Friday Futures: autonomous killer ships, mushrooms save the day

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Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of  The Future from around the web. This week: autonomous killer ships for the US; mushrooms can save the world and more; robot dogs, self-lacing shoes; weird prosthetic limbs.

The US wants to launch autonomous killer robot ships

The move may come in response to China and Russia’s heavy investment in similar technologies that could put U.S. aircraft carriers at risk, according to Defense News’ analysis. Naval superiority is a priority for the Chinese military — which the Pentagon wants to challenge with artificial intelligence and automation investments. Read more…

Six ways mushrooms can save the world – and the universe

Robot dogs can deliver your lunch

The concept is an unusual one: an autonomous vehicle pulls up to an address and spits out one or more (the press release isn’t entirely clear) smaller quadripedal robot dogs, which ANYbotics calls “ANYmals,” to complete the delivery. Read more…

Researchers find secrets of our extraordinary hearing

The human ear, like those of other mammals, is so extraordinarily sensitive that it can detect sound-wave-induced vibrations of the eardrum that move by less than the width of an atom. Now, researchers at MIT have discovered important new details of how the ear achieves this amazing ability to pick up faint sounds. Read more…

Winner of longest winning streak on Jeopardy tells of his struggle with Watson

Drones get green light to be more annoying

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is responsible for regulating drones, proposed a new set of rules for drone flights on Monday that would allow for nighttime flights and flights in populated areas without requiring a special permit. In short, the populated areas of the future could pick up a constant, cicada-like buzz from the whine of drone rotors. Read more… 

Why Nike’s self lacing shoe is actually quite cool

Hatfield took a tumble off a motorized longboard days before, and while a collegiate pole-vaulting career and a lifetime of skiing taught the 66-year-old how to fall, the remote control in his paw stopped him from tucking his thumb in—and when said thumb met the street, the street won. Read more…

How prosthetic limbs are going to get really weird

(Compiled by Alex Leslie and edited by Tony Poulos) 

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