8 min read

AI & Shopping - A New Retail Era

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 24, 2019

AI and broadband are eating retail for breakfast. In the first half of 2019, we’ve seen 19 retailer bankruptcies. And the retail apocalypse is only accelerating.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots materials networks connectivity smart cities construction connection Moonshots entrepreneur convergence aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop Martine Rothblatt organ transplant
7 min read

Pursuing Moonshots: Martine Rothblatt’s Story

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 21, 2019

You just learned your daughter’s disease gives her less than 5 years to live. How do you react? Would you strive to make her last years the most fulfilling? Or would you search every medical journal, contact every scientist, and find her a cure?

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots materials networks connectivity smart cities construction connection Moonshots entrepreneur convergence aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop Martine Rothblatt organ transplant
6 min read

transforming sick care into healthcare - part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 17, 2019

The U.S. healthcare industry is in for a major disruption in the decade ahead.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop
7 min read

Hyperloop, Rocket Travel, and Avatars

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 13, 2019

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars? 

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology smart tracking mobile connectivity hyperloop
11 min read

Revolutionizing Disaster Relief: A Tale of Convergence

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 10, 2019

Between 2005 and 2014, natural disasters have claimed the lives of over 700,000 people and resulted in total damage of more than US$1.4 trillion.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity trillion sensor economy smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology nanorobots smart tracking mobile connectivity
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
13 min read

Abundance Insider: June 1st, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 1, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Self-driving USPS trucks, CRISPR in space, and multilingual robot writers.

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

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 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.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Transportation health Artificial Intellegence robots autonomous vehicles self-driving cars biotech
14 min read

Abundance Insider: May 24th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 25, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tiny robotic bees, lung cancer-detecting AIs, and a new synthetic biology milestone.

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

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.

Penny-Sized Robotic Bee Is The Most Sci-Fi Thing You'll See All Week

What it is: Harvard’s RoboBee — one of the smallest flying robots ever built — has just gotten a major upgrade. Thanks to the engineering exploits of a research team at the University of Southern California (USC), a new and improved Bee Plus now weighs in at just 95 milligrams and barely straddles the diameter of a penny. Its biggest achievement, however, involves the bee’s actuators and doubled wing count. Using an actuator design called a unimorph, the USC team was able to successfully halve the weight of those actuators used in the Harvard RoboBee precursor. This in turn allowed them to install four (as opposed to two) wings, each with a span of 33 millimeters. Rendering much smoother flight, its wings now allow Bee Plus to perch, land, swim, pursue a path, and even avoid obstacles.

Why it's important: While Bee Plus and similar robo-insect prototypes are still restricted by a power-supplying tether, as on-board energy storage remains a significant engineering obstacle, USC’s team has already begun to tackle it. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is now working on an approach that involves catalytic artificial muscles. Long-term, future descendants of the Bee Plus might one day artificially pollinate flowers, conduct search and rescue missions, or even monitor climate conditions in huge swarms. Farther afield, Professor Perez-Arancibia even imagines a future in which “our robots [fly] on Mars and Titan,” becoming “ant-inspired colonies of explorers.” What eventualities can you envision once these air-faring bots spread their wings?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Google’s Lung Cancer Detection AI Outperforms 6 Human Radiologists

What it is: In partnership with Northwestern Medicine, Google researchers created an AI system that detects lung cancer from CT scans better than well-trained humans. Engineers trained the deep learning model using 42,000 CT scans from 15,000 patients taken during a 2002 NIH study. Compared to six expert radiologists, when analyzing these CT scans, the deep learning model proved to detect cancer 5 percent more often, with an 11 percent reduction in false positives.

Why it's important: While the human eye is limited to the visible spectra and feature sizes on images, AI systems can take a pixel-by-pixel approach to data analysis. Also note Google’s deployment of old NIH data: we don't need access to advanced AI systems right now to start preparing for their arrival. What data are you generating right now that you could proactively collect to help fuel future AI initiatives?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Scientists Created Bacteria With a Synthetic Genome. Is This Artificial Life?

What it is: In an effort to understand how genes encode proteins and fundamentally create life, a team led by Jason Chin at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Britain has rewritten the DNA of the bacteria Escherichia coli to create an synthetic genome 4x larger than anything previously created. Part of what Chin wanted to explore was how genes encode for amino acids and how genetic redundancy works: six snippets of DNA encode for serine, for example. To find out why, the team treated the genome like a text file, finding and replacing codons and reducing the total variation to just four. That new synthetic genome was inserted into a cell, and surprisingly, the synthetic version remained alive.

Why it's important: As we digitize biology, we're uncovering new truths about genomics. This may lead to organisms that produce novel medicines or other valuable molecules as living factories.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

SpaceX Launches 60 Prototypes Of Its Starlink Satellites Into Orbit

What it is: On Thursday night, SpaceX successfully deployed 60 prototype satellites for its Starlink constellation. Starlink is a large-scale development effort by SpaceX to develop a low-cost satellite and accompanying ground stations (to receive signals from the satellites), with the goal of establishing a new space-based global internet communication network. Last year, SpaceX received approval from the US FCC to fully deploy 12,000 Starlink Satellites over the next decade. The company expects development, manufacturing, and deployment to cost over $10 billion in that time span.

Why it's important: Starlink’s prototype deployment is a small step for its connectivity business, but a giant leap for humanity toward communications abundance. As Peter often says, if you want to make a billion dollars, discover a way to help a billion people. By turning our species into a hyper-connected organism, Elon Musk and SpaceX will help billions of people come online and participate in the global economy. In the process, they will generate significant revenue (estimates place Starlink revenue at over $30 billion per year once deployed) to further fund Musk’s vision for colonizing the solar system.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Experimental Brain-Controlled Hearing Aid Decodes, Identifies Who You Want To Hear

What it is: Even in the noisiest environments, our brains can pick out an individual voice and amplify it over others. Yet some of the most advanced hearing aids still struggle to achieve this brain hack, instead amplifying all voices at once. Columbia engineers might now have a solution. Building on a previous discovery that in a two-person conversation, the speaker’s brain waves begin to resemble those of the listener, researchers first leveraged neural networks to create an algorithm that separates out individual voices (from a group). Once separated, these inputted voices are then individually compared to the listener’s brain waves (monitored via implanted electrodes). Lastly, any speaker whose voice pattern most closely resembles the listener’s brain waves is amplified over all others.

Why it's important: A remarkable win for deep learning and brain-imitating mathematical models, this system might soon render a universally decoding mechanism, no longer constrained to pretrained voices or a cacophony of many. As explained by senior author Dr. Mesgarani, “By creating a device that harnesses the power of the brain itself, we hope our work will lead to technological improvements that enable the hundreds of millions of hearing-impaired people worldwide to communicate just as easily as their friends and family do." With promising test results, the team now aims to transform their prototype into a noninvasive device and grant true versatility to hearing-impaired individuals in any environment.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Advancing AI By Teaching Robots To Learn

What it is: Facebook AI is experimenting with robotics to push the limits of what AI can accomplish. Facebook and teams from UC Berkeley and NYU are working on systems that are learning to walk on their own and to learn from touch to manipulate objects effectively. At the heart of all of these approaches is a model driven by a curiosity reward function that seeks to learn by reducing uncertainly in the immediate environment.

Why it's important: Facebook’s idea is that by developing self-supervising systems that interact with the real world -- where the data is noiser and conditions more uncertain than cleanly labeled data sets — we will be able to develop more robust robotics as well as AI systems that can generalize across modalities and learn more efficiently.  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 Space Robotics health google Artificial Intellegence robots communication communications SpaceX satellites biotech automation
12 min read

Abundance Insider: May 17th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 17, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tomato-picking robots, BCIs for addiction treatment, and a lab-on-a-chip for studying the microbiome.

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

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 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.

Amazon's New Machines Pack Boxes Up To 5x Faster Than Humans

What it is: Amazon has revealed that it is piloting warehouse automation technology from Italian firm CMC SRL. CMC’s CartonWrap machines can pack up to 700 boxes per hour, and are already in use at JD.com, Shutterfly, and Walmart. Early projections estimate that each machine could replace as many as 24 roles in each fulfillment center, in addition to the cost and time to train new packing employees in roles with high turnover. Amazon expects that “the efficiency savings will be reinvested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”

Why it's important: We’re no longer expecting that robotics will automate many laborious, routine, and potentially dangerous jobs—that time is already here. As this happens, it’s critical to highlight the messaging around the rollout, which focuses on safety, reinvestment, and the high employee turnover in fulfillment center jobs. How can you emulate this approach as you roll out politically and socially sensitive future initiatives?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Human Gut Microbiome Physiology Can Now Be Studied In Vitro Using Organ Chip Technology

What it is: Up until now, it has proved extraordinarily challenging to study direct interactions between the human microbiome and intestinal tissue in the lab. However, researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have now leveraged ‘organ-on-a-chip’ technology for an effective new solution. The team first employs its Intestine Chip, comprised of two parallel microchannels divided by a porous membrane—the upper channel containing human intestinal epithelial cells, and the lower channel hosting vascular endothelial cells from intestinal microvessels. The team then establishes an oxygen gradient across the two channels, providing high oxygen levels to the chip’s intestinal epithelium and endothelium, and low levels to the bacteria-inhabited lumen. In a remarkable feat, the Intestine Chip was found to stably maintain microbial diversity in direct contact with human intestinal tissue for a full 5 days.

Why it's important: As explained by team lead and the Wyss Institute's Founding Director Donald Ingber, “This new anaerobic Intestine Chip technology now provides a way to study clinically relevant human host-microbiome interactions at the cellular and molecular levels under highly controlled conditions in vitro." No longer relying on mere correlational studies between disease and bacterial DNA in human stool samples, researchers’ effective use of organs-on-a-chip affords us a powerful new tool to understand the ways in which human gut flora profoundly affect human health and disease.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Experimental Surgery Gains Support As Opioid Deaths Rise

What it is: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been used for years in the treatment of Parkinson’s and other movement-related disorders. Now, doctors at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital are seeing promising results in the treatment of opioid addiction. Five of eight patients in China have stayed off heroin for at least two years, and a patient who received a device six months ago has been off drugs for the duration. A number of factors have led to delays in experimentation in Europe and the U.S., including the high cost of devices ($100,000 in the U.S. vs $25,000 in China), difficulties in recruiting patients, and failed attempts to use DBS in the treatment of depression, which altered the risk-reward balance in the U.S. China, however, is moving ahead. To date, eight clinical trials have been registered throughout the world, six of which are in China.

Why it's important: Most of the concern in experimentation outside of the U.S. centers on the ethical risks of implants and surgery. While it’s important to note the cultural differences here in perception of a massive problem (which seems to carry a higher cost in China), as more devices are implanted, we’ll gain a much better understanding of how the brain functions overall. Follow this line of research, whether you’re exploring the potential of BCI or the treatment of other disorders.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

This Robot Picks Tomatoes Without Bruising Them And Detects Ripeness Better Than Humans

What it is: Massachusetts-based startup Root AI has developed its first agricultural robot, the Virgo 1, an expert tomato picker. Geared with sensors, cameras and onboard lights for nighttime harvesting, this self-driving robot can autonomously navigate huge commercial greenhouses, regardless of the time of day. Operated by its AI software brain, Virgo 1 then detects which tomatoes are sufficiently ripe for harvest, now with a success rate higher than that of humans. Once the right candidates are chosen, Virgo 1’s dexterous robotic hand can pluck tomatoes without bruising them or tearing down connected vines. Made from a food-safe, easy-to-clean plastic, these robotic fingers are even designed to eliminate the spread of mold, viruses or insects, protecting clean crops from faulty counterparts.

Why it's important: Virgo’s sensors and grippers can be reconfigured, and its AI software rewritten, to handle any number of crops. As noted by Root AI’s CEO Josh Lessing, “It’s a complete mobile platform enabled to harvest whatever you need.” Today, farmers spend over $34 billion per year on agricultural labor in the U.S. alone. Swiftly disrupting this labor-intensive sector, however, is a global smart agriculture market projected to reach nearly US$24 billion in value by the end of 2025. Already, exponential technologies from synthetic biology to computer vision are closing in on traditional agriculture from all directions, and AgTech robots like Virgo 1 are poised to become tomorrow’s harvesters.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Wireless Network Brings Dust-Sized Brain Implants A Step Closer

What it is: Brain computer interfaces (BCI) of the future that enable high-fidelity, high-speed brain-to-computer communications will require a decentralized wireless network of thousands of nano- to micro-scale units embedded throughout our neural system. Engineers from Brown University, Qualcomm, and the University of California at San Diego presented a communication scheme to overcome the critical issue of coordinating communications between these decentralized BCIs. Their system will allow two-way communication between each BCI unit and an external device at a rate of 10 Mb/s uplink and a downlink rate of 1 Mb/s. The engineering team dubbed their 0.25-square-millimeter implants “neurograins.”

Why it's important: Over the past year, we’ve featured incredible breakthroughs in BCI technologies. While these breakthroughs are technological marvels, they are rudimentary compared to the everyday BCIs we’ll see later in the 21st century. As Ray Kurzweil predicts, and as these researchers are taking active steps to achieve, we’ll soon have thousands of nanobots monitoring and regulating every aspect of our physiology -- from our brains to other vital organs. In the age of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence, will networks of nanoscopic BCIs provide humans the next evolutionary boost needed to thrive alongside and coevolve with hyperintelligent machines?  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, 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 Robotics health robots Amazon Brain computer interface automation bci brain machine interface
12 min read

Revolutionizing Disaster Relief: A Tale of Convergence

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 7, 2019

Between 2005 and 2014, natural disasters have claimed the lives of over 700,000 people and resulted in total damage of more than US$1.4 trillion.

Topics: 3D Printing Robotics Materials Science Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Exponentials Technology Artificial Intellegence robots Drones Autonomous Drones materials networks connectivity trillion sensor economy smart cities nanobots construction connection entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence disaster relief humanitarian aid humanitarian aid exponential technology drone technology nanorobots smart tracking mobile connectivity
14 min read

Abundance Insider: March 8th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 8, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Backflipping zoomorphic robots, SpaceX’s autonomous ISS mission, and a new breakthrough in HIV+ treatment.

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.

This AI Lets You Customize How You Sound And Effectively Create A DIY Voice Deepfake

What it is: Modulate, a startup from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is bringing the human voice into the digital age. Using a generative adversarial network, Modulate allows you to add a voice “skin” to your digital avatar. Beyond the cool factor, the team’s goal is to allow you to speak up in games, social networks, or streaming chats with a level of anonymity that removes any fear of discrimination or harassment. All processing runs on your device to eliminate latency concerns, meaning you might be able to hear your digital voice in real time. Importantly, the technology also incorporates a digital audio watermark, acknowledging the potential for misuse.

Why it's important: While Modulate’s immediate focus markets right now lie in gaming — think World of Warcraft and social chat apps — additional near-term use cases include giving brands a unique voice, providing multiple speakers a consistent voice, or customizing voice in apps like Waze or Alexa. Zooming out, this illustrates how AI and GANs “as a Service” are becoming easier to create, use, and share with the world.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Tesla To Close Retail Stores, Only Sell Cars Online

What it is: To bring its Model 3 to market at a $35,000 price point, Tesla recently announced that it would be closing all retail sales and moving to an online-only sales model. The company is estimating an approximate cost reduction of 6 percent from the move, which will be passed to customers on the Model 3, Model S and Model X. Tesla also reduced its upfront deposit to $1,000, and is now allowing customers to return their vehicles for any reason up to 1,000 miles. In related news, Volvo unveiled the Polestar 2 all-electric sedan at the Geneva Motor Show. With a base model starting at $63,000 before $7,500 in federal incentives, the Polestar 2 will also be sold exclusively online, but goes a step further by offering an all-inclusive monthly price tag that includes insurance and maintenance.

Why it's important: These data points — combined with GM’s Cadillac subscription model, which we’ve previously featured in Abundance Insider — signal a dematerialization of auto sales and demonetization of adjacent products and services that were once an annoying hassle (e.g. maintenance at the dealer/body shop, insurance through your bank/broker). As this trend continues and converges with autonomy, look for business model experimentation to accelerate. If your business is related to auto sales, how will you adapt to take advantage of this opportunity?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter H. Diamandis & Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

HIV Is Reported Cured In A Second Patient, A Milestone In The Global AIDS Epidemic

What it is: For the second time after 12 years, an HIV-positive patient has entered long-term remission. The reported cure, however, was not purposefully engineered but rather discovered by chance: a true eureka moment for modern medicine. Intending to treat cancer in both HIV+ patients, doctors administered bone marrow transplants from donors with mutations in cell surface protein CCR5, and — astonishingly — cured both. While HIV uses CCR5 to enter immune cells, the virus cannot latch onto a mutated version of the protein, halting its spread. After introducing this genetic variation to his immune system, the “London patient” has now become the first since Timothy Ray Brown (cured in the late 2000s) to remain virus-free for over a year after antiretroviral therapy.

Why it's important: While scientists are debating whether bone-marrow transplants are a realistic option for general HIV treatment in the future, the implications are staggering. Many have already proposed much less invasive uses of the genetic mutation in CCR5, such as gene-therapy approaches that knock out the protein on immune cells or even predecessor stem cells. Yet others are investigating viral delivery systems that could hunt and delete CCR5 receptors. And new stem cell research might even allow HIV-resistant donors to offer resistant stem cells to any patient. We are truly living in an era that defies the impossible.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Claire Adair 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Team Nails Their First Major Milestones - Next Stop: A Crewed U.S. Space Mission

What it is: In the early hours of Saturday morning on March 2, SpaceX launched the historic Crew Demo-1 mission. With Crew Dragon, SpaceX became the first company to design, build, test, launch, and dock a spacecraft made to fly people to the International Space Station -- or anywhere in Earth’s orbit. Next, SpaceX is scheduled to launch Crew Demo-2, which will be the first manned orbital spaceflight to launch from American soil since the space shuttle last launched in 2011. It’s official: we’ve entered the next era of manned spaceflight.

Why it's important: Compounding on this historic achievement, Crew Demo-1 exemplifies the extraordinary progress and impact of the private space industry over the past two decades. And private companies like SpaceX are just getting started. It’s poignant that this extraordinary year for spaceflight falls on the 50th anniversary of humankind first landing on the Moon. What new discoveries and breakthroughs will we make in this next era of space travel?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Goodyear’s New Aero Tire Is Built With Flying Cars In Mind

What it is: At this week’s Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled its new concept Aero tire, designed to run on roads and double as a propulsion system for flying vehicles. With a non-pneumatic structure (not supported by air pressure), the tire would incorporate flexible new materials capable of both absorbing road shock and weathering stress during the car’s transition from horizontal to airborne. Another 2-in-1 would involve Aero’s propellor blades, built for the dual purpose of providing lift for an ascending car and supporting the weight of a moving, manned vehicle.

Why it's important: With an eye to the future of transportation, Goodyear’s Aero concept reflects a major paradigm shift towards multimodal tools and versatile structures that seamlessly transition between tasks, intelligently self-correct and meet any number of different demands. Beyond new tire technology, Goodyear has already begun to envision an Urban Aerial Mobility Ecosystem of 5G-enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communication, sensor-geared tire materials and condition-monitoring AIs. Combine these visions with the future of infrastructure, roadways and smart traffic flow, and Goodyear will need good company.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

MIT’s Speedy Mini Cheetah Robot Learns To Backflip

What it is: MIT’s latest Cheetah robot weighs only 20 pounds, but it can thrust itself into a 360-degree backflip, run at 5 miles per hour, and perform agile footwork. This lightweight, high-powered design marks the first time that a four-legged robot has performed a backflip. Further, the MIT engineers behind the robot built it to be incredibly robust and rugged. In the rare case that a part of the robot does break during its impressive acrobatics, it’s easy and inexpensive to fix. MIT’s goal with this robust robotics platform is “to form a mini cheetah research consortium of engineers who can invent, swap, and even compete with new ideas.”

Why it's important: Robots are becoming less expensive and more capable everyday. Beyond Cheetah’s applications in disaster relief, this robust robotics platform enables researchers to innovate in ways that will transform how we interact with technology in the future. How might you use anthropomorphic and zoomorphic robots in your everyday life?  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?

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.

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 Robotics Transportation retail Artificial Intellegence robots healthcare Tesla SpaceX biotech deepfakes future of retail flying cars
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 

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