The future of ...

Erwin van Lun predict the long term future and blogs about developments today gradually shaping that future. Also in Dutch

Category: Robot technology

Labs constantly invent new technology which we'll later find in robots in our daily lives.

Nixie: a wearable, flying selfie camera

Team Nixie is developing the first wearable drone camera, which can be worn around your wrist. The team will be presenting their prototype for the Intel Make It Wearable Challenge Finale on November 3, 2014 in San Francisco.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

How cool is this! This is a cool new idea integrating media technology with robot technology. As from 2020, we’ll be surrounded by thousands of flying mini camera’s build into mini mini (size of a musquito) to medium (like this) to enormous (Zeppelin like) flying robots. They will be everywhere. Assisting us in (personal) transport, urgent deliveries in case of disasters, or as an extension of the fire department in case of bush fires. All step by step. This is just one step forward…

Let’s print a house in 3d! A sky craper? Or a pyramid!

The largest 3d printer in the world can even print a small house. The machine called Kamermaker (room builder) is currently still in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but will soon be shipped all over the world. Think about it... How would the world look like if it would be used in developing countries?

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

How cool would it be if it could make use of solar energy? And what about using sand as primary material?

The only next step we would be looking for is 3D printers printing 3d Printers….

Wondering how the pyramides where build? With a few dozen of 3D printers, we’ll replicate complete pyramides in just a few weeks. How awesome would that be?

Insanely Rubbery Battery Stretches To 4 Times Its Length

Researchers have created a lithium-ion battery that keeps on working when stretched to four times its initial length--and bounces back into shape once you let go.

In the future, stretchy batteries such as these could help power solar-energy generating clothes, tattoos that monitor your vital signs, robot skin that's sensitive to touch and other futuristic, flexible devices.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

And what about making roofs of these batteries? Any objects created by man could carry batteries, displays and cameras. Your whole house can be a display to! Camoflaging itself in the rainforest, charging itself by sun. Or an aircraft, constantly charging itself at heights. Or robotic humanoid skin to charge all its transistors and sensors.

MakerBot’s 3D scanner prototype lets you replicate realworld objects

MakerBot has announced a new Digitizer 3D Desktop Scanner prototype that analyzes real-world objects and generates designs compatible with its 3D printer line.

A preview page for the scanner, which uses lasers and cameras to essentially create a 3D CAD model, is up on the MakerBot site, but the project is still in prototype stage, so it’s likely going to be a while before this thing is released.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In the future, lots of day products will be produced closeby., in a 3D print shop on the corner,  or even at home. It will no longer be necessary to produce products overseas in low cost countries. It will drastically transform the dynamics of the global economy.

Automated Quadcopters Learn a Super-Sophisticated Trick

Those programmed quadcopters are getting even smarter. Not only can they fly in perfect formation, build things and cause all of us to worry about robots dominating the world. Now they can balance and juggle and toss a long thin object back and forth. What will they do next?

This took a lot of serious math to execute. It's created by researchers at ETH Zürich's Flying Machine Arena, who took into account all the variables that go into flying a couple of little machines, balancing them, and perfectly coordinating their movements with each other.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Robots will be everywhere! Every shape, every size. They will assist humanoid robots who will be our companions. Future robots of next generations quadcopters family can set up a whole festival terrain for thousand of visitors in just a few hours. Or build houses. Bridges. Or, even more imporant: dig tunnels under Africa spreading water all over the continent. Or to fly in other robots for a particular job. Whatever we want to achieve, we won’t need humans anymore. Not for the coordination, not for the man power. We only have to say what we want. Only our mind is our limitation. Not the future of tomorrow, but definitely of huge influence on mankind in the second half of this century.

Researchers create cloud-based brain for robots

A group of European researchers has created a cloud platform designed to serve as a central processing and data-access brains for robots located throughout the world.

Essentially, they’re treating robots like any other device — desktop, tablet or mobile phone — running web applications, only robots can learn from each other and can do a lot more than just update screen displays.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Future humanoid robots will not have one intelligence somewhere in their hardware, like humans do, but they are connected to one huge AI. Everything that’s invented once will be immediately available on any place on earth.

A motor tapping into the zero point field? Check out the demo!

A breakthrough in energy: Professor Muammer Yildiz, visiting the Delft University of Technology, where I studied myself, demonstrates a magnet motor that taps into the zero field, and thus doesn't need a battery, nor natural resources or voltage plugs at all!! Isn't that revolutionary? Check out the video (first minute is in Dutch, rest is in English or English subtitled).

Applications are obviously unlimited. But what about having those machines all over Africa? Wouldn't that speed up developments? Certainly when combined with media technology.

Hopefully this invention will not be hold back by the powerful and lobbying energy companies all over the planet this time :-s. A patent can easily be bought for a huge amount and then disappear in a drawer somewhere to get back to the oil business. That's one of the disadvantages of patents.... It stops innovation..

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol automates bagage drop-off

Schiphol Bagage Drop Off Robot

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has automated the baggage drop-off. Passengers who have already checked-in are now required to put their baggage in a machine which gives instructions how to label the baggage. No personal any longer involved! Most of us have to get used to it however.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

ALL repeating tasks will be automated. Either by virtual humans, or (humanoid) robots. As a result, society will totally change. The world wide population will be extremely productive and we will have to work less. It is even unavoidable for us all to work less to guarantee that at least a certain percentage of the population has a job, which is a requirement to keep the earth peaceful, and we all can contribute to society and we are all appreciated. This example demonstrates our journey in that direction.

Sucking robotic hands on its way

This video is getting interesting after one minute. It actually 'sucks' objects.

Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This has potential for the future. Imagine an artificial hand, a thin ‘sucking’ skin which is controllable through nanotechnology on every square millimeter. Although the hand can make simple movements and behave natural like a human hand would do, it also has some extraordinary skills such as sucking tiny objects. Quite convenient when cleaning stuff, or holding something for you.

Resonate Robot Predicts Human Behavior

The EU Joint-Action Science and Technology project (JAST) is developing robots that can engage in joint activities with humans or other robots, to complete tasks through teamwork. Their latest demonstration (see video above) shows their progress with a robot that observes and predicts a human working on a project. The robot identifies the components the human is using and the likely result of assembling the components. The robot then assists the human with the work, locating parts as they are needed, and providing them to the human. The idea is to give robot the capacity for "observation and mirroring (resonance)".

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Sticky robots for cleaning windows

The ability to scale walls and hang off the ceiling with gecko-like ease may be within reach - for robots at least. Metin Sitti and Ozgur Unver of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, say their new robots - a sticky-tracked wall climber and a 16-legged ceiling walker - could tackle many jobs in the home including painting ceilings and clearing cobwebs. They could also play a part in exploration, inspection, repair and even search and rescue.

Robot eyes signal their intentions

But Bilge Mutlu and colleague's team at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, have robots that "leak" non-verbal information through eye movements when interacting with humans. The eyes of a robot may not provide a window into its soul, but they can help humans guess the machine's intentions.

Humans constantly give off non-verbal cues and interpret the signals of others – but without realising it at a conscious level, says Mutlu. The trembling hands of a public speaker betray their nerves even before a word is uttered, while poker players leak subtle signs such as eye flickers or twitches that can be used to spot bluffers.

But when faced with a robot all our interpretive skills are irrelevant. Robots leak no information, so it is virtually impossible to read their intentions, which makes them hard to get along with.

Artificial muscles inspired by octopus

Micromachine power problem solved with magnets

Using magnetic fields to remotely power and control microscopic machines.

Day of the Androids at Hanson Robotics

Steven Rainwater got to spend some time at Hanson Robotics and his photos will give you an idea what a typical day working at Hanson Robotics is like. The day he was there, everyone was preparing androids and other robots for an upcoming TED conference. In the photo above Bill Hicks is integrating an eye assembly into the head of Hanson's newest android, known as Bina. Lots more photos of crazy, creepy, android stuff on

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