German researchers have developed a robot that mimics the simple nervous system used for olfactory learning in the honeybee, using color instead of odors. The researchers have installed a camera on a small robotic vehicle connected to a computer. The computer program replicates, in a simplified way, the sensorimotor neural network of the insect brain and operates the motors of the robot wheels to control its motion and direction based on the colors.
Description from the FU Berlin Team on Youtube:
Here, we present a robotic platform designed for implementing and testing spiking neural network control architectures. We demonstrate a neuromorphic realtime approach to sensory processing, reward-based associative plasticity and behavioral control. This is inspired by the biological mechanisms underlying rapid associative learning and the formation of distributed memories in the insect.
Additional material for the paper : Conditioned behavior in a robot controlled by a spiking neural network Lovísa Irpa Helgadottir , Joachim Haenicke, Tim Landgraf, Raul Rojas and Martin P Nawrot (Submitted 2013)
Dennis Aabo Sørensen is the first amputee in the world to feel sensory rich information – in realtime – with a prosthetic hand wired to nerves in his upper arm. Sørensen could grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching while blindfolded.
Facial tracking software uses your webcam feed and presents you as a high-quality 3D character, mimicking your facial expressions and position. Also claims to alter your voice amongst other features.
The project was featured on Indiegogo and has already reached it’s target with a month to go - video embedded below demonstrates many interesting features:
FaceRig is a program enabling anyone with a webcam to instantly embody any character they want. The output can be streamed to Skype, Twitch or any service that uses a webcam. It can also be instantly recorded as a movie. For now we’re focusing on the portrait and the audio, but we aim to do more in the future.
It is currently in development, but we’re already having lots of fun with it. We, the developers, would love to have the chance to finalize it and keep it indie to make it available at a low price for everyone to enjoy; that’s why we’re on Indiegogo. We hope you’ll join in and help us create something fresh and fun.
You can find out more at Indiegogo here, or at the official website here
U.S. Cargo Ship Launches to ISS on First Resupply Mission
Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket launched from Pad 0A at the Wallops Flight Facility, Va. to send the company’s Cygnus cargo ship on a its first supply mission to the International Space Station. Cygnus is delivering 1.5 tons of provisions and experiments to the Expedition 38 crew members living on the ISS. Upon its arrival at the station, Cygnus will be captured with the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module, where it will remain for more than a month.