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Tomorrow Daily: Tomorrow Daily 017: Shape-shifting robots, music from tree rings, and more
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Tomorrow Daily: Tomorrow Daily 017: Shape-shifting robots, music from tree rings, and more

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On today's TD, we're talking squishy robots, a self-building Lego tower, and music that comes from tree rings. Also, a ramen bowl to rule them all, and your user feedback.

Scientists are testing shape-shifting robots, no sign of the Terminator, yet. There's yet another idea for a space elevator and this one only takes 7,000 years to build which leaves just enough time for a better idea. And, an artist has created music from the rings inside tree stumps. Record labels are desperately figuring out how to sign the trees to a contract made of paper. Awkward. It's Tomorrow Daily. [MUSIC] Greetings, citizens of the Internet. Welcome to Tomorrow Daily, the best daily tech talk show entertainment module in the known, the known universe. That's all. I'm your host Ashley Esqueda. Joining me is always Rich DeMuro. Not always. Well yeah, not always. Joining us once again. Returning. Back Back, Rich DeMuro Feels good. I mean Tom, the essence of Tom is still in this room. Thanks to Tom Merritt for filling in while I was gone. You said that I was on vacation. It smells like pine. I did, I said you were on vacation. I gotta clear that up. I wasn't on vacation. I was working. Yeah, but- I was on vacation, well. You were getting a tan. No, well, I always get a tan where ever I go. Oh my God. That should be on your business card and your tombstone. [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] Logan, show the picture. I was in Seattle on a shoot for my gig over at [INAUDIBLE] Getting a tan. Getting a tan. Okay, no matter where I go. It was actually very sunny in Seattle. Look at the Space Needle. I know, right in the back. I tweeted it out and one of our viewers said that I should short as our photographer, but I'm not really He's exempt Yeah. exactly. He's exempt from the tribe. I'm sorry. Any way, she'll be back It's a cute picture. It was fun. I took that with my little iPhone. You should do a selfie. You know how embarrassing it is to take selfies while you're like out and about like that? That one I had to wait till like people passed me on the sidewalk. I don't find it embarrassing at al, take some of my selfies. although to be fair, you know you run the risk of getting photo bombed. Oh that's true. Yeah, cause you're, you're kinda like an open target. Yeah, you are an open target. Speaking about open targets, we gotta talk about some robots. So let's head to the headlines. [MUSIC] I still can't decide whether robots are gonna be our saviors. I know. Or our destroyers. I'm, kind of back and forth, always on the fence about that. But our first story of the day today, our shape shifting robots. This sounds crazy. Yes. It sounds like. It sounds awesome. Complete future tech. But it's, it's very small, currently, as it always is, the robot. And it's not as, not as tiny as you'd imagine. But. These are robots that work with materials that allow them to be squishy. There you go, it's like, it's like what you just saw was not the robot. Yeah. This is the part of the robot that they built. Like, these two things before, like, you know, building up to this thing. These are the type of robots that are not squishy, this type of robot very squishy. See. So what would you imagine you'd be using a squishy robot for? well, I mean, they mention the thing, search and rescue, which is brilliant. I mean I, Very, very brilliant. fell as this thing would like, basically, squeeze through a tiny pinhole. Yeah. And then like it's once it gets on the other side it expands, Like to breathe, yeah. yeah. And they're saying it could help people in an emergency, so they were, these robots are able to squeeze through debris and they are trapped somewhere, so let's say in an earthquake. That they would be able to sort of heat up, through some type of conduit, so you'll see, oh look it's squishy. So. So how does this, how does this work? What am I seeing? So basically, these are, these are like researchers at MIT and they said you know what, let's just do this with like, pretty off the shelf materials. So they used a mixture of foam and wax. And all they did was they made the wax around the foam, and when they heat up the wax, it sort of like makes the foam move. Right, cause the wax melts and you can move the foam. I got it. But then when the wax gets hard again, and it doesn't like, melt off. It just kind of melts into like a- you know how wax. Pliable state. Pliable, right, exactly. Pretty brilliant. This is one of those concepts where they're like, look, we're figuring out how to do this and of course as we get better this is just sort of the start of this idea. Like you said. This is either awesome, or also terrifying at the same time. Yeah. Well, I just think of, like, cockroaches. How they can squeeze into really tight spaces. And then they show up in your house, and you freak out. Like, one day, there's gonna be, like, robots, like. Yeah. Invading your house very secretly. But it's so cool. And honestly, I'm really excited to see, sort of, how this develops over time. Swat situation. Think about it. I did, they rolled up You're you're hold up in a house, and normally think about it [CROSSTALK] You? You're hold up in a house? No Not us, I haven't explained any of it We're outside, we're not the people being,we're not the people who need to be taken down. No, no, no, and I'm saying We're outside the house In a situation where, so, think about it all of a sudden you're in this house and you're like. I want like $300,000 and you just see like all these little bugs coming in from under the door and you're like big deal. coming into murder you, yeah. next thing you know. No, they become huge. I like this idea a lot, I like it a lot. Right? I'm into it. So there's a million dollar idea right there. That's pretty cool. I like this how they tested the little mouse that can squeeze, they can squeeze through too Yeah, yeah. You know like, magicians use them and stuff. anyway, cool idea. MIT is always full of great ideas. Yeah, they worked with Boxing Dynamics on this. Which is? Google owned, now Google owned. And they're picking up those defense contracts apparently. Right? Supposedly, yeah. Supposedly Our next story is a little more fun. This is a Lego, sort of. Self building tower? Seems like a, there, theoretically like, I love what the inventor of this particular Lego product says about this. It's not actually a space elevator. And, and it says, he describes it as, and this is a quote, a machine that stacks modules and locks them into space, theoretically all the way up to space. Assuming that Lego is magical and violates the laws of physics. [LAUGH] So it's pretty much impossible to actually make a tower going to space of Legos with this particular thing, but still really neat to watch it build. And the fact that he built this little machine. Now I don't know, is that actually Legos? Like I'm not, maybe I'm not familiar with this type of Lego, or did he just say like Legos in general. If. This looks like Construx or something. Well if I'm not mistaken, this is a Mindstorm. Oh, okay. So this is a special ones that allow you to do a little bit more with Legos. Oh yeah. With mechanics and [INAUDIBLE]. He wa saying, this robot was built with a selection of servos, eight touch sensors, and a color sensor. And it's an NXP controlled robot. So it takes these pre-made modules that he sort of set up, and then it stacks them as you're seeing now. I love it. And then it goes back down, and then it picks up the next module and takes it back up. And then How, how long would that take to build? If, say again, assuming legos are magical and violate the laws of Physics as the builder says. Yeah How long would it take to precisely, to get to space? Okay. He calculated 7,432 years later. Really long time << So here's the deal, in that time that you build this thing, like you may get to your 5000. This thing may be like halfway to space and then someone comes up with like I got it. Eureka! Here's the idea. <<Instantaneous [UNKNOWN] odd man. << Like we just came up with the, the thing and it builds it weaves a web in like ten seconds. Yeah, and then it just shoots it- Yeah. Right to the moon and now it's a bridge. Yeah. You're just staying there. You've got to figure out there's got to be some lightweight material. Like these have got to be like space age Legos. Like carbon fiber. Right [INAUDIBLE] But I did a story on the space elevator thing when I was back at CNet, back in the day. Well lots of people have been trying to for a long time. Yeah. To do an elevator to space. But it seems crazier, like why would this ever matter? Whatever. Yeah, why would it? But reality is. It would like traveling, not just like traveling, but like brining materials up to space, so much more cost effective>> well that makes sense so keep working guys, I'm in to it It'll be a while but this, this is really cool and if you go this guys YouTube channel, it's HKNFSN, that's his like, he builds stuff. It's really neat. Good job. And our very last. Story of the day today, mixes nature and technology. And I really like this story. This is actually been in the works for a couple of years now. This guy who is a sound artist, and I'm gonna completely ruin his name, I'm sorry, I'm so bad at pronouncing names. Bartholomaus Traubeck, wanted to figure out what sounds trees make. And so, trees have rings, if you're not familiar with that phenomena- Mm-hm. And it's really neat how they kind of are able to study rings and figure out what happened with the trees, and this guy created, a machine that allows you to translate the rings of the trees into piano music- 'Cuz, you know, the rings are farther apart or closer together based on, like, what happened to the tree that year. Or lighter or darker- Right. Things like that. So this guy came up with a way to figure out the sound. He translated the sound of these tree rings into music, and it's really haunting stuff. Logan, can we turn the audio up on this. [MUSIC] So that's really beautiful. It is, it's haunting, it's beautiful. It actually sounds better than that leaked Britney Spears leaked, auto-tune thing I heard. Are these three auto-tuned? I hope not, but here, here's the best quote I thought in his little, [INAUDIBLE] in the guy's interview, it said. The project is less about gaining new insight into nature, than it is about demonstrating that data comes in many forms. Everything is a database, in some way. And there are many ways to experience it. Hm. It's kinda true. So I could see this working for, like, a sunrise/sunset. That'd be cool. Yeah, yeah. Like, be, kind of like, the intensity of the rays, or something like that. Okay. That's pretty neat. It's fun. I love how he used. So this is, he did this. This translate this data he used the programming platform VVVV and [UNKNOWN] microcontroller, God [UNKNOWN] can really do some amazing things and Ableton live, and the reason why this is news now, because he's been working on this for a couple of year is, this is now going to become an album. You can <span class="hiddenSpellError" pre="album "></span> it! Oh wow You can finally buy the album buy the act The Trees, and that's not a band name This is not Neon Trees No not the Neon Trees, just Trees, Is that a band? Neon Trees? Yes. Yeah, right? Okay. As soon as I said it, it's was like one of those things that like wait. You're like that can't be real. [LAUGH] That's not the real name. [LAUGH] You can get this digitally and it's gonna be released on vinyl. So it wont quite be, tree rings but it'll be vinyl. Oh trees are really cool. Better than releasing it on wood. That's true, yeah, you wouldn't be able to play that. There was a guy who released an album on chocolate, though. Ooh. Yeah, that was, that was a thing. You can look that up. Do you remember back in the day like they would give you an album like in the newspaper, like it was made of papers. Are you, like, 80 years old. No, it wasn't, it was when I was a kid. It was like Are you 80 years old? Some, some people watching may remember this, probably not actually. If you're 80 years old, any 80 year olds out there. Specifically, you used to get, it's seriously like, it's specifically I remember it was a McDonald's one. It was like that Old MacDonald's song. Sure. It would come in the newspaper on a Sunday and you can play the record. It was a paper, it was almost like a cardboard record that would play. And I got several of them. Someone out there. And there you have it. Someone knows and remembers this and is going yes, I remember that. Or no one is. [LAUGH] Well, regardless, we're gonna take a thirty second break so I can laugh hysterically at how old Rich is, but we will be right back. We have some really cool stuff coming up. [UNKNOWN] and your user feedback on the roll up. Screens that we talked, that Tom and I talked about last week, and our Phonetog for the day. It's Tomorrow Daily. [MUSIC] Welcome back to tomorrow daily, I have officially laughed about, but we actually, Producer Logan and Rich, both, were insistent they would find this, and sure enough they did, Logan has video of this, Producer Logan, I think we need to see this video, so you said this was a McDonald's promotion Yep there it is, 1989 Wow So it's a paper record, you got in the paper, I mean I don't know, it just. And what exactly was, what exactly was happening? Don't ask me to sing the song. Please. It was like two pickles, all lettuce, you know, whatever, McDonald's had a song. Oh, it was the big mac song. Yeah, something like that. OK, that still exists. All right. So, there you go. I can't believe that's real. You learn something new every day. A record in the newspaper, I didn't believe. God bless, YouTube, and Wikipedia, and Google. Thank you, thank you internet for making that possible. But we have a really fun backer hag it today so let's jump into that. This is one mole, that's the name of it, one mole to rule them all. Mm-hm. one mole to find. I'm gonna, keep going with my Lord of The Rings reference, this is kind of amazing. Rich found this. And it's only got a few days left, or does it have less than a week left? I think so. It's almost there. Not quite. And I, I think it's 10 grand away from it's goal. I think they're about 10,000 away. So this is their promo video, and you know two dudes, Oh, I've gotta have some Ramen! I don't know what to do! I need to eat! I'm broke! I don't wanna eat Like it's the worst. Something that fills me up. But then this video in particular is weird because they rap about this bowl. And it's really bizarre. So they're going to rap about everything. Oh, look how many things it takes to make a. And they don't want to use all their stuff. It's so terrible. So much. So wait. What's this? It's the one bowl. They're all rapping by the way in this video. So yeah. Okay, so you basically put your noodles. Yeah. Or whatever in the bowl. And then it you heat it up in the microwave.>> Microwave it up. You put your water in there with the noodles and then you spin it ok, there's the top you can also store it, but you spin it and the water strains out of the bottom. Right cuz there's the there you go, there's a strainer in the bottom that when you that you can strain out all the water. It's dishwasher safe, that's good. So anybody who is very lazy and loves ramen, this is the product for you. Or, likes to be very efficient. Oh, that's very true. It's a very efficient way of cooking because if you cooked ramen you know, and God knows I used to live on ramen, I feel like I'm the only person who didn't live on ramen. I lived on like, on happy meals so. Just got me ramen, well, that was before the dollar menu came along. Fair enough. OK. Yeah, this was like the original dollar menu. It was like three cents. Good. I got ya. So yeah, it takes a lot to cook that. You know, you gotta do the bowl, you gotta do the thing, and this is all in one. And you just get to eat it right out, it's perfect. Yeah, very nice okay. Perfect for the bachelor, perfect for someone who's single, if you're in college. Single or in college. Excellent. I wanna see this, yeah, [UNKNOWN] he uses this one bowl. [CROSSTALK] You add your food in there, all macaroni, and cheese, okay, i'm in, i'm in on mac, and cheese. Yeah. [UNKNOWN] I'm 100 percent cheese in on mac, and cheese. And maybe Ramen, so sometimes too salty. But the, packaged Ramen, I like, I like real Ramen. Ya know there's MSG in there, that's what makes it taste so good. Ugh, yeah. I bet. But you cook the food, and then it comes out, and you can have ya know, you can have your Ramen, or your mac, and cheese, or whatever it that you want, need to make. And yeah, it's really neat. The started off, this actually started off very interestingly. This is the fifth prototype model. And so, there's the first cad model. The blue bowl right there. This is their kickstarter page. And, then here's some of the 3D printing. I mean, 3D printed the first bowl, so there it is. That's what it looks like. And there's all the parts that go with it. And then he went and, you know, talked to an engineer. He started winning prizes for this thing. And then as he started wining money, he put it back into R and D. Very, very smart. Started working with designer and engineers and, and manufacturing people. And now he has the One Bowl. It's officially a product. You back or hack it, yes or no? I'm gonna hack it just because I'm not a big fan of plastic in the microwave. You say, you say no. I know he says its Bpa free and all that but I'm just still not a fan of that. But you can use it to strain your fruit so with that idea I would back it, but I don't do that enough, so. You don't do it enough. Well, I would just used a colander. I say back it, I'm in. Okay, 20 bucks? Yeah I think so, I think, I think about all the things that I pay like 20 bucks for at Bed, Bath and Beyond, like, you know, little kitchen gadgets. That you never use more than once. That I never use more than once. So I mean, I guess why not, so. This will go with those. Yeah, totally go with those, all underneath the the cupboard by the sink. If I was in college, totally back it. Yeah. Cuz I would use this thing everyday. [CROSSTALK] But right now, not so much. Alright, fair enough. It's time for your user feedback. Back. [MUSIC] All right, so we have some really good user feedback. You weren't here on Thursday when we talked about roll up monitors. Very cool. And screens. Pretty neat. Tom and I talked about that, and the hashtag was #tdrollup. And you guys really rose to the occasion on this one. Our first tweet is from Kera Del. And he says, I don't think the consumer needs a roll up TV but advertising wrapped around a pillar would be good. Very good idea. That is a really good idea, you get your. You don't need billboards anymore. You just like wrap it around a building or something like that. Absolutely great idea. Kind of neat, And then Evan Johnson 313 on Twitter says, it would be cool to roll it up and hide it while you were on vacation. So you wouldn't get robbed. That's cool. Very smart. I always wondered about that. Do you leave your electronics out in the room? Like. Yeah. Like hotel rooms? See, so do. Oh, in hotel rooms? Yeah. Mm. You know, at CES, because everything's everywhere. I actually just put a Do Not Disturb sign up on my door. And I'm just like, please don't come in. I've done that. I've left it like for two or three days. I'm like, don't clean my room. I'll sacrifice that, for my electronics. One year, I, because I, we were there for like a week. He cleared journalist. You go to see [UNKNOWN] like a week, and it was, had been like five days, and they, I was at a very not expensive hotel that year, and they thought something terrible had happened to me. Oh, Imperial Palace here, they're like oh we see this all the time, we're going in. [COUGH] It was [COUGH] [UNKNOWN] service, but yeah, it was pretty bad. So I literally was stepping out of the shower, and security came into my room. No way. And I was. Infuriating, so here's a little anecdote for CES. I just didn't want anyone to be coming in and be cleaning my room out if you know what I mean. And they came at the worst possible time. Literally the worst possible time. Or the best possible time for the security guy. I guess so. So yeah I was just like what are you doing? I couldn't believe, I was horrified. And they were like you know you have a Do Not Disturb sign and I was like yeah Do Not Disturb. Yeah Do Not Disturb. That's a sacred sign. You know? Yeah If you run a hotel you do not break that sign Not at, not that one I don't care. You have to call the authorities Yeah, I guess so. It was just very. And then it happened again the next day. Like they came in and they were like. Or well you said or, you've had the sign up for so long. I was like, I just had this problem yesterday. Like what is going on here? And they just, it was terrible. I hope you got a free sign It's truly true. I did not. I did not. I paid full price. But thank you so much for your feedback on on the rollup. We, if you missed it, the hashtag for today's show we put it up during the news, but we didn't talk about it. So, just in case, just in case, our hashtag today is #TDTREESONGS. So we want to, we want you guys to tell us what songs you, what titles, What titles, that's a good one. The trees will make in their songs, like what titles. I would, I would do, I'm just gonna do one right now, off the top of my head. Sappy morning. Well you'd see on the tree album.' Kay. I can't believe I'm sitting here next to you. Horrified. What a dad pun. That is a great song title. Okay, keep going. I love it, I love it. Hashtag TV tree songs. That's your hashtag for today. And it's time finally for our phone-tographer of the day. [MUSIC] And our phonetographer for the day comes from Jeremy S. He says this was taken with an iPhone 5s at McQuaby Lake last fall. Really nice, composition here, Jeremy S. Wow Really, really like that. McQuaby Lake Look at that. Look at the reflection, it's so still. It looks like a mirror almost. Wow. That's amazing. Beautiful. that is a living room portrait there there. It really is. Trees don't grow in those colors here. They grow in brown. And light brown. In California, or in southern California, we're in the middle of a drought. Whatever shade of brown you like, we've got it. We have that, we've plants in every shade of brown you could possibly imagine. That is gorgeous. Gorgeous. Very good job. I would like to go to that place. You guys do a really good job of making me want to go places I've never been. Yeah. That seems like in Australia, right? McCabe? Yeah. Maybe. Or like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, somewhere like that? Yeah. Well, somewhere, definitely not here. Maybe Big Bear, close, but not like that, no way. That is the end of the show. That it, that is the end of the show if you wanna send your phone-tography, please send a link, no attachments please cuz I won't open them, to tomorrow@cnet.com, let us know what you took your picture with, let us know where you took your picture, and any, any interesting details. Yeah, give us a little back story to the picture. Yeah, tell us, tell us the story. As much as you can, and, oh I guess you can email that. You can email, yeah you can always email. Some people do it. Tweets. Yeah, somebody sent a tweet the other day, and it was a really nice picture. And don't worry if you don't see it, like, the day after. We might still use your picture. We store a lot of your emails. And we do get a lot, so we may have to do like, a separate Tumblr page for all of these pictures. Actually, that may be kind of fun. I just came upon something... Also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We are @tomorrowdaily on all of those mediums, and I'm personally Rich DeMuro And I'm Ashley Esqueda, and we're on Google+. And this is a new thing. Oh! So you weren't here. What? We are Plus Tomorrow Daily TV on Google Plus. Ooh! So it's a little different. So if you, if you're a pluser, go to google.com/plus/tomorrowdailytv. That's where. Find out. Yeah just write that down on your Nexus. But that is it for tomorrow daily. We will be back tomorrow with an all new show with lots more fun, technology futuristic stuff. I am Ashley [UNKNOWN]. I'm Rich Damero. Be good humans we will see you tomorrow.
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