Japanese Company Officially Launches Taste-Enhancing Smart Spoon

Japanese tech company Kirin Holdings recently unveiled the commercial version of its taste-enhancing spoon, dubbed Elecispoon, which improves taste buds’ perception of salt, thus making food taste better.

We originally covered Kirin’s taste-enhancing technology a couple of years ago. The company’s researchers had teamed up with scientists at Meiji University to develop a line of smart kitchenware that used electricity to make food taste saltier and tastier than it actually was. Back then, they were testing a smart spoon and bowl which worked in tandem to make foods about 1.5 times saltier than they were, but it seems that only the spoon made it to market. Kirin Technology recently announced its newest product, Elecispoon, a smart spoon designed to improve people’s health by helping them cut salt from their food.

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Innovative Mobile Bridge Allows Workers to Pave Roads Without Stopping Traffic

Switzerland’s road maintenance authority has developed an ingenious mobile bridge that allows the paving of public roads without the need to stop traffic on the affected lanes.

Traffic jams are a necessary evil when it comes to road maintenance, and despite experts’ best efforts to come up with a solution to this logistic problem, motorists still have to deal with them whenever road work is required. However, Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office may have come up with an ingenious-enough solution to revolutionize road paving. Earlier this year, it unveiled the Astra Bridge, a 257-meter-long mobile bridge that allows traffic to pass over sections of road while infrastructure is being repaired below. It’s such a simple concept that it almost makes you wonder why engineers took so long to invent it, but there is a reason why the Astra Bridge is the first of its kind – it’s not as simple as it sounds.

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Meet Lily Rain, the Virtual Travel Model Earning Over $20,000 a Month

Lily Rain is a popular AI-created digital model that earns her creators around $20,000 a month on platforms like Fanvue simply by appearing in stunning travel photos.

It’s no secret that AI models are killing it online these days. Fitness model Aitana Lopez has over 300,000 followers on Instagram and she’s not even a real person, Emilly Pelegrini, another digital influencer, has been dubbed the world’s hottest model, and “perfect girlfriend” Lexi Love earns over $30,000 a month by acting as a romantic interest for lonely people. Now, another virtual influencer is making news headlines because of her popularity as a travel model. Lily Rain’s profile on subscription-based social platform Fanvue shows the attractive young woman in various eye-catching locations around the world, but the fact that these photos are entirely the work of artificial intelligence doesn’t seem to bother her legions of fans.

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Man Fined $400 for Scratching His Head While Driving Due to Smart Camera Error

A Dutch man was fined 380 euros ($400) after an AI-powered camera caught him talking on his phone while driving. Only he claims he was only scratching his head and the system made a mistake.

In November of last year, Tim Hansen received a fine for allegedly speaking on his mobile phone while driving a month earlier. He was shocked, mainly because he didn’t remember using his phone at the wheel on that particular day, so he decided to check the incriminating photo on the Central Judicial Collection Agency. At first glance, it seems that Tim is indeed talking on his phone, but a closer look reveals that he isn’t actually holding anything in his hand. He was simply scratching the side of his head and the camera mistook the position of his hand for it holding a phone. What is even more baffling is that the human who checked the photo and validated his fine didn’t spot the “false positive” either.

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Chinese Scientists Create World’s First ‘AI Child’

A group of Chinese scientists claims to have created the world’s first ‘AI child’, an entity displaying behavior and capabilities similar to those of a three- or four-year-old human child.

Named Tong Tong or ‘Little Girl’, the world’s first AI child is considered a massive step in the direction of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Unveiled at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology Exhibition, the innovative AI model is reportedly capable of autonomous learning and may display a level of emotional engagement that has not been seen in AI development until now. According to her creators at the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI), Tong Tong continually improves her skills and knowledge through interaction with humans and exploration.

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Chinese Company Develops Tiny Atomic Battery That Lasts 50 Years And Doesn’t Require Recharging

Chinese company Betavolt recently unveiled its BV100 battery which is smaller than a coin in size but has a lifespan of around 50 years and doesn’t require recharging.

Atomic batteries aren’t new. Both the United States and the USSR produced such power units during the 1960s, but these nuclear batteries were large, dangerous, and expensive to make. Plutonium was used as the radioactive power source for the first atomic batteries, but science has come a long way since, and Betavolt’s revolutionary battery now relies on a much safer isotope, nickel-63, which decays to a stable isotope of copper. The diamond semiconductor material in the battery allows it to run stably in environments ranging from -60 to 120 degrees Celsius. Measuring just 15mm x 15mm x 5mm, the new Betavolt BV100 constantly generates electricity as the isotopes degrade, unlike conventional batteries which simply store energy.

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Scientists Create AI System That Can Predict When You Die with Startling Accuracy

An artificial intelligence model developed by an international team of researchers has demonstrated the ability to predict future events in people’s lives, including the time of their death.

Life2vec, a so-called transformer model trained on a massive volume of data to predict various aspects of a person’s life, was created by scientists in Denmark and the United States. After being fed data from Danish health and demographic records for six million people, like time of birth, schooling, education, salary, housing, and health, the AI model was trained to predict what would come next. According to its creators, Life2vec demonstrated an eerie ability to predict when people would die based on data analysis. For example, when tested on a group of people between the ages of 35 and 65, half of whom died between 2016 and 2020, it was able to predict who would die and who would live, with 78% accuracy.

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This Silver Swan Automaton Is a 250-Year-Old Mechanical Marvel

Created in 1774 to impress royalty and their guests, the Silver Swan automaton remains an impressively intricate mechanical wonder that continues to captivate audiences.

Built for royalty that ended up changing their minds, the Silver Swan is one of the most famous automatons in history. It was put together at the Mechanical Museum of James Cox, a London jeweler and 18th-century entrepreneur, using an internal mechanism designed by inventor John Joseph Merlin. The chased, repoussé silver body of the swan conceals three clockwork mechanisms that control a music box, a pool of glass with swimming silver fish, and the life-like movements of the majestic bird’s neck and head. Seeing the Silver Swan in action, it’s easy to forget that this mesmerizing mechanical marvel is no less than 250 years old.

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Scientsist Develop Light Exosuit That Helps People Sprint Faster

Scientists at South Korea’s Chung-Ang University have created an ultra-light exosuit that can help runners cover short distances faster.

They may not be mainstream yet, but exoskeletons have been a part of our world for a while now. We’ve seen some that make carrying heavy loads a breeze, and others that help physically disabled people move around with ease. But wearable technology that helps people run faster has been pretty rare, especially in the super-light form recently presented by scientists at Chung-Ang University’s School of Mechanical Engineering in South Korea. They created a contraption that only weighs around 2.5 kg (5.5lbs) but can help the average person run a 200-meter sprint almost a second faster than without the suit.

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Amazon Introduces Bipedal Robot Workers in Its Warehouses

As part of its ongoing efforts to integrate robotics into its gigantic warehouse operations, Amazon recently began experimenting with a bipedal robot called Digit that should be able the most repetitive tasks.

Amazon warehouse employees have long gotten used to working alongside robots, but staff at the company’s BFI1 experimental facility in Sumner are now getting familiarized with Digit, a new type of humanoid robot developed by Agility Robotics, a startup based in Corvallis, Oregon. Standing 5ft 9in (175cm) tall and weighing 143lb (65kg), Digit can walk forwards, backward, and sideways, and can also crouch if it needs to. Amazon’s new robot worker has two arms, two legs, a blue chest, and two square lights for eyes, and is currently tasked only with recycling the iconic yellow boxes once they have been emptied of inventory.

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China’s AI-Powered Online Sellers Can Sell You Stuff 24/7

China’s online store is becoming increasingly dominated by AI-powered clones that never tire of trying to sell you things and can literally work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Chinese online shopping scene is very different than what we’re used to in the West. Live streaming is by far the most lucrative marketing channel these days, with popular influencers on platforms like Taobao and Douyin able to close massive deals in just a few hours every day. However, these crazy achievements come at a cost for businesses and brands. It takes time and money to train a great online seller, and there is nothing stopping them from reaching an agreement with competitors, leaving you no option but to restart the process. Having camera crews and assistants around during the live stream also adds to the expenditures, and last, but definitely not least, every top influencer has to sleep at some point. That’s where AI-powered avatars come in…

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The World’s Smallest Commercially Available Camera Is the Size of a Grain of Salt

The Omnivision OVM6948 CameraCubeChip® holds the record for the world’s smallest commercially available camera. It measures 0.65 mm x 0.65 mm, with a z‑height of just 1.158 mm.

Developed by Omnivision, a global technology company specializing in innovative advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display solutions for multiple applications across several industries, the CameraCubeChip® is based on the tiny OVM6948 sensor, which claimed the Guinness Record for the world’s smallest commercially available image sensor. It can be mounted on various medical instruments, including disposable guidewires, endoscopes, and catheters with diameters as small as 1.0 mm. Its impressively small size makes it perfect for use within the body’s narrowest blood vessels for neuro, ophthalmic, ENT, cardiac, spinal, urology, gynecology, and arthroscopy procedures.

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Chinese Scientists Develop Ultra-Slippery Toilet Bowl That Almost Nothing Sticks To

Chinese scientists at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan have developed a new, ultra-slippery toilet bowl that almost nothing sticks to.

Porcelain has been the most common toilet bowl manufacturing material for quite a while now, and while it may be a while before a new material upsets it, we already have our eye on an intriguing new material. One of the most important qualities of a good toilet bowl is slipperiness, and while porcelain is ok, it’s definitely not the best. Excrements and other types of waste usually disposed of in the toilet tend to stick to it and require scrubbing and cleaning, which results in wasted water. But what if the waste just slipped down into the bowl with no or very little water? Scientists in China have unveiled an innovative toilet bowl made of an ultra-slippery material that almost nothing sticks to.

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Meet Thermonator, the Flamethrower-Wielding Robot Dog

American company Throw Flame recently unveiled its latest product, Thermonator, the world’s first flamethrower-wielding robot dog.

Robot dogs have been around for a while now, and in countries like China, they’re actually competing against actual pooches. But it turns out that these four-legged robots can be more than lifeless pets. For example, Throw Flame, a US-based company specializing in flamethrowers, recently showcased the world’s first flamethrower-equipped robot dog. Dubbed “Thermonator”, it comes with a high-performance flamethrower mounted on its back which allows it to shoot flames up to 9 meters in front of it. According to the Throw Flame website, the Thermonator allows users to remotely “shoot flames anywhere you want!”

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Company Develops Technology to Distil Pig Blood into Drinkable Water

A Belgian company has developed a water processing installation that allows it to convert pig’s blood into water fit for human consumption.

Based in Zwevezele, West Flanders, Veos specializes in producing animal proteins for the food industry by processing animal blood and collagen into high-quality protein powder used in human and animal food products. Until recently, the company relied solely on large quantities of groundwater to clean the massive tanks it stored pig blood in, but, thanks to a €2 million investment in a state-of-the-art water purification installation, Veos can actually use the stored pig blood to make drinkable water.

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