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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 Race to Carve Up the Moon


As human access to space expands, the influx of new actors promises to forever alter the dynamics of space. The head-to-head U.S.–Soviet rivalry that once dominated the Space Race will evolve into something more inclusive--but also messier. Aspiring space nations, such as Luxembourg, India, and China, together with new categories of nonstate actors, including large industrial players, startups, and universities, raise questions about how we should regulate space. Explosive commercialization is particularly challenging for existing space law, whose foundations were set in the 1960s and designed with national governments in mind. This rapidly changing environment is dramatized in "Little Assistance," a new Future Tense Fiction story from Stephen Harrison.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 584

Al Jazeera

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on a visit to Kyiv that Ukrainian forces are "gradually gaining ground" in their counteroffensive against Russian forces. "Every metre that Ukrainian forces regain is a metre that Russia loses," he said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Russia said it destroyed 11 Ukrainian drones overnight in an attack that saw one combat drone drop explosives on a power substation, cutting a local power supply in Russia's Kursk region. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting out his country's routine autumn conscription campaign, which will see 130,000 people called up for statutory military service. Adult men in Russia are required to do a yearlong military service between the ages of 18 and 27 or equivalent training while pursuing higher education.

The Creator review: A visually stunning, yet deeply shallow, AI epic


Equal parts Terminator, The Golden Child and The Matrix prequel, The Creator is yet another sci-fi epic about a war between humans and AI, one told by someone who just can't shut up about their time backpacking across Asia. Director Gareth Edwards clearly understands the power of scale and spectacle, something he demonstrated with his indie knockout Monsters, as well as his big-budget efforts, Godzilla and Rogue One. But The Creator, like those films, also suffers from a disjointed narrative, weak characters and a surprisingly shallow exploration of its (potentially interesting!) themes. It's a shame -- at times, the film also proves he can be a genuine visual poet. The Creator stars John David Washington, fresh off of Christopher Nolan's Tenet, as Joshua, an American soldier embedded among a group of AI rebels as a double-agent. When an operation goes wrong early on, he loses his rebel wife Maya (Gemma Chan) and the will to keep fighting the war between the anti-AI West and the AI-loving country of New Asia.

Can generative AI solve computer science's greatest unsolved problem?


When computer scientists hang out at cocktail parties, they're apt to chat, among other things, about the single most important unsolved problem in computer science: the question, Does P NP? Formulated nearly 50 years ago, the question of whether P equals NP is a deep meditation on what can ultimately be achieved with computers. The question, which has implications for fields such as cryptography and quantum computing, has resisted a convincing answer despite decades of intense study. Now, that effort has enlisted the help of generative AI. Also: DeepMind's RT-2 makes robot control a matter of AI chat In a paper titled "Large Language Model for Science: A Study on P vs. NP," lead author Qingxiu Dong and colleagues program OpenAI's GPT-4 large language model using what they call a Socratic Method, several turns of chat via prompt with GPT-4. The team's method amounts to taking arguments from a prior paper and spoon-feeding them to GPT-4 to prompt useful responses.

Dinosaurs may NOT have been wiped out by world-ending meteor: New model says mega volcano eruption may have caused their extinction

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new model has revealed that a mega volcano eruption drove the dinosaurs to extinction -- not the infamous Chicxulub meteor that smashed into the Yucatán Peninsula over 66 million years ago. Scientists from Dartmouth University designed a simulation that used real-world geological data to crunch more than 300,000 possible scenarios. The system was prompted to explain the fossil records across the one million years before and after dinosaurs became extinct. The model revealed that climate change and toxic gases from the Deccan Traps' hundreds of thousands of years of emissions were the nail in the coffin for the extinct creatures. India's'Deccan Traps' mega-volcano, estimated to have pumped as much as 10.4 trillion tons of carbon dioxide and 9.3 trillion tons of sulfur dioxide into Earth's atmosphere during their nearly million years of eruptions.

The Rebel Drone Maker of Myanmar


"We needed weapons, and we needed them fast," 3D says, sitting beneath the stalactites in a dimly lit cave, somewhere deep in the jungle in eastern Myanmar. The space reverberates with the hum of 3D printers--the devices that gave 3D his nom de guerre. He spoke on condition that WIRED would not reveal his real name or show his face. "My parents would kill me if they would know what I'm up to," he says. Not only does 3D face the risk of arrest, torture, or execution for his part in the revolution, the military would not hesitate to arrest his parents if they were to discover 3D's identity.