Episode 187 – Bionic Eye

On an unseasonably warm Friday, Michael & Michael get together to discuss a sports to business application of virtual reality, that of training retail store employees to prepare for the oncoming rush of bargain hunters on Black Friday instead of the rush of oncoming defensive backs.

A favorite topic of ours — augmented reality use methods — resurfaces in this episode, this time prompted by the recent Apple acquisition of a Canadian AR company called VRVANA, which leads to a conversation about miniaturization of this technology, ultimately embedding into bionic contact lenses, or even a potential direct optic nerve connection.  At the very least, we don’t bring up spiders in this episode.  Whew.

The team talks about home robotics, and Rosie from the Jetsons seems to be cropping up in many articles.  The concept of a friendly companion robot is one that many companies are chasing after, and the article for this show comes from an experience with a robot called Jibo.

Closing out the show with a discussion on wearables, Michael and Michael are amazed at the new capabilities enabled by the Kardiaband, and what this implies for future medical devices to improve and save lives.

Selected links 

MIT Technology Review article:  Finally a Useful Application for VR: Training Employees — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609473/finally-a-useful-application-for-vr-training-employees/

Business Insider article:  Apple bought a Canadian AR startup for $30 million — and it could give Apple an edge in the next big thing — http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-buys-vrvana-totem-mixed-reality-headset-2017-11

VRVANA — https://www.vrvana.com

Hackday io — Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses project — https://hackaday.io/project/580-peril-sensitive-sunglasses

Futurism article: Bionic Contacts: Goodbye Glasses. Hello Vision That’s 3x Better Than 20/20 — https://futurism.com/bionic-contacts-goodbye-glasses-hello-vision-thats-3x-better-than-2020/

Transitions photochromic transition eyeglasses — https://www.transitions.com/en-us/

Wall Street Journal article:  This Cute Little Robot Made My Family Mad — https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-cute-little-robot-made-my-family-mad-1511980911

Rosie from the Jetsons — http://thejetsons.wikia.com/wiki/Rosey

Jibo — https://www.jibo.com

Roomba — http://store.irobot.com/default/robot-vacuum-roomba/

Sphero BB-8 — https://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero

Thomas Friedman’s Thank You for Being Late — http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/thank-you-for-being-late/

TechCrunch article:  FDA clears AliveCor’s Kardiaband as the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/30/fda-clears-alivecors-kardiaband-as-the-first-medical-device-accessory-for-the-apple-watch/

Kardiaband for Apple Watch — https://store.alivecor.com

Chuck Norris facts — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Norris_facts

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R: Injustice 2 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/injustice-2/id1109008423?mt=8

Michael M:  Nonstop Chuck Norris — https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/nonstop-chuck-norris/id1154002816?mt=8

Play

Episode 186 – Accio Mjolnir

 

Michael and Michael use their prognostic skills to divine what the next Niantic game might be in 2018 based on the non-specific reports in the media about the Wizards Unite game to be unveiled in a few months.

Could there be a spell collecting game that drives players to bookstores and libraries to discover & unlock spells?  Maybe use newspaper vending machines as something to check into in order to open powerups.  How about zoos to collect your own fantastic beasts into your virtual menagerie?

Speaking of pictures, the data in the pictures can provide an huge amount of value in monetizing the activities of.the players. Warby Parker is doing this — using the new capabilities of the iPhone X facial mapping to recognize the contours of the user’s face in order to match the best glasses to the face of the user.

Any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic, and Michale R has found a couple examples of two Avengers, Thor and Iron Man whose mighty feats are duplicated by a drone and micro-gas turbines, respectively.  Check out the videos to see these in action.

Selected links 

Tech Crunch article:  Niantic’s follow-up to Pokemon Go will be a Harry Potter AR game launching in 2018 — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/niantics-follow-up-to-pokemon-go-will-be-a-harry-potter-ar-game-launching-in-2018/

Fortune article:  Commentary: Pokemon Go’s Creator is Making a Harry Potter Game.  Will It Bomb Too?  — http://fortune.com/2017/11/14/harry-potter-pokemon-go-game-augmented-reality/

Pokemon Go Starbucks drink link — 

9 to 5 Mac article:  Warby Parker is using face mapping on the iPhone X to provide glasses recommendations — https://9to5mac.com/2017/11/07/warby-parker-is-using-face-mapping-on-the-iphone-x-to-provide-glasses-recommendations/

Warby Parker iOS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/glasses-by-warby-parker/id1107693363?mt=8

Mashable article:  Real-Life ‘Iron Man’ sets Guinness World Record because of course he does — http://mashable.com/2017/11/09/iron-man-guinness-world-record-tony-stark-richard-browning

Tech Crunch article:  Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is a parkour master — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-is-a-parkour-master

Reddit: AI email program designed to reply to email scammers — https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/7brzw4/rescam_ai_email_program_designed_to_reply_to/

Tech Crunch article:  They turned ‘Rampage’ into a movie (and here’s the first trailer) — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/rampage-trailer/

Play

Episode 185 – Transparency

Jimmy Kimmel’s Tonight Show, Tonight Showbotics, featuring Hanson Robotics’ Sophia

They’re playing basketball! 🏀 Both for the start of the college basketball season, and at the state fair.  Michael R found an interesting article about how one can win those games of skill and chance at the state fair, leveraging a combination of science and professional sports talent.

In addition to making transparent the ways that a Mets pitcher can win the games at your local carnival, the team takes a look at the transparent skull of Sophia, the artificial intelligence android by Hanson Robotics, how NPR is crowdsourcing journalism with the recently made public JFK Files, that Facebook & Twitter are making strides in ad transparency and how a recently created Soduku Solver uses augmented reality and optical character recognition to do it’s thing.

Michael M remarks that these examples show a gateway to where augmented reality and artificial intelligence is about to explode in a very short amount of time.  How do you think that the combo of AR & AI will change the world?

Selected links 

Kurtis Blow Basketball video —

Mets — http://mets.com

NC State fair — http://www.ncstatefair.org

TechCrunch article:  Watch a real rocket scientist figure out (and beat) carnival scams — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/watch-a-real-rocket-scientist-figure-out-and-beat-carnival-scams/

TechCrunch article:  Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot named Sophia — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/saudi-arabia-robot-citizen-sophia/

Hanson Robotics — http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/

Tonight Show with Jimmy Kimmel Tonight Showbotics with Sophia — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

Future Investment Initiative where Sophia was announced as being the first robot to receive Saudi Arabian citizenship — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

NPR article: The JFK Files: Calling On Citizen Reporters — https://www.npr.org/2017/10/26/560220148/the-jfk-files-calling-on-citizen-reporters

TechCrunch article: Facebook says its ad transparency features will go live next month — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/27/facebook-says-its-ad-transparency-features-will-go-live-next-month/

TechCrunch article: Twitter announces new ‘transparency center’ for ads — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/twitter-advertising-transparency/

Prototypr blog post:  Behind the Magic: How we built the ARKit Sudoku Solver — https://blog.prototypr.io/behind-the-magic-how-we-built-the-arkit-sudoku-solver-e586e5b685b0

Magic Sudoku — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magic-sudoku/id1286979959?ls=1&mt=8

Watson on Jeopardy —

What games are the hosts playing?

none!  Busy busy busy!

Play

Episode 181 – Robotic Rockband

Baby, don’t hurt me.  Or order things on my Amazon Echo when I don’t want them.  Michael and Michael start off this episode talking about the South Park season premiere, which plays a prank on the viewers by the audio dialog of the show launching commands on the viewer’s voice controlled devices (such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home).

I for one, welcome our new rockin’ robotic rockband overlords.  And when you watch the video of Nigel Stanford’s Automatica, we think you will too.

Michael and Michael wrap up this episode talking about the recently concluded NASA Cassini mission and reminisce about their favorite space missions.

Selected links 

Uproxx Article: The ‘South Park’ Season Premiere Caused Havoc With People’s Amazon Echos and Google Homes — http://uproxx.com/technology/south-park-premiere-amazon-echo-google-home/

Slashfilm article: Cool Stuff: ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ Illustrated Edition Gets Animated on Kindle —  http://www.slashfilm.com/animated-harry-potter-kindle/

Automatica by Nigel Stanford — https://nigelstanford.com/Automatica/

TechCrunch article: Watch this robot rock band destroy their instruments — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/14/nigel-stanford-automatica/

CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music – Nigel Stanford — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3oItpVa9fs

NASA article: The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini — https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/the-saturn-system.html

NASA e-books — https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/index.html

Kotaku article: Nintendo Will Release Its Classic Arcade Games On Switch — https://kotaku.com/nintendo-will-release-its-classic-arcade-games-on-switc-1808933486

What are the hosts’ favorite space missions?

Michael M — Apollo 11 — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo11.html

Michael R — Maven — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/index.html
Mars Satellites — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html
Mars Rovers — https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/home/

Play

Episode 178 – L33T Learning Siri

 

Just say no to enabling autonomous bots & drones with the ability to apply lethal force.  Following on last week’s episode 177, Michael & Michael start off with a continuation of the discussion on the Pandora’s Box of armed robots.

Moving on to a happier topic, while still staying on the machine learning concept, the pair talks about how Siri and other voice interactive systems have been improved with deep learning.  Not just recorded scripts, but actual intelligence, and more natural interaction is apparent when you listen to how far things have come since the earliest days of Siri — listen to the examples from the Apple Machine Learning Journal article, and we think you’ll agree.

Understanding that you’re talking with a bot vs a human is important to help avoid the uncanny valley where the interaction becomes weird vs expected — perhaps this is why Michael R preferred the Australian accent reminiscent of J.A.R.V.I.S, and how in Star Trek and other science fiction, interaction with the computer was prefaced with “computer!” before issuing a request.

Feedback loops getting faster & faster, which is really evident in machine learning examples applied to games.  When the machine — the program — is experimenting with the game to learn, and figure out what is rewarded, what is not rewarded, and determine a heuristic model for playing the game, which for a human is for fun and for the machine learning example is to maximize the outcome.  The example from the O’Reilly article was particularly intriguing to Michael M who wondered why the AI playing the game did not scoop up each and every present while playing the game.  Michael R made the interesting point that if the machine learning algorithms assume that there’s an infinite number of presents ahead, it makes more sense to quickly move forward and grab the presents because there are more ahead of you than behind.  The screenshot above is from a machine learning model playing Super Mario Kart, where it is easy to see how machine learning quickly gets better and better with successive plays of the game.

Closing out this episode, Michael and Michael include David Ma’s videos of food imagined in the style of  famous directors, a funny song about waffles and a discussion on Zork.  Hope you enjoy these tasty treats!

Selected links 

last week’s show, E177 — What could possibly go wrong? — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/08/31/episode-177-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/

An open letter to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons — https://futureoflife.org/autonomous-weapons-open-letter-2017

We don’t have long to act — https://qz.com/1058280/we-do-not-have-long-to-act-teslas-tsla-elon-musk-and-others-warn-the-un-about-autonomous-weapons

Six Colors article:  Deep Learning Improves Siri’s voice — https://sixcolors.com/link/2017/08/deep-learning-improves-siris-voice/

Apple’s Machine Learning Journal:  Deep Learning for Siri’s Voice: On-device Deep Mixture Density Networks for Hybrid Unit Selection Synthesis — https://machinelearning.apple.com/2017/08/06/siri-voices.html

Uncanny Valley — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

J.A.R.V.I.S. — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Jarvis#J.A.R.V.I.S.

O’Reilly article:  Bringing gaming to life with AI and deep learning — https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/bringing-gaming-to-life-with-ai-and-deep-learning

YouTube:  Super MarI/O Kart Commentary — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Y_I9vY8Qw

Food by Favorite Directors (Sort Of) — https://www.subtraction.com/2017/08/14/food-by-famous-directors-sort-of/

YouTube:  What if Alfonso Cuaron made pancakes?  — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_hpJHNt4IE

Do You Like Waffles?  By Parry Gripp — https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/do-you-like-waffles/id468568946?i=468568983

MIT Technology Review — The Enduring Legacy of Zork — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608670/the-enduring-legacy-of-zork/

MIT Technology Review article:  Siri for Business — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600990/siri-for-business/

Play

Episode 177 – What could possibly go wrong?

This episode has it all — from virtual reality, to augmented reality to mixed reality to real reality. Starting off with UPS’s VR driver training for their truck fleet, journeying to the Apollo astronaut training efforts with the Zeiss Model VI Planetarium Projector and the excitement of Apple’s recent World Wide Developer’s Conference, Michael and Michael discuss the exciting developments caused Tim Cook to say that he’s so excited about it, “I just want to yell out and scream.” Michael and Michael reminisce about the early days of the US Army’s use of there.com to provide a “real” virtual reality experience with soldiers in the field playing the roles of people at a checkpoint, to train others on the tactics being used by both regular people and enemy combatants. The video above is from the episode of The Screen Savers on the US Army’s use of there.com.

To file under the title of this episode, an octocopter drone equipped with optical recognition, recoil-handling aerodynamics and an ability to fire rifles, grenade launchers and the like is being developed. What could possibly go wrong indeed.

Closing out on a much happier note, one of the games that Michael M is excited to be playing soon is Unstable Unicorns, a Kickstarter that he backed in the early days that is now up to $672,000 in pledges, and there’s still time to get in on this fun.

Check out the show — check out the games!

Selected links

Boy Genius Report article: UPS is going all-in on VR — http://bgr.com/2017/08/15/ups-vr-htc-vive/

Early space journeys began at Morehead Planetarium — http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/early-space-journeys/

there.com — https://www.prod.there.com

ZDTVfan’s YouTube channel with old The Screen Savers episodes — https://www.youtube.com/user/zdtvfan/featured

Jim Grosse on Massively Multiplayer Simulator for Asymmetric Warfare using There.com on Tech TV’s The Screen Savers — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyOHTrh0wM

Patently Apple article: Apple’s Next iOS will deliver a Big Win for Apple Regarding Augmented Reality that Leapfrogs Microsoft’s HoloLens — http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2017/08/apples-next-ios-will-deliver-a-big-win-for-apple-regarding-augmented-reality-that-leapfrogs-microsofts-hololens.html

Bloomberg Businessweek article: Tim Cook on Donald Trump, the HomePod, and the Legacy of Steve Jobs — https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-06-15/apple-s-tim-cook-on-donald-trump-the-homepod-and-the-legacy-of-steve-jobs

Apple’s WWDC iOS 11 Wingnut AR Surreal Demo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAsxW5YtWrM

ARKit demo pictures from Michael R in E172 — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/06/19/episode-172-shining-a-light-on-ar/

Magic Leap — https://www.magicleap.com

Wired Article: Why ‘Gorilla Arm Syndrome” Rules Out Multitouch Notebook Displays — https://www.wired.com/2010/10/gorilla-arm-multitouch/

TechCrunch article: Minibar Delivery alcohol marketplace picks up $5 million in funding — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/15/minibar-alcohol-marketplace-picks-up-5-million-in-funding/

Somabar — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/somabar/somabar-automated-craft-cocktail-appliance

Tech Crunch article: A defense company puts a machine gun on a drone — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/17/a-defense-company-put-a-machine-gun-on-a-drone/

Daniel Suarez book Kill Decision — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Decision

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Unstable Unicorns — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ramybadie/unstable-unicorns

Exploding Kittens — https://www.explodingkittens.com

Imploding Kittens — https://shop.theoatmeal.com/products/imploding-kittens-expansion-pack

Play

Episode 172 – Shining a light on AR

Michael and Michael are back — and take a long careful look at the newest capabilities that Apple is bringing to light in augmented reality with the new iOS 11 operating system.  Michael R has already downloaded the development framework, and has started bringing into mixed reality the digital test objects, to great effect.  The pictures included in this post are from Michael R’s experiments with the framework thus far, and it is quite amazing to see the fidelity of the objects, as well as the recognition by the software of the planes, shadows & angles of placement.  There much to be very excited about here, and once the digital augmented reality experience is not through the screen of an iPhone, but in a more natural way (dare I even bring up the possibility of contact lenses again?) — then, then we are really onto something.  Until that point, this version of augmented reality is an interesting step in the right direction, but the consumption cannot be via holding a phone at arm’s length or wearing a ski goggle-esque contraption that distances the person from the reality they are looking to more deeply engage with.

Robots are not just for vacuuming your floor — they are also quite useful for teaching ballroom dancing, and in determining the skill level of the human student, the artificial intelligence can quickly adapt the lessons to be challenging for whatever level the student is at.  And speaking of  AI, the recent Microsoft acquisition Maluuba has crushed Ms. Pac-Man using a new method called Hybrid Reward Architecture to more effectively manage the very difficult problem of balancing the multiple rewards (and threats) in a game like Ms. Pac-Man to achieve the maximum score.

Staying on the Microsoft theme a moment longer, the team discuss Minecraft as a platform, his where multiple operating systems and devices are now converging on a common Minecraft environment.

Binky has loomed large in the news this past week — what started as a joke has turned into something more.  In this app, you can experience all the joy of social media likes & shares but not have anyone ever see your posts.  Michael M is reminded of Ian Bogost’s Cow Clicker social media game.

Selected links 

Apple ARkit — https://developer.apple.com/arkit/

Apple ARkit WWDC video — https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2017/602/ 

Ballroom dancing robot — https://twitter.com/qz/status/874061192196534272

Ms PacMan — http://time.com/4819067/microsoft-pac-man-maluuba/

Maluuba — http://www.maluuba.com

Hybrid Reward Architecture for Reinforcement Learning — https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.04208.pdf

Minecraft — http://www.businessinsider.com/minecraft-unites-all-platforms-2017-6

Binky — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/10/binky/

Cow Clicker — https://cowclicker.com

BikeSphere — http://bgr.com/2017/06/14/bikesphere-michelin-safety/

Play

Episode 171 – Jelly Jelly Bo Belly

Zoolander phone

 

This episode is chock full of tasty treats, of the cellphone and robotic kinds!  Michael & Michael start off with a conversation about the Kickstarter for the Jelly phone — a 4g cell phone that is running Android Nougat (Michael M still believes it should have been Nutella) and can handle two SIM cards for, wait for it, under $100 unlocked.

The pair talk about the new capabilities expected to be included with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds when announced at WWDC next week.  The ability to code in a simple-to-learn language and have that code execute in real 3d life — in a Sphereo BB-8 or a Lego Mindstorms robot would be just great.

Speaking of robotics, the Draper DragonflEye concept of marrying a live dragonfly with a mind-controlling solar powered backpack brings to mind other variations of insect robotics — from the selfie drone Nixie, to a full cast of drones that will follow you around.

Maximizing screen real estate by extending the MacOS desktop to a nearby iPad Pro captures the attention of the pair, and Michael M gives his thoughts about two solutions that he’s been working with over the past week.

Closing things out, Michael M surprises Michael R with a game he’s playing that is not 8-bit.

Selected links 

Jelly phone — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jellyphone/jelly-the-smallest-4g-smartphone

Nutella — https://www.nutella.com/en/us

Eater article:  America’s First Nutella Cafe Opens With Lines of Chicagoans — https://chicago.eater.com/2017/5/31/15719018/nutella-cafe-chicago-open-lines-michigan-avenue-millennium-park

Motorola’s StarTac phone — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_StarTAC

MacRumors article: Swift Playgrounds Will Soon Be Able to Program and Control Robots, Drones, and Toys — https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/01/swift-playgrounds-robots-drones-instruments/

Pine64 — https://www.pine64.org

Raspberry Pi — https://www.raspberrypi.org

TechCrunch article: Draper’s DragonflEye cyber-bug takes flight — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/drapers-dragonfleye-cyber-bug-takes-flight/

Business Insider: This Incredible Selfie-Taking Wrist Drone Just Won $500,000 — http://www.businessinsider.com/nixie-wearable-drone-wins-intel-contest-2014-11

Nixie — http://flynixie.com

Airdog — https://www.airdog.com

droneguru.net article: 9 Best Drones That Follow You [Crystal Clear Video] Summer 2017 — http://www.droneguru.net/8-best-drones-that-follow-you-follow-drones/

Episode 150 — Cyber Dementors — http://gamesatwork.biz/2016/10/23/episode-150-cyber-dementors/

Robotic cockroaches — http://www.businessinsider.com/cram-robotic-cockroaches-disaster-recovery-2016-2

Daily Mail article:  Student creates cyborg cockroach that he can control with his thoughts…. — http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3112404/Student-controls-cyborg-cockroach-MIND-Video-shows-insect-guided-maze-powered-thoughts.html

Smithsonian article: A Visit to Seoul Brings Our Writer Face-to-Face with the Future of Robots — http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/visit-seoul-writer-future-robots-180963238/

Quarantine, a Greg Egan novel — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarantine_(Greg_Egan_novel)

Air Display 3 by Avatron Software — https://itunes.apple.com/app/id967502646?ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Duet Display — https://www.duetdisplay.com

Game Michael M is playing 

Mini Metro — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mini-metro/id837860959?mt=8

Play

Episode 169 – Virtual Surgery & Artificial Black Boxes

Michael and Michael take a spin from the physical to the virtual, starting with an article by Scotty Allen, describing how he constructed an iPhone 6s entirely from parts he bought in markets in China.  Moving into the virtual space, the pair discuss the merits and benefits of a syringe with haptic feedback to help surgeons learn the amount of pressure needed to inject a patient, in what appeared to be way too close to reality.  Squeamishness aside, this use case is particularly well suited to the virtual reality training space, as it combines visual and physical feedback, developing the appropriate muscle memory needed to perform the surgery successfully.

Rounding out this episode, Michael and Michael talk about the importance of transparency in artificial intelligence algorithms, particularly for audibility.  As machine learning allows for enhancements to decision making, blockchain recording of the decisions can provide the benefit of how the AI made the decisions it did at the time it made those decisions.  A fascinating potential blend of these technologies.

Hope you enjoy!

selected links 

Strange Parts: How I Made My Own iPhone – in China! — https://strangeparts.com/how-i-made-my-own-iphone-in-china/

New Scientist: Virtual syringe lets surgeons practice piercing skin and muscle — https://www.newscientist.com/article/2127828-virtual-syringe-lets-surgeons-practise-piercing-skin-and-muscle/

MIT Technology Review: The Financial World Wants to Open AI’s Black Boxes — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604122/the-financial-world-wants-to-open-ais-black-boxes/

Games we’re playing

Bacon Escape — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bacon-escape/id1199364353?mt=8

Shooty Skies — https://shootyskies.com

Play

Episode 167 – Robotic Physics

 

Michael and Michael start this episode with big robots.  As in extra huge robots.  Like Mecha-sized robots.  The articulation of the robot Jeff Bezos piloted was reminiscent of the one that the character Eileen Ripley piloted in the Aliens movies (see video above).  Michael R was also reminded of the NASA Valkyrie robot, and it’s mission to go to Mars ahead of humans to set up the environment for human habitation.  Walking on two legs, and being roughly human-sized, the form factor is well suited to ensuring that the habitat structure such robots would build would be on the appropriate scale and work for the humans to follow.

The team also looks at a few learning games, starting with Big Bang Legends, which teaches the players about particle physics, and uses a SaaS subscription method the game company Lightneer calls “Learn to Play” that replaces video ads with a monthly fee.  This game reminded Michael M of DragonBox, a game that his kids really enjoyed that taught them algebraic skills while they weren’t really looking.

Michael R gave a shot at compiling the ported Pokemon Yellow Game Boy game to Apple Watch, but did not succeed during the recording session — will be interesting to see how it goes!

Rounding out the show, and just as Michael R predicted in the last episode, Michael M has been playing the new Nimblebit Bit City game, and, again, just as Michael R predicted, has been crushing it.

selected links 

PC Mag article: Jeff Bezos Pilots a Giant Robot — http://www.pcmag.com/news/352476/jeff-bezos-pilots-a-giant-robot

TechCrunch article: In a Massachusetts warehouse, NASA’s Valkyrie robot helps lay the groundwork for Mars settlements — https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/18/nasa-valkyrie-robot/

NASA’s Valkyrie robot — https://www.nasa.gov/feature/valkyrie/

Mecha — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecha

Robotech — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macross

Mashable article: This game is teaching particle physics to five-year-olds — http://mashable.com/2017/03/23/big-bang-legends/

Big Bang Legends — http://www.bigbanglegends.com

DragonBox — http://dragonboxapp.com

Making Giovanni, a Game Boy Emulator for the Apple Watch — http://gabrieloc.com/2017/03/21/GIOVANNI.html

Nimblebit’s Bit City — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-city/id914343148?mt=8

Play