Robots in the Workplace

Caltech opens a drone lab, with big ideas to improve how robots work with humans

Los Angeles Times

Caltech professor Aaron Ames walks on campus alongside Cassie, a semi-autonomous robot, as doctoral student Jacob Reher, left, controls the direction that Cassie travels. The robot's balance and gait are autonomous. Caltech professor Aaron Ames walks on campus alongside Cassie, a semi-autonomous robot, as doctoral student Jacob Reher, left, controls the direction that Cassie travels. The robot's balance and gait are autonomous. The mechanical "clack, clack, clack" of an orange robot on the march brought Caltech's new indoor drone arena to life.

Dolphins that work with humans to catch fish have unique accent

New Scientist

Bottlenose dolphins that work together with humans to catch fish have their own distinctive whistle, one that may help them recognise each other. But only some dolphins, working alone or in small groups, cooperate with humans. Dolphins from different regions often whistle differently, Cantor says, but "it is much less common to find such acoustic differences among dolphins of the same population that inhabit such a small area". Since cooperative dolphins also whistle differently when fishing solo, the researchers don't think these calls carry specific messages about fishing with people.

Girl with 3D-printed robotic hand to throw first pitch at World Series game


A seven-year-old Las Vegas girl will throw out the first pitch in game four of the upcoming World Series. Hailey Dawson was born with Poland syndrome and is missing three fingers on her right hand. At the time, Dawson couldn't find any companies that could fit Hailey with a robotic hand for a reasonable cost. Over more than a year, the UNLV engineering students and faculty worked to develop a variety of robotic 3-D printed hands for then-five-year-old Hailey.

Girl with robotic hand will throw out first pitch during World Series

Los Angeles Times

Hailey Dawson is 7 years old and has already thrown out the first pitch before many Major League Baseball games. By using a robotic hand made with a 3-D printer, she has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch for several MLB teams, including the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A's, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. The Las Vegas native first threw out a ceremonial pitch before a UNLV game in 2014, then set her sights on doing so at major league stadiums. More than 20 of the league's teams, including the Dodgers and Angels, reached out to Dawson through that tweet.

Hacking Factory Robot Arms for Sabotage, Fun & Profit


Next month at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas, a group of researchers will help broaden enterprise security horizons by showing a new use case of how attackers can bridge the cyber world with the physical world by creatively targeting IIoT systems. In the talk, Breaking the Laws of Robotics: Attacking Industrial Robots, a group of researchers from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy stress-tested the cyber and physical security of computer-controlled robotic arms used worldwide in factories throughout a range of manufacturing scenarios. Zanero is associate professor at Politecnico di Milano, as well as a Black Hat review board member. The findings transcend the FUD of Cyber 9/11 warnings of yesteryear and will dig into some very realistic scenarios of the kinds of subtle problems attackers could stir up with some simple hacks of IIoT factory systems.

Home and factory robots can be hacked to harm humans


Now it has revealed that industrial robots from Universal Robots and consumer models from Softbank Group and UBTech Robotics also have some troubling security flaws that can allow hackers to "modify safety settings, violating applicable safety laws and, consequently, causing physical harm to the robot's surroundings by moving it arbitrarily," according to a report published by the company today. The devices produced by Universal Robots are uncaged industrial robots meant to work with humans. "We contacted all the vendors in January but sadly there's little to suggest that the 50-plus vulnerabilities we demonstrated have been fixed," Lucas Apa, IOActive's principal security consultant told Bloomberg. The company's North America general manager, John Rhee, said in a statement, "UBTech has been made aware of a sensationalistic video produced by IOActive featuring the Alpha 2.

Unibap announces IVS-70 for smart factories and advanced robotics Unibap


Unibap's Intelligent Vision System platform provides increased productivity in smart factories and advanced robotics by combining hardware reliability of aerospace heritage, machine vision, and artificial intelligence (AI). Typical applications for IVS are intelligent industrial automation, intelligent 3D vision, machine tool inspection, agricultural robotics, service robotics, and autonomous surveillance. IVS supports Unibap's Deep Delphi software environment which includes Deep Learning and real-time control capabilities built on the software and computing infrastructure from Unibap's spaceflight proven SpaceCloud line of products. IVS products are interoperable with cloud based services, including Unibap's cloud services for Deep Learning training, remote health monitoring and performance analysis, and Fog based industrial networks while offering local execution of machine learning algorithms.

Healthcare Robots and the Right to Privacy


The latter is, due to its importance, protected not only by national health legislations, yet also by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Right to privacy. As already mentioned, medicine is a profession that requires a certain level of maintenance of secrecy of confidential information and according to the previous Court's decisions the secrecy is even more important in cases that involves psychiatric records. The robots' involvement in medical treatments on one hand and easy access to the information they gain during the treatment on the other, bring into question the effectiveness of the provisions of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Current legislations in countries around the world do not put much attention on this particular area, even though the modern robotic approaches have already been introduced and also very well accepted.

The Revenge: Timo Boll vs. KUKA Robot


Last year, Timo Boll challenged the KUKA KR AGILUS in his area of expertise: table tennis. Are you "Team AGILUS", supporting one of the fastest robots on earth? The KUKA KR AGILUS is unrivaled in his payload class and offers a lot of other talents, too, e.g. Or are you "Team Timo", backing Timo Boll, the terrific German table tennis star and brand ambassador for KUKA Robotics?