Friday Futures: Robot pants and mystery SpaceX passenger

robot
Robot pants! The LG-CLOi-SuitBot with an LG Shopping Cart Robot, recently. Image credit: LG

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of  The Future from around the web. This week: robot pants with matching minions; opposition to murderbot ban; SpaceX books first moonshot passenger; a box that tracks vital signs; a flying insect-bot; Apple kills small smartphones; and the jellyfish solution to ocean plastic.

LG makes robot pants that can control robot minions

LG’s latest robotics project is the CLOi SuitBot, a robot exoskeleton that’s essentially a pair of wearable, robotic pants designed to supercharge your legs. Even better: the SuitBot can use an AI-powered network to command a platoon of service robots. Read more …

Are murderbots really such a bad thing?

The EU has been raising eyebrows recently with controversial new rules on digital copyright and deleting extremist content. The European Parliament also passed a resolution that calls for an international ban of killer robots. You’d think no one would object to that. You’d be wrong. Read more …

SpaceX books first mystery passenger for moon tour

SpaceX has reportedly signed its first customer to fly around the moon on the company’s huge new rocket, though there are no details yet regarding when the trip will happen. SpaceX says it will announce who is flying — and why — this Monday. Read more …

Track your vital signs in the comfort of your own home

Imagine a box that sits in your home and tracks all kinds of physiological signals as you move from room to room: breathing, heart rate, sleep, gait, and more. MIT’s Dina Katabi built this box in her lab. Here’s why …

Researchers build a flying insect-bot

Robotics researchers at the Delft University of Technology wanted to create a flying platform that could imitate and test theories on how insects fly the way they do, but without tethers or non-animal propulsion like propellers. So they built an insect robot with flapping wings that can fly a kilometre before its battery runs out. Watch it fly …

Small smartphones are dead, and Apple killed them

Apple’s latest smartphone launch included not one but three new phone models to the world: the iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr. They all seem fine. But take note of what Apple took away. As of this week, it no longer sells the iPhone SE. Which in turn means the age of small smartphones has officially come to an end. Read more …

Jellyfish could help clear the ocean of plastic waste

Plastic waste has become a permanent feature on Israel’s beaches and in the water during the summer months. Israeli scientists have been working alongside international researchers to find an innovative solution to help minimize plastic waste in the seawater using jellyfish. Read more …

(Compiled and edited by John C Tanner)

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