robotics

Home Robot Control for People With Disabilities

Photo: Henry Clever and Phillip Grice/Georgia Tech Henry Evans, a California man who participated in Georgia Tech’s study, used a PR2 robot to shave, wipe his face, and scratch his head. Advertisement Editor’s Picks So, Where Are My Robot Servants? The Heaphy Project: Crowdsourced Robot Servants and the Willow Garage Spin-off That Never Was Moxi Prototype from Diligent Robotics Starts Helping Out in Hospitals Robots offer an opportunity to enable people to live safely and comfortably in their homes as they grow older. In the near future (we’re all hoping), robots will be able to help us by cooking, cleaning, doing chores, and generally taking care of us, but they’re not yet to the point where they can do those sorts of things autonomously. Putting a human in the loop can help robots ...

NASA Launching Astrobee Robots to Space Station Tomorrow

Photo: NASA Astrobee robot during testing at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home Meet Valkyrie: NASA’s Superhero Robot How NASA’s Astrobee Robot Is Bringing Useful Autonomy to the ISS It’s been a little over two years since we were first introduced to Astrobee, an autonomous robotic cube designed to fly around the International Space Station. Tomorrow, a pair of Astrobee robots (named Honey and Bumble) will launch to the ISS aboard a Cygnus cargo flight. There’s already a nice comfy dock waiting for them in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), and the plan is to put them to work as soon as possible. After a bit of astronaut-assisted setup, the robots will buzz around autonomously, doing ...

The Buddy System: Human-Computer Teams

Advertisement Editor’s Picks Using AI to Make Better AI Let’s Shape AI Before AI Shapes Us Is that him? Is she the one? A prized attribute among law enforcement specialists, the expert ability to visually identify human faces can inform forensic investigations and help maintain safe border crossings, airports, and public spaces around the world. The field of forensic facial recognition depends on highly refined traits such as visual acuity, cognitive discrimination, memory recall, and elimination of bias. Humans, as well as computers running machine learning (ML) algorithms, possess these abilities. And it is the combination of the two—a human facial recognition expert teamed with a computer running ML analyses of facial image data—that provides the most accurate facial identification, acc...

Inflatable Robots Are Destined for Space, If We Can Control Them

Photo: Brigham Young University Brigham Young University researchers are learning how to control a soft inflatable robot using a motion-tracking system and visual servoing. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Astrobee: NASA’s Newest Robot for the International Space Station Robonaut Has Been Broken for Years, and Now NASA Is Bringing It Home Meet Valkyrie: NASA’s Superhero Robot We don’t see a lot of inflatable robots, which is really too bad, because they’re weirdly excellent at being exactly the sort of robot that everybody seems to want: They’re cheap, being made of mostly fabric and rubber, and they’re very easy to fix. Relative to most other robots, they’re extraordinarily lightweight, and they pack down to a small fraction of their size once deflated. Despite their squishiness, they c...

Heads in the cloud: Scientists predict internet of thoughts ‘within decades’

Summary: Researchers predict the development of a brain/cloud interface that connects neurons to cloud computing networks in real time. Source: Frontiers Imagine a future technology that would provide instant access to the world’s knowledge and artificial intelligence, simply by thinking about a specific topic or question. Communications, education, work, and the world as we know it would be transformed. Writing in Frontiers in Neuroscience, an international collaboration led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the US Institute for Molecular Manufacturing predicts that exponential progress in nanotechnology, nanomedicine, AI, and computation will lead this century to the development of a “Human Brain/Cloud Interface” (B/CI), that connects neurons and synapses in the brain to vast cloud-compu...

Video Friday: Soft Robots, and More

Image: MIT Soft robotic fingers with embedded ionogel sensors created by MIT researchers, who’ll present this project at RoboSoft 2019. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Review: iRobot Roomba 980 Get Ready for National Robotics Week Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100% Squishy Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Seoul, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24, 2019 – Montreal, Canada 2nd Annual Robotics Summit & Expo – June 4-6, 2019 – Bos...

Wing Officially Launches Australian Drone Delivery Service

Photo: Wing This drone can deliver your morning coffee directly to your house. But is that something people really want? Advertisement Editor’s Picks Amazon Promises Package Delivery By Drone: Is It for Real? Google’s Project Wing Needs More Moonshot The Economics of Drone Delivery Alphabet’s subsidiary Wing announced this week that it has officially launched a commercial drone delivery service “to a limited set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin,” which are just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing’s drones are able to drop a variety of small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from local stores to customers’ backyards within minutes. We’ve been skeptical about whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a lon...

Microsoft’s Brad Smith on How to Responsibly Deploy AI

Photo: Tim Lee Advertisement Editor’s Picks IEEE Global Initiative Aims to Advance Ethical Design of AI and Autonomous Systems Pentagon Warns Silicon Valley About Aiding Chinese Military Engineers Say “No Thanks” to Silicon Valley Recruiters, Citing Ethical Concerns AI can reveal how many cigarettes a person has smoked based on the DNA contained in a single drop of their blood, or scrutinize Islamic State propaganda to discover whether violent videos are radicalizing potential recruits.  Because AI is such a powerful tool, Microsoft president Brad Smith told the crowd at Columbia University’s recent Data Science Day that tech companies and universities performing AI research must also help ensure the ethical use of such technologies. AI is now an invisible but inextricable part of life for...

Blue Is a New Low-Cost Force-Controlled Robot Arm from UC Berkeley

Image: UC Berkeley Blue is a new robot arm designed to be useful and accessible to researchers working on AI and applied manipulation for human environments. Advertisement Editor’s Picks So, Where Are My Robot Servants? AI Startup Embodied Intelligence Wants Robots to Learn From Humans in Virtual Reality Franka: A Robot Arm That’s Safe, Low Cost, and Can Replicate Itself Robots are well-known for being very good at some very specific things. They’re often defined by words like “precision” and “repeatability” and “speed,” because if you want a robot to be uniquely useful, it’s usually going to have to leverage one or more of those characteristics in a way that makes it better at some specific task than humans are. Robots have been doing this for decades, typically in places like industrial ...

Robots created with 3D printers could be caring for those in golden years

Summary: A new method is able to efficiently design and fabricate soft robots using 3D printing technology. The ASM can perform complex motions, such as gripping and crawling. Source: Purdue University The world’s elderly population is booming. The number of older people — those age 60 years or older — is expected to more than double by 2050 and is growing faster than all younger age groups across the globe. This trend comes with an increasing demand for caregivers capable of providing 24-hour care, not only at hospitals or nursing homes but also at private homes and apartments. Already, caregiving robots are programmed to ask questions a nurse would ask and can monitor patients for falls. These robotic assistants are expected to become increasingly marketable and reach 450,000 by 2045 bec...

Robots to autocomplete soldier tasks

Summary: Study uncovers how the brain coordinates between different regions while executing cognitive tasks. The findings may help advance artificial intelligence algorithms. Source: U.S Army Research Laboratory Smart phones autocorrect in texting, search engines autocomplete queries, and mapping applications redirect navigation in real-time to avoid slowed traffic. These ubiquitous AI-based technologies adapt to everyday needs and learn user habits by focusing on making the algorithm better, but Army researchers want to enhance AI by providing more information about the intent of the user. New research published in Science Advances today looks at Soldier brain activity during specific tasks for ways to incorporate AI teaming to dynamically complete tasks. The Army envisions a future battl...

Video Friday: Toyota’s Basketball Robot, and More

Photo: Kazumichi Moriyama/Impress Toyota’s basketball robot. Advertisement Editor’s Picks Moxi Prototype from Diligent Robotics Starts Helping Out in Hospitals Toyota Gets Back Into Humanoid Robots With New T-HR3 Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): U.S. National Robotics Week – April 6-14, 2019 – USA We Robot 2019 – April 11-13, 2019 – Miami, Fla., USA RoboSoft 2019 – April 14-18, 2019 – Seoul, Korea NIST ARIAC Challenge – April 15-19, 2019 – Online Nîmes Robotics Festival – May 17-19, 2019 – Nîmes, France ICRA 2019 – May 20-24...