People Come to Grips with Having an Extra Pair of Arms—in VR

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July 19, 2022

Dear Reader,

If you could strap an extra pair of robotic arms onto your body, what would it be like to use them? A new study looked at the problem by letting people experience this sensation—in virtual reality. The participants generally felt like they were manipulating their own body parts, not a high-tech tool, which opens up some interesting applications for robotic limbs in VR, and even in the physical world.

Sophie Bushwick, Associate Editor, Technology

Robotics

People Come to Grips with Having an Extra Pair of Arms--in VR

New experiments show simulated robotic limbs can feel like a part of our own body with a little practice

By Sasha Warren

Artificial Intelligence

Google Engineer Claims AI Chatbot Is Sentient: Why That Matters

Is it possible for an artificial intelligence to be sentient?

By Leonardo De Cosmo

Biotech

Cilia Are Minuscule Wonders, and Scientists Are Finally Figuring Out How to Mimic Them

A new cilia-covered chip could revolutionize portable medical diagnosis

By Saugat Bolakhe

Artificial Intelligence

AI Learns What an Infant Knows about the Physical World

A computer model simulating how objects react to physical forces approximates how babies understand their surroundings

By Dana G. Smith

Animals

The Quest for a 'Tick Map'

Scientists scramble to forecast where and when the disease-carrying arthropods pose the most danger

By Kat Eschner

Electronics

Should Machines Replace Mathematicians?

A "replication crisis" in mathematics raises questions about the purpose of knowledge

By John Horgan
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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"To predict if a storm will intensify, you need to know what's going on in the ocean just below the surface, from about 25 to 200 meters depth. Sea turtles spend most of their time in exactly this layer, so their intel is perfect for tropical cyclone forecasting."

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FROM THE ARCHIVE

A Robot Hand Helps Amputees "Feel" Again

With the new system, a prosthetic wearer can do delicate tasks, such as pluck grapes from the stem

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