Predicting the future shape of technology is a fool's game. If you believed the forecasts of future-gazers when I was growing up, we would all be taking holidays on the moon, consuming our meals in tablet form and enjoying a 10-hour working week by now.
When Japan hosts the summer Olympics in 2020, prime minister Shinzo Abe is determined to make it an event to remember. And what better way, he claims, than to include robotic competitors to show off the world's technical achievements.
The rise of online education and massively open online courses (MOOCs) have prompted much naysaying on their effectiveness, with detractors citing single-digit completion rates and short-lived pilot programs. Amidst all the arguments about "flipped classrooms" and "hybrid learning," however, few people have actually analyzed what makes MOOCs work (or fail): the content.
In episode #161, Audrow Nash speaks with Russ Angold, co-founder and CTO of Ekso Bionics, about the wearable bionic suit, Ekso. This suit enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.
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One of the core ideas we set out to explore at Solid is "design beyond the screen" -- the idea that, as software moves into physical devices, our modes of interaction with it will change. It's an easy concept to understand in terms of consumer electronics: the Misfit Shine activity tracker has a processor and memory just like a computer (along with sensors and LEDs), but you don't control it with a keyboard and monitor; you interact with it by attaching it to your clothing and letting it gather data about your movement.