September 22, 2017 | Written by: Jen Clark
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This week, the connected world brings artificial intelligence and augmented reality to medicine, robots have a go at music making and Matternet’s autonomous drones ditch their human minders and successfully refuel themselves. Read on for the latest.
Autonomous Matternet drones are self-fueling and loading
Autonomous drone delivery service Matternet has developed an automated base station where drones can refuel and swap payloads by themselves. There’s no human involvement at all – instead, packages ready for pick-up carry a QR code detailing their destinations, and are collected from a drawer on the Matternet Station by the drones. The startup has been transporting blood and pathology samples to labs in an effort to start commercializing its technology.
Augmented reality glasses are new aid for spinal surgery
Computer-assisted surgery has a new player in town: an augmented reality headset specifically designed for surgeons performing spinal surgery. The headset is a heads-up display which allows surgeons to view their patient’s CT scans (to see their spine in 3D, in other words), without looking away from what they are doing. The glasses, created by Israeli startup Augmedics, allow for enhanced perception without obstructing ordinary vision.
New smart locks and doorbells from August
August’s smart lock line has some new models – a Pro version with Bluetooth, HomeKit and Wi-Fi support, and a Doorbell Cam Pro, that lets users see who’s outside their home. August smart locks and cameras are keypad free and rely entirely on the phone. The smart lock can be mounted to your door’s existing deadlock, which it then manipulates automatically to lock and unlock your door as you dictate. The Active Monitoring feature updates you when someone’s left a door ajar, too.
Smart Epi-Pen case alerts emergency services when it’s opened
A new smart case for Epi-Pens could prove a valuable tool for people who suffer from severe allergic reactions. Adam Medical have developed a smart Epi-Pen case and app combo that automatically notifies emergency response teams and a nominated contact when it is opened. The app helps Epi-Pen users monitor their pen’s location (if it’s been left at home accidentally, for instance) and expiry date. The smart case isn’t yet on sale, but is expected to retail at $70.
Industrial robots have a bash at playing musical instruments
If you thought the Arts were safe from robots, think again. Industrial robots can now play musical instruments – with a degree of competence, if this video is anything to go by. Nigel Stanford is the artist behind the project, which involves robots playing the piano, drums, guitar and keyboard. The robots’ performances aren’t notable for their sensitivity, however, and there’s been a fair bit of post-production wizardry behind the scenes, so I don’t think we need worry just yet.