This fleet of autonomous ‘saildrones’ use solar and wind power to collect data during a hurricane!

Saildrone, a maritime research company and “world leader in oceangoing autonomous surface vehicles,” has launched a fleet of saildrones to collect first-of-its-kind hurricane data via advanced sensors and AI technology.

It’s been said we know more about outer space than we know about the ocean. In the grand scheme of Earth, we might not know too much about the deep blue that surrounds us, but that doesn’t mean it can’t tell us about the rest of our world. Today, a fleet of five autonomous saildrones has been launched from Florida and the Virgin Islands by Saildrone, a maritime research company, to collect data on hurricanes, spending three months at sea where the fleet will compile the first hurricane research of its kind completed by ‘uncrewed’ surface vehicles (USVs).

With news regarding climate change and tropical storms flooding our timelines, our eyes and ears are more tuned in than ever in anticipation of new data. For decades, the ocean has provided scientists with the data necessary to understand climate change, hurricanes, carbon cycling, and maritime security.

The fleet of saildrones is comprised of solar and wind-powered USVs that acquire data on climate change and weather conditions through AI technology and over 20 advanced sensors, leaving a minimal carbon footprint while exploring international ocean waters. Amounting to around 1,500 pounds, each saildrone comes equipped with a photovoltaic sail that’s designed to keep each saildrone powered up as it sails right into the eye of a hurricane.

All in an effort to understand hurricanes and global weather events, for years Saildrone has been developing the technology necessary to map the ocean floor while measuring water temperature, salinity, chemical composition. Once programmed for navigation, the saildrones can sail autonomously from waypoint to waypoint.

During their voyage, the USVs remain within a user-defined safety corridor and are monitored by a Saildrone Mission Control operator. Spanning from Arctic waters to the Atlantic Ocean, saildrones have collected data on weather and climate science from waters all over the globe.

Designer: Saildrone

MIT scientist weaves smart fabric with electrical signal to monitor health and store digital memory!

MIT scientist Yoel Fink has worked on developing smart fabrics for longer than a decade. In 2010, Fink and some of his colleagues produced fibers that could detect audio. A first for smart fabric developments, the fiber could be woven into a fabric, which transformed it into a needle-thin, working microphone. Today, the team of scientists continues work on spinning fibers into the smart fabric but moves past analog capabilities towards a digital future, weaving fibers that carry continuous electrical signals into a piece of wearable smart fabric.

Published in a Nature Communications academic journal, Fink’s research suggests that the fibers carrying electrical signals could be woven into the wearable smart fabric for “applications in physiological monitoring, human-computer interfaces, and on-body machine-learning.” Incorporating those capabilities into smart fabric required first embedding hundreds of silicon digital chips into casting pre-forms before spinning that into a piece of wearable fabric.

Each string of flexible fiber reaches tens of meters in length, containing hundreds of intertwined, digital sensors that monitor temperature changes and store memory. Each digital fiber, for instance, can collect and store information on changing body temperatures, garnering real-time inference for the wearer’s activity throughout the day. In addition to tracking and collecting data on physiological measures, the smart fabric retains the information gathered and “harbors the neural pathways” necessary to understand that data and infer the future activity of the wearer.

Thin enough to slide through the eye of a needle, the smart fabric is woven with hundreds of laced digital chips that still remain undetectable to the wearer. Forming a continuous electrical connection, the textile fiber also weaves a neural network made up of 1,650 AI connections into the smart fabric, pushing the new development even further. Capable of collecting 270 minutes worth of changing body temperatures and storing a 767-kilobit full-color short film as well as a 0.48-megabyte music file, the smart fabric can retain all of this and store it for two months at a time without power.

Designer: Yoel Fink

Each string of fabric is intertwined with fibers that contain hundreds of digital chips to monitor body temperature and track memory devices.

When woven together, the fibers form a string of fabric thin enough to pass through the eye of a needle.

The fabric is thin enough that Gabriel Loke,  a Ph.D. student at MIT says, “When you put it into a shirt, you can’t feel it at all. You wouldn’t know it was there.”

These AI-enabled product designs for your home are the Tesla of robots!

AI is gaining momentum like never before! Most gadgets and tech designs these days are being powered by AI. These AI-enabled products are intelligent and self-sufficient devices that help make our lives a whole lot easier. And especially when it comes to appliances for our home, most people are opting for designs that are backed by AI. From a lawnmower that can identify her own path and any objects on her path, to an AI-enabled robot dog, we’ve curated a whole collection of innovative, nifty, and super functional AI helpers. These little helpers promise to assist you in almost all your household chores and duties, making your everyday life easier and simpler!

Powered by the kind of AI you’d find in autonomous vehicles (with 4K cameras and sensors that can accurately identify objects in her path), the Toadi is practically the Tesla of lawnmowers. Designed to work less like a robot and more like a living organism, the Toadi reinvents a category that hasn’t seen a significant-tech upgrade… and yes, Toadi is a ‘her’. The Toadi uses 4K cameras to ‘see’ the way humans do. She accurately differentiates between grass, gravel, cemented paths, and even identifies and avoids objects like animals, toys, flower-beds, and fences. Using a sensing and tracking system that’s much more superior to the LiDAR sensors and GPS chips found in home-cleaning robots, the Toadi effortlessly moves around the lawn on her own, mowing in straight lines, crossing over to other parts of the lawn if need be, avoiding flower-beds, objects, or pets (and other garden animals), and staying clear of fences. In fact, her camera sensors are so advanced, the Toadi even serves as a surveillance device, allowing her to spot intruders in your yard at night.

Adding to their larger AI robot series, RidRoid, the creators at Future Robotics Technology designed the CanguRo (that’s, ‘kangaroo’ in Italian) in order to bring a sense of companionship to smart robots. Like many AI robots, CanguRo can offer support to users with tasks such as shopping and office work, but integrated software also brings this robot to your location, even if you’re far away, and then turns into a vehicle for you to ride whenever necessary. The inspiration behind the CanguRo design was taken from a page of history. Humans once depended on horses for both work and transportation. All one had to do was send out a whistle for their horse nearby, and a horse would come trotting their way. Decades later, the Ford Model T made automotive transportation more accessible for everyone and the possibilities for future modes of transportation were reimagined. Today, designers and engineers are concocting concepts for transportation that no longer require the use of human or animal intelligence.

KODA, Inc.’s robotic dog comes with four 3-D cameras, a single 13-megapixel front-facing camera, an ergonomic structure that incorporates realistic dog-like features such as a purely aesthetic tail, 14 high-torque motors with two on the neck offering full-range mobility for activities like climbing the stairs or trudging through snow, along with an 11 Teraflop processing unit. Since KODA, Inc. is dedicated to providing technology-based solutions to help people with everyday problems, either chronic or otherwise, the secure blockchain network of KODA robot dogs is closely monitored and cross-checked for consistent and effective AI improvements. For instance, a KODA, Inc. robot-dog in Detroit might be the first to slip on a patch of ice, but thanks to a “futureproof,” supercomputing network, robot-dogs who find their home in a warmer climate will know not to slip on a patch of ice even if the dog’s home ground temperature might never call for one.

The 360 S10 is powered by a 4-core CPU running autonomous AI navigation algorithms comparable to self-driving vehicles. It maps out your house, allowing you to set up dedicated rooms, no-go spaces, and virtual walls. The device creates a map that allows it to operate in places with low wi-fi too, letting you use it on multiple floors, and in areas with lesser wi-fi access like the basement. The S10 comes outfitted with a powerful vacuum module with 4-stage suction adjustment, going from a relatively quiet 600Pa to a powerful 3300Pa for exceptionally dirty areas. The S10 automatically adjusts its suction power too, picking up everything from dust to furballs, human hair, and even crumbs and food. Meanwhile, it can detect carpets and rugs as well, automatically adjusting its suction power to clean out dirt and debris from in between your carpet’s fibers without damaging it.

Moxie was born to give children (between the ages 6 and 9) an emotionally aware pal who also came equipped with teaching capabilities – a dream come true and even more so given the current times. Technology and design are proving to be the saving grace for not only essential workers but also for everyone staying home. Fuseproject is taking this opportunity to create positive human-machine interaction for the next generation. “Moxie, a revolutionary animate companion designed in partnership with Embodied, Inc. that promotes social, emotional, and cognitive learning for children across the ability spectrum—from neurotypical to neurodivergent—through play-based learning and interaction,” says the team. It is built to be so smart that children can even whisper secrets to communicate with Moxie through the teardrop-shaped ears and microphone on either side of its head – one of its most distinctive physical traits that encourages a meaningful bond.

Called ‘Hearingbot’, this AI-powered robot comes with an integrated smart home system for seamless and reliable use throughout the day. One of the components is the hearing clock which wakes you up with vibrations while the Hearingbot smart home system raises the curtains for you. A cool feature is gesture recognition which makes communication easy for those who rely on sign language. The robot can recognize the signs and uses speakers as well as subtitles to communicate with its user. “It interprets sign language of the deaf through motion sensor and projects it into a projector. Through these processes, it helps easy and natural conversation between deaf and ordinary people,” explains the design team. It can be paired with different products, for example, Hearingbot will manage the cooking status and schedule of the dish while the hearing-impaired person cooks and prepares the dish individually. It is also synced with a smartwatch that keeps you alert about real-time information, dangerous situations, public transport, and if someone is ringing your doorbell.

Meet Lucy, an AI bot that fulfills the jobs of a Roomba as well as a Nest Security Cam. With an auto-navigation system guiding it, a 3000Pa vacuum underneath it, and a day-and-night wide-angle camera on the front of it, Lucy does floor-sweeps and security-sweeps at the same time. It relies on its in-built guidance system to segregate your house by the room, allowing it to clean or monitor individual rooms at a time. Built with a battery that gives it 2 hours of performance, Lucy can navigate rooms, avoid no-go zones, and even patrol your house based on a route you set. Lucy’s ability to clean as well as screen your household (I have no shortage of clever phrases) is thanks to its 6-core ARM System-on-a-Chip, which allows it to run as efficiently as it does. The AI-bot comes equipped with a depth sensor and a 1080p camera that can detect objects as little as 1-inch high, allowing it to avoid toys, books, socks, or anything that may be lying around on the floor, and directly target dust, dirt, crumbs, and furballs.

Designed by the students of the Hongik University, the Traverse is a conceptual drone powered by AI that’s designed to be a personal trainer for recreational runners. The autonomous drone comes with a quad-propeller layout, and also features multiple fish-eye cameras that help it navigate through spaces without requiring any external controls. A main gimbal-mounted camera focuses on you, the runner, and the camera focuses on you as you run, monitoring your speed, performance, technique, laps, and charts your overall progress. While running, Traverse takes photos and videos of runners to give them Form correction & visual running feedback by tracking their posture with deep learning. The Traverse drone is accompanied by the Pod, a wearable that sits around your neck. The drone uses the wearable as a tracking tag, while the Pod itself works as your personal coach, giving you audio feedback to improve your form and performance.

This is the Barsys Coaster, a smart coaster with a mini weighing machine and an AI inside it that coaches you through the fine cocktail-mixing process. The coaster works with the Barsys app, which lets you select a recipe, while the coaster itself sits on a table with an empty glass above it. The app tells you how to build your cocktail, by telling you what to pour into your glass, while the coaster and its weight-sensor lets you know when to stop pouring. The incredibly precise weight-sensor within the coaster can know exactly when you’ve poured the right amount of gin, or vodka, or orange juice, while the app itself then tells you to stop pouring and proceed to the next step. The result? Precisely crafted cocktails courtesy of an AI bartender and your passion for drinking fine cocktails from the comfort of your own house as Netflix cues the next episode of whatever it is you’re watching!

Say hello to CookingPal Julia, the smart all-in-one cooker that is going to be your new sous chef. Julia was unveiled at CES 2020 where she also won the Innovation Award in the home appliance category and we were all shook…or shall I say shaken and stirred? It will be impossible to mess up a recipe with this Smart All-in-One Cooker, it is a countertop assistant that will assist you in preparing your meals quickly and efficiently. There is a step-by-step process and Julia is going to be there all along to guide you through chopping ingredients with exact, weight-based measurements. To make it easier, it also includes a scale that is accurate within five grams so say goodbye to fiddling with that set of measuring cups! Julia is truly a countertop kitchen assistant, she can cook, chop, blend, knead, boil, steam, grind, grate AND emulsify – she knows it all and does it all but you still get the credit.

Hitting the Books: The Brooksian revolution that led to rational robots

We are living through an AI renaissance thought wholly unimaginable just a few decades ago — automobiles are becoming increasingly autonomous, machine learning systems can craft prose nearly as well as human poets, and almost every smartphone on the...