Skip to main content

Onboard Firmware of the Human Brain

Freesiders are continually tinkering with robotics and other such machinery.  Many of these embedded processors and firmware are becoming open source and every-more diversified in the wake of the modern Maker movement.

One notable boost to the hackerspace arsenal is the Arduino (an like platforms).  This offers designers an incredible power to devise not just individual devices but even the emergence of complex, integrated systems.





This evolutionary pace of modern technological systems may be significantly faster the biologic system development, but there may be a few well learned tricks yet to be mastered.  It seems that studying how nature has managed to solve many development challenges will aid in designing robotics, where efficiently counts just as much.

One  challenge, that is particularly interesting, is data processing.  Artificial intelligence is labored with processing data and producing a meaningful and useful output.  When considering the increase in sensory and input devices avaible to robot hackers, AI technology may not be able to simply apply Brute Force for all scenarios.

How does the human brain sort through data and minimize apophenia, in real time?  It delegates.


This, unfortunately is not a perfected system but it is still, (currently), better than anything man has managed to hacked together.  What's important to remember about these systems is that they are subject to some strange exploits, which we call "Illusions".  Optical illusions are centuries old and have often uncovered the curiosity within us all.

A recent study in the science journal, "Perception" has illustrated this point well.  In this, they illustrate the error of duplication.  Some such duplications do not appear to throw off any red flags in the observer.  However, try causing an irregularity to someone's face and it's a totally different story.


The human face is one of the most instant and profound "appliances" of human interaction.  Humans have evolved a very acute sense of facial recognition, which plays a vital role in our day to day goings on.



The difference between a smile and a frown, could mean the difference between a successful mate and a fight to the death.   Other mild variations in not so useful things don't trigger the same primal response.  This assumptive processing center of the brain acts somewhat comparably to a natural checksum, operating autonomously in the subconsciousness like a daemon

Often, Makers and Hackers share their knowledge and designs in a very "open" manner.  Nature itself has many lessons to teach designers as well.  A better understanding of these such integrated systems and their exploits may better help us to design technological systems which are both sophisticated and efficient.

-GlassDPM

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Capacitive-Touch Janko Keyboard: What I Did at the 2017 Georgia Tech Moog Hackathon

Last weekend (February 10-12, 2017) I made a Janko-layout capacitive-touch keyboard for the Moog Werkstatt at the Georgia Tech Moog Hackathon. The day after (Monday the 13th), I made this short video of the keyboard being played: "Capacitive Touch Janko Keyboard for Moog Werkstatt" (Text from the video doobly doo) This is a Janko-layout touch keyboard I made at the 2017 Moog Hackathon at Georgia Tech, February 10-12. I'm playing a few classic bass and melody lines from popular and classic tunes. I only have one octave (13 notes) connected so far. The capacitive touch sensors use MPR121 capacitive-touch chips, on breakout boards from Adafruit (Moog Hackathon sponsor Sparkfun makes a similar board for the same chip). The example code from Adafruit was modified to read four boards (using the Adafruit library and making four sensor objects and initializing each to one of the four I2C addresses is remarkably easy for anyone with moderate familiarity with C++), and

Building an enclosure for the LulzBot AO 100

As the cold weather season arrives in Atlanta, with it comes issues with our 3D printers. Specifically problems with temperatures and print stability. Freeside is essentially a big warehouse, and our 3D printing station is setup in the large open area in the front of the space. What this means is that when it is cold in the space, this will affect the printing quality because the ambient temperature is far lower than what is optimal for thermoplastics. The cold ambient air will cause parts to rapidly cool during the middle of a print. And with materials like ABS which can shrink dramatically during cooling, this causes prints to warp, deform, and delaminate during and after printing is finished. The print on the left is showing signs of delamination from plastic cooling mid print. To remedy this, we built an acrylic enclosure for our LulzBot AO-100, which is our dedicated ABS printer. We tested the proof of concept of whether an enclosure would help mitigate printing problem

Build-Out Recap!

A bunch of great stuff got done at the build-out yesterday. A huge thanks to everyone that came out to pitch in! Here are some pictures to recap the projects... Randy's team hung the curtain to the workshop to create more of a barrier between the front of the house and back of the house and to control dust levels a bit more. We'll be finishing the top of the wall soon, but the hard part's already done. Karen, Donald, Tom, Violet, and James framed the doorway to the Media Lab and Bio Lab and hung the door for that area. Next step is AC! Michelle and Mary's team cleaned out project storage and moved the shelves over so that Neils could put the flammability cabinets in that area. That allowed all of us with the help of Adam and Nathan to clean up the workshop and really tidy up. They also sorted out all of the laser cutter raw materials and cut them down to a usable size on the table saw.  For the portal clouds, JW, Nathan, and Kat rolled an aw