nobel price proprioception

1/ nobel price 2021 in physiology or medicine was awarded to work on how heat, cold and touch can initiate signals in the nervous system (David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, 1/n) https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2021/press-release/

2/ one half of the price is going to elucidating the transduction of mechanical forces into nervous impulses.

3/ turns out these touch receptors (the Piezo1 and Piezo2 mechanosensitive ion channel proteins) are key ingredients in the regulation of many internal functions of the body (urination, respiration, blood pressure, skeletal remodeling), and

🥁

they form the basis of proprioception

4/ touch and proprioception are a fundamental perception channel. they are fundamental because they are old in evolutionary terms (phylogenetically) and many younger channels are bootstrapped on top of them (grounding).

5/ would you think that a device that lets you learn about proprioception is useful to increase fun, self-awareness, or well-being?

DM for pre-order

✨ jetpack updates 13

🐛 flatcat

Important update regarding shipping

tl;dr Shipping has to be delayed by at least one month.

While we are busy all week pushing things ahead, we have come to run behind our planned schedule. There is two main reasons for this. The first one is big changes in both our personal lifes that require urgent attention. The second one is that we are beginning to feel the accumulated sum of small friction losses in sourcing as well as more administrative outside interactions.

Thus we have to update the timeline and push back the expected date for beginning to ship by one month to end of October 2021.

We do have four major tickets open before we can do that, which are assembly, furs, software updates, and packaging. Right now we are actively working on the first three of them. Packaging is still in the back row because we first need the set of shipped items to consolidate before it makes sense to design a packaging.

assembly




fur

flatcat UI

Here’s a first screenshot of how the update and configuration app could look like. Development is done in collaboration with Richard of mr. hide.

👘 cognition wear

All three base colors for the jetpack sweater successfully prototyped and ready to be made in batch and brought to the street.

Campaign duration extended to end on October 11, 2021 11:59pm PDT

Delivery option pick-up-at-lab which has been requested cannot be added to claimed perks – please pledge for delivery to Germany and we will refund you when you pick up your items.

Thanks for looking, jet pack

✨ jetpack updates 12 🐛 flatcat 🪲 Bakiwi workshop 👘 cognition wear

Hi all, dumping a stack of updates from the last few days

flatcat PCBs in the house

The manufactured PCBs for sensorimotor & energymodule arrived at the lab yesterday. This lead to the first run of component placement and baking in the oven today, to obtain the fully assembled electronics boards required for making a flatcat. This seemed to have worked reasonably well and the first sensorimotor was put into operation successfully.


flatcat furs

Another fur has arrived this week from the prototyping done by our collaborator Karen Ellmer. The amount of available fake fur materials is pretty stunning. Right now we are working with a selection from the samples we have, to find a minimal functional design that we can ship with. Something that feels amazing and allows the cat to move freely.


Bakiwi workshop Sept 2021

The first Bakiwi workshop after lockdown took place on Saturday, quite successfully with nine (9) Bakiwis walking out the door on their own for nine teams of builders. It was great to have all of you and we hope you enjoyed as much as we did. To be done again, watch out for upcoming dates.

These are two examples of RTFM

We had a baby rat (some say it was a mouse) coming in for a visit. It then had to be removed from the premises via this contraption.


jetpack cognition wear

Our apparel campaign is coming along quite well, and like all that we do, subject to heavy development on the go. We now have demonstration exemplars for all three base colors. This is the black one, the lilac one will be posted soon.

But then taste this full use case as a robot pet holder, observed recently outside our lab.

For those of you who having one of the shirts, here is the true samples for the shirt’s base color. The jetpack tee two there is all of them in sizes S, M, L (limited quantities). For the direct-to-garment corporate insignia prints, we will only do anthracite and white. Go check.


Random stuff

We installed open graph and Twitter card plugins for our wordpress so social sharing is much improved with nice automatic summary previews.

Thank you, that’s it for today. As always, feel free to be in touch about your questions and comments, we hear you.

Cheers, opt + kubi @jetpack central 💮🎴🌸

🐛 flatcat comic 💬

thanks to and by way of our sparkling ✨ community we are able share to you the first ever flatcat comic 🐛 💬 🖼️

all the credits go to @JuliaRehling89 for initiating ❇, and @SilvolfStudios / http://www.silvolfstudios.co.uk for executing 💥

Amazing, thanks 💎

Original source

👘 jetpack cognition wear live on Indiegogo

Yuhu! The jetpack cognition wear merchandise campaign is live and online on Indiegogo since last Friday, Aug 27.

jetpack sweater
jetpack sweater demo video

Wearing it looks like this, in front of the lab, and inside.

Is available in three base colors dark blue, black, lilac. Size can be chosen from standard size table, see campaign page for a size chart.

In addition to the amazing sweater designed and manufactured in cooperation with Elle Janssen / hit-in.tv, two types of printed t-shirts are available, the jetpack tee two (2), and the jetpack tee one (1).

jetpack tee two

Comes with three different motifs to choose from and shown in the picture. Usage example photos are shown below too.

📖 Jetpack story Mini

We have been making up, writing, and expounding our story over the months and years. Spontaneously, this seems to be a very short version of the bigger arc in very simple words.

for several big global problems (humane elderly care, regenerative agriculture, cleaning up the garbage planet) we need really cool robots that are cheap. for this they have to be able to learn properly. this is difficult but we (as a community) know how to do it. everything we do is for the plan to build cool self-learning robots that you really want to hang out with and that don't need help all the time :)
für mehrere grosse globale probleme (humane altenpflege, regenerative landwirtschaft, müllplanet aufräumen) brauchen wir richtig coole roboter die billig sind. dafür müssen sie richtig gut lernen können. das ist schwierig aber wir (als community) wissen wie es geht. alles was wir machen dient dem plan, coole selbstlernende roboter zu bauen, mit denen man auch wirklich abhängen möchte und die nicht andauernd selber hilfe brauchen :)

🧠 Russian teddies and Martian cats

Turns out, we are huge fans of Simon Stålenhag for his highly imaginative and gripping visual and narrative universe. Most recent addition to our collection is “Things from the flood“, an illustrated novel from 2016, set to take place after the closing of the loop, an advanced research facility playing the lead in the preceding book “Tales from the loop“.

One particular page struck me as highly relevant to what we’re trying to achieve with our work at Jetpack Cognition Lab. It is reproduced below as a testimony, a mini-episode titled “The Russian Teddy”.

The episode contains a few elements that are real and worth a closer look. There is the notion of trashy AI-ware which leads to an overall expectation of a simulation of a personality, rather than a true character of a robot. There is the aspect of asymmetry in regulations across different regions and markets, leading to an inflow of dark imports from less regulated domains to more regulated ones. Market physics, yes. Thirdly, there is the desire of the human kid to go to the end and find out whether the robot’s behavior is really only simulated, or if there is something underneath overt behavior, which comes closer to the singular existential experience we, and all other biological life claim to have, coming out regularly when threatened with death by external agenthood.

To us, as the roboticists and general life-embracing creatives we are, this is precisely antithetic, a negative example, a scenario that we would like to avoid, and that we think we know how to avoid. It is the reason why we insist that robots need to be strongly grounded in the most basic perceptions upwards for everything they do, and be functionally honest. That means, that robots shouldn’t pretend to have spoken language competence, for example, when they don’t have a lot of many more basic audio-motor skills, that humans and animals do have. The basic skills in this example would be awareness of sound sources, their locations, the fundamental characteristics of a sound source, like something dangling in the wind, a machine whirring, or an animal or human doing some activity, up to distinguishing between a non-word utterance and spoken language proper. This is just to name a few. All of our own perceptions, especially those that enter the conscious mind, are always based on literally thousands of subordinate cues. This is not a bug, this is a feature. It is what makes our perceptions so incredibly robust, for all practical purposes (fapp).

Our hypothesis here is, that machines built in such a way, and only such machines, will get close enough to an appropriate behavior because there will be plenty of micro-cues and preceding evidence for the development of a situation, allowing it to understand and change its behavior long before any irreversible escalation.

The “Russian Teddies” were cuddly toys equipped with simple AI chips and a voice module. They were supposed to be able to talk to you, and they were supposed to at least appear to have a personality. In Sweden, AI chips were banned for commercial use, and most AI electronics were smuggled in from Russia, which apparently had a different view of artificial intelligence and artificial life.

Simon Stalenhag, Things from the flood, translated with deepl.com from German edition, page 22

Die »russischen Teddys« waren mit simplen AI-Chips und Sprachmodul ausgestattete Kuscheltiere. Man sollte sich mit ihnen unterhalten können, und sie sollten zumindest den Anschein erwecken, eine Persönlichkeit zu haben. In Schweden waren AI-Chips für den kommerziellen Gebrauch verboten, und die meiste AI-Elektronik wurde aus Russland eingeschleust, wo man offenbar eine andere Meinung zu künstlicher Intelligenz und künstlichem Leben vertrat.

Simon Stalenhag, Things from the flood, German edition, page 22

🐛 This thing is a robot, name flatcat, and does – nothing ⁂

Very nice piece in German on Heise by Hans-Arthur Marsiske on robots as play companions. The article is part of a series on robots in everyday life and titled Robots in everyday life: The playmate. We are very excited to see flatcat discussed extensively including a video interview with Jetpack founder / CTO Matthias Kubisch, among coverage of Playful machines by Ralf Der ad Georg Martius, as well as a good sample of other playmate robots available on the market. In relation, this highlights the unique approach and character of flatcat within the larger robotics ecosystem.

Quoting as a teaser

This thing is a robot, is called Flatcat and does – nothing: It just wants to play. It is not capable of doing anything else at all. Its developers at Jetpack Cognition Lab, a Berlin-based company founded in 2019, have not equipped it with displays or other means of data input, nor with visual or auditory sensors. Flatcat only perceives forces acting on it, reacts to them and gradually develops a behavior from these experiences.

Anyone who brings this techno-pet into their home or laboratory will have the opportunity to follow the development of its thinking ability and thus of an artificial personality up close and in real time – just like a biological pet.

Hans-Arthur Marsiske, Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Recommended, thanks.