13 min read

Abundance Insider: February 8th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 8, 2019

 In this week's Abundance Insider: Climbing robotic plants, a diabetes breakthrough, and a bigger-than Woodstock virtual concert in Fortnite.

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. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

Watch A Super-Fast 3D Printer Scientists Call The “Replicator”

What it is: Using synthetic liquid resin and CT-like scanning technologies, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a 3D printer that can produce replicas of nearly any scanned object in record time. Nicknamed “the Replicator” a la Star Trek, the printer draws largely upon CT scan-like technology, reverse engineering multiple 2D images of a 3D model at various angles. This sequence of computed images is then projected onto a rotating cylinder of liquid resin that selectively solidifies when exposed to given thresholds of patterned light.

Why it's important: By printing complex objects from photosensitive resin in one go — as opposed to mounting material layer by layer — this system enables researchers to produce smooth and flexible components at unprecedented rates. Beyond seamlessly high-resolution prints, however, these figures can even encase other objects embedded in the resin, allowing for the fabrication of multi-material components. Perhaps most exciting is the combination of the UC Berkeley team’s method with computed scans of 3D targets. Such a system could have dramatic implications in healthcare, for instance, offering rapid-fire prints of bespoke medical pieces, anatomical replicas and other multi-material devices.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

The World’s Fastest Supercomputer Breaks An AI Record

What it is: Summit, the supercomputer built by Oak Ridge National Labs, recently became the fastest supercomputer to run the TensorFlow AI system. The supercomputer, about the size of two tennis courts, leveraged its 27,000 GPUs to run at speeds exceeding an exaflop (a billion billion operations per second). Its mission is to tackle climate change by predicting weather patterns and events up to 100 years in advance.

Why it's important: While we’ve been successful in doubling computing power every 3.4 months, on average, we’ve never applied TensorFlow and GPUs to a supercomputer’s specialized high-speed connections. This development will inform other large-scale efforts elsewhere, and is an excellent application of machine learning to address problems considered unsolvable.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Jason Goodwin 

The First Tendril-Like Soft Robot Able To Climb

What it is: In an excellent example of biomimicry, italian researchers replicated the unique hydraulic actuation system that climbing plants like vines use to grow and climb. Essentially, plants deploy different concentrations of the molecule cytosol to cause water to flow to a desired location in the plant’s structure (osmosis). As the water flows, the plant’s structure changes shape. The researchers replicated this phenomenon in their lab-made “tendrils" by using plastic tubing, a 1.3V battery, and a solution of small ions. Applying a voltage caused the ions in the solution to behave like cytosol and enabled the plants to curl and grow. While roboticists have implemented osmotic actuation before, this development marks the first time that the soft robot can reset after its curl and climb.

Why it's important: The rapidly approaching trillion-sensor economy will transform our understanding of our bodies and the world around us. Similarly, the trillion actuator economy enabled by soft robotics will give unprecedented control of our environment. Imagine the ability to instantly change not only the layout of your apartment, but the millimeter-scale details of your couch design, kitchen table, or standing desk. What new possibilities emerge when technology can interact with the physical world?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

Amazing Self-Healing Coating Erases Scratches and Cracks in Seconds

What it is: Materials scientists from Northwestern University recently developed an oil-based coating for metals that self-repairs small chips and scratches within seconds. Almost everything that we build has a coating to protect the core structural material from environmental damage. Metals in particular are highly susceptible to corrosion (for example, rusting steel), and once chipped, scratched, or scrapped, the metal directly underneath the damaged coating weakens. In a robust demonstration, the researchers scratched the same spot 200 times in a row, each time showing that the coating returned to its undamaged state within seconds.

Why it's important: Some of the most catastrophic engineering disasters in history have resulted from coating damage, which means materials engineers and entrepreneurs are constantly presented with billion-dollar opportunities specifically related to coating. What age-old engineering problems can we solve with the power of modern materials science?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Functional Insulin-Producing Cells Grown In Lab

What it is: In a new feat for type 1 (T1) diabetes research, scientists at UC San Francisco have generated fully mature insulin-producing cells in the lab from human stem cells. Given T1 diabetes’ destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, researchers have long attempted (in vain) to produce lab-grown versions of these cells. However, only now has a critical facet of beta cell maturation been discovered: a process by which cells separate from the pancreas to form islets. By replicating this process artificially, UCSF’s team found that the cells’ development suddenly accelerated. Most importantly, however, once transplanted into healthy mice, these lab-grown “islets” yielded fully functional cells that produced insulin in response to blood sugar.

Why it's important: Up until now, T1 diabetic patients have been limited to treating symptoms through frequent insulin injections or otherwise face the risk of invasive pancreas transplants. Even in the latter case, however, only about 1,000 out of 1.5 million patients in the U.S. are able to get such transplants in a given year, many of which are unsuccessful. Generating, let alone transplanting, fully mature lab-grown beta cells has long been an elusive dream in regenerative medicine, one that could finally offer a cure to this autoimmune disorder. Now capable of bringing these cells to maturation, UCSF’s scientists are charging forward with new research to ensure safe transplantation into diabetic patients, thereby ensuring healthy insulin production for life.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Live Concert Inside “Fortnite” Drew More Viewers Than Woodstock

What it is: Fortnite Dance Fortnite, the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), recently launched a shared experience centered on a 10-minute mini-set from electronic artist DJ Marshmello. Leveraging lessons from past gamewide events like its rocket launch, Epic Games teased the show with virtual posters, and even displayed visuals of the stage construction. An estimated 10 million concurrent users viewed the concert, with players emoting and dancing throughout. Epic monetized the event with in-game purchases of special skins and other virtual items.

Why it's important: This digital concert is a massive validation of what’s possible in the metaverse even without VR. Millions of users from around the globe participated in an entirely virtual live experience. What opportunities do you see to bring your community together in similar ways?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science healthcare soft robotics nano technology biotech Stem Cells regenerative medicine diabetes fortnite
14 min read

Abundance Insider: January 25th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 25, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Lab-grown blood vessels, augmenting human-robot teamwork, and the latest microrobot breakthrough.

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. Abundance 360 is only two days away! Join Abundance Digital to view the full livestream of this event, where we appreciate the technological breakthroughs of this past year and draw attention to the technologies that will move from deceptive to disruptive in 2019. Full livestream schedule and speaker descriptions can be found here.

Molecular Machinery That Makes Potent Antibiotic Revealed After Decades Of Research

What it is: Antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis, and researchers have been looking for new molecules and approaches for some time. One avenue has been the pursuit of natural antibiotics, like McbBCD, which have evolved over eons. McbBCD produces an enzyme called microcin B17, which scientists have known to kill E.coli for over 30 years, but up until now, the mechanism by which microcin B17 operates wasn't known. Now, thanks to advances in genomics and protein purification, a multinational team out of Rutgers, Russia, Poland and England have uncovered the molecular machinery involved, which bodes well for the rational design of new antibiotics, antimicrobials and potentially anticancer drugs.

Why it's important: Here’s another example of the transformative power due to convergence in exponential advances across typically siloed disciplines. This breakthrough demonstrates the rapid digitization of biology, chemistry, and computing to unlock new understanding, which in turn enables new tools for solving the world's grand challenges.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Tiny Microbots Fold Like Origami To Travel Through The Human Body

What it is: Researchers from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) demonstrated artificial microrobots that can swim and navigate through different fluids, independent of additional sensors, electronics or power transmission. Modeled on swimming microorganisms, the microrobots are made of a hydrogel nanocomposite, containing magnetic nanoparticles. The magnetic nanoparticles allow researchers to guide the microrobots with an applied magnetic field, a common technique for facilitating targeted drug delivery. What’s unique about these microbots is that they dynamically change their shape in response to changes in their surrounding fluid. This unique locomotive capability will eventually be tuned to enable them to squeeze through tight blood vessels and other hard-to-navigate features in physiological systems, bringing us one step closer to ubiquitous nanobots monitoring every aspect of our physiology.

Why it's important: Materials science and biomimicry are leading the charge on many fronts of next-generation technologies, enabling future breakthroughs like ubiquitous nanobots. Such nanobots will transform how we think about healthcare, enabling real-time treatment and disease detection, as well as total optimization of our biology. As the saying goes, you can’t fix what you can’t measure, and we are well on the path towards achieving comprehensive measurement of our bodies. In the decades to come, what will these nanobots teach us about the human body?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

UVM Study: Wearable Sensor Could Detect Hidden Anxiety, Depression In Young Children

What it is: Researchers have now developed a tool to screen young children for internalizing disorders, characterized by internalizing one’s problems. Using a common “mood induction task” to elicit anxiety from children by presenting a potential threat (e.g. a hidden fake snake), the research team replaced human observation with wearable motion sensors. After processing the sensor data, a machine learning algorithm then analyzed children’s movements and found quantifiable differences between those with anxiety or depression and those without. By identifying physical signs of anticipatory anxiety, the algorithm could identify children with internalizing disorders in just 20 seconds with 81 percent accuracy, outperforming even parental assessments.

Why it's important: Bringing algorithmic diagnosis to bear on the more intangible realm of mental health could offer tremendous benefits in the way of early treatment. Sometimes showing symptoms as young as preschool, up to one in five children suffers from either anxiety or depression. These conditions are highly treatable at a young age, yet much more difficult to detect by caretakers. Given their propensity to result in serious risks such as substance abuse or suicide in adulthood, internalizing disorders are critical to treat early. With increasingly refined detection algorithms, screening children at scale and low cost may have a dramatic impact on mental health prevalence in both child and adult populations down the line.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

We Can Now Grow Perfect Human Blood Vessels In A Lab

What it is: For the first time, UBC researchers have successfully cultivated human blood vessels as “organoids” from stem cells in the lab. Organoids are three-dimensional, lab-grown cellular systems that mimic the characteristics of real human organs or tissues, in this case developing into functional human blood vessels when transplanted into mice. A perfect testing ground for vascular diseases such as diabetes, the vascular organoids were then induced into a “diabetic” state, exhibiting characteristically abnormal thickening of the basement membrane. This allowed researchers to identify a key inhibitor of enzyme γ-secretase that could prevent detrimental changes to blood vessels — a key cause of morbidity among diabetic patients.

Why it's important: While lab-grown blood vessel organoids have already provided a remarkable lead in the pursuit of diabetes treatments, this stem cell-based technology could have much farther-reaching implications. As explained by the study’s senior author Josef Penninger, “Every single organ in our body is linked with the circulatory system. This could potentially allow researchers to unravel the causes and treatments for a variety of vascular diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, wound healing problems, stroke, cancer and, of course, diabetes.”  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

This New Nanomaterial From Researchers In India Might Give Forensic Fingerprint Detecting A Boost.

What it is: Indian scientists from the Nanoscience Laboratory and National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur have developed a nanomaterial that could make forensic science simultaneously faster and more accurate. Fingerprint detection can be difficult because current materials often miss nuances in patterns, such as when fingers are damaged. By doping manganese and copper atoms on a zinc sulphide nanosystem — essentially replacing zinc atoms with copper and manganese — the team created particles more than a million times smaller than a millimeter and highly luminescent. Under UV light, latent prints up to 2 months old and on a variety of surfaces can be captured via a smartphone camera for real-time analysis and sharing.

Why it's important: We often think of nanotechnology in the context of new materials built into products, but materials science applications of nanotech are expanding exponentially. As one use case develops and is shared, new ideas form, such as this team's use of the material to develop new white LEDs. What opportunities might materials science and nanotechnology open up for you?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Amazon Built An Electronic Vest To Improve Worker/Robot Interactions

What it is: Amazon is at the forefront of robot-human worker interaction safety, and its latest innovation is a connected sensor-laden vest that allows robot workers to detect the location of human workers in an Amazon warehouse. Previously, Amazon warehouse associates proactively planned and marked which zones they would enter to perform maintenance or routine human logistics tasks. Now, workers can freely move around, while their vests passively update their robotic counterparts on their whereabouts.

Why it's important: We're seeing an unprecedented rise in robot-human collaboration all across the manufacturing and supply chain industries. Robots are often large, heavy, mobile and dangerous pieces of machinery. Just months ago, an incident involving Amazon warehouse workers, a robot, and bear repellent made international headlines. This IoT-enabled vest demonstrates that by leveraging converging exponential technologies (robotics, artificial intelligence, networks, sensors), companies can mitigate some of the risks of adopting a particular technology.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 Robotics Materials Science healthcare nano technology biotech Stem Cells nanobots regenerative medicine
14 min read

Abundance Insider: October 26th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 26, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Molecular computing biosensors, space botany, and fine dining in virtual reality.

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. On November 7th, Abundance Digital will be streaming an exclusive webinar with Tony Robbins. Join us at 12pm PDT to hear Tony and Peter dive in to their initiatives in human longevity and discuss how exponential technologies affect our human purpose. Sign up here. 

Healthy Mice With Same-Sex Parents Born For First Time

What it is: In a new breakthrough for reproductive science, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have now successfully bred mice with same-sex parents. Born to two mothers, a litter of 29 healthy mice were able to live to adulthood, some even birthing their own offspring. While scientists have previously bred mice with same-sex parents, a mammalian reproduction phenomenon known as “imprinting” has yielded serious birth abnormalities. To overcome this, Dr. Zhou and his colleagues used haploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which contain only one set of chromosomes, and deleted specific genetic regions that produce the imprints which turn off paternal or maternal genes. By combining this edited stem cell with an egg cell, the team conferred complete genetic material to a well-formed embryo.

Why it's important: While those mice born to two fathers (using similar methods) survived only a few days, there is evidence that genetic imprinting works similarly in human reproduction, albeit involving different genes. The findings also mark a tremendous leap in understanding genetic barriers to same-sex mammalian reproduction — and offering hope that they might one day be eliminated. As both gene editing and embryonic stem cell research continue to advance, we might one day unlock new paradigms in human reproduction.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Claire Adair 

DNA-Based Molecular Computing Will Pave The Way For Programmable Pills

What it is: Researchers at the University of Chicago aim to harness untapped information about how our cellular systems work by deploying a series of DNA-based molecular computing circuits. The researchers propose that specific arrangements of these molecular logic gates can give specific analog signals of the concentration of the molecules as they are released over time, opening up the information contained in the temporal portion of our cells’ communication mechanisms. Accessing the time-dependent information of these cellular signals is akin to knowing the tune of a song, rather than solely the lyrics.

Why it's important: As we approach a trillion-sensor economy by 2020, the quality and versatility of these sensors is critical. This research is evidence that rapid improvements in biosensor technology are bringing us deeper layers of data. This higher-order, temporal microbiology data is what we need for meaningful long-term studies of our bodies, and for the development of real-time monitoring and treatment systems. What physiology do you want to precision-monitor -- and therefore optimize, treat, and/or understand -- on a molecular scale?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

New Material Could Up Efficiency Of Concentrated Solar Power

What it is: Scientists have identified a material that could dramatically boost the efficiency (and lower the cost) of concentrated solar power. Using mirrors or lenses to focus large amounts of solar thermal energy onto a small area, concentrated solar power involves converting concentrated sunlight to heat up a working fluid, usable to drive turbines. Promising an expected efficiency boost of over 20 percent, steam can even be replaced with supercritical carbon dioxide. But temperatures required of over 1,000 Kelvin also promise to melt many metals or cause them to react with CO2. In a new feat balancing high heat transfer rates and chemical and heat resistance, researchers have refined a composite material called tungsten and zirconium carbide. These materials are extremely effective heat conductors, each with a melting point of 3,700K and the ability to form a complementary pairing.

Why it's important: Boasting much greater resilience than currently used metals, this zirconium carbide and tungsten composite has remarkable economic implications, requiring much less of the material for an effective heat exchanger. Concentrated solar has the tremendous advantage of superior heat storage, allowing the technology to generate power 24/7. By integrating storage in the process of energy production, concentrated solar might pose a more stable way of harnessing the sun.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Virtual Reality Makes Food Taste Better

What it is: Our senses and memories play an important role in how we perceive taste. But it’s not always easy or cheap to put someone on a plane, for example, to run an experiment. Enter researchers at Cornell, who recently used virtual reality to address this problem. They asked 50 participants to eat the same piece of blue cheese in three VR settings: a virtual sensory booth, on a cow farm, or on a park bench. As expected, participants rated a significantly higher pungency of the cheese in the cow barn versus the bench or sensory booth.

Why it's important: As the costs of VR continue to drop, we’re seeing an explosion of new use cases that extend well beyond gaming. While many applications focus on augmenting our abilities to understand complex systems or to collaborate, many others are also tied to cost savings, which should accelerate even broader adoption and catalyze experimentation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

75% Of People Think This AI Artist Is Human

What it is: A team at Rutgers has created AICAN, an artificial intelligence system trained on 80,000+ works of art over the past 500 years, representing the entire Western canon. It can generate images at the click of a button, without human control. Using what they call a Creative Adversarial Network, or CAN, AICAN generates images of surprising sophistication that 75 percent of humans would never attribute to an AI. The system also generates its own titles, such as “The Birth of Venus” or “St. George Killing the Dragon.”

Why it's important: For the time being, the element that AICAN misses in its art is the social context or desire to make a political statement, something still distinctly human. That will likely change as we begin to refine our quantification of values like creativity. With that in mind, how will artists, and you, use systems like AICAN and its progeny as tools for self-expression?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Space Crops Could Get Boost from Plant Hormone, Study Finds

What it is: On Earth, a plant-fungal symbiotic relationship helps plants absorb nutrients from low-nutrient soil; in return, the plant keeps the fungus healthy by feeding it with carbohydrates. However, this symbiotic relationship degrades in microgravity. University of Zurich researchers promoted this plant-fungal symbiosis, even in microgravity, by treating the plant-fungal system with a synthetic version of the hormone strigolactone. Experiments determined that given this treatment, the plant and fungus were able to thrive even in low-gravity and low-nutrient environments.

Why it's important: One of the key challenges of Moon and Mars mission planners is producing food on other planets. Shipping soil millions of miles from Earth and producing artificial gravity are limited by the laws of physics, so explorers will need to leverage engineering to achieve sufficient crop yields, using entirely alien resources. This research out of Zurich is one of many studies focused on extraterrestrial agriculture. Even on the Moon and Mars, there’s an abundance of resources -- we just need to figure out how to efficiently use these resources to host human life (and one day, civilizations).  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 Space Energy Materials Science AR/VR Artificial Intellegence virtual reality materials solar energy nano technology Genetics
14 min read

Abundance Insider: October 19th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 19, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Self-balancing bipedal bots, California chatbot regulations and next-gen autonomous farming.

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. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

Inside Silicon Valley’s Newest, Most Autonomous Farm Yet

What it is: Led by CEO Brandon Alexander, formerly of X (formerly Google X), digital agriculture company Iron Ox built a unique robotic farm designed to operate fully autonomously. The company recently transitioned their prototype farm into a full production facility. The first of these farms, situated in a 1,000-square-foot, San Carlos, California-based warehouse, grows romaine lettuce, bok choy, cilantro, and two dozen other types of greens. The farm can produce nearly 30 times more produce than a traditional 1 acre farm and uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming. Iron Ox uses a horizontal, single-floor layout fueled by natural overhead sunlight.

Why it's important: The global food supply chain is highly inefficient. Iron Ox’s scalable, autonomous approach to locally grown food is one of the many digital agriculture solutions bringing farming closer to the table. Produce can travel nearly around the globe before it lands on your plate, resulting in nearly half the cost of food coming from transportation. What if we could dramatically reduce (or eliminate) these costs?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Honda Is Giving Cars The Ability To See Around Corners To Avoid Accidents

What it is: Building out what it calls “vehicle-to-everything” communication (or V2X), Honda is now partnering with the city of Marysville, Ohio to test the company’s Smart Intersection technology. In an effort to address the limitations of existing autonomous vehicle sensors, which cannot see around corners, Honda’s 33 Smart Mobility Corridor project leverages proprietary object recognition software and cameras installed at intersections to provide a 360-degree view of a given street, with distance of up to 300 feet. Intersection-mounted cameras then communicate this data directly to vehicles, allowing them to see around corners and ‘through’ obstructing buildings to preemptively avoid collisions and other threats.

Why it's important: According to Honda’s reported statistics, about 40 percent of all car collisions, and almost 20 percent of the U.S.’ annual 35,000 traffic-related fatalities, take place at intersections. While autonomous vehicles will dramatically reduce these figures, even the most advanced sensors leave gaping blind spots behind adjacent buildings and other obstructions. As smart city infrastructure comes online, however, V2X technology will grant any connected vehicle the data it needs for contextual vision and preventative decisionmaking. Such smart traffic systems can enable a zero-collision record and remarkable efficiency improvements.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

‘Venus Flytrap’ Spheres Catch and Destroy BPA

What it is: Scientists have just developed micron-sized spheres capable of catching and destroying BPA, a synthetic compound used to make certain plastics and resins. Commonly found in coatings inside food cans, water supply lines and bottle tops, BPA has been suspected of damaging children’s health and contributing to high blood pressure in cases of prolonged exposure. One known solution involves reactive oxygen species (ROS), which degrades BPA into harmless chemicals. Leveraging titanium dioxide, which releases ROS when triggered by UV light, researchers built flowerlike spheres composed of titanium dioxide pedals, enhanced with cyclodextrin (a benign sugar-based molecule). And with these new 3- to 5-micron spherical particles of enhanced titanium dioxide, scientists found that only 200 mg of these spheres per liter of contaminated water successfully degraded 90 percent of BPA in only one hour.

Why it's important: As explained by Rice University’s Materials Science, Nanoengineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Pedro Alvarez, “This new material helps overcome two significant technological barriers for photocatalytic water treatment.” One involves the efficiency of water treatment as a result of reducing the scavenging of ROS by other constituents in the water that prevent it from primarily catching and neutralizing BPA. These enhanced titanium dioxide spheres are rechargeable once recovered, allowing them to be separated and reused at low cost. At scale, this material could pose a highly effective solution for decontaminating BPA-tainted water.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

The World’s First Lions Conceived By Artificial Insemination Have Been Born

What it is: Following nearly 18 months of studying the lion reproductive system, researchers at the University of Pretoria achieved a breakthrough: the world’s first African lions born by artificial insemination. Due to declining numbers and inbreeding, lions don’t breed as well in the wild, and the logistics present a challenge to breeding in captivity. This can potentially slow the decline of African lions, whose population has dropped by almost 98 percent over the last 220 years.

Why it's important: Science and technology give us truly superhuman powers -- in this case, the ability to help prevent the loss of endangered and vulnerable species to extinction. How might this breakthrough impact ecology and conservation efforts?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Robot Masters Human Balancing Act

What it is: Researchers at the University of Texas Austin are leveraging lessons from human biomechanics to optimize biped robots. Their new biped robot Mercury replicates the fine motor skills that allow humans to walk through crowded spaces without bumping into people or objects. In the researchers' words, "[The technique teaches] autonomous robots how to maintain balance even when they are hit unexpectedly or a force is applied without warning." The UT-Austin team translated key human dynamics into a set of math equations used to program Mercury. These underlying equations can, theoretically, be programmed into any AI-powered biped robot to improve its balance. The team recently demonstrated a prototype of this self-balancing biped robot, and last week presented their work at the Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

Why it's important: Advanced motor skills may eventually be applied to robots in emergency rescue, defense, entertainment, food service and more. Leveraging lessons from artificial intelligence and biomechanics, we're seeing increasingly humanlike robots under development.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

A California Law Now Means Chatbots Have To Disclose They’re Not Human

What it is: Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-1001 into law, requiring companies to disclose to customers when they are communicating with a bot. The new law is intended to cover commercial and political communications in environments like social media, but will likely face significant litigation before it goes into effect next July. For starters, it is not easy to define what constitutes commercial or political speech, and the difference between an automated script used to reply to emails versus a third-party service like Marketo or Infusionsoft is unclear. Regardless of the outcome, as we’ve seen with GDPR in the EU, the world will be watching, as it is difficult to draw geographic lines on the Internet.

Why it's important: This is likely to be the first of many legislative battles around the use of AI and bots in daily lives. What opportunities do you see for increasing trust and transparency into the system to head off the potential for regulatory overreach?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 Artificial Intellegence robots autonomous vehicles nano technology Genetics nanobots
13 min read

Abundance Insider: October 12th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 12, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Humanoid construction robots, fiber-winding nano-bots, and zinc-air batteries.

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. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work 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.

Watch This Humanoid Robot Install Drywall

What it is: Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology institute has developed a humanoid robot -- dubbed HRP-5P -- capable of hanging drywall. By using two hooks to pull the panel off the floor, the HRP-FP uses a combination of environmental sensors and object recognition to place the panel and simultaneously drill into the joist, as well as perform similar tasks in the future.

Why it's important: We have seen many examples of robots performing human tasks that were previously considered difficult in robotics, like washing dishes or folding clothes. This moves those use cases into heavier, more factorylike work where strength augmentation is a clear benefit. As 3D-printed structures and modular home business models continue to overcome cost challenges, what home builders will adopt this first? And how do we change the messaging to contractors from job reduction to value add?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

GTA Isn’t Fun In Real Life, So Mercedes-Benz Wants To Suggest Safe Parking Spots

What it is: Mercedes is testing an app that will tell you where it is safe to park based on local crime statistics. By pulling data about recent crimes from government agencies, the app provides recommendations on the relative safety of parking in any particular location, and ideally before you reach your destination. When complete, the app will be sold and downloadable to the car directly via its app ecosystem.

Why it's important: How much access cities will provide to crime data is unclear (in particular, recent crimes), but this is a great example of the types of services smart cities might provide as a new revenue stream while also lowering crime rates.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

These Adorable Robots Work Together To Build Alien Structures

What it is: Fiberbots, a new construction robot design from MIT's Mediated Matter Group, can work together as a group to wind fiberglass filament into large structures. The tiny robots work together to make 3D structures as tall as 15 feet, from buildings to art instructions. The robots each consist of a winding arm and a motorized base. The arms of many of these robots work together to draw a fiber-resin composite from a mixture situated in a vat below, each robot in the ‘manufacturing swarm’ winding fiber around itself. After the Fiberbots wind the desired structure, each bot kicks on an internal UV light to cure the resin, solidifying the fibers in their formed structure. Thanks to onboard wifi, Fiberbots are aware of each other's positions, and operate fully autonomously.

Why it's important: We've previously featured the tiny robotic beetles Volkswagen's engineering department is using to perform maintenance on hard-to-reach engine parts. More and more small-scale robots working together in swarms are coming onto the scene, setting the stage for a truly incredible future of ground-up, additive manufacturing.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

NantEnergy's Zinc-Air Battery Could Power Africa's Homes — Quartz Africa

What it is: NantEnergy, a U.S. energy company, recently announced a zinc-air battery architecture that it predicts will outperform the $100 per kilowatt hour of energy storage -- a substantial improvement over the estimated $300-$400 per kilowatt hour for lithium-ion chemistry. While zinc-air batteries are still experimental and early-stage, they have a few distinct advantages. For one, the materials used in zinc-air batteries are substantially less flammable and less likely to overheat. Additionally, zinc-air batteries eliminate the supply chain bottleneck created by the cobalt requirements of lithium-ion batteries.

Why it's important: Energy storage is a massive opportunity for technology to transform the status quo. As renewable energy costs plummet, we need substantial infrastructure to store the captured energy. Zinc-air batteries are one of many promising advanced battery solutions coming onto the global stage.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Honour of Kings Video Game Uses Facial Recognition To Check Ages

What it is: Facing continual pressure from regulators to limit game time to players under the age of 12, China’s Tencent announced that it is beginning to test facial recognition within the game Honour of Kings to verify names and ages. Earlier this year, the publisher introduced a real-name registration system as a means of enforcing its 2017 restrictions limiting game time to 1 hour per day for those under 12 and 2 hours per day for ages 13 to 18, but apparently users are finding ways to circumvent the rules.

Why it's important: While it’s not clear what technology will be used, this is yet another example showing that as costs plummet, the number of use cases for facial recognition is growing. Where else can you use this in your business? What are the implications of widespread transparency?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Researchers Have Created A Paint That Promises To Cut Air-Conditioning Costs

What it is: Researchers at Columbia University have developed a functional new paint that could significantly reduce air conditioning costs, lowering surface temperatures by as much as 6°C (or about 11°F). By adding air voids to plastics, Columbia’s team of engineers has refined a thick, white coating capable of reflecting heat and sunlight back to the atmosphere with unparalleled efficacy. Achieving what’s called passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC), the paint embeds a high concentration of minuscule holes, which serve to scatter and reflect sunlight of all different wavelengths.

Why it's important: Effective in both dry heat and foggy tropical climates, surface temperature-reducing paint could offer a dramatic contribution to combating climate change. Whereas air conditioning artificially cools our interiors by pumping hot air outside, this materials science-based solution would passively induce a similar effect while consuming zero energy. But aside from eliminating A/C’s exacerbation of rising outdoor air temperatures, the paint could dramatically reduce cooling costs at scale, posing a remarkable solution for tropical developing regions most vulnerable to climate change. As heatwaves threaten to kill tens of thousands of individuals annually (given current rates of temperature rise), expanding our arsenal of PDRC coatings will be critically important in the years ahead.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 Artificial Intellegence robots Batteries nano technology nanobots
13 min read

Abundance Insider: August 3rd, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 3, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Cell-sized sensing robots, personalized VR horror games, and the first 5G smartphone antennas.

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. Enjoy Abundance Insider? Discuss these weekly articles and connect with other Abundance-Minded people in the Abundance Digital Community! Click here to learn more and sign up.

Cell-Sized Robots Can Sense Their Environment

What it is: MIT researchers are using materials science to build micron-scale robots able to sense, record, and store information about their environment. These tiny robots, about 100 micrometers in diameter (approximately the size of a human egg cell), can also carry out preprogrammed computational tasks. The sensing and computing electronics are made of two-dimensional graphene and transition-metal dichalcogenides. These tiny electronic circuits are laid down on micron-sized colloidal particles, which maintain the necessary rigidity yet are still light enough to stay suspended in a liquid environment.

Why it's important: Cell-sized robots will be transformative for in-situ measurements of hard-to-reach places like sewage and oil pipes, or in vivo biological systems. Imagine hundreds or thousands of these micro-bots injected into one end of a flowing system, acquiring data about oil homogeneity, composition, and other fluid measurements. Last week, we featured Rolls-Royce's new insect-sized maintenance and inspection robots, another signal that the age of nanotechnology is upon us.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

This VR Horror Game Is Exactly as Scary as Your Body Can Handle

What it is: Bring to Light, a VR horror game developed Red Meat Games, may be the first game to incorporate the use of biometric sensors. By pairing with a heart monitor such as the Polar H10 of Scosche Rhythm, players have the option to allow an AI within the game to turn up the 'creep factor' based on heart rate. For example, adding more shaking doors as players walk past in an abandoned subway shaft.

Why it's important: We’ve seen countless examples of VR’s potential to deliver fully immersive experiences. It seems only natural, particularly in the context of games, to incorporate the growing set of biometric sensor data to deliver more precise experiences. How do you see this applying in non-game uses, such as the 'fear of heights' applications discussed last week?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

IBM Patenting Watermark Tech to Protect Ownership of AI Models

What it is: In an effort to protect intellectual property associated with AI model development, IBM is researching methods of watermarking using Deep Neural Networks (or DNNs). To embed the watermark, the team has developed three algorithms so far which either embed meaningful content, irrelevant data samples, or noise in the into the training data sets. So far these have been successful at delivering an "unexpected but controlled response," validating ownership without the need to access the parameters of the model directly.

Why it's important: While this method won't be able to detect models used only on internal networks, this is an step towards the protection of IP associated with AI. As AI’s begin to serve as larger and larger source of competitive advantage, look for this and related research to grow in importance.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter Diamandis / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Taobao Leads New Ecommerce Trend: Livestreamed Shopping

What it is: As livestreaming grows inceasingly popular in retail marketing, China’s Taobao is stepping up to the plate. Part of Alibaba’s online marketplace subsidiary, Taobao’s Global Buy division reportedly has 16,000 livestreaming agents overseas, and Alibaba aims to surpass 50,000 within the year. Heavily used by daigou agents -- Chinese expats who buy name brands abroad and resell domestically -- these livestreaming mediums are expanding far beyond the Louis Vuittons and Pradas of the world, now beginning to cover everything from handmade jewelry to unknown local cuisines.

Why it's important: While reflective of a general trend towards influencer marketing, livestreaming as a shoppers' platform is also quickly bringing about democratized merchant-consumer interaction -- real-time dialogue that remains largely relegated to brick-and-mortar stores for high-end customers. But as millions of new Chinese users come online and domestic purchasing power skyrockets, many seek a more intimate shopping experience: asking questions in real time, witnessing tomorrow's newest products as they’re explored live, and even building loyalty and rapport with brand ambassadors.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Qualcomm Unveils First mmWave 5G Antennas for Smartphones

What it is: 5G satellite constellations will provide us with a bleeding-edge, global, high-speed internet, but our mobile devices still need a mechanism to receive information from this network. To tackle this engineering demand, Qualcomm has unveiled its QTM052 antenna -- the first one of its kind in the 5G market -- which is designed to be small enough for manufacturers to seamlessly incorporate into existing phone antenna layouts. Qualcomm’s 5G Snapdragon modem can support up to 16 of these antennas to ensure the phone always has a signal, no matter how the user holds it.

Why it's important: Global 5G satellite constellation coverage is only one piece of the 5G puzzle. We still need devices capable of connecting to these networks. Qualcomm’s solution is one step closer to connecting the world. The network effects of a fully connected species will have profound implications on our ability to create a better future.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

GM Launches Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Service

What it is: Last week, General Motors launched a new peer-to-peer car rental service with pilots in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor. Built through GM’s Maven car-sharing platform, ‘Peer Cars’ will soon be available to all 150,000 program members -- newly minted “prosumers” who can now earn a passive income with an idle asset. Securing each peer-shared vehicle through GM’s $1 million insurance policy, Peer Cars will allow any GM car owner (with a 2015 model or later) to rent out a vehicle the minute it’s left unused, reportedly earning 60 percent of each rental. And on the flip side, eligible lessees can now tap an untapped resource, on-demand, at minimal cost.

Why it's important: Joining the on-demand car sharing model of startups like Getaround and Turo, GM’s Peer Cars marks the next era in transportation’s share economy. While Uber has electrified efficient transit without any inventory, platforms like Peer Cars are now employing unused vehicles without even necessitating a driver. This means GM car owners can truly gain a passive income, sharing idle assets without stepping foot in a vehicle. But far beyond offsetting one’s auto investment, peer car-sharing represents an exciting step towards zero ownership -- a future of self-driving cars, personalized, lightning-fast, and available at anyone’s doorstep.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

Want more conversations like this?

At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, 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 is Peter’s 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 Robotics AR/VR AI retail Artificial Intellegence virtual reality e-commerce nanotech nano technology ibm