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Archive for the ‘robotics/AI’ category: Page 1539

Mar 22, 2016

Seven ways the driverless car will change your life

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

I like it already…


Autonomous vehicles will bring about an age of safe and effortless travel. But anything that comes with a trunk also comes with baggage.

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Mar 22, 2016

What Do These Robots Mean For The Future Of Sex?

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI, sex

For those unfamiliar, SXSW is a week-long, trendy, if not seriously geeky festival of film and culture, panels and discussions. This year, one of the strangest – and either most disturbing or most compelling, depending on where you stand – talks was delivered by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a Japanese inventor and roboticist. The Osaka University professor was speaking about human-like androids and what roles they might fill within society in the near future. Ishiguro discussed his greatest and most marvellous creation to date: a “Geminoid” (robot in his own likeness) whose human appearance has been deftly created through with a plastic skull, a metal skeleton and silicon skin – and is controlled by an external computer. It would be hard, at a glance, to tell the two apart. In fact, the Geminoid held an autonomous conversation in Japanese, on stage, in front of an audience of hundreds.

Geminoid is not Ishiguro’s first uncannily human robot. In 2005, he developed a female android named Repliee Q1Expo, telling the BBC, “I have developed many robots before, but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence. Repliee Q1Expo can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It’s very satisfying.”

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Mar 22, 2016

A first look at Liam: Apple’s massive robot that takes apart old iPhones

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI

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Mar 21, 2016

Robot-Built Landing Pad Could Pave the Way for Construction on Mars

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI, space

A robot has built a prototype launch-and-landing pad in Hawaii, potentially helping pave the way for automated construction projects on the moon and Mars.

The robotic rover, named Helelani, assembled the pad on Hawaii’s Big Island late last year, putting together 100 pavers made of locally available material in an effort to prove out technology that could do similar work in space.

“The construction project is really unique. Instead of concrete for the landing pad, we’re using lunar and Mars material, which is exactly like the material we have here on the Big Island — basalt,” Rob Kelso, executive director of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration (PISCES) in Hawaii, told Hawaiian news outlet Big Island Now. PISCES partnered with NASA on the project, which is part of a larger program called Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement, or ACME for short. [The Boldest Mars Missions in History].

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Mar 20, 2016

Self-driving Cars and an Underappreciated Impact They Will Bring

Posted by in categories: business, law, robotics/AI, transportation

The momentum of self-driving cars on the road is accelerating with the question clearly becoming “when” not “if” the widespread use of self-driving cars will be allowed. A 2015 Business Intelligence Report forecasts a compounded annual growth rate of 134% from 2015 to 2020 with at least 10 million cars on the road by 2020.

2016-03-15-1458064694-2801158-drivelesscarsgraph.png

This should not come as a surprise, the descriptors for a car are heavily technology based with the importance of the car’s brains (software) rivaling its brawn (styling). Cars are already equipped with the ability to conduct specific tasks with varying degrees of driver interaction such as fully autonomous emergency breaking and semi-autonomous driver assisted parallel parking that are performed more adroitly — and safely — then the vehicle is operated by the driver. But the narrative of the self-driving car isn’t evolutionary but thought of as leapfrogging breakthroughs. Perhaps what has painted the imagery with futuristic color is the vocabulary of artificial intelligence. Fully autonomous driverless cars such as Google’s use an artificial intelligence system to pilot the car. In February the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted on its website that it informed Google that the artificial intelligence system pilot in a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law.

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Mar 20, 2016

The Self Driving WePod

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Fleets of self-driving busses will soon be deployed in the Netherlands.

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Mar 20, 2016

The Next Picasso Is a Robot

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Your next favorite artist, writer, or musician might be a robot.

As the gap between man and machine narrows, it becomes harder to identify what makes humans unique. Robots can perform myriad physical tasks, they can express emotions (even if they don’t actually feel them), and they can learn. So what makes humans special?

Some people think it’s the presence of a soul, though that argument invades sticky philosophical territory and can’t be empirically proven. Cynics might say humans are the only species to make and use weapons specifically to hurt others, but that’s not exactly a reason to boast. Others suggest humans are singular for their ability to make art. From the Mona Lisa to the Taj Mahal, Homo sapiens’ facility for imbuing canvas, stone, sound, and words with beauty and imagination is unparalleled.

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Mar 19, 2016

Bacteria-powered Bio-Bots Avoid Obstacles on Way to Target

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Microscopic robots, powered by bacterial flagellation, are a curious branch of robotics research, potentially leading to devices that can deliver drugs, perform surgical tasks, and help out with diagnostics. While bacteria has been harnessed in the past to power small devices, having those devices actually navigate to a desired target has been a challenge. At Drexel University researchers are now using electric fields to help their bacterial biobots detect obstacles and float around them on their way to the final destination.

The electric fields don’t actually control the bots, but allow the bots to sense their environment and to move around. The devices are powered by rod-shaped S. marcescens bacteria that are normally negatively charged. The researchers positioned two electric fields orthogonally to each other, creating a grid. Obstacles within the grid slightly affect the fields’ shape, which the robot recognizes and uses to avoid the obstacles.

Here are a couple videos demonstrating the bacterial powered microbot:

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Mar 19, 2016

The case for a robot president

Posted by in categories: computing, geopolitics, robotics/AI

I did an interview on AI and politics for CBC, which also went out on NPR yesterday.


This week, Google’s artificially intelligent computer, AlphaGo won a tournament in the complex board game called Go. American presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan says it’s that in a matter of 10 to 15 years A.I. will be advanced enough to be president of the United States of America.

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Mar 18, 2016

Reading minds, sharing control

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, robotics/AI

BMIs and other brainy stuff.


When it comes to moving a robot arm with your thoughts, sometimes it is better not to have complete control of your actions. This blog explains more.

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