Can you imagine the world where your food comes from robo–farms, walking robots are delivering Amazon Prime packages and traveling out of space for holidays is a totally normal thing — there are just a few of concepts being discussed at secret Amazon’s MARS conference in Southern California and this is how probably our future looks like.
Only carefully selected audience could see the technologies of our future in MARS 2017 last Sunday. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos impressed the participants by presenting the newest concepts of Machine learning, home Automation, Robotics and Space exploration.
During his speech, Jeff Bezos slipped into something a bit more “comfortable” — a 13-foot tall robot designed by Korean company Hankook Mirae Technology. Just check out these promo videos. Don’t they look strange to you?
According to Verge, the robot called Method-2 has received a lot of speculations about its ability to move. But although last Sunday night people could not see if this mechanism can walk, the arms worked properly with Bezos at the controls. And it seems like Amazon CEO can’t stop himself from having fun.
“Why do I feel so much like Sigourney Weaver,” Bezos said (referring to the Alien movie franchise) and continued his playing.
This giant robot is not the end. Amazon futuristic sessions are continuing all this week, and despite there is no published official agenda, the participants are sharing on their social media some details about what is going on in this secret “window to the future”.
Here are five of the most interesting topics MARS 2017 also covered:
Walking robots: Oregon-based Agility Robotics showed their new project. They designed a robot called Cassie – a two-legged machine that walks like an ostrich and could make deliveries in the future.
“This technology will simply explode at some point when we create vehicles so automated and robots so efficient that deliveries and shipments are almost free,” Oregon State University’s Jonathan Hurst said last month.
Although the robot does mimic the legs of an ostrich, it was not the look the team was shooting for. But they were looking for the same agility, efficiency, and stability as the large, long-legged bird has.
Robotic spaceship: Jeff Bezos demonstrated another crazy project called Blue Origin that’s focused on out-of-this-world ambitions. Blue Origin is a New Shepard suborbital spaceship, which already has made five trips to outer space and back. All these trips were piloted autonomously. However, a New Shepard could be already carrying travelers next year.
Robotic bees: There have been many discussions lately about the problems of honeybees, and now researchers are thinking about using robots to fill the pollination gap. A Harvard team has been working on RoboBees for many years, however, Japanese team recently showed off a different, drone-based concept. Even if flying robots do not work out for farming business, they could serve as a swarm of sensors or for military purposes.
Robo-farming: Researchers from the MIT Media Lab explained their new concept of robo-farming. “Open Agriculture” is a tabletop-sized personal food computer, capable of growing crops inside a controlled environment.
Plants are growing inside the specialized growing chamber. Climate variables such as carbon dioxide, air temperature, humidity, dissolved oxygen, potential hydrogen, electrical conductivity, and root-zone temperature are among the many conditions that can be controlled and monitored within the growing chamber to yield various phenotypic expressions in the plants.
Robotic creatures: MIT researchers demonstrated a magnificent cheetah robot which can be controlled with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. As well in MARS 2017 you could find the octopus-like soft robot. This strange ‘creature’ was designed by Harvard University. It cannot swim yet – but who knows, maybe in the future, it may wrap around your leg somewhere in the water of California coast. Scary, isn’t it!