Tag Archives: technology

Scientists Are Turning Dead Spiders Into ‘Necrobots’ And We Are So Freaked Out

When graduate student in mechanical engineering Faye Yap noticed a dead spider curled up in the corridor, she had the strange idea that it would be used as a robotics component.

Some people’s worst scenario may involve turning dead spiders into mechanical grippers, yet it might have real advantages. Spider legs are able to gently and securely grasp huge, delicate, and asymmetrically shaped objects without damaging them.

The mechanical engineers at Rice University were inspired after coming across curled up spiders while moving things about in their laboratory. Lead author Faye Yap (pictured) wanted to find out why it was that the arachnids' legs curl inwards after they die

Therefore, Yap and her colleagues at Rice University developed a method to make a dead wolf spider’s legs unfold and grab onto objects in partnership with mechanical engineer Daniel Preston.

They gave this new branch of robotics the name “necrobotics.”

Jodie Louise WitchinnReadin's review of City of Fae

Strangely, spider legs are not extended by muscles but rather by hydraulic pressure. When the prosoma chamber, also known as the cephalothorax, contracts, inner body fluid is forced into the legs, causing them to lengthen.

So, using a glob of superglue, the scientists sealed the needle’s tip after inserting it into the spider’s prosoma chamber. The spider’s legs could be made to go through their whole range of motion in less than a second by just inflating the syringe with a tiny puff of air.

“We took the spider, we placed the needle in it not knowing what was going to happen,” says Yap in a video on the Rice University website.

“We had an estimate of where we wanted to place the needle. And when we did, it worked, the first time, right off the bat. I don’t even know how to describe it, that moment.”

spiderrobot 2

The scientists succeeded in getting the dead spider to grasp a tiny ball, and they utilized that experiment to calculate the highest grip force, which was 0.35 millinewtons.

They then performed a demonstration in which a dead spider was used to pick up fragile items and electronics, removing a jumper wire from an electric breadboard and moving a block of polyurethane foam afterward.

Additionally, they demonstrated that the spider could support the weight of another spider of a similar size.

Scientists transform dead spiders into 'necrobots' that can serve as mechanical  grippers | UK Times

When a spider dies, the hydraulic system ceases to function because it extends its legs by applying hydraulic pressure from its cephalothorax. The spider curls up when the flexor muscles in its legs develop into rigor Mortis because they can only move in one direction.

While manufacturing the majority of man-made robotics components is highly sophisticated, spiders are already quite complex and, sadly for arachnophobes, are readily available.

“The concept of necrobotics proposed in this work takes advantage of unique designs created by nature that can be complicated or even impossible to replicate artificially,” the researchers say in their paper.

Since spiders can be biodegraded, utilizing them as robot parts would reduce waste in the robotics industry.

Engineers first tapped into the spider's prosoma chamber with a needle, attaching it with a dab of superglue. The other end of the needle was connected to one of the lab's test rigs or a handheld syringe, which delivered a minute amount of air to activate the legs almost instantly
Left: A scanning electron microscope image of the articular membrane of a spider's patellofemoral joint, that has inspired the design of many soft flexible joints. Right: A hypodermic needle is inserted into the prosoma of the spider and sealed with glue

“One of the applications we could see this being used for is micro-manipulation, and that could include things like micro-electronic devices,” says Preston in the video. 

“We think that’s related to issues with dehydration of the joints. We think we can overcome that by applying polymeric coatings,” explains Preston. 

Researchers Turn Dead Spiders Into 'Necrobotic' Grippers - CNET

When the wolf spiders were coated in beeswax, the researchers found that over the course of 10 days, their mass decreased 17 times less than the uncoated spider, indicating that the beeswax increased water retention and prolonged hydraulic system function.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

China uses ‘mind-reading AI’ to test the loyalty of Communist Party members

An AI program can “determine the level of acceptability for ideological and political instruction” by reading brainwaves and facial expressions. According to Didi Tang, a Times reporter in Beijing, the technology was created by scientists at the Hefei Comprehensive National Science Centre.

Communist Party members’ facial expressions and brain waves can be analyzed to gauge their openness to “thought instruction.”

China has reportedly created an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can check the loyalty of Communist Party members (stoke image)

Tang claims that an article describing the technique was published online on July 1 and quickly removed.

The article said: ‘On one hand, it can judge how party members have accepted thought and political education. 

‘On the other hand, it will provide real data for thought and political education so it can be improved and enriched.’

Pictured is China's President Xi Jinping following his speech after a ceremony to inaugurate Hong Kong's new leader and government on July 1, 2022

The AI technology will strengthen Communist Party members’ “confidence and determination” to “be grateful to the party, listen to the party, and follow the party.”

Hefei Comprehensive National Science Centre has reportedly pushed 43 Communist Party members who are also members of the research team to test the technology.

A researcher was seen entering a kiosk, sitting in front of a screen, and showing articles highlighting party policy and accomplishments in a video that was included with the story but has since been removed.

‘The kiosk can see the researcher’s expressions, possibly via surveillance cameras,’ Tang says

The 'Study Xi' app tracks the amount of time users spend browsing inspirational quotes and following his speeches and travels

The location of the brainwave-reading technology in the kiosk and the implementation of the entire system to keep an eye on the nation’s millions of Communist Party members are both unknown.

However, it seems that reading people’s brain waves is nothing new for China; in fact, the South China Morning Post revealed in 2018 that Hangzhou manufacturing workers were subjected to brain-scanning equipment.

This entailed employing artificial intelligence algorithms to identify emotional spikes like melancholy, anxiety, or fury using brain-reading helmets to read a worker’s emotions.

According to reports, President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party, which currently controls China, considers “thought and political education” to be crucial to maintaining party allegiance.

For its members, the party already has an “indoctrination app” named “Xuexi Qiangguo,” which translates to “Study to make China powerful.”

Chinese Communist Party more assertive, demanding & confrontational:  US-Europe report - The Economic Times

The 96.77 million users of the app are required to gain points by watching movies, reading articles, and responding to questions about historical Communist figures.

It keeps track of how long users spend looking through President Jinping’s motivational words and skimming through brief recordings of his speeches and tours.

According to AFP, members can exchange their points for items like doughnuts and tablets.

As a result of its use of sophisticated surveillance tools, like security cameras with facial recognition capabilities and police applications that allow them to access personal data from smartphones at checkpoints, China’s government has come under increased scrutiny.

China is renowned for deploying cutting-edge technology to monitor its population, most notably a social grading system like to that in Black Mirror to “restore morals” and blacklist “untrustworthy” citizens.

How China combined authoritarianism with capitalism to create a new  communism

China built an AI prosecutor that can charge people with crimes with an accuracy rate of more than 97%, it was reported last year.

The eight most frequent crimes in Shanghai may be identified by this algorithm, which was “trained” using 17,000 actual incidents from 2015 to 2020.

These include credit card fraud, gambling offenses, reckless driving, theft, fraud, intentional injury, and disrupting official duties—a word used to stifle dissent in China.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

16 Parents And Grandparents Failing Badly At Technology

All the better to see you with, my dear.
16 Parents And Grandparents Failing Badly At Technology

And this is after they tried to fix it, too.
And this is after they tried to fix it, too.

How do they do it though
How do they do it though

Just wanted to say ‘hi.’
Just wanted to say 'hi.'

Look, he even hangs out at Starbucks.
Look, he even hangs out at Starbucks.

Oh, that Grandmaster Flash.
Oh, that Grandmaster Flash.

Thank you for shopping at Walmart

Thank you for shopping at Walmart