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Engineering Out Loud: S9E4 – socializing robots


Why should robots have artificial social intelligence? According to Heather Knight, assistant professor of computer science, if robots are going to help in hospitals or work with people in factories, they will need to be adapted to our social conventions. From the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, this is "Engineering Out Loud" -- a podcast telling the stories of how research and innovation at the University is helping change the world. You can listen to the full series here.

Amazing drone footage shows feeding blue whales swimming to the surface

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Blue whales swim to the surface to feed on krill as it helps them to conserve energy, according to a new study that involved amazing drone footage of the mammals. Experts from Oregon State University found that feeding on the ocean's surface plays an important role in the hunt for food among New Zealand blue whales. Blue whales are the largest mammals on Earth and have to carefully balance the cost of energy they get from food with the cost of energy used in getting the food. Researchers say the marine mammals forage for krill in areas where they are densely packed and found near the surface of the water to cut their dive time. The Oregon team found that the blue whales do this to conserve on the energetic costs of feeding such as diving, holding their breath or opening their mouths.

Antarctica's Thwaites glacier at risk of collapse and may lead to sea levels rising by two feet

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Antarctica's Thwaites glacier has warm water from three directions well under it threatening to destroy the ice sheet and raise global sea levels by up to two feet. A team of scientists from Oregon State University made the most of ice free waters in West Antarctica to look under the glacier - which is about the size of Great Britain. Warm water from the deep ocean is welling up under the glacier from three different directions and mixing under the ice, the researchers discovered. If it collapses it could take other parts of the ice shelf with it and lead to the single largest driver of sea-level rise this century, lead researcher Erin Pettit told Nature. The £39million study involving UK and US scientists was launched after concerns the increasingly unstable glacier may have already started to collapse.

Bringing autonomous systems to engineers: Taking a leap from the digital world of games to the real world - The Official Microsoft Blog


Imagine an autonomous vehicle navigating a smoke-filled mine looking for survivors, personal belongings or any other clues to find anyone who might be alive. It identifies objects it sees and decides which paths to take first. As it reaches the limit of where it can explore, a drone sitting on the vehicle flies off to explore the hard-to-reach corners of the mine. All of this is done without any communication with the outside world. Team Explorer from Carnegie Mellon University and Oregon State University did exactly this to win the first event of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Subterranean Challenge.

The tiny changes that can cause AI to fail


"It's something that's a growing concern in the machine learning and AI community, especially because these algorithms are being used more and more," says Daniel Lowd, assistant professor of computer and information science at the University of Oregon. "If spam gets through or a few emails get blocked, it's not the end of the word. On the other hand, if you're relying on the vision system in a self-driving car to know where to go and not crash into anything, then the stakes are much higher." Whether or not a smart machine malfunctions, or is hacked, hinges on the very different way that machine learning algorithms'see' the world. In this way, to a machine, a panda could look like a gibbon, or a school bus could read as an ostrich.

Agility Robotics reveals upgraded Digit walking robot


Founded in 2015, Agility Robotics is developing highly capable bipedal robots for a range of different uses – such as last-mile logistics, telepresence, automated inspection, entertainment, and academic research. By supplying legged machines that can go anywhere a person can go, Agility aims to create a dramatic new mobility option to automate applications never before thought possible. The company, based in Albany, Oregon, USA, has just revealed the latest iteration of its'Digit' robot. This machine (version 2.0) now features a ground-up torso redesign, a foot with two degrees of freedom, active cooling and expanded environmental range, a larger battery, and improved perception. In the video below, Digit can be seen demonstrating shared autonomy, with picking/placing and footstep placement using a combination of autonomous navigation while under local teleoperation.

These Small Cars Can Help Drive the Autonomous Future


Over the next three years, Houssam Abbas will carefully send 80 modified Traxxas RC rally cars--the Ford Fiesta model--to research facilities around the country. Some will go to Arizona State University, others to Clemson University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, UCLA, Vanderbilt University, or the University of Iowa. In each place, researchers will open their packages, take out the 21-inch, modified, 1/10th-scale car, and begin to run tests. Abbas, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Oregon State University, hopes the toys are the key to cracking the self-driving car. He and colleagues believe their miniature, cheap, open source, self-driving "platform" will give 33 scientists of all stripes chances to experiment with cutting-edge technology at a critical moment: before autonomous vehicles hit the streets en masse.

Microway Helps Enable Next-Level Research and Education at Oregon State University


PLYMOUTH, Mass., September 9, 2019 -- Microway, a leading provider of computational clusters, servers, and workstations for AI and HPC applications, announces it has provided Oregon State University with six NVIDIA DGX-2 supercomputer systems, deployment services, and bringup expertise. Each DGX-2 packs 16 fully connected Tesla V100 GPUs, giving Oregon State a linked network of the world's most powerful AI systems powered by 96 GPU accelerators. The new, massively increased computing capabilities at the College of Engineering resolved a significant campus hardware gap and helped support cutting-edge research on medical imaging, nuclear science, bridge construction, robotics, and driverless vehicles. When planning expanded capability, university faculty and administrators determined they needed enough GPU capacity to serve the diverse needs of undergraduate classes and research workloads, plus lightning-fast storage. The University selected the NVIDIA DGX-2 platform for its immense power, technical support services, and the Docker images with NVIDIA's NGC containerized software.

Texas A&M to use remote control operators for its self-driving shuttles


Texas A&M University is modifying its self-driving pilot program in the city of Bryan, Texas, to have humans remotely monitor and operate the shuttles starting in September, making it one of the first commercial deployments of teleoperation technology in the country. The teleoperation technology is being provided by a Portland, Oregon-based startup called Designated Driver. It will allow humans at Texas A&M to remotely control the shuttles in situations where the self-driving system may not be up to snuff, and they'll also be able to interact with passengers on board. The new functionality could help solve a problem that similarly nascent autonomous shuttle programs have run into: crashes. The low-speed autonomous shuttles currently whispering their way around a handful of downtown areas and campuses across the country are among the first real-world tests of self-driving technology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chip Market Worth $91.18 Billion, by 2025 at 45.2% CAGR: Allied Market Research


Allied Market Research recently published a report, titled, "Artificial Intelligence Chip Market by Chip Type (GPU, ASIC, FPGA, CPU, and others), Application (Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic, Computer Vision, Network Security, and Others), Technology (System-on-Chip, System-in-Package, Multi-chip Module, and Others), Processing Type (Edge and Cloud), and Industry Vertical (Media & Advertising, BFSI, IT & Telecom, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive & Transportation, and Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019-2025". According to the report, the global AI chip market was pegged at $6.64 billion in 2018 and is projected to attain $91.18 billion by 2025, registering a colossal CAGR of 45.2% during the forecast period. Rise in demand for smart homes & smart cities, surge in investments in AI startups, and advent of quantum computing have boosted the growth of the global AI chip market. However, dearth of skilled workforce hampers the market growth. On the contrary, rapid adoption of AI chips in the emerging countries and development of smart robots are expected to create numerous opportunities in the near future.