Inventions
Monday, March 8, 2021

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The DARPA Robotics Challenge(DRC) is a prize competition funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.  The competition involves robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. It was designed to be extremely difficult.

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Carnegie Mellon University: CHIMP

Participating teams, representing some of the most advanced robotics research and development organizations in the world, are collaborating and innovating on a very short timeline to develop the hardware, software, sensors, and human-machine control interfaces that will enable their robots to complete a series of challenge tasks selected by DARPA for their relevance to disaster response. The DRC Finals will take place from June 5-6, 2015 at Fairplex in Pomona, California.

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Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a robot that can fold itself up from a flat sheet into a beetle-like, four-legged walking form.  

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It's not the first folding robot: Some of the same engineers and mathematicians who collaborated on this one have built other origami robots, including robotic bees. This one, however, is the first to be able to fold itself rather than being folded by a person. The innovation raise the potential of robots that can be stacked compactly, like so many mouse pads, and then flown into hostile environments—either battlefields or other planets—where they then can be left to self-assemble.

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Traditional Operating Rooms are inefficient and overcrowded. Patient data are not integrated and displayed to caregivers in a timely fashion,   and turnover time between cases is lengthy. Technologies designed to impact procedural medicine are often introduced in isolation, usually failing to improve efficiency and safety, or reduce costs.

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Devices are often haphazardly introduced into a technologically complex environment. Integrating high technology components, however, is not   sufficient to achieve the goal of better patient care; teamwork and communication in a high tech environment is equally essential. To address many of these problems, CIMIT pioneered the MGH "Operating Room of the Future" (ORF) project.

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The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human super intelligence through technological means. By promoting the "truth" of its coming through predictions that seem remarkable at the time but inevitable after the fact (a global computer network, a computer beating the chess champion, etc.), Ray Kurzweil's popular series of books reinforces the belief that a singularity is unavoidable.

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Ramona Modifies Her Own Code

The difficult thing to keep sight of when you're talking about the Singularity is that even though it sounds like science fiction, it isn't, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. It's not a fringe idea; it's a serious hypothesis about the future of life on Earth. There's an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves super-intelligent immortal cyborgs, but suppress it if you can, because while the Singularity appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it's an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation.

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When soldiers fall wounded on future battlefields, their smart uniforms may instantly report the location of gunshot wounds or even detect traces of nuclear, biological or chemical attacks in blood and sweat. That intelligent clothing could make a lifesaving difference in medical care and give U.S. commanders a sense of battles unfolding as casualties mount.

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The smart uniforms would include medical sensors built into the fabric to monitor the health of U.S. troops, according to a notice issued in the Spring of 2013 by the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Such clothes would not only detect where wounds occurred and how deep they go, but also report a fallen soldier's location with GPS coordinates and pass along other critical information for battlefield medics.  Smart clothing fibers might even "estimate the depth of penetration" from bullets or shrapnel and how they affect surrounding organs.