Kevin Lepton

I am the writer, editor and publisher behind this future technology blog and I predict you will keep reading to see what is coming right around that metaphorical corner.

Feb 062018



There are varying views on drones. Users obviously have their reasons for flying one, be it for recreational purposes or something to do with their job. For bystanders, they can be objects of delight or pure annoyances. It’s the latter that the DroneGun Tactical deals with. However, it’s not a device intended to be in the hands of regular citizens.

Let’s face it, there are some irresponsible drone owners. There are certain rules to be followed in order to fly such a craft; you might even need to get a permit to fly in some areas. But the reckless side of the drone-flying population continues to not adhere to such regulations. A company in Australia, DroneShield, has created a solution to solve the issue.

For a few years now DroneShield has been showcasing what their DroneGun can do. What it is, essentially, is a high-powered antenna that can overpower the offending drone’s own antenna – so much so that the controller can’t get instructions through. If a drone meets a situation like this, it either attempts to land safely or return to a known location (assuming the GPS is still functional).

While all that sounds rather fine in terms of “punishing” a transgressing aircraft, the DroneGun isn’t a convenient thing to carry around. It looks like a rifle gun but one that needs a backpack, batteries, and other components.

If you thought that is big, wait until you see the DroneGun Tactical. Sure, only renders have been put out but a physical model has been made. The Tactical measures 56 inches long, 18 inches tall, and 8 inches wide. This time, there is no pack to go with it.

With its enlarged size comes more sophisticated features. According to DroneShield, their Tactical can put down a drone that is more than a kilometer away. But in order to achieve that, a user must be within line of sight of the drone. This is needed because a drone can very well be up in the air in to time should it re-establish connection with its controller.

Battery life has also been improved with the Tactical. It can manage about an hour or maybe even two of drone scrambling. A GPS blocker can even be purchased to ensure that the transgressing craft stays down rather than flies home.

All this sounds good in the name of maintaining order in the skies. How many times have we read articles about the dangers of drones hitting actual airplanes? There was even that one time where it actually hit a passenger aircraft. But ordinary citizens can’t take the law into their own hands with the help of the Tactical; it has not been approved by the FCC for use in the US.

That means it is illegal for a regular citizen to operate a device like the Tactical. However, government agents are allowed use it. That isn’t a surprise given the Tactical was developed after “comprehensive international military end-user trials.”


The Overlap of Artificial Intelligence and Cryptocurrency

 Cryptocurrency  Comments Off on The Overlap of Artificial Intelligence and Cryptocurrency
Jan 242018

For 2018, you can count on artificial intelligence (AI) and cryptocurrency to dominate the news cycles. In fact, you can argue that cryptocurrencies are already garnering huge amounts of attention thanks to the boom in bitcoins. What’s interesting is that while AI and cryptocurrency are two different industries, they can combine in terms of trading. In fact, it is the use of AI in cryptocurrency trading that may make the biggest splash of all for 2018.

Capitalise, an investment platform out of Israel, has come up with the idea of using artificial intelligence to assist in the trading of cryptocurrencies. This is the use of natural language technologies that take the spoken word and turn them into strategies for investment purposes. This means that anyone from experienced professionals to beginners can create their own portfolios, set the strategies, and manage them in real time. This new platform is called Capitalise Crypto and it is designed for beginners to experienced investors all using the same system.




How It Works

The use of natural language technology which takes the spoken word and turns it into an algorithm is relatively straightforward on the end of the user. All a person must do is create any investment strategy and run it through the technology which turns it into code for an algorithm so that it can become an investment strategy.

For example, you can say that if the price of bitcoin drops below a certain value, purchase a pre-selected number of units from a company. You can also include the overall market cap to narrow the definition of your investment strategy. The algorithm will be created and once the conditions exist in the market, it will proceed with the strategy that you have made.

You can create strategies that are as simple or complex as you desire. You can also make multiple strategies while monitoring each transaction without having to spend a lot of bitcoin. In fact, one of the major advantages with using this AI program is that you save a considerable amount compared to making manual transactions.

Does It Work?

This new combination of AI and cryptocurrency investment has managed to break the barrier between those who have gained years of experience on the market and beginners who want to learn. This means that you can use your own strategies and all you need is a digital wallet. It does pay to learn about cryptocurrency investment strategies so that what you employ is based on solid information. Over time, knowledge becomes experience which will make you more confident in the strategies that you select.

For novices, you can start with your own strategies or use those that have been tried by experts in the field. this means that you can start with proven efforts and over time create your own if you desire. This means that for those who have been considering investing in cryptocurrencies, the AI technology available now makes it easy to create a strategy that can be executed automatically.


Robots Now Have Imagination with Visual Foresight Technology

 Robotics  Comments Off on Robots Now Have Imagination with Visual Foresight Technology
Dec 112017


Vestri Robot with imagination

Vestri Robot with imagination


Wouldn’t it be nice if a robot could learn how to use an object without any help from humans? Apparently, that’s what a robot called Vestri can do.

Developed by a team from the University of California in Berkeley, Vestri can “see” into the future – but just for a few seconds – with that foresight allowing them to maneuver objects they have never been in contact with. The technology making it possible is called “visual foresight”, which may one day be used on self-driving cars or used to create home assistants that are more intelligent.

The researchers from UC Berkeley took inspiration from how children play. Kids play around with toys to figure out how it works. That very concept was programmed into the robot. So once the robot is done playing with an object, it then creates a predictive model which it taps into to perform a task.

The robot is helped by cameras, which help it see the next sequence of events. It uses the cameras to create different scenarios that haven’t happened yet. It “imagines” the possible events then picks the most effective method to achieve something. For example, moving an object from one place to the next.

Sergey Levine, an assistant professor at Berkeley, said in a university press release that the method allows the robot to visualize how different behaviors will affect the surrounding environment. This ability allows for “intelligent planning of highly flexible skills in complex real-world situations.”

The methods used are different from conventional computer-vision models, where lots images numbering in the thousands or millions are labeled and programmed into the machine. Instead, the method used for Vestri involves information that is autonomously collected.

The technology developed by researchers at UC Berkeley can be used on self-driving cars in the future. A car with such a technology can anticipate events that may happen on the road. But that is a plan for the future. For now, researchers are focusing on how Vestri can learn simple manual skills from autonomous play.

What Vestri can do right now is still very simple, but it’s sufficient enough to allow them to move objects around without any obstacles.

A deep learning technology lies at the heart of Vestri’s system, and it is based on convolutional recurrent video prediction, or dynamic neural advection (DNA). DNA-based models are able to predict how image pixels will move from frame to frame based on the actions of the robot. Improvements to DNA-based models have allowed robotic control that is based on video prediction to perform complex tasks such as sliding toys around obstacles.

Before this, robots learned skills with the help of humans who provided feedback. This is why the work done with Vestri is so exciting as it has shown that robots can learn without needing human assistance.

UC Berkeley researchers will continue to study control via video prediction, but further research will involve on improving prediction and prediction-based control, as well as coming up better methods that allow the robot to collect more focused video data so they can perform even more complex tasks like picking and placing objects, soft object manipulation, and assembly.