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Segway will present at CES 2020 hover chair S-Pod

Segway will present at CES 2020 hover chair S-Pod 90

You’ll soon be able to scoot around town—at 24 mph—without even having to stand up.

The CES 2020 Consumer Show kicks off next week. Many companies pre-announce products that will be presented at this exhibition. One of these was Segway, which introduced the futuristic S-Pod chair, according to our colleagues from Wired. For many, this can only mean one thing – we are one step closer to the future, popularized the 2000s movies. One of these was the WALL-E animated film, whose characters moved on special chairs and were overweight. Star Wars fans may recall the Power chair. It had no wheels, but who knows, maybe such a future is also very close.

Segway will present at CES 2020 hover chair S-Pod 91

Hover Chair Segway S-Pod

The S-Pod uses the balancing technology developed by the company itself. It is she who creates the very magic of perfect balance. Given the rather large dimensions of the chair, the effect of the balance seems even stronger.

Among the features of the S-Pod, we can distinguish the ability to transport people weighing up to 120 kilograms. Sales of S-Pod should start in 2021, the company has not yet disclosed the cost of such a device, but plans to use them indoors. One of the striking examples is the airport, where mobility is important and at the same time, the requirement for compactness of the vehicles for employees. It can also be used in parks, since a maximum speed of 7.5 mph allows it. But it’s also interesting that it can be increased programmatically to 20 mph per hour. In this case, the use of S-Pod in parks will not be possible by law. Most cities have a limit of 32 kilometers per hour.

Segway will present at CES 2020 hover chair S-Pod 92

Segway S-Pod in action

Segway is able to drive 43 miles from a single battery charge, which will be enough for driving from home to work and back in most cases, so this type of transport can be a good option for replacing a car.

Not bad, because today cars are used inefficiently. Switching to a mode of transport similar to the S-Pod will significantly reduce harmful gas emissions into the atmosphere, reduce the number of traffic jams and reduce the number of accidents due to the lower speed of this transport.

Objectively, we have not yet succeeded in replacing our familiar cars, but we are moving in this direction. Even Tesla cars today, do not seem to be a very good and an effective option in terms of the form factor.

Another example of the use of Segaway can be small tour groups, who are too lazy to walk to move and as a rule, they use electric golf carts. Well, of course, you can also replace the usual wheelchairs.

How to operate the S-Pod chair?

Wheelchair users will find the system familiar. It uses a small joystick on the right side of the case. This option, of course, is not bad and seems optimal, but the company could come up with something more original based on motion sensors, similar to Motion Sense and Project Soli.

Segway’s design notes state that the chair was modeled after the gyroscope pods in Jurassic World, but it’s impossible to look at it without thinking of future humans zooming around, drinking their lunch from a cup.


Science & Technology

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 93

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 94

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 95
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Science & Technology

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 96
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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Science & Technology

This video will forever change the way you think about time

This video will forever change the way you think about time 97

Business Insider, one of the world’s leading news portals, made a three-minute video that depicted the Earth’s timeline as a journey from Los Angeles to New York.

So, the beginning of the journey is 4.54 billion years ago, when the Earth was formed from the accumulation of gases and stardust. After some time, a significant event occurs – a giant space body crashes into the still not cooled Earth, as a result of which the breakaway part becomes its satellite – the Moon.

Further, the route runs through the mountains of Arizona, formed about 3.95 billion years ago. A few more kilometers to the east and we are at the 3.8 billion year mark. This is where the first evidence of life in the form of replicating molecules appears.

The next “stop” Kansas – 2.7 billion years ago. Cyanobacteria that produce oxygen appeared on Earth. It took the next 200 million years for the atmosphere of our planet to accumulate sufficient reserves of this most important gas.

Halfway through, we reach Pennsylvania. We are separated from it “only” by 660 million years. Life is developing rapidly: the Earth is covered with vegetation, amphibians are evolving. Unusual time travel is coming to an end – to the point “Now”. By the time the dinosaurs become extinct, we finally reach the outskirts of New York.

And where is the most important thing – people? To find out, you need to carve out three minutes and watch the entire video.

Source: Business Insider

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