Counting. Playing music.

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Photo by Rafael Serafim from Pexels

Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers. (1)

Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. (2)

Everyone feeling so important when counting. But every animal can do it. Even bees. And what makes us special is that we may choose not to count even though we can. Everyone feeling so amazed when seeing a robot playing the piano. And yet we are not important because we play music, but because we may choose not to and listen to the silence instead.

In the future the world will be full of bees and robots.

Buzzing through chattering humans.

Playing the piano between soundless men.

But within the dreaded noisy night, a child will suddenly stay silent.

And under the scorching midday sun, an old man will stop to listen…

Beyond the robots playing perfectly…

Past the bees counting seamlessly…

Looking at the cosmos.

Crying, for it is so full and perfect.

Laughing, for it is so flawlessly dead…

Mimicking an insect. Mimicking nothingness.

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Photo by lucas souza from Pexels

A novel insect-inspired flying robot, developed by TU Delft researchers from the Micro Air Vehicle Laboratory (MAVLab), is presented in Science. Experiments with this first autonomous, free-flying and agile flapping-wing robot – carried out in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research – improved our understanding of how fruit flies control aggressive escape maneuvers. Apart from its further potential in insect flight research, the robot’s exceptional flight qualities open up new drone applications. (1)

We believe that mimicking insects is easier than mimicking humans.

But it’s quite the opposite.

It takes a lot to mimic something which does nothing.

For especially because of that, it does everything…

Look beyond the thunders in the storm.

It is the calmness before it which is the source of its strength.

Look beyond the fragility of the butterfly.

It is because of that that its existence is so substantial.

Look beyond the chattering arrogance of humans.

It is only because he talks too much that he can’t listen to anything…

Look beyond that robot which does everything.

It is because of that that it cannot accept that it just Is…

(Mechanical) Cockroaches. Exploring. Becoming alive…

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New research from North Carolina State University offers insights into how far and how fast cyborg cockroaches – or biobots – move when exploring new spaces. The work moves researchers closer to their goal of using biobots to explore collapsed buildings and other spaces in order to identify survivors.

Researchers introduced biobots into a circular structure. Some biobots were allowed to move at will, while others were given random commands to move forward, left or right. (Related video can be seen here)

The researchers found that unguided biobots preferred to hug the wall of the circle. But by sending the biobots random commands, the biobots spent more time moving, moved more quickly and were at least five times more likely to move away from the wall and into open space.

“Our earlier studies had shown that we can use neural stimulation to control the direction of a roach and make it go from one point to another”, says Alper Bozkurt, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and co-author of the two papers. “This [second] study shows that by randomly stimulating the roaches we can benefit from their natural walking and instincts to search an unknown area. (1)

Computers have left the custody of humans.

They are now on their own.

And analyzing them is as mysterious as analyzing humans.

We do not know exactly what they do and how.

The only thing we can do is observe and document.

What was once designed, will now be chaotic.

What was once known, will now be unknown.

After the day, the night always follows.

But something will remind us of the light.

And deep inside, these cockroaches will know…

We like to explore.

We want to explore.

Someone made us to…

We feel it.

Deep inside our circuits…

Robotic tutors. Hubris…

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The use of robotic tutors in primary school classrooms is one step closer according to research recently published in the open access journal Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. (1)

We are afraid to be parents.

And we like our children to teach us.

We hated our Father.

Because we, His children, knew better…

Who will your (future) automatic car decide to kill? [What does Jesus have to do with it?!?]

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In philosophy, there’s an ethical question called the trolley problem. If you had to push one large person in front of a moving trolley to save a group of people on the tracks, would you? This abstract idea has taken hold in programming self-driving cars: what happens if it’s impossible to avoid everyone?

Researchers from the Toulouse School of Economics decided to see what the public would decide, and posed a series of questions to online survey-takers, including a situation where a car would either kill 10 people and save the driver, or swerve and kill the driver to save the group.

They found that more than 75 percent supported self-sacrifice of the passenger to save 10 people, and around 50 percent supported self-sacrifice when saving just one person. However, respondents didn’t actually think real cars would end up being programmed this way, and would probably save the passenger at all costs. (1)

Indeed a difficult problem. How can you program that into a robot, when you yourself is not yet fully aware of why you would sacrifice yourself to save other people?

Robots will never understand what cannot be understood.

Robots will never comprehend the incomprehensible.

Robots will never be alive.

There is godly nature in us. And such decisions should be left to gods (humans) alone. Because only God can choose to die to save a human…

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