now.
The moment that sports fans around the world have been waiting for is almost here, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics finally kicking off today. With over 200 countries and regions competing across 33 sports and 46 disciplines, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest news. Thankfully, Amazon has your back, and has equipped its smart assistant, Alexa, with facts to give users quick and easy access to the latest news and successes throughout the games. 'Alexa, what's Team GB's Olympics update?' 'Alexa, what's Team Ireland's Olympics update?' 'Alexa, which country has the most gold meals?' 'Alexa, who is the athlete of the day?' Users of Alexa-enabled devices can ask the smart assistant a range of questions, including'Alexa, which country has the most gold medals?', and receive answers almost immediately. Amazon explained: 'Following the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday 23rd July, Alexa will give customers the low down on Team GB, Team Ireland, ParalympicsGB and Paralympics Ireland athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.