Sex Robots May Interfere with Human Intimacy

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Alexa Renee, KXTV 12:41 PM. PST December 20, 2016 – abc 10 (connect) A TEGNA Company

http://www.abc10.com/news/local/sex-robots-may-interfere-with-human-intimacy/373776125

 

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(Photo: Getty Images)

There’s a new fleet of robots that may make you blush.

Sex bots are not just limited to science fiction films, love service robots are under discussion for human pleasure.

The Second International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots is happening Dec. 19 to Dec. 20 at Goldsmiths, University of London. The event gives the academic community a chance to present ideas and innovative work on human relationships with artificial partners.

This year, there are about 100 people in attendance including tech writers, sex writers, journalists, scientists and humanities scholars.

The event features sessions on topics such as intelligent electronic sex hardware, gender approaches to robots, and teledildonics, or internet-connected sex toys.

The congress aims to peer-review material that explores the relationships between human and robots on an intimate level, which involves human emotions and feelings such as love and sex.

However, humans having sex with robots could potentially break up some marriages.

A Swiss researcher at the event warned an audience about the possibility of robots being better at sex than real people, prompting humans to have less sex with one another, according to Gizmodo.

But the researcher also said robots don’t tire out like humans, so an intimate encounter with a robot may be physically exhausting to a human partner.

If robot sex isn’t already strange enough, consider robots are high-tech machines with the ability to absorb data.

A sex bot could potentially be capable of collecting very intimate data from its human partner. Having that knowledge mean a robot could store information about people and use it for seduction, according to the researcher.

It could be quite some time before sex bots become a household item, but there are entrepreneurs already working to make money off the love robots.

A business man named Bradley Charvet recently revealed his plans to open a fellatio cafe in Switzerland using robots as escorts, according to Inverse.

A 15-minute session and a cafe americano would set a customer back €60 or about $62.

Copyright 2016 KXTV

THE ‘KISSENGER’ GADGET ALLOWS YOU TO KISS THROUGH YOUR SMARTPHONE

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TONY JAYBEE 

“Plug in to your phone and give your loved ones a kiss over the Internet.”

A gadget has been created to bring long-distance lovers even closer together – The Kissenger.

Created by Imagineering Lab, City University London, the attachment fits onto your smartphone and has a plastic pad that each user locks lips wth. The device then transmits the sensation to a paired holster with an identical pad.

“Kissing is the most direct and universal expression of intimacy and affection,” explained Emma Yann Zhang, who worked on the prototype. “It’s a way for us to bond and maintain intimacy in our relationships.” Zhang gave the presentation to an audience at the Love and Sex with Robots congress as Goldsmiths, University of London.

“Also, it’s stress reducing; when we engage in this kind of intimate physical touch, we have a lower level of blood pressure.”

The device’s Pressure sensors and actuators record and transmit your kiss to the receiving device, replicating the kiss to the recipient through an app. The app also features videocalling.

Whilst the device can accurately recreate the sensation of a quick kiss, long-distance makeout sessions are off the cards. The pad itself isn’t mouth-shaped and there is no simulation for a tongue.

Behind the creation of the device are David Cheok, Emma Yann Zhang, Yukihiro Morisawa nad Shogo Nishiguchi.

The creators also add that the device extends beyond a purely sexual function. “Parents can also use Kissenger to give their children a kiss on the cheek when they are away at work,” say its creators.

Zhang added that the next stage of the Kissenger will be to incorporate scent so you can experience the smell of the recipient of your smartphone enabled kiss.


2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony

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Each year, the University of Adelaide recognises the achievements of its most outstanding alumni at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. Awards include; Distinguished Alumni Award, James McWha Award of Excellence, Honours Alumni University Medal, Postgraduate Alumni and the University Medal and Alumni Fellows.

Interview with Professor Adrian Cheok – University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Award

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Adrian is a pioneer in mixed reality and multisensory communication; his innovation and leadership has been recognised internationally through multiple awards.
Some of his pioneering works in mixed reality include innovative and interactive games such as ‘3dlive’, ‘Human Pacman’ and ‘Huggy Pajama’. He is also the inventor of the world’s first electric and thermal taste machine, which produces virtual tastes with electric current and thermal energy.

Adrian Cheok is a 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in recognition of his achievements and contribution in the field of computing, engineering and multisensory communication.

View more alumni award winners at adelaide.edu.au/alumni/recognised

Strange New Technologies Explore the World of Virtual Taste, Touch, & Smell

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By Adam Dachis

Virtual, mixed, and augmented reality all provide different but compellingly immersive experiences that draw us in through sight and sound. But what about our other senses? A few strange inventions are already exploring the possibilities.

Adrian Cheok, professor of pervasive computing at City University London and the director of Singapore’s Mixed Reality Labs, decided to figure out the best ways to connect our other senses to digital environments. That definitely includes smell and taste, along with touch, and those sensations can be a bit more difficult to “render” with technology.

Adrian Cheok demoing a couple of different devices.Image by Adrian Cheok/the Imagineering Institute

Previous attempts at recreating smell and taste required chemical emissions to provide those sensations, but that method was never practical and ultimately failed (see: Smell-O-Vision). Instead, Cheok wants to avoid creating stimuli and just manipulate your brain, as he explained in an interview with Motherboard:

We want to transmit smells without using any chemical, so what we’re going to do is use magnetic coils to stimulate the olfactory bulb part of the brain associated with smell. At first, our plan was to insert them through the skull, but unfortunately the olfactory part of the brain is at the bottom, and doing deep-brain stimulation is very difficult.

Image by Adrian Cheok/Alamy

While that might sound a little scary, the actual technology Cheok created is a little less invasive. Still, most people will likely find his current method at least a little off-putting:

Not much—magnetic fields are very safe. Anyway, our present idea is to place the coils at the back of your mouth. There is a bone there called the palatine bone, which is very close to the region of your brain that makes you perceive smells and tastes. In that way we’ll be able to make you feel them just by means of magnetic actuation.

Nevertheless, this approach points to some very interesting possibilities down the line. Because virtual worlds mostly exist for our entertainment, we easily forget that immersive headsets can subtly hack our brains. As sense-manipulating technology evolves, it will become possible to completely alter a person’s perception of reality.

That prospect is both incredible and somewhat disturbing. Cheok wants to create digital restaurant menus that let us smell each dish through our smartphones, software that makes us feel like we’re cuddling with our significant when they’re thousands of miles away, and even applications that can improve moods through target smells and tastes. Transmitting scent and tactile feeling has obvious applications in the virtual sex/pornography industry as well.

The sex industry already has a subcategory of products, known as teledildonics, for emulating touch over a distance. Companies like OhMiBod and Mojowijo offer a variety of toys to aid couples in virtual, remote sex.Image via Mojowijo

Thanks to the fine line our brains draw between the sensation of touch and pain, there may also immense benefits in the health industry—particularly when it comes to the horribly inadequate methods of pain management we currently utilize. We’re already seeing progress in this specific case with VR headsets alone.

Unfortunately, all this potential could lead to malicious uses down the line. While no technology can ever avoid that problem entirely, when it comes to literally hacking a person’s brain a lot of care will be necessary to keep users safe. It’s too early to tell if we’ll see Cheok’s inventions evolve and proliferate in consumer markets, but it won’t matter much. The methods for manipulating our senses already exist. How we use them will ultimately determine whether they’ll benefit society or pose a serious threat. If history is any indication, it’ll likely be a mix of both.

http://next.reality.news/news/strange-new-technologies-explore-world-virtual-taste-touch-smell-0172608/

Scientists develop device that makes food tastier

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AB Wire, October 13, 2016
Device was developed by scientists at University of London

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A group of scientists at the University of London has developed a gadget that can make feel food tastier than actually what it is. The prototype introduced at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, in Birmingham uses electric signals to make the effect, reported Telegraph.

While the prototype can boost sweet and salty taste, the scientists are working on developing the device to a full-fledged one which can stimulate all tastes.

“What started out as a fun engineering experiment has now led to something much more exciting with the potential to have a positive social impact,” said Dr. Cheok, professor of pervasive computing.

“The Taste Buddy could eventually help save lives, by allowing people to switch to healthier food choices. Many children hate the taste of vegetables. So I knew that when I became an engineer, I wanted to make a device that could allow children to eat vegetables that taste like chocolate,” added Cheok.

After developing the device, it could be fit within all utensils like spoons, cups, and cans. A prototype spoon is in the pipeline.

The device emits thermal and electric signals that stimulate taste buds which help feel food tastier than actually what it is. The chemical reaction happening in the mouth is stimulated using electrical signals and temperature.

The receptors on the tongue use the reaction between saliva and the acidity of hydrogen or sodium to recognize the salty taste. When Taste Buddy is used, electrical stimulation from the device stimulates artificial reaction.

Sweetness is recognized by a channel called TRPM5 which uses variation in temperature of the food. When hot food is taken, it feels sweeter. To exploit the temperature variation, the device quickly raises the temperature of the tongue from 77F (25C) to 104F (40C).

“We’re actually trying out a spoon interface to eat desserts at the moment. We’ve been changing the temperature of the spoon from 25 Celsius to 40 Celsius using an electronic circuit. People have reported sweeter tastes when eating sweets at a warmer temperature,” said Kasun Thejitha Karunanayaka who is also working in the group.

“Just like the microchip, we’re hoping to make the taste buddy smaller and smaller, to eventually fit within cutlery, fizzy drink cans, utensils, and cups, and to be powered by a Bluetooth device, to choose the levels of taste you’d like,” Karunanayaka added.

https://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2016/10/13/scientists-develop-device-that-makes-food-tastier418239/

Can’t get your kids to eat veg? This device could solve your mealtime problems

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JOHN VON RADOWITZ

The device uses a weak electric current to trick the taste buds into thinking bland or unappetising ‘healthy’ food is a delicious treat

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Can’t get your kids to eat veg? This device may solve your mealtime problems

A device that tricks the tongue could one day be used to turn the most unappetising “healthy” food into a delicious treat, scientists say.

Placed in the mouth, the Taste Buddy emits thermal and electric signals that stimulate the taste buds.

While the early prototype is restricted to imitating sweet or salty tastes, future versions have the potential to completely alter our diets – for instance, by transforming bland tofu into juicy steak, or conjuring up chocolate broccoli, it is claimed.

Professor Adrian Cheok, from City, University of London, who led the team of scientists and engineers that created the device said: “What started out as a fun engineering experiment has now led to something much more exciting with the potential to have a positive social impact.

“The Taste Buddy could eventually help save lives, by allowing people to switch to healthier food choices.”

He added: “Many children hate the taste of vegetables. So I knew that when I became an engineer, I wanted to make a device that could allow children to eat vegetables that taste like chocolate.”

In its current early form the Taste Buddy consists of a 2cm wide tab that sits on the tongue and is wired to a bulky processor.

To enhance sweetness, the device warms up very rapidly and stimulates specific taste receptors that react to heat.

A weak electric current is used to target other taste buds responsible for salty flavours.

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Members of the public will have a chance to try out the Taste Buddy for themselves at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair.

The event, aimed at young people interested in science, technology and engineering, takes place from March 15 to 18 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/cant-your-kids-eat-veg-9034892?ICID=FB_mirror_main

Diet cutlery? Electronic spoons which make food taste sweeter on horizon

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Sarah Knapton, science editor, 13 OCTOBER 2016 • 6:00AM

Spoons which can change the taste of food could soon be available
Spoons which can change the taste of food could soon be available

 

Dieters will be able to have their cake and eat it after scientists developed a device which makes low-sugar food taste sweeter.

The invention – dubbed Taste Buddy – emits a  low-level electrical current to stimulate taste buds so the mouth perceives sweet or salty flavours, even when they are not really present.

It is being developed by scientists at the University of London, led by Prof Adrian Cheok, who unveiled the gadget at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, in Birmingham this week.

The device could eventually be engineered to fit within everyday utensils such as rose gold cultery set, cups and cans and the team has already begun working on a prototype spoon.

Many children hate the taste of vegetables. I wanted to make a device that could allow children to eat vegetables that taste like chocolate.

Prof Cheok said with further development it could be used to allow people to taste something they enjoy while eating a healthy dish, for example making tofu taste like steak or vegetables like chocolate.

“What started out as a fun engineering experiment has now led to something much more exciting with the potential to have a positive social impact,” said Dr Cheok, professor of pervasive computing.

“The Taste Buddy could eventually help save lives, by allowing people to switch to healthier food choices.

“Many children hate the taste of vegetables. So I knew that when I became an engineer, I wanted to make a device that could allow children to eat vegetables that taste like chocolate.”

A girl tests out the prototype 
The prototype is being unveiled at the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, in Birmingham 

The invention exploits the chemical reactions happening in the mouth when we eat. Sour and salty tastes are recognised when taste receptors on the tongue detect the reaction between saliva and the acidity of hydrogen or sodium.

Using electrical stimulation the team has found a frequency which artificially simulates the reaction

For sweet tastes there is a channel called TRPM5 which is temperature sensitive, so people taste more sweetness when the food is hot than cold. So to mimic sweeter tastes the device changes the temperature of the tongue rapidly from 77F (25C) to 104F (40C.)

Kasun Thejitha Karunanayaka who has been working alongside Prof Cheok at the University of London said: We’re actually trying out a spoon interface to eat desserts at the moment.

“We’ve been changing the temperature of the spoon from 25 Celsius to 40 Celsius  using an electronic circuit. People have reported sweeter tastes when eating sweets at a warmer temperature.

“We’re going to do a study next year into the eating behaviours of people too, to help create a cutlery set.

“Just like the microchip, we’re hoping to make the taste buddy smaller and smaller, to eventually fit within cutlery, fizzy drink cans, utensils and cups, and to be powered by a bluetooth device, to choose the levels of taste you’d like.”

Testing the device in the lab
Testing the device in the lab

The team say that they are also working on producing different tastes which they claim is time consuming because even the difference between a lemon and a lime is vast.

“We also want to take into consideration just how different everyone’s sense of taste is, added Mr Karunanayaka.

“For instance, we know that people who eat lots of spicy food, or people who smoke, have less sensitive taste, and therefore need a higher thermal and electrical current to create the taste. To make it robust enough and available to absolutely everyone, we need to do more work.”

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair takes place from the 15-18 March 2017 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information, visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/10/13/diet-cutlery-electronic-spoons-which-make-food-taste-sweeter-on/

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