• Your Robot Is Coming To Serve You

    By roger | June 21, 2013

    Visualize what your first personal or office service robot will look like. What do you imagine? Depending upon your age, you may think of Rosie Jetson, C-3PO or even Bender. (Greatest TV Robots of All Time.)

    Your service robot is coming, but it won't look like any of the robots in the image above. Instead, it will probably look like an iPad on a stick or an iPhone in a tiny tractor.  (See DoubleRobotics and Romotive.)  Products that look like this will be on the market by the end of the year. And, they will be cheap. The Romotive product is just $150. (Romo store)

    A major revolution is happening in the robotics market and it is driven by the smartphone. When you grab your phone to make a call, you may not think about the amazing array of sensors, processing power and memory in that device. Due to high volume smartphone manufacturing, components that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars just a few years ago are now just a few dollars or less. Look at the list in the graphic below:

    The amazing thing is that your smartphone contains enough technology to be the central nervous system for a robot.   Your smartphone can see, hear, feel and communicate. It has enough processing power to drive the wheels and, eventually, other appendages. Soon, they will fly.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Neural Assembly Computing: a brief overview

    By Joao | October 18, 2012

    João Ranhel – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) Recife, Brazil.

    The idea is pretty simple, though it is remarkable: “neurons represent information and compute as they form cell assemblies”. This notion is quite old, going back to early- and mid-twentieth century. The first evidences probably came from observations of muscles activities, once increasing or decreasing the number of active motor units changes the amount of force produced by a muscle. Read the rest of this entry »

  • New Neurdon site launched

    By Massimiliano Versace | April 7, 2011

    Spring has finally arrived, even in Boston, where the Neurdon editors live, and it is time for a new, fresh look! The new Neurdon design features improved navigability, an internal search engine, and brand new categories. Happy spring, and enjoy the new site!

  • Digital vs Analog: the ultimate smackdown

    By Massimiliano Versace | March 10, 2011

    Neural modelers like many neurdon readers have many things to think about. Keeping up with a growing basic neuroscience and modeling literature, coming up with equations describing neural and synaptic dynamics, and designing large-scale brain circuitry is not quite enough. If you are designing large-scale brain circuits that you want to, one day, embed in mobile robotic platforms, you also need to devote a good chunk of time to thinking on what hardware platform you would need to compute. The answer to the hamletic dilemma of digital vs analog is key. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Write a post, win a Neurdon mug!

    By Massimiliano Versace | May 28, 2010

    Not all mugs are born equal. You will realize it if you think about it for a second: there is a big difference between each and every mug. Some are good for the morning coffee, some for the afternoon tea. Others when you read a book. Some are perfect for writing a paper. The dilemma, until now, was: where should I drink from to gain inspiration when I write a Neurdon post? Problem solved (see mug on the left for solution).

    Neurdon is giving away a mug per month to the best post. Inspire us, and you will be inspired!

  • Inter-Science of Learning Centers (iSLC) conference

    By Massimiliano Versace | May 23, 2010

    The Center of Excellence for Learning In Education, Science & Technology (CELEST), a NSF-funded center comprised of Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is hosting the third annual inter-Science of Learning Centers (iSLC) Student and Postdoctoral Conference.

    iSLC is a meeting of junior researchers from the NSF-funded Science of Learning Centers (SLCs). iSLC 2010 immediately follows CELEST’s annual International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems (ICCNS). Read the rest of this entry »

  • Ray Kurzweil at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, May 11th, 2009

    By Massimiliano Versace | May 5, 2009

    ray_kurzweilIn case you are around Boston on Monday, May 11, 2009, here is the chance to hear Ray Kurzweil live.
    The Coolidge Corner Theatre wraps up the 2008-2009 season of its acclaimed Science on Screen series with a special program, An Evening with Ray Kurzweil on Monday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. I formally invite Jeff Markowitz to settle the score on our Kurzweil controversy once and for all..... Read the rest of this entry »

  • The Brainputer

    By Jeff Markowitz | February 2, 2009

    After running through the Businessweek article posted by Max, I am equally excited and nervous. Anyone has to be excited over the prospect of a new computing paradigm, though honestly I'm not sure what that looks like yet. These sorts of articles claim that computers will look more like brains, which is all well and good, because brains tend to do dominate the "competition", i.e. computers, at messy things like object recognition and speech recognition. Conversely (and obviously), computers tend to dominate tasks amenable to decomposition into easily formalizable sequential steps, e.g. chess or even eye surgery. So, maybe we know what Deep Blue looks like, but what on Earth would a computer expert in messy things, a messy computer if you'll excuse the phrase, even look like? We all agree that computers stink at these messy things, and if they didn't stink at them it would be a huge boon to, well, humankind. So let's make the computers more like brains so they can do what brains do so well! But how do we make computers, both in terms of hardware and software, more like brains?

    Read the rest of this entry »