"[T]he current capabilities of many AI systems closely match some of the specialized needs of disabled people.... Fortunately, there is a growing interest in applying the scientific knowledge and engineering experience developed by AI researchers to the domain of assistive technology and in investigating new methods and techniques that are required within the assistive technology domain."
– Bruce G. Buchanan; from his Foreword to Assistive Technology and Artificial Intelligence: Applications in Robotics, User Interfaces and Natural Language Processing
A shoddily tailored suit or a shrunken T-shirt may not be the most stylish, but wearing them is unlikely to hurt more than your reputation. An ill-fitting robotic exoskeleton on the battlefield or factory floor, however, could be a much bigger problem than a fashion faux pas. Exoskeletons, many of which are powered by springs or motors, can cause pain or injury if their joints are not aligned with the user's. To help manufacturers and consumers mitigate these risks, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed a new measurement method to test whether an exoskeleton and the person wearing it are moving smoothly and in harmony. In a new report, the researchers describe an optical tracking system (OTS) not unlike the motion capture techniques used by filmmakers to bring computer-generated characters to life.
Remember the robotic prosthetic arm the Rebel fleet replaced Luke Skywalker's hand with after Darth Vader severed it in an epic lightsaber duel in The Empire Strikes Back? Of course you do--and so do scientists. Luke's cybernetic replacement limb was pretty badass, but not exactly replicable in the medical world at the time, or even now. But a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore are hoping to change that with a new kind of artificial nervous system. Think of it as electronic "skin."
If the measure of progress in technology is that devices should become ever smaller and more capable, then OrCam Technologies is on a roll. The Israeli firm's OrCam MyEye, which fits on the arm of a pair of glasses, is far more powerful and much smaller than its predecessor. With new AI-based Smart Reading software released in July, the device not only "reads" text and labels but also identifies people by name and describes other important aspects of the visual world. It also interacts with the user, principally people who are blind or visually impaired, by means of an AI-based smart voice assistant. At the upcoming Sight Tech Global virtual event, we're pleased to announce that OrCam's co-founder and co-CEO, Professor Amnon Shashua, will be a featured speaker.
The Marines are about to get their hands on an impressive bit of hardware: A wearable robotic exoskeleton that gives users super strength. The company delivering the unit, a defense-focused subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics developed the exoskeleton for industrial uses, including in energy and construction. An executive guide to the technology and market drivers behind the $135 billion robotics market. Still, in many ways, this is a return to roots for Sarcos. In 2000, the company was part of a storied class of DARPA grant recipients working on powered exoskeletons for defense purposes.
Google launched a few updates to its Contact Center AI product today, but the most interesting one is probably the beta of its new Custom Voice service, which will let brands create their own text-to-speech voices to best represent their own brands. Maybe your company has a well-known spokesperson for example, but it would be pretty arduous to have them record every sentence in an automated response system or bring them back to the studio whenever you launch a new product or procedure. With Custom Voice, businesses can bring in their voice talent to the studio and have them record a script provided by Google. The company will then take those recordings and train its speech models based on them. As of now, this seems to be a somewhat manual task on Google's side.
Combining robotics with artificial intelligence (AI), an Indian health tech startup has developed an exoskeleton used as a robotic arm/leg for paraplegic patients.Arguably the first in the country, the indigenously designed device could be a potential alternative to the expensive products sourced from abroad.The startup, GenElek Technologies, was chosen to represent India at the Powered Exoskeleton Race at Cybathlon 2020 in Zurich before the Covid-19 outbreak forced a reschedule. Two former Indian Army paraplegic soldiers from the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC), Mohali, were to wear the robotic gear and compete with 17 other international teams.Exoskeletons (externally worn robotic support system) make it possible for people with neurological conditions such as paralysis, stroke and spinal cord injury to walk or move better. GenElek's model was to customise its design and tailor it to individual needs, the startup's founder John Ignatius Kujur told DH.So, how does it incorporate artificial intelligence? The data is collected in real time, interpreted and relayed by AI to the cloud. It gets processed in real time by a medical expert monitoring the patient's treatment.Not for amputeesThe device is not for amputees, John explained.
If you happen to fall outside that specified range, navigating the internet, your community, even your own home, can become exponentially more difficult. But it doesn't have to be this way, argues artist, writer and design researcher Sara Hendren. In her new book, What Can a Body Do, Hendren examines the challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis in a world that often doesn't take their needs into account and shows that more inclusive design -- from cybernetic prosthetic arms and more accessible city streets to tactile doorbells for the deaf -- isn't just possible, it's already practical. In the excerpt below, Hendren looks at the Jaipur Foot, an unpowered, low-cost prosthetic that has helped nearly two million lower leg amputees in India and other countries regain their ability to walk. From WHAT CAN A BODY DO: How We Meet the Built World by Sara Hendren published on August 18, 2020 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
One of the most interesting technology stories of the past few years has centered on a decidedly legacy industry: Construction. There's increasing competition between technology developers to bring new efficiencies to the job site, and it's coming from firms working in areas like robotics and artificial intelligence. I was reminded of this when I learned that a company called Buildots is pulling down $16M for their AI construction solution which is based around hardhat-mounted 360 cameras. That's a relatively benign tech upgrade, perhaps, but it's part of a larger trend: Much of the tech development in construction is focused on augmenting humans with technology, pointing to a future of hybrid man-machine workers. Some of the more eye-catching technologies coming online now include wearable robots.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. WEST ADDISON, Vt. – A Vermont skydiver who lost his prosthetic leg during a jump has it back, thanks to a farmer who kept an eye out for it and spotted it in a soybean field. Double amputee Chris Marckres, of Hyde Park, went for a jump Saturday at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in West Addison and lost one of his prosthetic legs after leaping from the plane. "I think my adrenaline was so high and I was just so excited, I didn't realize I had lost it," Marckres told NECN and NBC10 Boston.
The Marines are about to get their hands on an impressive bit of hardware: a wearable robotic exoskeleton that gives users super strength. The company delivering the unit, a defense-focused subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics developed the exoskeleton for industrial uses, including in energy and construction. Still, in many ways this is a return to roots for Sarcos. In 2000, the company was part of a storied class of DARPA grant recipients working on powered exoskeletons for defense purposes. In many ways the XO, which conserves energy by remaining passive when not actuated, is the fulfillment of that research.