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Two New Battle Of The Damned Trailers: Dolph Lundgren + Robots = Dead Zombies

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I never thought I’d get to say these words, but here we go. The trailer below is red banded because a robot says “fuck,” and it’s pretty awesome, if you’re into that sort of thing.

There are a lot of movies coming out in 2014 that have us frothing at the mouth. We’re talking everything from giant lizards to time travel to talking apes, it’s going to be a good year. All but one of those upcoming films, however, are sorely missing the monstrously daunting combination of Dolph Lundgren, zombies, and killer robots. Anchor Bay’s Battle of the Damned is chock-full of all three, so you obviously have your favorite film of the year just waiting to be seen. (I’m not sure you’ll have to change your Oscar predictions however.) The Lundgren opus hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 18, 2014, and the studio has released two new trailers, along with a couple of stills of Lundgren looking like a guy who kills zombies alongside robots.

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The Dutch Create The First Autonomous Flying Robot

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DelFlyFlying robots are nothing new (unless you’re Amazon), and neither, at this point, are robotic bees and remote-controlled cockroaches. But within this basic category of, there are still characteristics that set the new DelFly apart—namely, autonomy.

FlyTech Dragonfly

FlyTech Dragonfly

Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created the first Micro Air Vehicle, or the first autonomous winged machine. They named it the DelFly Explorer, and it looks like a cross between a dragonfly and a kid’s paper airplane. It also weighs in like one, tipping the scales at a whopping.7 oz. With a design that combines a barometer, gyroscope, two cameras, and a microcontroller that performs all necessary processing, it flutters all on its own without the help of pesky humans. DelFly sees the world through its eye cameras, and adjusts to the environment, avoiding obstacles and other pitfalls. Unfortunately, its lifespan is a bit like that of its insect counterparts—9 minutes. But hey, the DelFly just needs to be charged back up for another go. I’d like to see a fruit fly do that.

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Google Buys Boston Dynamics And Gets One Step Closer To World Domination

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Wild CatGoogle keeps up their steady march toward becoming an empire. Sure, there’s the search engine, gmail, Google Street View, and Google Glass, but I’m not even talking about that stuff. I’m talking about the fact that the monolithic company uses deep learning, is developing AI, wants to cure death, and hired futurist and singularity guru Ray Kurzweil as their director of engineering. Now, they’ve done something else that adds to that already impressive and somewhat frightening list: they bought Boston Dynamics.

What’s the big deal? You might be wondering. The big deal is that Boston Dynamics sits atop the robotics industry when it comes to make a certain type of robot—the kind that could chase you down, knock you over, scare the living shit out of you, and then save your life. A group of MIT engineers founded the company in 1992, with the goal to focus on mobility and maneuverability to make robots able to navigate almost any terrain and perform a variety of practical functions. One example is the Wildcat, which could be used for disaster relief or military operations, or in bringing nightmares to fruition. The Wildcat, like many other Boston Dynamic robots, was funded by DARPA.

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Meet Valkyrie, NASA’s Superhero Robot

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ValkyrieWe’ve done lots of posts here on GFR about NASA, many of which bemoan the state and the budget of the beleaguered agency. Now NASA has something that just may solve all of its problems — a superhero robot.

Valkyrie, who shares a name with female characters from Norse mythology who decide which soldiers die and which live, but who looks more like Iron Man, has the stature of a superhero at 6 feet tall and 275 pounds — it even sports a glowing NASA logo on its front. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston built Valkyrie in just nine months as part of this month’s DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. This means Valkyrie will have to prove its disaster-thwarting meddle by driving vehicles, clearing debris, cutting through obstructions, climbing ladders, turning valves and knobs, and other physical tasks that any life-saving superhero needs to be able to perform.

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Man Becomes First Person To Be Officially Recognized As A Cyborg

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Neil-HarbissonNeil Harbisson has achromatopsia, a condition that prevents him from seeing color — for him, 50 shades of gray has an entirely different and far less erotic meaning. Distinguishing between traffic signal colors is a problem, but beyond the logistical and practical difficulties, Harbisson has always struggled with the aesthetic limitations of his condition. Just think of what it’s like for this guy to watch cartoons or fireworks! Knowing that the aesthetics of color have a huge impact on people with normal vision, about 10 years ago he decided to fix the problem by augmenting himself. That’s right — he became a cyborg.

Admittedly, he’s not a fully hybridized half-human/half-robot cyborg. His augmentation is fairly small — it’s a device called an “Eyeborg” that mounts onto his head. It allows him to see color and then some — the device also enables him to hear and feel color by converting colors into soundwaves. Harbisson experiences a device-induced form of synesthesia, or a blending of the senses, enabled by bone conduction, a process by which sounds travel to the base of his skull where a vibration mechanism then transmits them to his inner ears. The Eyeborg assigns a specific frequency to each color, with infrared being the lowest and ultraviolet light the highest.

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Robots Are Revolutionizing Education And Development For Autistic Children

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Nao robotKids with autism or Asperger’s often struggle with social interaction, which can make conventional classroom learning extremely challenging and sometimes not terribly effective. Since many kids on the autism spectrum find technology easier and more fruitful to interact with than other people, scientists and engineers are developing robots, hardware, and programs that help autistic kids learn difficult social skills.

Since classrooms full of other kids often prove to be overstimulating and even upsetting for children on the autistic spectrum, leveraging their affinity for technology seems like a smart approach. Vanderbilt University scientists have created Russell, a humanoid robot designed to help autistic children learn to mimic behavior. Because kids with autism “tend to understand the physical world much better than the social world,” according to the project’s computer and mechanical engineer Nilanjan Sarkar, Russell is an ideal learning tool. While it demonstrates some human characteristics, it isn’t anywhere near as complicated as another person; thus, it’s far less likely to overwhelm kids, and it won’t judge, get frustrated, or respond emotionally to the interactions. Robotics are also perfectly consistent and modifiable.