In our latest Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:

  • CBS says new Star Trek series will be streamed
  • PlayStation to offer own, cheaper VR
  • Duke University robotics expert says self-driving cars aren’t ready
  • FDA advisers back first dissolving heart stent

The details:

  • ‘Star Trek’ to help reap $400M from online channel, says CBS

Boldly going where no programmer has gone before?

Not quite, but CBS says that airing its new “Star Trek” TV show exclusively on its CBS All Access online video service will help it take off at warp speed next January.

Executives told an investor presentation in New York yesterday that CBS plans to release three to four original series every year on the $6-a-month service, including a new version of its “crown jewel” franchise.

It expects each series to boost subscriptions to CBS All Access, and aims to have 4 million subscribers in five years, generating revenue of about $400 million a year by then.

  • PlayStation VR to debut in October for less than Rift, Vive

Sony’s version of virtual reality will cost a few hundred dollars less than competitors when its headset is released in October.

The company announced a $399 price tag and the October release date for PlayStation VR during the Game Developers Conference.

The head-mounted display works in tandem with the PlayStation 4 console. The headset surrounds a wearer’s vision and immerses them in 360-degree virtual worlds.

PlayStation VR’s debut will follow the respective launches of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive consumer versions.

The Rift will be available March 28 for $599. The Vive will be released April 5 for $799. They both require high-end PCs in order to work.

Sony said it expects over 50 games will be available for PlayStation VR at launch.

  • Robotics expert: Self-driving cars not ready for deployment

A robotics expert is warning against a rush toward widespread deployment of self-driving cars, saying they are “absolutely not” ready.

The director of Duke University’s robotics program, Missy Cummings, told the Senate’s commerce committee the cars aren’t yet able to handle driving in bad weather, including standing water, drizzling rain, sudden downpours and snow. She says they certainly aren’t equipped to follow a policeman’s directions.

She also says it’s relatively easy for hackers to take control of the GPS navigation systems of self-driving cars. Privacy of personal data is another concern.

General Motors and Google officials say they’re concerned that a patchwork of state and local laws regarding self-driving cars will hinder deployment. They want federal regulators to speed up rules to help get the vehicles on the road.

  • FDA advisers back first dissolving heart stent

Federal health advisers have overwhelmingly backed the safety and effectiveness of an experimental medical implant that dissolves into the body after doing its job.

A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers voted unanimously that the Absorb heart stent is effective for treating patients with narrowing arteries. The same panel voted 9-1 in favor of the device’s safety.

Abbott Laboratories has asked the FDA to approve the stent as an alternative to permanent, metal implants that have long been used to help prop open arteries that have been cleared of fatty plaque.

The vote is a nonbinding recommendation and the FDA will make its own decision on the device in coming weeks.

Absorb is made of degradable material that’s designed to stay intact for a year before gradually breaking down.