Some Assembly Required

BMW Workers Get 3D-Printed Super Thumbs, Are Basically Cyborgs Now

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 9.41.31 AM

Each year, smarter, more efficient robots join assembly lines and put skilled mechanics out of a job. But BMW is helping its workers fight back, and has started 3D printing physical enhancements for its factory workers so they can break the rising tide of the machine takeover.

BMW has started custom-designing and 3D printing thumb carapaces to protect workers from the strain of their labor. To develop the super-thumbs, the team at the BMW manufacturing plant in Munich teamed up with the Technical University of Munich’s Ergonomics Department to use 3D printing — which BMW calls the “talk of the town” — to solve the problem of thumb strain. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Beyonce’s Cyborg Glove Makes a Triumphant Return

The glove. (Photo: YouTube)

Power Tumblr User and Self-Quantifying Empress Beyonce riseth once again. In a new one-minute spot for R.C. Cola, Bey dances and violently gyrates against the floor with previous iterations of herself. But one star manages to almost upshine the queen herself: the cyborg glove, which made its debut in the “Single Ladies” video, is back with a vengence. Leave it to Beyonce to make even wearable tech look cool. Read More

Singularity Studies

Google Has First Self-Driving Car Crash, Blames Human Error, Obviously

google robocar crash

The gearheads over at Jalopnik got a photo from a tipster of what appears to be one of Google’s self driving Prius in the aftermath of a fender bender with, what else, another Prius (christ Cali, we get it, your’re green).

Time for some of that rampant speculation that Gawker Media does so well. “This is precisely why we’re worried about self-driving cars. Perhaps the complicated set of lasers and imaging systems that Google chief autonomous car researcher Sebastian Thrun called “the perfect driving mechanism” thought it was just looking at its shadow.”

Luckily the journalists at Business Insider went to Google for a comment, posting the following response. “Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.” Jalopnik is now demanding some black box evidence to prove it was a human who caused the crash. Seems like a legit request and would certainly go a long way towards convincing the public that Google’s robo-cars are safe and it the silly fleshies who are the problem.