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Architecture & Design Nature Technology

A robot designed to take care of your plants

For $949, you could own a robot that chases the sun to keep your plants alive.

Technology company Vincross created the spider-like HEXA as a multi-functional robot. It turns out one of those functions is for the six-legged robot to take care of your plants for you.

With blueprints downloaded from the Vincross website, any HEXA owner could program their device to move around when the plant’s leaves need sun — plants grow toward the light — and shade.

The bot can even warn owners when the plants need to be watered.

Yet another reason for millennials to turn their apartments into “house jungles.” 

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Architecture & Design Technology

The un-Christmas tree

The un-Christmas, all the aspects of the traditional Christmas tree, minus the pine tree itself.

Whether by virtual reality or a Harry Potter magic wand, the ability to minimize a Christmas tree into nakedness is a fascinating concept. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

If you’re looking for other creative Christmas tree ideas, look no further than the astronomical tree, collating colored succulents into a tree or teasing people’s imagination. Through the roof!

Colors of Succulents Christmas Tree
Through the roof Christmas Tree

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Science Technology

Google achieves “quantum supremacy” with the 54-qubit Sycamore processor

Image via Google

Google confirmed that it has officially achieved achieved quantum supremacy with the 54-qubit Sycamore processor.

Writes Engineering Director Hartmut Neven on Google’s blog:

Today, the scientific journal Nature has published the results of Google’s efforts to build a quantum computer that can perform a task no classical computer can; this is known in the field as “quantum supremacy.” In practical terms, our chip, which we call Sycamore, performed a computation in 200 seconds that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.

IBM has downplayed the innovation saying that the the classical computer can run the same simulation in 2.5 days.

Writes the IBM Research Blog, “We argue that an ideal simulation of the same task can be performed on a classical system in 2.5 days and with far greater fidelity. This is in fact a conservative, worst-case estimate, and we expect that with additional refinements the classical cost of the simulation can be further reduced.”

IBM also said that Google “failed to fully account for plentiful disk storage” in a traditional supercomputer to exaggerate the supremacy of its machine.

Both Google and IBM make valid points, with the objective takeaway being how quantum computing will make its way into everyday tasks and how much more potential there is in classical computing.

Either way, the 54-qubit Sycamore processor is a far cry from the 5MB hard drive that IBM released in 1956 that weighed over a ton.

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Architecture & Design Technology

The cake server by Joseph’s Machines

Brooklyn-based inventor Joseph’s Machines makes comical DIY contraptions. His latest video shows a chain-reaction machine deliver him a piece of cake. It also includes a baby poking an iPhone, a string of melting butter, and a chandelier.

The video took 3 months to make. Piece a cake!

Joseph’s gadgets are inspired by the cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg who built complex, interconnected machines in the early 1900s. Today, people use the expression Rube Goldberg machine. to describe anything convoluted, from machines to politics.

Rube Goldberg’s Self-Operating Napkin (1931)
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Science Technology

Connecting human brains to computers

Art by MattiasA 

“You could just think your query and download the relevant knowledge directly in your mind.”

Forget Ritalin. Forget Google and Evernote acting as our second brains holding all the information we can’t. And instead, prepare for brain implants where the mind melds with machines. We don’t even have to type, click, or touch anything. We just think and imagine commands.

As part of a clinical trial called “Brain Gate,” 13 applicants at Brown University have had a sensor placed into their motor cortex and so far have been able to control cursor movement on a screen. Says doctor John Simerall at Brown University building the neurotechnology device:

“Simply by imagining intuitive movements participants can immediately control a robotic device.”

Here come the cyborgs.