Door-Opening Robot and more — Mind Blow #118


Vsauce! Kevin here. A robot opened a door. Why did tens of millions of people watch this? Why is opening a door a big deal? Just five years ago there was a big robotics
competition and only one team nailed the door-opening challenge. Getting robots to perform common human tasks
was the central feature of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition sponsored by the
US Department of Defense that challenged robots to perform in emergency and search and rescue
settings. In 2013, a team from the Florida Institute
for Human and Machine Cognition was the only one of 16 competitors to earn a perfect score
on the door-opening task… and many of the 2-legged humanoid bots fell on their face. Just five years later, the 4-legged, well-balanced
Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini is capable of sneaking into your bedroom as you sleep. So for now, four-legs are better than two
for door-opening robots. So why did this go viral? It seems kinda creepy to some people for robots
to bypass the human-made barriers of doors. And the reason opening a door has been difficult
for robots to do is because of the Moravec Paradox. Basically, that high level reasoning like
computing math equations doesn’t require much computational power but low-level reasoning
like walking on a sandy beach or opening doors, requires a ton of computational resources. So things humans are able to do without thinking,
biological skills that have been refined over millions of years, are really hard to get
robots to do and things we’ve developed more recently like playing chess are a lot
easier. So that’s that. But that’s not all because this is Mind
Blow. The Dumbo octopus got its name because its
fins resemble the Disney character’s big ears, and for the first time we’ve seen
that baby Dumbo octopuses are actually born as tiny adults. Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution in Massachusetts used a remote-operated vehicle over a mile below the ocean surface
to collect samples of what appeared to be egg cases — and then one hatched. When the baby octopod emerged it had all the
characteristics of an adult. An MRI confirmed that, from the outside features
to the central nervous system, this rare baby Dumbo was fully-formed and ready to go. He probably grew to be about 10 inches long…
and danced around like this. We know from Mind Blow #116 that rats are
heroes who can detect landmines and diseases, but they’re also all-around nice folks. Researchers at the University of St. Andrews
found that rats who have had something nice done for them return the favor. Rats trade food and grooming services — and
it’s shedding light on our built-in instinctual responses to kindness. So next time someone calls you a dirty rat
– say, “Thank you, I am kind. And I do need a bath.” Israeli ramonauts have returned safely from
a 4 day mission on Mars. D-MARS. Just like HI-SEAS in Hawaii, the Mars simulation
I visited for my Planet Behind Your Eyes video, the Desert Mars Analog Ramon Station in the
Negev Desert simulates the arid, desolate environment of the Red Planet. Inside the Makhtesh Ramon crater, researchers
can undergo the daily routine of life on Mars and deal with its serious limitations. Experiments from the first mission included
determining the optimal materials for 3-D printing on Mars and a psychological study
of the correlation between stress and language variability in writing. It turns out that research subjects write
less and use a smaller vocabulary when they’re under stress, so the first D-MARS simulation
is helping to show how our communication changes when our environment changes. The main takeaway I had from the lavanauts
I interviewed in Hawaii was that developing technology to live on Mars will help us better
understand and live on Earth which seems good. And now a word from 1981. There’s nothing we want to watch on TV tonight
but we’re still gonna watch something great. With our RCA Video Disc Player and VideoDiscs. Just flip a switch and on our TV we see Airplane!,
or The Pink Panther, The Godfather, or Grease, Muppets, Monsters, Mickey, MASH, and a hundred
more. Starting as low as $15. And the player costs less than $500. Put it this way: we’re watching a great movie
and you’re watching us. A new inkjet bioprinting technique uses common
cells and molecules found in biological tissue to create lifelike tissues in the lab. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London
are using droplet printing to assemble biofabricated structures that can make testing drugs or
researching cancer growth easier. And the method utilizes molecular self-assembly
that builds microscopic structures like Lego. African Matabele ants frequently raid termite
colonies, and they never leave a wounded comrade behind. Research published in the Proceedings of the
Royal Society B shows that after intense termite battles in which limbs are bitten off and
the ants are gravely wounded, they send pheromone signals as a cry for help. Ants come to the rescue by picking up their
wounded, carrying them home, and then engaging in intense “licking sessions” that prevent
infection until the wound is healed. The ants have a two-step process that determines
who can be saved and who… can’t. The mortally wounded are passed over, while
the lightly wounded are saved. One model calculates that reducing the mortality
rate in termite battles allows the ants to have colonies up to 29% larger than if they
continually lost soldiers — and they demonstrate to us that even insects can show compassion. To come up with new breakthroughs in science
and technology, you can’t just memorize formulas you have to learn how to think through
complex problems. Brilliant’s interactive problems are a great
way for you to really understand math and science. They have everything from 2D Geometry, to
Math of Poker, or this one I really like on Physics of the Everyday. This crime course allows you to use the physics
of a bike track to solve a murder. Which way did the killer go? So click the link at the top of this video’s
description to get 20% off your annual subscription. Your brain will thank you. Now I’m gonna leave you with a video telephone
concept for shopping over long distances in 1961. And as always – thanks for watching. These are the shapes of the future, the tools
for communication now being forged and tested against tomorrow’s unfolding needs. Not yet, but sooner than you may realize. And some of what’s on the drawing boards
may be… a little out of this world. “And now may we show you one of our newest
models designed by Howard of Hong Kong. Notice the dramatically-shaped bodice and
the gentle form of the neckline. The model comes in red, yellow…” “I don’t know. Do you have it in green?” “Certainly. Here it is.” “Yes, fine. That’s it! I’ll take it. Please send it out to me. Here’s my credit card. Oh, and don’t forget the striped pillowcases.” “No, we won’t. We’ll send them in the first delivery.” “Thank you, bye.” “Goodbye.” There’s an old saying: “The more things
change, the more they stay the same.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

100 thoughts on “Door-Opening Robot and more — Mind Blow #118

  1. Why don’t the makers develop a robot which can measure the dimensions of a door then make a high powered laser to make a hole through the door?

  2. What ? it has been 4 months since the last Mind Blow. This show is the only truly cool product that is put out by vasuce (n). keep them coming

  3. 0:48 – “Jurassic Park flashback”

    “It’s just the two raptor right? You sure the third one’s contained?

    “Yes, unless they figure out how to open doors”

  4. I know mindblow migth not bring in the revenue it used too, but its reeeeeally useful to keep up with the times ^^, hope it never ends <3

  5. Your Mind Blow episodes are amazing! Please don’t stop making them. Me and my students love them and want to see more. When will the next one be out?

  6. Please continue this series! It's been over a year and I'd really like to see stuff like this from 2019

  7. Nurse: Sir you've been in a coma for 545 days

    Me: Oh boy cant wait to catch up on all the Mind Blow episodes!

    Nurse: :'(

  8. I know it wasn't the most popular of series but was by far my favorite series. If you find the time can you please bring back the Mind Blow Series? 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *