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Ruling gives FAA more power over drones than local governments

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When it comes to drone regulations, the FAA's rules trump anything local governments conjure up. Newton resident Michael Singer filed the lawsuit in a bid to eliminate some of the city's rules that don't align with the FAA's, including having to register with every municipality it has to fly over and to maintain an altitude of 400 feet and above over private and Newton city property. US District Judge William G. Young explained that "Newton's choice to restrict any drone use below this altitude (400 feet) thus works to eliminate any drone use in the confines of the city, absent prior permission. Since we're still figuring out which drone rules and regulations work, the judge's decision could influence similar cases and even local authorities' decisions regarding drone use in the future.


Robots learn to walk naturally by understanding their bodies

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The challenge with bipedal robots isn't so much getting them to walk at all (although that's sometimes a problem) as it is getting them to walk naturally. Swiss researchers think they can do better, though: they're working on COMAN (Compliant Humanoid), a headless robot designed to master walking. COMAN is aware of the symmetries in its dynamics and structure, which helps it not only walk with a natural gait but carry objects, navigate uneven surfaces like stairs, and react to surprises. The team is also exploring the possibility of teaching bipedal robots t coordinate in shared actions, such as carrying a table.


After Math: Like looking into the future

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It was an exciting week for futuristic technologies. Knightscope debuted its newest roboguard, Nest showed off a face-recognizing outdoor camera, and Google came up with a way to close your garage from anywhere in the neighborhood. Numbers, because how else will you know how long to wait for the future to arrive?


The Ben Heck Show: Motor control

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Stepping onto the other side of the camera, Max decides he wants to learn more about motors, from motor control to motor drivers. Luckily, Felix is on hand to play teacher as he takes Max on a comprehensive tour. Will the combination of DC motors, transistors, electromagnets and Arduino coding prove too much for Mr. Olmstead to master? Or can Felix push his new student to create a successful working concept?


'Vincent' AI transforms your rough sketch into a Van Gogh

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Applying its vast knowledge of art from the Renaissance to today, "Vincent" can take your simple sketch and transform it a finished painting influenced by Van Gogh, Cézanne and Picasso. "We're exploring completely uncharted territory –- much of what makes Vincent tick was not known to the machine learning community just a year ago," said Cambridge Consultants Machine Learning Director Monty Barlow. "By successfully combining different machine learning approaches ... we've created something hugely interactive, taking the germ of a sketched idea and allowing the history of human art to run with it," said Barlow. "Unlike typical machine learning approaches which simply use mathematics to generate approximations of art, Vincent is able to take the human input given and produce a relevant, finished artwork," the company explains.


The Chinese Room made a VR parable for Google Daydream

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Indie developer The Chinese Room is releasing its first-ever virtual reality game. So Let Us Melt is a sci-fi parable about a machine lost in a paradise of its own making. Exclusively available on Google's Daydream VR platform, the title sees the developer reuniting with Bafta award-winning composer Jessica Curry. The Chinese Room describes it as an "interactive animated film" with simple controls, making it an ideal entry point for those new to VR.


The Morning After: Friday, September 22nd 2017

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Tesla will discontinue its most affordable Model SOn Sunday, Tesla's vehicle lineup will be smaller by one as it discontinues its cheapest Model S option, the Model S 75. That means the all-wheel-drive version -- the 75D -- will take its place as the low-end Model S sedan, currently listed at a starting price of $74,500. On Sunday, Tesla's vehicle lineup will be smaller by one as it discontinues its cheapest Model S option, the Model S 75. Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to'lifelike' robots A breakthrough in soft robotics means scientists are now one step closer to creating lifelike machines.


Kodak's app and chatbot will scour your photos for forgotten gems

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Well, Kodak Moments -- the photo-printing division of Kodak Alaris -- has updated its app and introduced a new Facebook chatbot, both of which will pore over your photos on Facebook or those stored in your phone's camera roll and pick out images that qualify as a "Kodak Moment." Both the updated "Kodak Moments" app from the company and its Moments Assistant Facebook bot use algorithms and AI to figure out which of your photos might be worth resurfacing. "Once we display images that people may have forgotten about on premium products with an option to immediately physically share, we expect to make money from the prints and the photo-products that we sell," Kodak Moments' Chief Marketing Officer Rob Smith told Fast Company. Some have found that these services don't do a particularly good job at finding photos you might want to see again.


Researchers create a robot that can cling to shark skin underwater

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Doing so requires researchers to attach some sort of sensor or robot to the animal, but it has to be able to stay on underwater and withstand fast swimming speeds as well as twists, turns and bends. But researchers at Beihang University, Harvard University and Boston College have developed a robot that hang on to slick skin underwater and withstand high speeds and sharp movements. The research team designed their robot in the functional image of the remora's fin. When tested, the suction disc was able to hang on to a variety of smooth and rough surfaces under water, including real shark skin.


Facebook's 'M' AI assistant will help you choose a movie

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If you're in a group or one-to-one conversation and type a common expression such as "I love you" or "thanks", a GIF picker bar will appear, automatically showing GIFs that correspond to that phrase. M suggestions for quick replies is a bit more useful. If you're asked a straightforward yes/no question in a one-to-one chat, the function offers quick reply options "yes", "no" or "I think so". Which is helpful if you're trying to make plans but can't dedicate real time to looking at your phone.