Items tagged with robotics

Nobody should feign surprise that robots are taking over. A new report by market research firm Forrrester predicts that robots will terminate 6 percent of jobs in the United States by 2021, jobs that were previously held by flesh and blood workers. To expect anything less would be naive, as collectively we're the fools who put this all in motion. Think about it. We used our highly evolved brains (comparatively speaking) to create these awesome and complex machines, then we gave them artificial intelligence. We even glorified their capabilities in Hollywood films, a practice that dates back to when... Read more...
Human hands have built a great many things, including robots and machines that replace human hands. In celebration of this transition from flesh and blood to metal and lubricant, Amazon's annual Picking Challenge tasks those in the field of robotics to compete in a competition to build automated systems that can simplify the task of picking items from shelves. This year it was won by Team Delft, a collaboration between TU Delft Robotics Institute located in the Netherlands and Delft Robotics. The challenge is separated into two finals, one for stowing and one for picking. For the stow task, robots... Read more...
Science and technology are getting closer and closer to deftly melding man with machine. Cyberdyne, Inc., a Japanese company that focus on robotics, alongside with Intel have released the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL), the first cyborg-type robot that can improve, support, and enhance a person’s bodily functions. HAL is intended to be used in the welfare field, as assistance for heavy work in factories, and as assistance for rescue activities on disaster sites. How do these limbs work? First, the brain thinks something along the lines of “I want to walk”. The brain transmits the necessary signals... Read more...
Forget about diamond rings, flowers, and bowling balls. While you're at it, disregard any notions of buying another tie or tie rack, or whatever else you had in mind for your significant other. If you really want to show that you're committed to your relationship, then check out FoldiMate, which is the next best thing to having a maid fold your laundry. Not many people like to fold clothes. It's tedious and if you have kids, good luck trying to stay ahead of the game. That's where FoldiMate comes in. FoldiMate is a startup from California that built a robot that can de-wrinkle and fold your shirts,... Read more...
Hyundai Motor Group isn't just working on fancy new cars these days, it's also dabbling in robotics. It may have a bright future in the field, too—the automaker posted a handful of photos showing off a wearable robot suit that's not totally unlike the one Tony Stark built in Iron Man (minus the electromagnetic chest piece and ability to fly). The exoskeleton was a joint effort between Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai Rotem Co., and Kia Motors. It's not clear exactly where the technology will end up, though Hyundai says its robot suits can be used in a wide variety of fields, including (but not limited... Read more...
Just last month, Boston Dynamics posted a video demonstrating the capabilities of its latest robot called Atlas. The robot's human-like movements are nothing short of impressive, though we can't help but wonder if the threat of an uprising by these repressed machines is the reason why parent company Alphabet Inc. is now looking to sell Boston Dynamics. We're kidding, of course, at least about the fear of a Skynet scenario playing out in the near future. Alphabet has no worry of these machines rebelling against the tests that its humans creators put them through, such as trying to maintain balance... Read more...
Google-owned Boston Dynamics as released new footage of its latest robot called Atlas, and it's both marvelous and frightening at the same time. It's marvelous because we see just how advanced the company's bipedal robot is at this point, with movements that eerily mimic that of a human, and frightening because they're incredibly difficult to topple—let's hope they never turn on us. "A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance... Read more...
We all fear the day when humans end up under the mechanical thumbs of our eventual robot overlords, but for now, it's us who still reign over them. Such is also the result of a joint effort involving the Volvo Group and several partners to develop a robot that picks up trash under the supervision of a garbage truck driver. The project is called ROAR (Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling) and it's being developed by the Volvo Group, Chalmers University of Technology and Mälardalen University in Sweden, Penn State University in the United States, the waste recycling company Renova. What Volvo is... Read more...
Sexual fembots don't exist outside of Hollywood movies, but just in case they ever become a reality, robot ethicists (yes, there's such a thing) are already campaigning against having sex with robots. Those who support the "Campaign Against Sex Robots" feel that shagging with a scrap of parts resembling a person is unethical and "will contribute to gender inequalities in society." The campaign was borne out of a research paper by Kathleen Richardson, a senior research fellow in the ethics of robotics at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. In it she points out that there are several initiatives... Read more...
Foxconn is one of the biggest manufacturers of Apple's iPhone handsets, along with electronic gadgets and gizmos from various other well known companies, and for now, all those devices still require a human element. However,  that might not always be the case as Foxconn dives deeper in robotics. What you may not realize is that Foxconn has been developing robotics technology for over a decade. The company's efforts have mostly flown under the radar, though it gained attention when its Japanese partner SoftBank trotted out a humanoid service robot called Pepper. That was in 2014. Foxconn's... Read more...
A group of French and American scientists publishing in the science journal Nature are reporting success in their attempt to develop software that allows damaged robots to quickly overcome many sustained injuries and continue with their tasks.  A major problem in robotics has long been the inability of the machines to deal with unexpected circumstances, and in the case of damage suffered in the performing of their duties, they will usually just ignore the problem and thus make the it all the worse. Now, though, with inspiration drawn from nature itself, the scientists... Read more...
Imagine going to the water's edge, wading into the sea, and dragging out...a blue whale. And not an easy to wrangle (comparatively speaking) baby blue whale either, but a fully grown, mature mammalian beast of the sea. This is the equivalency being offered to describe the astounding power of the oh-so-small MicroTug robot. Designed by engineers David Christensen and Elliott Hawkes at the Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab at Stanford University, MicroTugs are tiny robots — some just a measly 9 grams — that are capable of pulling objects that tip the scales at 2000 times their weight. Taking... Read more...
If Google isn’t getting under your skin yet, it might be in the future. Medical devices juggernaut Johnson & Johnson announced this week that one its companies is partnering with Google to create technologies that improve robot-enhanced surgeries. Ethicon makes surgical shears, staplers, and related equipment. Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters “Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while benefitting patients by minimizing trauma and scarring, enabling accelerated... Read more...
Recently, we’ve seen robots being developed that are used for security, delivering food, and even for customer service. This time around, researchers at the Biomimetic Robotics Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that takes its cues from the world’s fastest land animal that will hopefully be able to replace humans in dangerous operations. Called the cheetah, this robot’s form and function takes its cues from the land animal of the same name. While it can’t match the animal’s speed of 59 mph right now, the bot is capable of running at speeds of more than 10... Read more...
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