The Infinite Hotel Paradox by David Hilbert - solution

From Youtube:

The Infinite Hotel, a thought experiment created by German mathematician David Hilbert, is a hotel with an infinite number of rooms. Easy to comprehend, right? Wrong. What if it's completely booked but one person wants to check in? What about 40? Or an infinitely full bus of people? Jeff Dekofsky solves these heady lodging issues using Hilbert's paradox.

The 2015 Ageing Report - European Commission

From European Commission:

The 2015 Ageing Report - European Commission

Over the coming decades, as Europeans live longer and have fewer children, Europe’s population will turn increasingly ‘grey’. Demographic trends also mean that the proportion of workers supporting those in retirement will halve from an average of four today, to just two, by 2060.

The 2015 Ageing Report sheds light on the economic, budgetary and societal challenges that policy makers will have to face in the future as a result of these trends.

The report’s long-term projections provide an indication of the timing and scale of challenges that can be expected so as to inform European policy makers about the scale and timing of the challenges they must face.

Report PDF: link.

Robot chef by Moley Robotics

From BBC:

A London-based company has launched a prototype "robo-chef" for the home.

Moley Robotics is demonstrating its concept at this year's Hannover Messe - a big trade fair for industrial technology held annually in Germany.

The cooking machine learns by capturing the movements of a human in the action of preparing a meal.

These movements are then turned into commands that drive a sophisticated pair of robot hands.

Google's Robot Personality Patent

From IEEE:

Google's Robot Personality Patent

As of March 31, 2015, Google owns a shiny new patent (8,996,429) outlining a robot that changes personalities based on circumstance and a wide variety of user information. The system stores useful data in the cloud where it can be accessed by other robots. Adorable robots, if we’re to go by Google’s “conceptual graphical representations” (above).

Using data that could include your current location, calendar events, and social media profiles, the robot will do its best to adopt the right personality at the right time in ostensibly any circumstance, from negotiating a car purchase on your behalf at the dealership to reminding you to clean your fridge (in your mother’s voice).

This patent illustrates that the personalization we’ve seen in services like Nest and Google Now is only the beginning, as far as Google is concerned. Privacy and data security issues aside, the coming marriage of “Internet of Things” devices with the existing data on our “human” Internet is geared to make social robots much more useful than your Wi-Fi-connected blender.

Augmented reality applied to autism therapy and rehabilitation

From IEEE:

Children with autism spectrum condition (ASC) suffer from deficits or developmental delays in symbolic thinking. In particular, they are often found lacking in pretend play during early childhood.

Researchers believe that they encounter difficulty in generating and maintaining mental representation of pretense coupled with the immediate reality.

We have developed an interactive system that explores the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) technology to visually conceptualize the representation of pretense within an open-ended play environment. Results from an empirical study involving children with ASC aged 4 to 7 demonstrated a significant improvement of pretend play in terms of frequency, duration and relevance using the AR system in comparison to a non computer-assisted situation. We investigated individual differences, skill transfer, system usability and limitations of the proposed AR system. We discuss design guidelines for future AR systems for children with ASC and other pervasive developmental disorders.

full-text PDF

Multimodal interactions between proprioceptive and cutaneous signals in primary somatosensory cortex

From Neuron:


  • All subareas of SI respond to proprioceptive and cutaneous inputs
  • Proprioceptive inputs from the hand are encoded by two distinct neural populations
  • Proprioceptive and cutaneous inputs integrate via linear or nonlinear mechanisms
  • Abstract: The classical view of somatosensory processing holds that proprioceptive and cutaneous inputs are conveyed to cortex through segregated channels, initially synapsing in modality-specific areas 3a (proprioception) and 3b (cutaneous) of primary somatosensory cortex (SI). These areas relay their signals to areas 1 and 2 where multimodal convergence first emerges. However, proprioceptive and cutaneous maps have traditionally been characterized using unreliable stimulation tools. Here, we employed a mechanical stimulator that reliably positioned animals’ hands in different postures and presented tactile stimuli with superb precision. Single-unit recordings in SI revealed that most neurons responded to cutaneous and proprioceptive stimuli, including cells in areas 3a and 3b. Multimodal responses were characterized by linear and nonlinear effects that emerged during early (∼20 ms) and latter (> 100 ms) stages of stimulus processing, respectively. These data are incompatible with the modality specificity model in SI, and provide evidence for distinct mechanisms of multimodal processing in the somatosensory system.

    full-text PDF


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