33 results for “sexy-machinery”

Five ways AI could make your car as smart as a human passenger

Max Eiza
January 6th 2020

Driving long distances without a passenger can be lonely. If you’ve ever done it, you might have wished for a companion to talk to – someone emotionally intelligent who can understand you and help you on the road. The disembodied voice of SatNav helps to fill the monotonous silence, but it can’t hold a conversation or keep you safe.

Research on driverless cars is well underway, but less is heard about the work being done to make cars a smart …

The real-life gruesome experiments that inspired Frankenstein

Iwan Morus
December 29th 2018

On January 17 1803, a young man named George Forster was hanged for murder at Newgate prison in London. After his execution, as often happened, his body was carried ceremoniously across the city to the Royal College of Surgeons, where it would be publicly dissected. What actually happened was rather more shocking than simple dissection though. Forster was going to be electrified.

The experiments were to be carried out by the Italian natural philosopher Giovanni Aldini, the nephew of Luigi …

Face the future of intimacy with Kiiroo

Ruben Baart
May 12th 2018

Meet the teledildonics, an ingenious species of bi-directionally controlled sextoys from the future, available today. These touch emulating vibrators find each other on social sex networks to, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, perform two-way interactive sessions that interface controls to the stimulation device(s) located at, well, your body. …

Drive in Wheel

Van Mensvoort
December 9th 2010


The Drive in Wheel is an unique and spectacular giant wheel made especially for cars. The wheel is 100 feet high and takes four cars on one trip. City sightseeing has never been easier: you drive into the city center, into the wheel, view the city from above and drive out again – without ever leaving your car.…

Scared Cat

Van Mensvoort
November 20th 2009


BMW aggressively takes on the biomimicmarketing of Jaguar. Peculiar image of the week.

Via Infozaragoza. Related: The Naturalness of traveling with a Jeep, Facing Your Car, Steam Horse. Thanks iPeg.…

The Uncanny Valley of the Pussycat Dolls

Van Mensvoort
November 6th 2009

Make no mistake, you're not looking at the latest Barbie line: These are the The Pussycat Dolls. Formerly an LA stripper show burlesque show, now upgraded to be pop music sensation and the new face of female empowerment. With virtually every race and hair color represented, the collection of women seemed to have stepped straight out of an adolescent boy's fantasy.

Yet, their polished perfection also has a certain unheimlich quality: The lips, the breasts, the heavily done faces, the …

Exmovere Chariot: the wearable wheelchair

federica
October 25th 2009

Exmovere Holdings, a biomedical engineering company, is focused on government and consumer applications for healthcare, security and mobility. This company developed Exmovere Chariot a self-balancing, hands-free, motorized wearable wheelchair that enables both disabled and non-disabled people to move around in an upright position.…

The anatomy of fun

Rolf Coppens
August 22nd 2009


This guy put his work as an x-ray technician and his gaming hobby together and put his (old) gaming devices under the scanner. I was surprised how some of them actually look like nature, maybe there is a clue in that? (Probably not).

Check out his set of X-Ray Funnies on Flickr.…

Recycling Robot Takes the Streets of Italy

Van Mensvoort
July 25th 2009


Let the robots do the dirty work! This real-life Wall-E Recycling robot, part of the $3.9 million DustBot research program that is trying to improve urban hygiene, collects trash and measures atmospheric pollutants. He – or is it a she? – can also identify residents, and sort their trash into organic, recyclable, or waste.

The robot is nimble enough to navigate where conventional gas-guzzling garbage trucks cannot. The one on the picture is still in the prototype phase and robots …

Triceracopter

Van Mensvoort
July 17th 2009


The Triceracopter is half Triceratops, half helicopter. If dinosaurs and technology evolved at the same time, this is what the helicopter might have look like? Built as a sculpture in 1977 by artist Patricia Renick, crafted of fiberglass and built on the frame of a Vietnam era U.S. Army OH6A/Cayuse helicopter.

The piece is now available for the discerning collector/dinopilot. Peculiar object of the week.

Via Joshspear.com. See also: Aquasaurus, Skeleton Car, Skeleton mouse, Animatus, Pacman’s skull. Thanks Jurrian.…

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Driving long distances without a passenger can be lonely. If you’ve ever done it, you might have wished for a companion to talk to – someone emotionally intelligent who can understand you and help you on the road. The disembodied voice of SatNav helps to fill the monotonous silence, but it can’t hold a conversation or keep you safe.

Research on driverless cars is well underway, but less is heard about the work being done to make cars a smart companion for drivers. In the future, the cars still driven by humans are likely to become as sensitive and attentive to their driver’s needs as another person. Sound far-fetched? It’s closer than you might think.

1. Ask your car questions

We’re already familiar with AI in our homes and mobile phones. Siri and Alexa answer questions and find relevant search items from around the web on demand. The same will be possible in cars within the near future. Mercedes are integrating Siri into their new A-class car. The technology can recognise the driver’s voice and their way of speaking – rather than just following a basic set of commands, the AI could interpret meaning from conversation in the same way another person could.

2. From the screen to your drive

Those with longer memories may remember a talking car that was a regular on TV. Knight Rider and its super intelligent KITT was a self-aware car that was fiercely loyal to Michael, the driver. Though KITT’s mounted flame thrower and bomb detector might not make it into commercial vehicles, drivers could talk to their cars through a smart band on their wrists. The technology is being developed to allow people to start their car before they reach it, to warm the seats, to set the destination on the navigation system, flash the lights, lock the doors and sound the horn – all from a distance with voice command.

3. Big Motor is watching you

A driver alert system already exists that, through a series of audible and vibrating gestures, tries to keep the driver awake or warn them against sudden lane departure. By 2021 though, there are plans to install in-car cameras to monitor a driver’s behaviour.

If the driver looked away from the road for a period of time, or appeared drunk or sleepy, the car would take action. This might start with slowing down and alerting a call centre for someone to check on the driver, but if the driver didn’t respond, the car could take control, slow down and park in a safe place. The potential to improve road safety is promising, but there are credible concerns for what in-car cameras could mean for individual privacy.

4. A cure for road rage

Increasingly intelligent and perceptive cars won’t stop at visual cues. An AI assistant has been developed which can pick up on the driver’s mood and well-being by detecting their heart rate, eye movements, facial expressions and the tone of their voice. It’s suggested the car would learn the driver’s habits and interact with them by, for example, playing the driver’s favourite music to calm them down. It can also suggest some nice places to go – perhaps a nearby café or park – where the driver could stop to improve their state of mind.

5. A butler on the road

As technology is developed to monitor the mood of drivers, the next step may be cars which can act to improve them. Autonomous vehicles which can take over driving when drivers are stressed could change the windscreen display to show photographs or peaceful scenes. Smart glass windscreens could even black out the surroundings entirely to create a tranquil space – known tentatively in ongoing research as “cocoon mode” – where the interior is invisible from outside and the occupants can rest while the car drives. Cars might even dispense snacks and drinks on demand from refrigerated cartridges, using technology that’s under development but not scheduled to make its debut until 2035.

Whether for good or ill, cars are likely to change beyond recognition in the near future. It may no longer be ridiculous to think that the wildest science fiction dreams could be driving us to work in the not so distant future.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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On January 17 1803, a young man named George Forster was hanged for murder at Newgate prison in London. After his execution, as often happened, his body was carried ceremoniously across the city to the Royal College of Surgeons, where it would be publicly dissected. What actually happened was rather more shocking than simple dissection though. Forster was going to be electrified.

The experiments were to be carried out by the Italian natural philosopher Giovanni Aldini, the nephew of Luigi Galvani, who discovered “animal electricity” in 1780, and for whom the field of galvanism is named. With Forster on the slab before him, Aldini and his assistants started to experiment. The Times newspaper reported:

"On the first application of the process to the face, the jaw of the deceased criminal began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and one eye was actually opened. In the subsequent part of the process, the right hand was raised and clenched, and the legs and thighs were set in motion."

It looked to some spectators “as if the wretched man was on the eve of being restored to life.”

By the time Aldini was experimenting on Forster the idea that there was some peculiarly intimate relationship between electricity and the processes of life was at least a century old. Isaac Newton speculated along such lines in the early 1700s. In 1730, the English astronomer and dyer Stephen Gray demonstrated the principle of electrical conductivity. Gray suspended an orphan boy on silk cords in mid air, and placed a positively charged tube near the boy’s feet, creating a negative charge in them. Due to his electrical isolation, this created a positive charge in the child’s other extremities, causing a nearby dish of gold leaf to be attracted to his fingers.

In France in 1746 Jean Antoine Nollet entertained the court at Versailles by causing a company of 180 royal guardsmen to jump simultaneously when the charge from a Leyden jar (an electrical storage device) passed through their bodies.

It was to defend his uncle’s theories against the attacks of opponents such as Alessandro Volta that Aldini carried out his experiments on Forster. Volta claimed that “animal” electricity was produced by the contact of metals rather than being a property of living tissue, but there were several other natural philosophers who took up Galvani’s ideas with enthusiasm. Alexander von Humboldt experimented with batteries made entirely from animal tissue. Johannes Ritter even carried out electrical experiments on himself to explore how electricity affected the sensations.

The idea that electricity really was the stuff of life and that it might be used to bring back the dead was certainly a familiar one in the kinds of circles in which the young Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – the author of Frankenstein – moved. The English poet, and family friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was fascinated by the connections between electricity and life.

Writing to his friend the chemist Humphry Davy after hearing that he was giving lectures at the Royal Institution in London, he told him how his “motive muscles tingled and contracted at the news, as if you had bared them and were zincifying the life-mocking fibres.” Percy Bysshe Shelley himself – who would become Wollstonecraft’s husband in 1816 – was another enthusiast for galvanic experimentation.

Vital knowledge

Aldini’s experiments with the dead attracted considerable attention. Some commentators poked fun at the idea that electricity could restore life, laughing at the thought that Aldini could “make dead people cut droll capers.” Others took the idea very seriously. Lecturer Charles Wilkinson, who assisted Aldini in his experiments, argued that galvanism was “an energising principle, which forms the line of distinction between matter and spirit, constituting in the great chain of the creation, the intervening link between corporeal substance and the essence of vitality.”

In 1814 the English surgeon John Abernethy made much the same sort of claim in the annual Hunterian lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons. His lecture sparked a violent debate with fellow surgeon William Lawrence. Abernethy claimed that electricity was (or was like) the vital force while Lawrence denied that there was any need to invoke a vital force at all to explain the processes of life. Both Mary and Percy Shelley certainly knew about this debate – Lawrence was their doctor.

By the time Frankenstein was published in 1818, its readers would have been familiar with the notion that life could be created or restored with electricity. Just a few months after the book appeared, the Scottish chemist Andrew Ure carried out his own electrical experiments on the body of Matthew Clydesdale, who had been executed for murder. When the dead man was electrified, Ure wrote, “every muscle in his countenance was simultaneously thrown into fearful action; rage, horror, despair, anguish, and ghastly smiles, united their hideous expression in the murderer’s face.”

Ure reported that the experiments were so gruesome that “several of the spectators were forced to leave the apartment, and one gentleman fainted.” It is tempting to speculate about the degree to which Ure had Mary Shelley’s recent novel in mind as he carried out his experiments. His own account of them was certainly quite deliberately written to highlight their more lurid elements.

Frankenstein might look like fantasy to modern eyes, but to its author and original readers there was nothing fantastic about it. Just as everyone knows about artificial intelligence now, so Shelley’s readers knew about the possibilities of electrical life. And just as artificial intelligence (AI) invokes a range of responses and arguments now, so did the prospect of electrical life – and Shelley’s novel – then.

The science behind Frankenstein reminds us that current debates have a long history – and that in many ways the terms of our debates now are determined by it. It was during the 19th century that people started thinking about the future as a different country, made out of science and technology. Novels such as Frankenstein, in which authors made their future out of the ingredients of their present, were an important element in that new way of thinking about tomorrow.

Thinking about the science that made Frankenstein seem so real in 1818 might help us consider more carefully the ways we think now about the possibilities – and the dangers – of our present futures.

Iwan Morus, Professor of History, Aberystwyth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

[post_title] => The real-life gruesome experiments that inspired Frankenstein [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => frankenstein [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-11 14:01:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-11 13:01:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=101933 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81441 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-05-12 12:16:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-12 11:16:42 [post_content] => Meet the teledildonics, an ingenious species of bi-directionally controlled sextoys from the future, available today. These touch emulating vibrators find each other on social sex networks to, in accordance with the preferred embodiment, perform two-way interactive sessions that interface controls to the stimulation device(s) located at, well, your body.Tuning into our current research on how technology radically alters our attitude towards reproduction, gender, relationships and love in the 21st century, we caught up with the team from Amsterdam-based teledildonic manufacturer Kiiroo to learn more about modern dating, tactile sensations, and the future of long distance love. Because nothing says “I love you” like teledildonics.
"Intimacy is something that is constantly evolving"
The term ‘teledildonic’ stems from the mid-70s, and made a public entrance in the late 80s, to become the promise of 90s cybersex. Yet today, teledildonics still remain in a niche. It seems that the world is still not ready for this sexual revolution. However with the current trend of exponential technology, I wonder: How will exponential technology change our relationship with sex?Change is a powerful word. We will not change our current relationship with sex, but rather enhance it. Intimacy is something that is constantly evolving. People find new things that interest them in the bedroom, and when distance separates couples, people get creative with how they keep the spark alive.We went from phone sex, to Skype sex, and now the use of teledildonics to mimic sex, and we have even come so far as to have sex in 3D/VR in real time.Nothing will ever replace the power of emotion that you feel when you are with your loved one, but technology will definitely enhance those feelings and generate excitement.Early sexual, yet political technology (read: anti conception) disconnected sex from reproduction. New technology seems to disconnect intimacy from sex. How does the Kiiroo product contribute to a new societal perspective on recreational sex with technology?Kiiroo initially created the “Kiiroo Couple Set” in 2013/2014 to help bring couples who were in long-distance relationships closer together. As a company, we know that nothing will ever replace real intimacy, and the feeling of being with your significant other, but we created the closest possible form of intimacy that you can have through the Internet.Now, a few years later, our devices and technology are being used for an array of recreational activities. Webcam performers use interactive devices in live webcam performances, getting tipped by customers sends tips to the devices to make them vibrate or stroke in real time corresponding to tip amounts. We have interactive erotic content in 2D and VR that syncs seamlessly to all of our devices.
"We went from phone sex, to Skype sex, and now the use of teledildonics to mimic sex"
How does Kiiroo see the relationship between sex and technology? And how has this relationship changed over time, and how will it change in the future?We see the relationship between sex and technology as constantly evolving. Technology will never replace real intimacy, but it is opening the doors for self-expression, comfort and exploration in the bedroom and also promoting safer sex at the same time. We can learn a lot through technology, and technology will always be an accompaniment rather than a replacement.Technology holds the potential to facilitate intimate, yet emotional experiences from a distance. One way to put it, is that Kiiroo is facilitating such intimate encounters. How does technology add to our understanding of intersubjective relationships?Technology enables us to explore and connect with each other to a greater degree than before. It creates a platform or a safe space where we are able to interact with each other to a different degree than we were previously able to. Communication is experienced differently once there is touch involved from a distance; you get to communicate in ways you never thought you could. Thus, maintaining a closer bond with each other. You are also able to explore fantasy lands together where you are subjected to an array of choices to your liking in a safe and comfortable space.Also, as we have become more of a world that tends to live lives online, we find more comfort in learning about a person before actually being with them.Then how do tactile (technological) sensations play a role in governing our sexual activities?Being touched is one of the most personal intimate experiences someone can have. Combined with other senses, touch can be a very powerful experience leading to some powerful emotions and reactions. Multiple stimuli need to be stimulated in order to amplify sensations; touch, visual, audio - if you combine them the sensations become more real and powerful than if you just have one.If you think about smell for instance; smelling certain things can trigger certain emotions. Like when you smell a perfume that your ex-boyfriend used to wear, this triggers emotions – whether happy, sad, angry etc. Technology like the Kiiroo devices can do this too, it triggers those feelings that you couldn’t feel from your partner without them actually being in the same space.
"Sex toys are opening up the doors to new ways of experiencing sex"
How does modern dating influence new sexualities?Technology makes it easier to find likeminded people, who may have the same sexual preference as you, the same fetishes, the same beliefs and more. Forums, groups, etc. create same places for people to find likeminded others. It’s the same for interactive sex toys; people use Reddit, Craigslist and more to find other teledildonic toy users.Sex toys are opening up the doors to new ways of experiencing sex. You can have sex before you meet, with different people before meeting for the first time. Technology allows people to meet for the first time in a safe space.If for instance, you live in Australia, and your partner lives in London, the time difference is huge. Your partner in London can record an interactive session and you can play it in your time zone and your partner can play it in theirs. We’re blurring the boundaries.VR livestream in a new and exciting setting is very intimate too. You can decide how the room looks and influence all kinds of things that will make this experience closer and more intimate while your partner(s) are 1000kms away.Modern dating’s influence on new sexualities to sum up - we feel that technology is allowing us to explore who we are in such detail that it gives us the self-freedom to become who we needed to become, not who society told us to be, not how society told us to be, but who we are.
"Technology will enhance feelings of emotion and generate excitement"
In a world heavily filtered through screens, we start to experience intimacy (and touch, for that matter) as a virtual experience as well. Even relationships and love are becoming virtual practice. Are we striving for relationships in a not-so-relational world?The answer to this can be two-fold. we don’t think everyone will have a similar stance on technology in a long-standing relationship, and technology to forge new relationships.On one hand, we have technology that is aiding relationships that have been separated for one reason or another, to help them keep the spark alive for that period of time that they are apart. On the other hand, we have relationships that start through the Internet and transpire to become something more and more concrete or fizzle out at a point.We have become an Internet connected society, we are constantly on our phones, on the Internet and constantly watching our screens, it was inevitable that technology would creep its way into our bedrooms.We have become this society that spends more of our lives on Facebook or Instagram where we have found a space of belonging in a not so relational world. But we have to look at it in the eyes of someone who is not me or you, perhaps someone that has been isolated due to disease or disability or work, not everyone has found a sense of belonging in the world, so it’s only natural that we turn to technology to create a safe space or a comfortable space for ourselves in a world that may not be our own, but it is the world where we can be ourselves.
"It was inevitable that technology would creep its way into our bedrooms"
Teledildonics hold the psychopharmacological possibility of “de-gendering” the human brain using technology (considering gender is a construct). How do you relate to a post-gender world and how can teledildonics highlight the breadth and variety of human gender, sex, and sexuality?With VR for instance, you can be a gender that is not your own; you can see a woman or man’s body and experience how it is to see your body as a different sex. Combining it with devices you can enhance that experience. It will be possible to experience new adventures. VR games are even more de-gendered, you chose the person you want to be.The same goes with the devices, some (not all) can be used by multiple genders, for multiple reasons to stimulate different areas of the body and can connect to an array of interactive content that spans across an array of sexual preferences.How do you relate to the concept of objectification (using technology) in terms of human connectedness?Technology by definition objectifies as we do refer to technology as an object, it’s something we use not something we (not everyone) are connected to. If you as a person are not there, but there is a representation of you, I may not see you as real. But, if you are interacting with me and we form a connection through technology, there is ample room to form a connection.Modern sex toys seem to have evolved towards slick, high-end design (household) objects. What’s the main challenge of teledildonic design today?The entire industry is becoming more sex positive and more aware of the things we put in and around our body. High-end designs that may look like a speaker etc. are mainly for reasons of discretion at home. As sex and the use of sex toys is still quite a taboo topic in many households, we have found the more discreet, compact and travel friendly a device is, the more people will consider buying it. Some designs are so big and bulky that it deters people from even considering buying it.Materials also play a huge part in the design of high-end devices; medical grade silicone, biodegradable materials, body safe materials all need to be considered when creating new devices.
"If you stay ahead of the game, the undesirable futures can be avoided"
Linking to undesirable futures of new sex toys that are vulnerable to hackers, what would be undesirable for this teledildonic future? (even if it is commercially exploitable?)Over the last few years we have seen a number of teledildonic toys get hacked, and companies have had major issues with data being retrieved and more.As a company, it is vital to keep privacy and security as the utmost importance in order to avoid what we may consider undesirable futures.The most undesirable future would probably be being hacked, but that is why we work with a Bug Bounty Program and Hacker1 to ensure that our systems and devices are not vulnerable to negative external hacking.If you stay ahead of the game, the undesirable futures can be avoided.Does me using Kiiroo devices make me a cyborg?Haha definitely not. The definition of cyborg is “a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.” Our devices are not implanted into the body. [post_title] => Face the future of intimacy with Kiiroo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => teledildonics-kiiroo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-17 17:50:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-17 16:50:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81441 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3025 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2010-12-09 23:15:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2010-12-09 22:15:08 [post_content] => drive in wheel The Drive in Wheel is an unique and spectacular giant wheel made especially for cars. The wheel is 100 feet high and takes four cars on one trip. City sightseeing has never been easier: you drive into the city center, into the wheel, view the city from above and drive out again – without ever leaving your car.Cars just want to have fun. In case you are wondering: yes, the drive in wheel can be rented. The installation was created by artist John Körmeling, who also realized the Dutch pavilion for the World Expo 2010.reuzenrad2_530.jpgmobilefun01_530.jpg [post_title] => Drive in Wheel [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => drive-in-wheel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2010-12-03 00:04:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2010-12-02 23:04:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=3025 [menu_order] => 2370 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4194 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2009-11-20 10:06:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-11-20 09:06:42 [post_content] => bmw-jaguar_scared_cat_530.jpg BMW aggressively takes on the biomimicmarketing of Jaguar. Peculiar image of the week.Via Infozaragoza. Related: The Naturalness of traveling with a Jeep, Facing Your Car, Steam Horse. Thanks iPeg. [post_title] => Scared Cat [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => scared-cat [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-11-20 10:06:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2009-11-20 09:06:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=4194 [menu_order] => 2713 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3679 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2009-11-06 14:47:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-11-06 13:47:56 [post_content] => pussycat_dolls_530.jpgMake no mistake, you're not looking at the latest Barbie line: These are the The Pussycat Dolls. Formerly an LA stripper show burlesque show, now upgraded to be pop music sensation and the new face of female empowerment. With virtually every race and hair color represented, the collection of women seemed to have stepped straight out of an adolescent boy's fantasy.Yet, their polished perfection also has a certain unheimlich quality: The lips, the breasts, the heavily done faces, the oh-so-perfect noses, the shiny skins, the 'sculpted' bodies. Too perfect to be human: this cannot be trusted.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_0JywrfPuY [/youtube]large-lars_530.jpgScreenshot from the movie Lars and the Real Girl (2007)Could the female pop group perhaps be the latest manufacture of Abyss creations, the Californian company known from Real Doll life-size silicone sex doll mannequin advertised as "the state-of-the-art for life-like human body simulation"?The name 'Pussycat Dolls' certainly adds to the suspect, but then again their hit singles with titles like 'BUTTONS' and 'BEEP' point more in the direction of a robotics project. Perhaps professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, after his so-so attempts to create a robotic schoolteacher and doppelganger of himself, now exceeded himself with this sexy machinery? Not sure, as the comparisons go on...robotic_schoolteacher_530.jpgHiroshi Ishiguro's robotic schoolteacher.matrix_pussycats_530.jpg Purely coincidental yet striking similarities with the software 'agents' from the Matrix (1999). bladerunner_pussycat_530.jpgIn the Fake for Real series: Replicant Pris from Bladerunner (1982) vs Pussycat Lead singer Nicole Scherzinger (1978).Now seriously. Of course these pop singers aren't replicants, silicone dolls, or robots of any kind. The women are human like you and me. Their only problem is they are so slick – advanced if you like – that mediocre humans (like you and me) start mistaking them for something else.THE UNCANNY VALLEY: ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE HUMANFrom humanoid robotics research we know the uncanny valley hypothesis, which holds that "when reproductions of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers."The concept was introduced by Japanese humanoid robotics researcher Masahiro Mori in 1970 and is often linked to Ernst Jentsch's concept of "The Uncanny" on which Sigmund Freud – the founder of psychoanalyses – famously elaborated in an essay titled "Das Unheimliche".There can be various, possibly overlapping causes, for a phenomenon to fall into uncanny valley, which vary from evolved or learned circuits for early face perception to culturally-shared psychological constructs. People's cultural backgrounds may also have an considerable influence on how phenomena are perceived with respect to the uncanny valley.As uncanny phenomena are familiar, yet strange, they often creates cognitive dissonance within the observer due to the paradoxical nature of being attracted to, yet repulsed by an object at the same time.461px-mori_uncanny_valley.jpgUncanny Valley scheme. Do over-enhanced people boomerang in the valley? (source Wikipedia).uncanny_cgi_doll_530.jpgAn interactive CGI woman, created with motionportrait animation software, slips straight into the uncanny valley.ENHANCED HUMANS: BOOMERANGED INTO THE UNCANNY VALLEYAlthough the term uncanny valley is typically associated with humanoid robotic research and computer graphics that aim to reproduce a human-like figure artificially, a similar effect might occur when actual humans begin to modify/improve their bodies with beauty, muscle strength, eyesight, or cognition, up to a level that they are not clearly recognizable as humans anymore.As long as these enhancements remain within a perceived norm of human behavior, a negative reaction is unlikely, but once individuals supplant normal human variety, some disgust can be expected among the humans – that may feel they are 'leaping behind'. We call the phenomenon of actual humans being mistaken for non-humans the "boomeranged uncanny valley effect". The pussycats dolls, with their doll-like hyperbeauty, surely fit the description.Now some guys might object these pussycat women are simply splendidly desirable objects and that you would have sex with them any time. Certainly from an evolutionary perspective, the sexual attraction of an upgraded woman is rather obvious. Makes us wonder though, whether Neanderthals also had the hots for homo-sapiens.More on human-transhuman relationships later on...pussycat_dolls_530_2.jpgRelated: Objects of desire, Software that ranks female beauty, French Hyperbodies, Virtual MissPhotoshop Beauties, Natural Breasts, Hyperbreasts, Beauty kit for little girls. Thanks for the inspiration: Culture Kitchen. [post_title] => The Uncanny Valley of the Pussycat Dolls [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-uncanny-valley-of-the-pussycat-dolls [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-01-30 13:37:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-01-30 12:37:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=3679 [menu_order] => 2725 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4127 [post_author] => 220 [post_date] => 2009-10-25 16:51:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-10-25 15:51:07 [post_content] => wc29.jpgExmovere Holdings, a biomedical engineering company, is focused on government and consumer applications for healthcare, security and mobility. This company developed Exmovere Chariot a self-balancing, hands-free, motorized wearable wheelchair that enables both disabled and non-disabled people to move around in an upright position.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2NcMwhFU-w&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]The vehicle is controlled through sensors located near the lower torso. It requires minimal physical effort and allows users to closely approach and reach objects. It is powered by a battery located in the base.Will it be our prosthesis of the future? The experts of Exmovere Holdings call it a New Biotechnological Frontier. Exmovere Chariot in the office [post_title] => Exmovere Chariot: the wearable wheelchair [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => exmovere-chariot-the-wearable-wheelchair [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-10-25 19:32:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2009-10-25 18:32:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=4127 [menu_order] => 2738 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 12 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3706 [post_author] => 6 [post_date] => 2009-08-22 16:37:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-08-22 15:37:35 [post_content] => xray.jpg This guy put his work as an x-ray technician and his gaming hobby together and put his (old) gaming devices under the scanner. I was surprised how some of them actually look like nature, maybe there is a clue in that? (Probably not).Check out his set of X-Ray Funnies on Flickr. [post_title] => The anatomy of fun [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-anatomy-of-fun [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-12-21 19:32:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2009-12-21 18:32:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=3706 [menu_order] => 2791 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3716 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2009-07-25 10:06:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-07-25 08:06:10 [post_content] => recycling robot Let the robots do the dirty work! This real-life Wall-E Recycling robot, part of the $3.9 million DustBot research program that is trying to improve urban hygiene, collects trash and measures atmospheric pollutants. He – or is it a she? – can also identify residents, and sort their trash into organic, recyclable, or waste.The robot is nimble enough to navigate where conventional gas-guzzling garbage trucks cannot. The one on the picture is still in the prototype phase and robots aren't legally allowed to roam around without human guidance in Peccioli, Italy. But who knows — some day soon you may see a friendly green robot zipping garbage down your street.dustcart-ed02_530.jpgVia The Guardian. See also: Ladybug cleans the toilet, Killer Robots, the order Electrus. [post_title] => Recycling Robot Takes the Streets of Italy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => recycling-robot-takes-the-streets-of-italy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-03-17 15:34:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-03-17 14:34:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=3716 [menu_order] => 2824 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3714 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2009-07-17 16:02:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2009-07-17 15:02:50 [post_content] => triceracopter_530.jpg The Triceracopter is half Triceratops, half helicopter. If dinosaurs and technology evolved at the same time, this is what the helicopter might have look like? Built as a sculpture in 1977 by artist Patricia Renick, crafted of fiberglass and built on the frame of a Vietnam era U.S. Army OH6A/Cayuse helicopter.The piece is now available for the discerning collector/dinopilot. Peculiar object of the week.Via Joshspear.com. See also: Aquasaurus, Skeleton Car, Skeleton mouse, Animatus, Pacman’s skull. Thanks Jurrian. [post_title] => Triceracopter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => triceracopter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-07-17 16:09:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2009-07-17 15:09:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=3714 [menu_order] => 2831 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 126405 [post_author] => 2320 [post_date] => 2020-01-06 14:59:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-06 13:59:04 [post_content] =>

Driving long distances without a passenger can be lonely. If you’ve ever done it, you might have wished for a companion to talk to – someone emotionally intelligent who can understand you and help you on the road. The disembodied voice of SatNav helps to fill the monotonous silence, but it can’t hold a conversation or keep you safe.

Research on driverless cars is well underway, but less is heard about the work being done to make cars a smart companion for drivers. In the future, the cars still driven by humans are likely to become as sensitive and attentive to their driver’s needs as another person. Sound far-fetched? It’s closer than you might think.

1. Ask your car questions

We’re already familiar with AI in our homes and mobile phones. Siri and Alexa answer questions and find relevant search items from around the web on demand. The same will be possible in cars within the near future. Mercedes are integrating Siri into their new A-class car. The technology can recognise the driver’s voice and their way of speaking – rather than just following a basic set of commands, the AI could interpret meaning from conversation in the same way another person could.

2. From the screen to your drive

Those with longer memories may remember a talking car that was a regular on TV. Knight Rider and its super intelligent KITT was a self-aware car that was fiercely loyal to Michael, the driver. Though KITT’s mounted flame thrower and bomb detector might not make it into commercial vehicles, drivers could talk to their cars through a smart band on their wrists. The technology is being developed to allow people to start their car before they reach it, to warm the seats, to set the destination on the navigation system, flash the lights, lock the doors and sound the horn – all from a distance with voice command.

3. Big Motor is watching you

A driver alert system already exists that, through a series of audible and vibrating gestures, tries to keep the driver awake or warn them against sudden lane departure. By 2021 though, there are plans to install in-car cameras to monitor a driver’s behaviour.

If the driver looked away from the road for a period of time, or appeared drunk or sleepy, the car would take action. This might start with slowing down and alerting a call centre for someone to check on the driver, but if the driver didn’t respond, the car could take control, slow down and park in a safe place. The potential to improve road safety is promising, but there are credible concerns for what in-car cameras could mean for individual privacy.

4. A cure for road rage

Increasingly intelligent and perceptive cars won’t stop at visual cues. An AI assistant has been developed which can pick up on the driver’s mood and well-being by detecting their heart rate, eye movements, facial expressions and the tone of their voice. It’s suggested the car would learn the driver’s habits and interact with them by, for example, playing the driver’s favourite music to calm them down. It can also suggest some nice places to go – perhaps a nearby café or park – where the driver could stop to improve their state of mind.

5. A butler on the road

As technology is developed to monitor the mood of drivers, the next step may be cars which can act to improve them. Autonomous vehicles which can take over driving when drivers are stressed could change the windscreen display to show photographs or peaceful scenes. Smart glass windscreens could even black out the surroundings entirely to create a tranquil space – known tentatively in ongoing research as “cocoon mode” – where the interior is invisible from outside and the occupants can rest while the car drives. Cars might even dispense snacks and drinks on demand from refrigerated cartridges, using technology that’s under development but not scheduled to make its debut until 2035.

Whether for good or ill, cars are likely to change beyond recognition in the near future. It may no longer be ridiculous to think that the wildest science fiction dreams could be driving us to work in the not so distant future.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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