Singapore researchers have developed a breakthrough in robotics. Allowing robots to sense nearby objects, and self-heal, like human skin
Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a smart foam material, called artificially innovated or AI foam. The foam gives robotic limbs a sense of touch and enables the limb to self-heal.
What is AI foam?
AI Foam is a highly elastic material, created by mixing fluoropolymer with a compound, that lowers surface tension. The foam is infused with tiny metal particles and electrodes, just underneath the surface.
When pressure is applied, the particles become closer, changing the electrical properties. The changes can be picked up through flexible wires to a computer, which tells the robot what to do.
The material allows the robotic limb to self-heal and sense proximity and pressure, all at exactly the same time. The robotic limb can detect the amount of pressure and the direction of applied force.
The material can also self-repair when cut or damaged, just like human skin.
“There are many applications for such a material, especially in robotics and prosthetic devices, where robots need to be a lot more intelligent when working around humans,”
Lead researcher, Benjamin Tee
First of its kind
This Ai foam is the first of its kind to combine self-healing properties, and proximity and pressure sensing. The purpose of the foam is to make robots more intelligent and responsive to potential danger or threats.
The Singapore researchers have spent over two years developing the material and hope to put it into practical use within a few years.
“It can also allow prosthetic users to have more intuitive use of their robotic arms when grabbing objects,”
Lead researcher, Benjamin Tee
Great shot! For your arm and your Instagram | ticker VIEWS
Love them or hate them, selfies are making a return and making a difference in the world
At a time where vaccine misinformation and hesitancy are at an all-time high. ‘Vaccine selfies’ or ‘Vaxxies’ are helping to restore faith in science and encourage others to get the jab. Social media platforms are flooding with vaccine selfies from celebs, royals and people all over the world.
‘Vaxxies’ restore confidence in the vaccine
The good old traditional selfie can get some negative feedback normally. Yet, these selfies are different, they’re not referencing your outfit of the day or your smashed avo at breakfast. ‘Vaxxie’ selfies are people sharing proof of their Covid-19 vaccination, to create solidarity.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets are filling with people’s images, post-jab. The purpose of the vaccine selfie is to create confidence and shift the stigmas and uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 shot.
Billionaire Richard Branson documenting his vaccine shot.
Covering the drug industry, you usually hope you never have to try the products you report on. This one was different. Got my 1st shot of #covid19 vaccine today. Making spike proteins! Super grateful. #PlanYourVaccine #vaxxie pic.twitter.com/cFknUEnEeT
— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) April 14, 2021
— Professor Gary Mortimer 🛒🛒🛒 (@ProfRetail) July 27, 2021
I’m a lucky man. Lucky to work alongside the @LAFD & our great frontline @CoreResponse staff, our partners at Carbon Health, USC, & Curative Lab. We test & vaccinate thousands per day. We need your support to get more people lucky. Text CORE to 707070 to donate. pic.twitter.com/VeCgAC7hMR
— Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) January 26, 2021
Today, with confidence in science & at the direction of the Office of the Attending Physician, I received the COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine is being distributed, we must all continue mask wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to save lives & crush the virus. pic.twitter.com/tijVCSnJd7
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 18, 2020
— Danny DeVito (@DannyDeVito) March 9, 2021
As with any social movement, you’re either for or against. By posting on social media signifies your stance on the topic. A ‘vaxxie’ signifies you’re pro-vax. According to Professor Gary Mortimer, this group mentality represents, you’re either with us or against us.
“It’s classic in-group-out-group behaviour.”
The social identity theory explains the psychology behind this concept. This theory states internal cohesion and loyalty to the in-group exists when the group members maintain a state of almost hostility or assertive opposition toward out-groups. Interestingly, the out-groups are often perceived as inferior.
A vaccine selfie may encourage friends and family to be in the same ‘in-group.’ Professor Mortimer says we have been seeing this behaviour for years at sporting events.
Don’t know what you call a selfie post-vaccine. But here’s my #vaxxie and couldn’t be happier. Caring, professional and efficient approach of everyone at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, especially the @StVincentsMelb staff. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/gmAKMDeuI8
— Chief Health Officer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) April 21, 2021
Risks of posting a vaccine selfie
Social media posts about controversial topics usually cop some negative feedback. A ‘Vaxxie’ post is likely to alienate you from others, who do not follow your views. According to Professor Gary Mortimer, from the Queensland University of Technology, people can try to share a post that makes them feel morally “good” or woke.
There’s a fine line between encouraging others to engage in behaviour and coming across as pushy or superior.
In addition, another area for concern is brands seeing vaccine selfies as an opportunity for marketing. Which could encourage people to get a certain brand, that isn’t medically best suited for them, just because they were ‘influenced’ by a ‘vaxxie’.
However, in a bid to boost the vaccine rollout and eliminate hesitancy, vaccine selfies won’t be the only solution but will likely play some kind of positive role in the foreseeable future.
Will Scarlett change Hollywood forever? | ticker VIEWS
The battle between Scarlett Johansson and Disney is officially very messy, and all actors are watching this thriller.
Johansson is taking on the multinational giant and her bold move could set a precedent for Hollywood revenue models and major contracts.
So, the battle surrounds the movie Black Widow and the fact it was released in cinemas and streamed on Disney+, at the same time.
“Disney+ has now released in both streaming and in the movies at the same time. And she (Johansson) gets none of the upside of the streaming service despite people paying for the streaming service. So she’s now suing Disney+ and it’s a pretty significant moment for actors worldwide.”JUSTIN JOFFE, FLUX FINANCE
The story is simmering along and Disney has taken it to the next level responding to Johansson’s lawsuit suggesting it’s “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Strong words indeed. Johansson was reportedly taken aback by the response.
The actors main argument is that her contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release.
Johansson’s lawsuit claims Disney wanted to direct audiences toward Disney+ “where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.”
It’s one to keep an eye on.
Reece Witherspoon is another prodigious Hollywood name but she’s enjoying very different fortunes right now.
Witherspoon’s production company (Hello Sunshine) sold for a handy 1.2 billion dollars. Joffe says she has a “very smart” way of sourcing new ideas.
“She’s got a bookclub called ‘Reese’s Bookclub” it’s got over over two million readers. She learns from them (the readers) what stories they like the most, and turns them into movies. It’s genius.”
Ironically two former Disney executives, Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, signed on to run the new venture.
The Legally Blond star, 45, is now worth more than an estimated $500 million.
AUSTRALIAN TECH TAKING ON THE WORLD
Speaking of big money Square is set to acquire Afterpay for 39 billion AUD (US$29 billion) but the bigger picture is what’s most interesting.
Tech writer and angel investor Joan Westenberg says this deal is proof of one thing.
“This is more evidence that brilliant Australian companies can succeed on a global scaler. This acquisition is sign of the strength of our eco-system. Companies like Canva, Atlassian, have shown that we are growing. That we are are force to be reckoned with. Now companies like Afterpay, and the recent acquisition of Invoice2go…Australian companies are showing we can take on the world.”JOAN WESTERNBERG, ANGEL INVESTOR
So with more eyes on the Aussie tech and fintech sectors, which companies are worth watching?
Westenberg says there’s one group in particular.
“I’m seeing a lot of strength in Australian companies that are working in date intelligence, that are working in space and robotics and hardware. So companies that are tackling really difficult problems, but taking them head on.”
And when it comes to specific companies to look out for Westernberg suggests Goterra who specialise in building robots with maggots to bring down food waste.
And SwarmFarm Robotics who’s “robots are empowering farmers to deploy new technology in their fields with customised solutions for challenges faced in their local farming systems.”
Why is local news quitting Hong Kong for Singapore? | ticker VIEWS
In a media first, a Hong Kong news outlet is quitting the city and relocating to Singapore, due to the erosion of press freedom in the financial hub
Hong Kong used to be considered a bastion of press freedom in Asia
However, that’s not the case anymore.
The city’s last pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily was forced to close – due to political pressure.
Now an online news outlet is relocating amid the tension.
Initium media will become the first local outlet to quit Hong Kong
The Chinese-language outlet, which has 60,000 paying subscribers, was founded six years ago
Its executive editor announcing the move to readers, promising to “continue to present the pulse of the times in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in our in-depth content.”
Susie Wu says “over the past six years, the road to freedom has become tougher and more dangerous, the world is increasingly polarised and antagonistic”
She says “…no matter where we are, as long as the freedom in our hearts is connected, we can create larger space for freedom”
Meanwhile a veteran broadcaster – Steve Vines confirming this week – he has left the financial hub.
He says the “white terror sweeping through Hong Kong is far from over”.
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