Robots


Maixduino SBC Combines RISC-V AI, Arduino Form Factor, and ESP32 Wireless Module

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Last year RISC-V cores made it into low-cost hardware with neural network and audio accelerator to speed up artificial intelligence workloads at the edge such as object recognition, and speech processing. More precisely, Kendryte K210 dual-core RISC-V processor was found in Sipeed MAIX modules and boards going for $5 and up. Since then a few other variants and kits have been made available including Seeed Studio Grove AI HAT that works connected to a Raspberry Pi or in standalone mode. Seeed Studio has now released another board with Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor, but based on Arduino UNO form factor and equipped with an ESP32 module for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Typical applications would include smart home (robot cleaners or smart speakers), medical devices, factory 4.0 (intelligent sorting or monitoring of electrical equipment), as well as agriculture, and education.


Andy Haldane: 'We have allowed the voluntary sector to wither' Patrick Butler

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Much of the discussion of the fourth industrial revolution relates to the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, and big data on the world of work and business. It could lead to huge gains in productivity, wealth creation and human happiness. Equally, it may kill millions of jobs, fuel social tensions, and widen inequality. Civil society's place in this massive societal shake-out, reckons Andy Haldane, is relatively unexplored – but it will be profound. Haldane, the Bank of England's chief economist, is regarded as a "maverick" thinker among central bankers on account not only of his views on banking and financial regulation, but society more widely: from poverty ("scarcity of money reshapes your brain and reshapes your decision-making") to the importance of trade unions.


Drones may soon come with 'spidey-senses' as tiny detectors pick up on vibrations

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Drones and self-driving cars may soon come with'spidey' senses. That's according to engineers in America, who believe the unmanned machines would benefit from sensory detectors similar to those often seen in arachinds. Specifically, they're referring the hairs on a spider's legs, which are linked to special neurons called mechanoreceptors, which flag-up danger through vibrations. If machines had similar characteristics, they'd be able to navigate more effectively in dangerous environments. Until now, sensor technology hasn't always been able to process data fast enough, or as smoothly, as nature.


Live coverage of #ICRA2019

Robohub

The IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) is being held this week in Montreal, Canada. It's one of the top venues for roboticists and attracts over 4000 conference goers. Andra, Audrow, Lauren, and Lilly are on the ground so expect lots of great podcasts, videos with best-paper nominees, and coverage in the weeks and months ahead. For a taste of who is presenting, here is the schedule of keynotes. It also looks like you can navigate the program, read abstracts, and watch spotlight presentations by following these instructions.


U.S. Postal Service Is Testing Self-Driving Trucks

NPR Technology

A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday. It doesn't involve home deliveries. A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday.


Postal Service to test autonomous semi trucks for hauling mail across state lines

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The Postal Service is experimenting with self-driving long-haul semi trucks to transport mail between distribution centers. The U.S. Postal Service is testing its first long-haul self-driving delivery truck in a two-week pilot program that will use an autonomous tractor-trailer to deliver mail between distribution centers in Phoenix and Dallas. TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, is providing the vehicle and will have a safety engineer and driver in the cab to monitor its performance and take control if there are any issues, the company said in announcing the test Tuesday. The Postal Service has been exploring the idea for some time, recently soliciting bids to put semi-autonomous mail trucks on the road in a few years that allow a human to sort the mail while being autonomously driven along the route. "We are conducting research and testing as part of our efforts to operate a future class of vehicles which will incorporate new technology to accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions, and produce operational savings," said Postal Service spokeswoman Kim Frum.


AI, robots and the high-tech farm of the future

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Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Eric Jensen, head of IoT Product Management at Canonical. In farming, AI is usually short for "artificial insemination." But another kind of AI -- artificial intelligence -- is showing great promise in solving some of agriculture's most significant challenges, from the need to increase productivity and profits to overcoming labor shortages to protecting the environment. Of all the industries AI is transforming, it's safe to say none will have a greater human impact than farming. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the global population is expected to rise from 7 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050, requiring a 60% increase in food production.


How AI and analytics will transform the auto industry - THRIVE Europe

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The race to build fully autonomous cars has gone into hyper-drive, with major car-makers such as GM, Daimler, BMW and Audi promising SAE Level 5 autonomous driving by sometime in 2021. Goldman Sachs predicts that robo taxis will grow the ride-hailing and sharing business from $5 billion in revenue today to $285 billion by 2030. Autonomous driving will re-define mobility, and historic earning streams are sure to be toppled. Even with all the road testing the car-makers are doing, the only way the car companies can meet their ambitious goals is by leveraging the power of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to learn on real-world roads and accelerate development using simulations. The auto-makers are using simulation techniques such as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) to make this happen.


Self-driving trucks begin mail delivery test for U.S. Postal Service - Reuters

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San Diego-based startup TuSimple said its self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas to see how the nascent technology might improve delivery times and costs. A safety driver will sit behind the wheel to intervene if necessary and an engineer will ride in the passenger seat. If successful, it would mark an achievement for the autonomous driving industry and a possible solution to the driver shortage and regulatory constraints faced by freight haulers across the country. The pilot program involves five round trips, each totaling more than 2,100 miles (3,380 km) or around 45 hours of driving. It is unclear whether self-driving mail delivery will continue after the two-week pilot.


Pamplin Management students learn how AI can shape their careers

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"You want to ride the wave rather than getting slammed by its disruption. You don't want to be Blockbuster Video or Sears, you want to be Netflix or Amazon." That was how Dave Bluey, assistant professor of practice and career advisor with the Department of Management, explained the reasoning behind the Department of Management's symposium, "How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Your Career." Over 250 hundred students gathered for a panel discussion led by industry experts to hear about – and in some cases see – the impact artificial intelligence may have on their future careers. The event was a partnership between the Management Department and leading firms in the areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics in an on-going Digital Transformation Series at Virginia Tech.