Koniku Kore fuses live neurons with a silicon chip to sniff out bombs

koniku kore oshi agabi
A device that is able to recognize the smell of explosives was unveiled at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania. Oshi Agabi, the man behind the creation, expressed a hope that it could be used as a more effective means of airport security.

Many artificial technology projects attempt to model its systems on the human brain, hoping to take advantage of its capacity for complex analysis. The Koniku Kore goes one step further, bringing together silicon components with living neurons sourced from mice. “Biology is technology,” Agabi said. “Bio is tech. Our deep learning networks are all copying the brain.”

Agabi explained that he and his team figured out a method of giving the neurons instructions, in order to assign the system a particular task, like scoping out bomb threats in an airport. In this particular context, the devices could be placed discreetly around the building, preventing the need for the crowded security checks that we use today.

The Koniku Kore was revealed publicly at TEDGlobal, but images of the prototype device can’t be shared at the present time. However, Agabi did show a video of the system being taken out of the lab setting and confirmed that in its current form, the living neurons can be kept alive for a “couple of months” in a normal environment, according to a report from the BBC. Other research teams apparently have been able to keep neurons alive for as long as a year, so this facet of the project should improve over time.

The device could also be used to “smell” different diseases in a medical context, reading the molecules given off by a person suffering from a particular condition. However, Agabi has greater ambitions for the potential the technology has looking further forward.

“We think that the processing power that is going to run the robots of the future will be synthetic biology-based and we are laying the foundations for that today,” he said. The Koniku Kore is a rather amazing device in its own right, but the amalgam of living neurons and computer chips that underpins the project could have a profound impact as the technology matures.


The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Digital Trends Live

Cryptocurrency investor Ian Balina sees a comeback for cryptocurrency in 2019

We chatted with crypto investor Ian Balina on what the future is for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. He also gave us three things to look for when we are investing our own money.

Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.