June 9, 2009

Keep Your Mind’s Eye on Cybernetics

Imagine sitting in your home and being able to control a device in a different room, a different city or even a different country by thought alone. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? Well, accordingly to this fascinating article from Popular Mechanics, advances in the field of cybernetics are occurring so rapidly that such things may be possible in the not-too-distant future.
Consider this: a monkey in North Carolina can already send a signal to Japan (where it controls a robot) faster than it can send a message from its brain to its own muscles. One immediate practical application of this technology may occur in the field of surgery whereby a surgeon could control a small robotic device faster and more precisely than she could move her hand. In a field like brain surgery such a distinction could make a big difference.
It will be some time before other cybernetic devices move into the mainstream, but it is interesting to consider how such mind-machine devices may change how we perceive and interact with our environment in the future. For example, imagine being able to control a robot by thought alone. Forget to feed your dog this morning, just “think” your bot to do it. Forget to water the plants or turn off the iron? Not a problem. A solution is just a thought away.
Other potential uses, of course, go well beyond these pedantic applications; but it is worth thinking about these things because as the Popular Mechanics articles suggests “the big breaks [in the field of cybernetic] can come faster than expected.” And, as Louis Pasteur, famously said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” This will be especially true when the mind can control things better and faster than the body can react.

June 7, 2009

Electronic Memory Chips That Can Bend And Twist

A potential solution for a brain chip?

A flexible memory switch that
operates on less than 10 volts,
maintains its memory when power is
lost, and still functions after
being flexed more than 4,000 times
has been developed by National
Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) researhers. (NIST)
The switch can be built out of
inexpensive, readily available
materials and it...

Read original article here-->

June 3, 2009

Cyborg insects

This is a another brilliant video showing the merging of insect and robot.Below on the graph it shows where computer intelligence surpassed insect intelligence back just before year 2000. So i guess it's not a big leap to think that we could make remote controlled insects. This is kinda scary though. Imagine if this technology got into the wrong hands or in the clutches of the military. Potentially creating swarms of insects and controlling them using software similar to the SWARM robotics field. Alot of the SWARM robotics programs were modeled on insect swarm behavior. James McLurkin's research on his page talks of this. If you are intersted in swarm robotics check out www.swarmrobot.org which is an open source community which explains all of this stuff.

June 2, 2009

Interview With Kevin Warwick

I just found an amazing video of Kevin Warwick talking about his experiments with being able to plug his nervous system into a computer. Also how he and his wife communicated nervous sytem to nervous system(telegraphically).

For books related to cybernetics go here-->