Hamlet iCub and Other Humanoid Robots in Photos

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

As part of the IEEE RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Birmingham, U.K., last month, the awards committee decided to organize a fun photo contest. Participants submitted 39 photos showing off their humanoids in all kinds of poses and places. I was happy to be one of the judges, along with Sabine Hauert from the University of Bristol and Robohub, and with Giorgio Metta, the conference's awards chair, overseeing our selection. All photos were posted on Facebook and Twitter, and users were invited to vote on them. Sabine and I then looked at the photos with the most votes and scored them for originality, creativity, photo structure, and tech or fun factor. Here are the winners of the two categories, "Best Humanoid Photo" and "Best Funny Humanoid Photo," and all the amazing submissions.


Study finds high rate of repossessions in auto title loans

U.S. News

People who put their cars up as collateral for what are supposed to be short-term emergency loans are being hit with interest rates of 300 percent, a high rate of repossession and long repayment periods. That's according to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released Wednesday. The report is the first by federal regulators to look at the auto title lending industry, which has grown significantly since the recession but remains banned in half the country. The results could lead to additional regulations on the industry, like its financial cousin payday loans. The CFPB's study found that the typical auto title loan was about 700 with an annual percentage rate of 300 percent.


Shogi master Yoshiharu Habu wins seventh eisei lifetime title

The Japan Times

In the fifth qualifying round for the 30th Ryuo title held in Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Habu, 47, beat title-holder Akira Watanabe, 33, in 87 moves, taking the prestigious title for the first time in 15 years. Habu has won the Ryuo title seven times in total, gaining the eisei Ryuo honor. He now holds eisei honors for all seven major shogi titles, excluding the Eio title newly created this year. "Seeing this series of matches as a rare opportunity, I dared to take the risk to mount a challenge" for the seventh eisei title, Habu said after the day's round. "There are many strong junior players emerging recently.



Shogi Master Yoshiharu Habu Wins seventh eisei lifetime title

The Japan Times

In the fifth qualifying round for the 30th Ryuo title held in Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Habu beat title-holder Akira Watanabe in 87 moves, taking the prestigious title for the first time in 15 years. Habu has won the Ryuo title seven times in total, gaining the eisei Ryuo honor. He now holds eisei honors for all seven major shogi titles, excluding the Eio title newly created this year. I'm relieved," Habu said after the day's round. Habu, who is originally from Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, made his professional debut in 1985 as a third-year junior high school student.