Crazy but True Inventions: Pigeon guided missile by Skinner

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An excellent early example of human-animal cybernetic systems.

This experimental device was developed during World War II by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, who experimented with harnessing pigeons’ pecking movements to steer missiles. Skinner divided this nose cone into three compartments, and proposed strapping a pigeon in each one. As a bomb headed towards earth, each pigeon would see the target on its screen. By pecking at the image, the birds would activate a guidance system that would keep the bomb on the right path until impact. Skinner’s idea received initial support, but the U.S. military finally dismissed it as impractical.


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GIL 2012. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY Speaker: Adrain David Cheok, Professor in Keio University

On June 26th I will be giving a talk at the GIL event on Growth, Innovation and Leadership which is organized by Frost & Sullivan for leaders in industry. I hope to see you there.

Frost & Sullivan’s global community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership is focused on engaging, sharing, and inspiring a continuous flow of new ideas and fresh perspectives leveraging innovation as a resource to address global challenges.

Year after year our CEOs and members of their growth team, invest the time to experience a GIL event, renewing their passion, fueling their creativity and gaining inspiration through interactive networking, bench marking of proven growth strategies, sharing of best practices by industry and career, exposure to best-in-class growth solution providers and access to some very insightful “BIG Picture” 360 Degree Visionary Perspectives.

Hot Topics by Hiroshi Ishiguro Director Intelligent Robotics Laboratory

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Hot Topics by Hiroshi Ishiguro Director Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. At the Seoul Digital Forum I asked Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, the robots guru of Japan to describe what are his thoughts on hot topics the students at Keio University should think about. I showed this in a class at Keio, and you can view his thoughts also here.

Visiting Professor Adrian David Cheok Shanghai East China University of Science and Technology

This week I was a visiting professor at Shanghai East China University of Science and Technology. I was invited by Professor Gaoqi He who was an incredible warm and friendly host. I had two classes in the school on the topic of multi sensory mixed reality and on the final day a public talk where people came from other universities. For the class, it was mainly undergraduate with some graduate students. I particularly enjoyed to discuss with the students when they asked questions. There were a couple of students who were from Africa (but who spoke Chinese and English!) who asked very deep questions. Such as what are the long term effects of internet hugging. I spent some time in the lab ans it was great to see some students who seemed shy come up to me with great ideas and questions. There was one student Jingyuan Chen who I had a very interesting and impressing talk with in the lab. He came to talk to me and he wanted to ask about possible ways to make interactive origami. We talked about robots doing origami. But then he said something profound. He said for origami the *process* is important. I totally agree and I think this applies to all of life. Having a robot or outsourcing tasks can actually decrease happiness because humans find pleasure in “flow” in being involved in the process. I noticed this student really makes origami and had a whole collection on his desk. I was impressed he is putting his passions and hobbies into action and making real things. This is the best way to have creativity. To have passion from your heart.


Microsoft Augmented Reality HMD may have Wifi and 4G enabled communication

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Microsoft Augmented Reality HMD may have Wifi and 4G enabled communication.

Microsoft lays out a roadmap for its “Fortaleza” Kinect Glasses — which appears to be a research project the company is working on. There’s little mention of the hardware involved, but the glasses appear to be Wi-Fi- or 4G-enabled and incorporate augmented reality in a way that’s similar to Google’s Project Glass augmented reality glasses. Described as a “breakthrough heads up and hands-free device,” Kinect Glasses is marked as a 2014 product that won’t launch alongside the Xbox 720 console. Microsoft doesn’t provide any specifics about how the glasses will work on the Xbox, but they do appear to be designed to be mobile for use away from the console.

Secrets of Banquet with Shanghai Professors.

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On my final night at Shanghai’s East China University of Science and Technology I was treated to a banquet dinner. There was about 40 professors and students, and the professors came from other universities also such as Shanghai Fudan and Shanghai Jiao Tong universities which in the China system are like the Stanford’s and MIT’s in China. I was told to sit at a table next to the Dean. I hadn’t met him before so I asked the normal safe questions such as what are the schools departments, research, etc. Which I am sure he has been asked thousands of times before. The food started to come out and in typical Chinese styles it was an amazing banquet of many delicious foods. But what interested me is that everyone did a “cheers” to each other individually. So it was almost one hour of cheering. When people came to me I did click my glass and say cheers. But what I soon realized is that in Shanghai they have the custom to cheer lower than your glass (to show respect or friendship I guess). At first I didn’t realize but I soon figured it out. Basically you should try to do a cheers with your glass lower than the other. What was amusing is that I realized this led to “lowering glass escalation” and even when people were standing up they clinked their glasses together lower and lower below the hip in the attempt to be lower than the other person. I found this custom to be sweet and humble, I appreciate such humble style, even with these top professors, leaders in society. Next was something to me amazing. Suddenly one of the party, a university ab tech got up and started singing Italian opera – they said it was for me as I was a foreigner. Her singing was amazing and I felt so touched at this act of kindness. Please see the video I took of the lady singing. I had been to many Chinese banquet dinners in Singapore as part of delegations, visits to the university, some Ministerial dinners. Now I realize our visitors must have thought Singapore was so incredibly boring. Almost all the banquet dinners I attended to in Singapore were so quiet, dull, and frankly boring. I used to dread having to go to them, and I always couldn’t wait to leave. I wondered, Singapore culture derived from Chinese culture. How did it become so boring and sanitized? The banquet ended and everyone was warmly smiling and saying their farewell. I really appreciated the happy warmth of the people in Shanghai.

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