Welcome to Cyber Dump number 34, your weekly look at what's happening in this insane of technology that we live in. As always, all source links mentioned are below.
Lots happening in the world of self-driving cars this week. Firstly, after over a million miles of road tests, Google is now getting serious about the technology, by announcing the creation of a new car company called Waymo.
Uber's self-driving cars have started picking up passengers in San Francisco this week too. This is part of it's pilot project which takes Volvo SUVs, modified with sensors and computers, and offers them to anyone using the uberX service in the area.
And Audi have also been using mini self-driving cars to train their full size counterparts.
Amazon recently completed the first Amazon Prime Air customer delivery, during a trial run in Cambridgeshire, England. The autonomous drones fly under 400ft, using GPS for tracking. The trial is set to expand in the coming months.
In other drone news, MITCSAIL, has created a drone designer tool, which allows users to test out various drone shapes and designs, simulating them virtually with accurate physics.
Cornell University has designed a robotic hand, which can feel touch pressure with the help of sensors, and its soft flesh-like construction. In one test, the hand touched various tomatoes, and had to decide which was the ripest. This soft construction also allows it to feel texture of objects too.
The University of Minnesota has also been testing out robotic hands, but this time, designing a non-invasive brain control interface which allows users to pick and place objects with the hand, using only their minds.
If you've ever wanted to start messing with software defined radio, you should check out this little intro by Robert Putt. He goes through all the basic concepts, hardware and software in this useful guide.
DeepMind announced the open sourcing of DeepMind Lab, a 3D game sandbox where AI agents can learn rules, navigate, remember things, and explore.
These worlds are viewed from the first person of the AI, and new worlds and tests can be created by users. All the code is available on Github.
This week Collin from Adafruit, released a new Collin's Lab video, this time covering the basics on the various types of batteries there are, and what they are capable of.
ETH Zurich also made a really great behind the scenes video for the recent Cybathlon 2016 competition, showcasing the different events, technologies, and the people taking part.
THIS WEEK ON NODE
This week I made some fundamental changes to the NODE website, like adding encryption, distributing the content wider, and open sourcing the entire site.
That's it for this episode. I just want to say 2016 has been a great year for NODE, and I've got a feeling next year will be the biggest yet. Thanks for watching.