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The Most Recent AI Updates that Have People Biting their Nails
Plastic bottles and other trash on sea beach. Photo Credit: Patdanai/Shutterstock

3. Robots are helping keep our beaches and ocean fronts clean.

One particular robot named Bebot is hanging around Florida beaches. Why? Because they are testing this AI’s abilities, of course! Its primary goal is to quickly clean the sand from trash and debris from humans. Created and operated by 4Oceans, it works simply by driving around the beach, sifting through the sand at up to 10 centimeters deep, and pulling out the trash it is programmed to look for. Currently, it can identify and clean cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottle caps, and plastic bits. It can also gather other bits of garbage up to 1 centimeter in size.

Bebot is also built to be eco-friendly, as it is solar-powered, remote-controlled, runs silently, and produces no harmful emissions. It can clean up to 3,000 square meters of sand every hour, making it over 20 times faster than human hands (via Screen Rant). It can also be remotely operated from nearly 1,000 feet away, making it easier not to disturb local animal populations. As of August 2021, this robotic cleaner has cleaned over 20 million pounds of trash from beaches (via Good News Network).

The Most Recent AI Updates that Have People Biting their Nails
Robot running on a racecourse. Photo Credit: Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

2. Robotic sports teams could be coming in the future.

During the 2020 Olympics, a unique spectacle happened during the United States vs. France men’s basketball game (via Screen Rant). During halftime, Toyota brought out their robot named Que. They demonstrated how artificial intelligence could flash basketballs from anywhere on the court. The robot stands at six feet, ten inches tall! It utilizes sensors in its chest and head to accurately sink a ball nearly 100% of the time.

There are some downsides to it, though, as Que cannot run, dribble or dunk the ball (via Screen Rant). It can also take 10 to 20 seconds to line up a shot and make it. Toyota’s robot’s point is not to sink basketballs but is part of a larger goal to teach a robot to be as smart as possible. It is part of a 1 billion dollar investment to bring new ways of autonomy into vehicles and robots. They can use the data from Que making shots to learn how robotics deals with distance and force to make cars safer and more efficient.

The Most Recent AI Updates that Have People Biting their Nails
Businessperson with prosthetic limb showing thumb up. Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

1. Magnets improve the mobility of prosthetic limbs.

Finding ways to make prosthetics feel as natural as possible has been a challenge for many decades. Finally, a group of researchers is now developing a way to provide a much more precise movement and control of prosthetic limbs. MIT’s Media Lab scientists found that inserting a small magnetic bead in the muscle tissue within the amputated residuum can perfectly measure how a muscle contract (via MIT)via MIT). It sends a message to the brain and the bionic prosthetic to contract in just milliseconds. Researchers call it magnetmicrometry (MM). They hope to replace electromyography for a better link to the peripheral nervous system to bionic limbs.

The procedure is also less invasive with a low regulatory hurdle, making it a cheaper alternative. People with low mobility due to accidents can also use the technology (via MIT). How? It provides a new way to send a signal from the injured muscle to the neurological system to a bionic exoskeleton. As a result, it can help the person walk with no problems. It can also work for rehabilitation after a nerve or spinal cord injury to stimulate muscle movement and bring better control of the body. This method provides an easier way to help patients have an everyday life with less hassle.