Hi I’m Matthew Dahlitz, Editor in Chief of The Age of Robots and this is some of what’s been happening this week.
Ben-Gurion University researchers reveal how easy it is to hack into cameras attached to baby monitors, doorbells, and other internet-of-things devices. The disturbing findings have led the researchers to urge manufacturers to use better security for these devices.
Berkeley researchers are using the same sort of algorithms that analyse relationships in a social network to analyse biological networks. On a social network like Facebook a user is represented as a node and the connections that person has are called edges. Analysing the connections a person has revealed a lot about their interested, spending habits and so on. Using the same algorithms analysing nodes and edges of proteins – elements involved in almost all biological tasks – researchers are able to better understand massive biological networks. At the Berkeley Lad they are using about 140K processors to analysis a large biological network of about 70 million nodes and 68 billion edges.
At the University of Illinois a team have created the TerraSentia crop phenotyping robot to collect data in the field for farmers! As the robot autonomously moves between crop rows it measures the traits of individual plants and transmits the data in real time back to the operators phone or laptop. The lead developer says these robots will fundamentally change the way farmers are collecting and using data from their fields.
On the social front this week Elon Musk deleted his Facebook page for SpaceX and Tesla after recent investigations involving Facebook and the data mining company Cambridge Analytica.
At the University of Arizona a team is creating a new heads-up display that will overcome current limitations. Heads-up displays currently have what’s called a small eye box, meaning that the information partially or totally disappears if the viewer shifts their angle of viewing too much. The researchers have demonstrated a heads-up display that uses holographic optics that has a much larger eye box. The system creates a hologram that can be applied to a standard windshield in a car. Their prototype almost doubles the eye box of the original image and the image doesn’t disappear until the user looks beyond the edge of the hologram. They also demonstrated that the image appears in the far field, meaning that you don’t need to change your focus to see the displayed information.