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World Robotics 2023 report: Asia ahead of Europe and the Americas


The new World Robotics report recorded 553,052 industrial robot installations in factories around the world – a growth rate of 5% in 2022, year-on-year. By region, 73% of all newly deployed robots were installed in Asia, 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas. "The world record of 500,000 units was exceeded for the second year in succession," says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. "In 2023 the industrial robot market is expected to grow by 7% to more than 590,000 units worldwide." China is by far the world s largest market.

Japan startup develops 'Gundam'-like robot with $3 million price tag

The Japan Times

Tokyo-based startup Tsubame Industries has developed a 4.5-meter-tall (14.8-feet), four-wheeled robot that looks like "Mobile Suit Gundam" from the wildly popular Japanese animation series, and it can be yours for $3 million. Called ARCHAX after the avian dinosaur archaeopteryx, the robot has cockpit monitors that receive images from cameras hooked up to the exterior so that the pilot can maneuver the arms and hands with joysticks from inside its torso. The 3.5-ton robot, which will be unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show later this month, has two modes: the upright "robot mode" and a "vehicle mode" in which it can travel up to 10 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour). "Japan is very good at animation, games, robots and automobiles so I thought it would be great if I could create a product that compressed all these elements into one," said Ryo Yoshida, the 25-year-old chief executive of Tsubame Industries. "I wanted to create something that says, 'This is Japan.'"

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 586

Al Jazeera

Ukraine said its air defence systems shot down 16 of about 30 drones launched by Russia on Sunday. Authorities said civilian infrastructure and grain storage warehouses were damaged in the Cherkasy region as well as the southern Mykolaiv and eastern Dnipropetrovsk regions. Russia's defence ministry said its forces' air defences in eastern Ukraine had intercepted five United States-made HIMARS shells, an air-launched JDAM bomb and 37 Ukrainian drones. Kyiv began a counteroffensive in June to retake Ukrainian land occupied by Russia since it launched its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022. Russia's defence ministry said it shot down six Ukrainian drones over Russian regions and two Ukrainian missiles over Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Autonomous driving remains a distant reality in Japan

The Japan Times

Japan is pushing for 50 locations with driverless services in place within three years, but fully autonomous vehicles remain nearly nonexistent in the country. So far, Fukui Prefecture is the only place with vehicles featuring level-4 capabilities -- defined when they can handle all driving tasks -- but only under specific conditions with the option for humans to take over. In the town of Eiheiji, the seven-seater golf carts are only allowed to navigate a 2 kilometer course. The limited availability of autonomous driving in Japan stands in stark contrast to the U.S. and China, where robotaxis already roam the streets in some cities. Waymo, backed by Google parent Alphabet, and General Motor's Cruise are testing driverless taxi services in San Francisco.

The Trendy New Trivia Game That's Like Wordle for Straight Men


We are in the midst of an unprecedented, intergenerational phone-game renaissance. Wordle has become a pillar of the New York Times brand, newspapers everywhere are resurrecting their crossword backpage, and Words With Friends has essentially transformed into a dating app. These games are designed to be approachably mainstream--every English speaker alive can deduce a five-letter word with six chances--but unfortunately, I am a man of unconventional taste. If I'm going to entertain a daily dose of potpourri, I need something weirder, more challenging, and better suited for the precise category of useless knowledge that occupies my brain. That's why the sports-trivia game Immaculate Grid has become a fixture of my morning routine.

'You've got to be data-driven': the fashion forecasters using AI to predict the next trend

The Guardian

It's Paris fashion week and the streets of the city are filled with celebrities, designers, models and journalists. Among the crowds, eagle-eyed experts are taking careful notes. These are the fashion industry's trend forecasters. Their job is to get a sense of the colours, cuts, fabrics and patterns in the designers' new collections, in the hope of detecting emerging trends. Their notes will quickly be added to curated "trend forecasts", which will be sold to designers and high street retailers, who will use them to inspire new pieces and decide what to stock next season – think of the "blue sweater" speech in The Devil Wears Prada, where Meryl Streep's character scathingly explains this process to her naive assistant Andy (played by Anne Hathaway).

#IROS2023: A glimpse into the next generation of robotics


The 2023 EEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2023) kicks off today at the Huntington Place in Detroit, Michigan. This year's theme, "The Next Generation of Robotics," is a call to the young and senior researchers to create a forum where the past, present, and future of robotics converge. The program of IROS 2023 is a blend of theoretical insights and practical demonstrations, designed to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. Among the highlights are the plenary and keynote talks by eminent personalities in the field of robotics. On the plenary front, Marcie O'Malley from Rice University will delve into the realm of robots that teach and learn with a human touch.

The Creator review – a truly original man-v-machine sci-fi spectacular

The Guardian

It took a while, and a rather bumpy false start with the Star Wars franchise (his Rogue One was plagued by rumours of studio interference and extensive reshoots), but with The Creator, the British director Gareth Edwards finally gets to make the sci-fi spectacular he was always destined to tackle. And with this ambitious, ideas-driven, expectation-subverting, man-versus-machines showdown, he has co-written and directed one of the finest original science-fiction films of recent years. It can be a little misleading, that word "original", when it comes to science fiction. At its most basic, it just refers to any picture that isn't part of an existing franchise or culled from a recognisable IP – be it a book, video game or television series. But very occasionally the word is fully earned, by a film so distinctive in its world-building, its aesthetic and its unexpected approach to well-worn themes that it becomes a definitive example of the genre.

How AI and brain science are helping perfumiers create fragrances

The Guardian

Making perfume is an art that can be traced back to ancient Greece but now modern-day perfumiers are beginning to look beyond their noses to develop the scents most likely to appeal to us. They are, instead, turning to AI. Perfumes can now be designed to trigger emotional responses using ingredients known as neuroscents – odours shown by biometric measures to arouse different positive feelings such as calm, euphoria or sleepiness. Hugo Ferreira, a researcher at the Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering in Lisbon, is mapping brain activity and response to perfumes to build a database of neuroscents. He says the sense of smell is fascinating. "With sight and hearing, you can imagine the face of a loved one or favourite tune. It's hard to imagine a smell even though [it] can provoke a torrent of emotions and memories."

New documentary on rocker Roger Waters accuses him of repeated acts of antisemitism

FOX News

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary joined'America's Newsroom' to discuss the breakthrough and what it means for artificial intelligence as it is applied to medicine. Rock star Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has a history of controversial public displays, but the Campaign Against Antisemitism has released a documentary accusing him of antisemitism directly. Waters has repeatedly been criticized for shocking imagery at his concerts. Earlier this year he was condemned for a concert in Germany where he wore what appeared to be a Nazi-inspired uniform. Screens at the same concert listed the names of victims presumed to have been killed by state actors, including George Floyd and anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl.