9 min read

Abundance Insider: July 27th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 27, 2019

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
10 min read

Abundance Insider: July 20th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 21, 2019

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
9 min read

Abundance Insider: July 12th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 12, 2019

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
10 min read

Abundance Insider: July 6th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 6, 2019

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
12 min read

Abundance Insider: June 29th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 29, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Breakthroughs in energy storage, a noninvasive mind-controlled robotic arm, and SpinLaunch’s new way of launching rockets.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

New mind-controlled robot arm first to work without brain implant

What it is: A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has made extraordinary headway in the field of high-tech prosthetics, creating a bionic arm that functions smoothly without a brain implant. Previous robotic prosthetics required a patient to undergo high-risk, invasive surgery for a brain implant to achieve maximum robotic mobility. This arm, however, bridges the gap between seamless function and non-surgical bionics. In one instance, it was shown capable of following a computer screen cursor in real time without exhibiting the jerky motions and intermittent delays typical of other non-surgical mind-controlled prosthetics.

Why it's important: This innovation represents a fundamental leap in the age-old mission to enhance the quality of life and autonomy of individuals who have lost a limb. By improving prosthetic quality at significantly diminished risk, non-invasive bionics no longer require patients to risk their health to enjoy long-term use of a high-functioning, mind-controlled limb. As brain-computer interface (BCI) technology continues to surge forward, we are quickly charting the path to a future wherein responsive prosthetics will serve countless uses, from limb replacement to assistive aids in any number of industries and professions. | Share on Facebook

Siemens Gamesa Unveils World's First Electrothermal Energy Storage System

What it is: Siemens Gamesa is now leveraging the Earth’s surface for a future of energy abundance. The large-scale renewable energy technology manufacturer has just begun operations of what it claims is the world’s first electrothermal energy storage system. Already, Siemens Gamesa has turned a section of volcanic rock into a massive organic battery, capable of storing up to 130 megawatt-hours of energy for a week. The company additionally reports that its electrothermal energy storage system is significantly less expensive than conventional storage solutions. If we can begin to harness organic material for energy storage, how would this influence the modern-day power grid and storage solutions?

Why it's important: Renewable energy has long been promoted as an alternative solution to fossil fuels and other contemporary sources of energy. However, their oft-cited limitation is that of energy storage. If Siemens Gamesa demonstrates the successful scale-up of its sustainable solution to the storage problem, pervasive implementation of renewable energy sources would become a much more feasible option, and long-term implications would abound. If communities could soon store energy beneath their homes for extended periods of time, how might this influence real estate values and opportunities for expansion? What new microgrid networks and local economies would arise? | Share on Facebook

This fully biodegradable “leather” is welded together from waste

Story submitted by Steve Pierz, Chief Innovation Officer at Fastbrick Robotics.

What it is: An innovative player in the cow-free leather market, Natural Fiber Welding has developed a new plant-based product called Mirum. Fully biodegradable, Mirum entirely eschews the synthetic glues and plastics typically employed by other plant-based leather products. As explained by Founder and CEO Luke Haverhals, “We figured out ways to get 100 percent natural composites that are bonded together using clever, controlled chemistry.” Coconut fiber can be blended with (bottle) cork powder, for instance, to create strong “leathers” at low cost. Mirum is moreover price-competitive, as Natural Fiber Welding plans large-scale rollout of its product in 2020 and will soon produce millions of square feet of the low-cost, sustainable leather.

Why it's important: While numerous startups have pursued plant-based, zero-footprint leathers, the majority of these products are either difficult to scale or contain harmful synthetic materials like polyurethane. Yet nature offers a treasure trove of complex material candidates, which, when leveraged correctly, can yield vastly scalable, low-cost, compostable products. As high-tech welding processes and natural materials data continue to progress, materials like Mirum could profoundly disrupt the future of manufacturing, birthing closed-loop systems. | Share on Facebook

Fake blood pumps life into this robotic fish

What it is: Exponential progress in sensors and AI has led to remarkable advancements in autonomous robotics, but battery weight remains a stubborn obstacle to designing more nimble and long-lasting robots. Similarly, hard exoskeletons have proved a challenging barrier to safe interaction with humans, particularly in industrial settings. Enter Robert Shepherd and a team from Cornell University, who have created a soft robotic lionfish that pumps an electrolyte solution through synthetic blood vessels. When the solution passes over electrode stations, electricity is generated in what is commonly known as a flow battery. As hydraulic systems can account for 90 percent of a robot’s volume, combining these systems with the power source poses sizable advantages for design. The lionfish robot can consequently swim for up to 36 hours upstream, completely untethered.

Why it's important: By providing electrical energy with part-liquid, part-solid battery components, the researchers have proved that synthetic circulatory systems can serve a dual purpose: powering soft robots and controlling their movement. This breakthrough could be leveraged for countless multifunctional iterations, heralding a new era of low-risk, direct human-robot interaction. Use cases abound, from autonomous robotic surgeons to robotic search-and-rescue teams. | Share on Facebook

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unveils its high-tech ‘city-within-a-city’ plan for Toronto

What it is: Long in the works, Sidewalk Labs’ plan to build out a high-tech utopia on Toronto’s waterfront is now out. While still subject to a thorough public vetting process — principally by government-appointed, non-profit partner Waterfront Toronto — the plan outlines an urban model for integrated smart cities of the future. Dubbed “the most innovative district in the world” by Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff, the pitch’s most pioneering components include autonomous vehicle networks, ubiquitous public Wi-Fi, an 89 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, and countless sensors for collection of “urban data” to optimize civil engineering decisions.

Why it's important: Already, Sidewalk Labs’ comprehensive plan has been projected to help create 44,000 jobs and generate $4.3 billion in annual tax revenue. Sidewalk Labs has additionally stated it will spend $1.3 billion on the project with the aim of spurring $38 billion in private sector investment by 2040. Beyond the targeted district, however, a materialized smart city plan could become an ideal testing ground for next-generation breakthrough technologies and automated ecosystems that provide seamlessly delivered public services and predictive routing. | Share on Facebook

Secretive Startup SpinLaunch Gets 1st Launch Contract for US Military

What it is: Since entrepreneur Jonathan Yaney founded SpinLaunch in 2014, the alternative space launch company has raised $40 million. Now, the company has just received its first “launch prototype contract” from the U.S. Department of Defense under a deal with the Defense Innovation Unit, and aims to launch its first test flights in early 2020. SpinLaunch’s system employs a giant centrifuge as its orbital rockets leverage kinetic energy during launch, as opposed to chemical energy. While details about SpinLaunch’s technology have been kept largely under wraps, the company previously stated its intentions to launch small payloads as frequently as five times per day. At a cost of $250,000 per flight, these would be conducted at the company’s $7 million Spaceport America launch site.

Why it's important: SpinLaunch serves as an ideal example of the entrepreneurial deployment of first principles thinking to disrupt preconceived cognitive biases, transform an industry, and pursue a moonshot. By distilling the complex problem of launching things into space to a fundamental physics question, Jonathan Yaney and his team may soon drive space launch costs down by an order of magnitude. How can you use first principles thinking to make a 10X gain by disrupting your industry’s heritage processes and creatively deploying technology? | Share on Facebook

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, a Singularity University Program, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
15 min read

Abundance Insider: June 21st 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 21, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New plant-based meat alternatives, Cadillac’s 200,000 miles of hands-free driving, and a spacecraft 3D-printing hub.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Facebook Announces Libra Cryptocurrency: All You Need To Know

What it is: Earlier this week, Facebook released details of its new cryptocurrency, Libra. With a public launch set for 2020, Libra is backed by more than a dozen companies, including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union, PayPal, Stripe, and Uber. Having invested at least $10 million USD to fund development of the coin, each backer is part of the Libra Association, an independent entity of founding members tasked with governing the coin. Libra will be what is known as a stable coin, backed by a basket of government currencies to offset volatility.

Why it's important: This is the first major operation by a large, multinational platform to develop its own digital cryptocurrency, not to mention an accompanying programming language. As founding backers pursue businesses' acceptance of Libra for payment and even provide customer rewards, Libra's growth is newly elevating the "crypto" conversation in both profile and potential long-term economic significance. Watch how this conversation unfolds, not only in the U.S., but also in nations like India that have historically remained hostile to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. How will regulators and users respond? Could this be an inflection point in the adoption curve?  Share on Facebook

Cadillac Super Cruise Expansion Means 200,000 Miles Of Hands-Free Driving

What it is: Cadillac just announced the addition of 70,000 miles to its Super Cruise hands-free driving system on the auto manufacturer’s CT6 Sedan. Currently the only semi-autonomous system that offers hands-free driving at maximum highway speeds, Super Cruise will now be fully functional on 200,000 miles of roads. While only programmed to work on mapped roadways, Cadillac’s system draws from vehicle sensors, cameras, and a compiled database of LIDAR-mapped roads for its robust hands-free functionality. To ensure continuous driver attention, Cadillac additionally uses sensors to monitor the position of a driver’s head, so sleeping behind the wheel is not an option!

Why it's important: Autonomous vehicles have arrived, and they will dramatically impact the structure of our days, not to mention the way we work. Riding advancements in machine learning and sensor technologies, self-driving cars will soon surpass the driving skills of any human. Lengthy commutes to work will become time-abundant opportunities: to get an extra hour of sleep, collaborate remotely on a project, or watch a movie. Eliminating transition times and travel interruptions enables a more seamless and productive day, courtesy of today’s numerous converging technologies. As autonomous driving multiplies our most precious resource, time, how will you maximize your efficiency? What new projects will you take on?  Share on Facebook

Beyond Meat Upgrades Its Burger With Better Marbling And Complete Protein

What it is: Just last week, plant-based meat substitute producer Beyond Meat released its new and improved Beyond Burger. Now available in major grocery stores — Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, Sprouts, among others — the upgraded patty is now a source of “complete protein,” containing all nine amino acids required in a human diet. One of the burger’s most widely lauded feats, however, is its impressive “marbled” texture, leveraging coconut oil and cocoa to imitate the richly flavored, fatty specks in real meat. Nonetheless, while stocked with 20 grams of protein (comparable to that of a beef burger), Beyond Meat uses pea, mung bean, and rice protein in lieu of a cholesterol-laden beef base.

Why it's important: As growing evidence reveals the health hazards and environmental footprint of meat consumption and animal agriculture, plant-based alternatives are beginning to play in the big leagues. Having enjoyed this year’s most successful IPO to date, Beyond Meat tripled its sales last quarter. Meanwhile, competitor Impossible Foods is now selling its plant-based burgers in Burger Kings nationwide, not to mention its patty's appearance on countless other restaurant menus. While both struggling to meet demand, these two players are part of a nascent but powerful new market, one poised to revolutionize the future of food and decimate its ecological impact.  Share on Facebook

Meet Endel: The First-Ever Algorithm To Sign A Music Distribution Deal With A Major Label

What it is: Endel, a music-generating AI, is now the first-ever algorithm to sign an album distribution deal with a major label conglomerate. One of the “big three” labels, Warner Music Group has agreed to distribute Endel’s AI-generated soundscapes. As part of the deal, Endel will generate twenty new albums for the label, in addition to the five it has already produced. Endel creates personalized meditation music for relaxation and focus. Thanks to its innovative music software, the startup has already attracted high-profile investors, from Amazon’s Alexa Fund to Japanese entertainment giant Avex Group.

Why it's important: From Neolithic cave paintings to today’s contemporary montages, art represents an evolutionary leap from base intelligence to complex, self-aware, and abstract thought. Many believe that our ability to create art corroborates humanity’s elevated position above other species. For this reason, some experts speculate that art will be the last industry disrupted by AI, if at all. Endel’s (and other softwares’) ability to create music thereby serves as an early indication that art is no longer a domain exclusive to human creatives. Just as IBM’s Deep Blue beat the world’s greatest chess player, Gary Kasparov, in an historic 1997 chess match, moments like these demonstrate just how quickly and multifariously AI is accelerating.  Share on Facebook

Relativity Is Building A 3D-Printing Rocket Manufacturing Hub In Mississippi

What it is: 3D-printed spacecraft manufacturer Relativity Space has now sealed its agreement with NASA to open a $59 million manufacturing facility at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi. While Relativity already runs four proprietary 3D printers at its Los Angeles operations base, the startup will build twelve larger, second-generation printers at Stennis. With 220,000 square feet newly at its disposal, Relativity initially plans to use this Stennis infrastructure for construction of its Terran1 rocket. As affirmed by Stennis Space Center Director Dr. Rick Gilbrech, the collaboration reinforces NASA’s commitment to expand “commercial access to low Earth orbit.” Meanwhile, Relativity is given free rein to fully leverage the power of additive manufacturing.

Why it's important: Rockets are some of the most complex machines humankind has ever invented, constantly iterated upon and requiring extreme precision. 3D printing can simplify much of this complexity, requiring fewer parts, delivering a more seamless manufacturing process, and minimizing risk of human error. In the near future, additive manufacturing will be a key catalyst for exploration of and expansion throughout our solar system. Imagine shipping one of Relativity’s printers to Mars to manufacture critical components in situ, needed for return to Earth. Relativity's methods demonstrate a prime example of converging technologies that together decimate costs and open the floodgates for new industries. Share on Facebook

Tyson Foods Unveils Plant-Based Nuggets As It Moves Into Meat Alternatives

What it is: Signaling a fundamental shift in today’s meat industry, Tyson Foods — the U.S.’s largest meat processor — has announced its upcoming debut of plant-based nuggets. Slated to hit shelves this summer, the product is part of Tyson’s new brand, Raised & Rooted, focused on plant-based protein. Yet unlike competitors Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Raised & Rooted will include both pure plant-based substitutes and blended products, such as a burger consisting of pea protein and Angus beef. With an eye to consumer trends, Tyson has even revealed future plans to enhance its range of plant protein alternatives.

Why it's important: By 2040, traditional meat supply is projected to fall by over 33 percent, according to a recent A.T. Kearney analysis. Already, consumer meat-eating habits (particularly in the U.S.) are changing at a staggering rate. While Mintel reports that almost 60 percent of U.S. consumers are interested in eating less meat, Euromonitor forecasts a $22.9 billion global market for meat alternatives by 2023. As fast-growing startups rush to capitalize on this hot new market, the entrance of corporate incumbents like Tyson is perhaps the most compelling validator of an underlying shift towards plant-heavy protein consumption. Whether overtaken by lab-grown meat or plant-based alternatives, the meat industry faces disruption of epic proportions. What do you envision on your plate in 2045?  Share on Facebook

Say Hello To Dot, An Autonomous Farming Solution

Guest contribution by Robert Saik, CEO of Dot Farm Solutions.

What it is: Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Dot (named after its inventor’s mother) is the largest autonomous agriculture robot in the world. Dot’s patented, U-shape design enables the 173 Hp Diesel Power Platform unit to connect with a wide variety of Dot Ready implements, such as seed drills, planters, sprayers, fertilizer, spreaders and grain carts. Dot’s initial market is broad-acre agriculture, whereby farmers need to rapidly cover thousands of acres. Once farmers load perimeter and obstacle GIS field maps into Dot, the robot navigates using path-planning software at sub-inch GPS accuracy. This enables Dot to autonomously apply crop inputs like seed, fertilizer, or pesticides with 100% precision. Geared with LIDAR, radar and photometrics, Dot then leverages machine learning to increase real-time field analysis, efficiency and safety. As additional Dot-certified crop sensors are added to the platform, these will be further tethered to Dot’s Data Cloud, enabling deep analytics.

Why it's important: Most broad-acre farming operations suffer from acute shortage of qualified machinery operators. With the Dot Farming Solution, one operator can tender several Dot autonomous systems to multiply efficiency and dramatically reduce farmers’ time spent in tractor cabs. Highly versatile, Dot offers a path to autonomous agriculture for short-line manufacturers, expanding beyond broad-acre farming into small vegetable farms, vineyards, and even sectors like forestry, mining or construction. Today’s farmers additionally face exorbitant operational costs. A fraction of the cost of a self-propelled, high-clearance sprayer, Dot further reduces both soil compaction and operational costs by “cradling” (rather than “pulling”) its Dot Ready Implements. The world needs to produce 10,000 years worth of food in the next 30 years. Empowered by a wave of new tools, tomorrow’s farmers will need to rapidly adopt autonomous AgTech solutions, like Dot, to address agricultural constraints and unleash global food abundance.  Share on Facebook

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, a Singularity University Program, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. If you'd like to be considered, apply here.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Robotics AI food Artificial Intellegence robots future of food lab grown meat
14 min read

Abundance Insider: March 15th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 15, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Noise-cancelling metamaterials, algorithms for early Alzheimer's diagnosis, and CRISPR's convergence with lab-grown meat.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire and Max

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Join Peter Diamandis in Dubai, the City of the Future, for the inaugural Abundance 360 Dubai Summit on March 26 - 27, 2019. Hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and the Crown Prince of Dubai, this two-day experience offers exponential leaders an immersive look into how technology will transform every industry. Read more about the program and apply here to join.

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics Materials Science Finance food healthcare materials biotech fintech future of food lab grown meat