These “Digital plants” are the first blockchain-based artificial life form

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Plantoids attract humans with their strange, beautiful designs, convince them to donate money in the form of Bitcoin, then “procreate” by commissioning artists to create a new iteration using those funds — and the whole process is automated.

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The sideways elevator of the future is here, and it’s wild

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People laughed when ThyssenKrupp, a company synonymous with elevators, announced it was developing one that goes every which way. Who’d ever heard of such a thing? Everyone knows elevators go just two directions: Up and down. Some took to calling it the Wonkavator, after Willy Wonka’s wacky lift that goes sideways, slantways, and longways.

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A.I. killed 800,000 jobs in the U.K., but created 3.5 million new ones

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First Amazon announced plans to fully automate its new brick and mortar store with robots. Then we learned that Foxconn plans to automate 30 percent of its factory workforce by 2018. And recently, Wendy’s announced plans to add automated kiosks at more than 1,000 stores. One thing is clear — robots are changing the way we live and work.

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The next extreme sport – drone skydiving

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Unlike typical consumer-aimed quadcopter drones, Latvian company Aerones specializes in big UAVs that can carry hefty loads. Last year, they showed off one of their big lifter’s prowess by towing YouTuber Kaspars Balamovskis on a snowboarding run.

Today, they released another stunt video spotlighting one of their heavy lifters hauling a man a thousand feet in the air — before he let go to skydive back down to earth. Check out the video!

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Toyota’s new robot leg brace can help those with partial paralysis walk again

Toyota is introducing a new robotic leg brace called the Welwalk WW-1000 that can help patients with partial paralysis affecting one side of their body walk again. The robotic exoframe is worn on the affected leg, with a large motor component at the knee joint that provides just enough assistance to the patient, letting them recover their own walking ability therapeutically over time.
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How long before we have self-healing smartphone screens?

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“When I was young, my idol was Wolverine from the X-Men…He could save the world, but only because he could heal himself,” researcher Chao Wang recently said in a press release from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Wang began working on a self-healing material that could stitch itself back together after damage, and came up with a game-changing polymer.

The key to the the material’s crucial new powers? Chemical bonds. Check out this video.

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A UK entrepreneur takes flight by attaching miniature jet engines to his limbs

A YouTube collection of grainy video clips highlights the progress Gravity founder Richard Browning has made toward his outlandish dream over the past year. Each seems more terrifying than the last, with multiple jet engines attached to his limbs in various configurations, as he hovers a few feet from the ground.

The press material attached to the announcement heralds the oil trader turned entrepreneur as a real life Iron Man, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’re watching some sort of backyard mad scientist, a few moments away from the world’s most dangerous Jack Ass stunt. Browning acknowledges how downright alarming the footage of the Daedelus rig appears, but shakes off any notion that he’s actually in danger at any point during the three-and-a-half minute package.

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Now You Can Feel Wind and Temperature While in Virtual Reality

Realistic visuals and audio are essential to shaping an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience. But these researchers from the National University of Singapore believe VR shouldn’t just cater to sight and sound. For the ultimate VR experience, other senses should come into play as well.

Last year, Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team demonstrated how electrodes can be used to add a sense of taste to VR. Their latest accessory, Ambiotherm, adds another element of realism to the experience: atmosphere.

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Gravity lights the world with this brand new technology

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Could you create light from a bag of rocks and a downward force? The answer may surprise you. Creating a future that’s bright and safe for all is at the heart of GravityLight – the lamp that’s lighting areas of the world with limited access to electricity using the power of (you guessed it) gravity.

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