A social robot to enhance children's handwriting skills


Researchers at CHILI Lab (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland and GAIPS Lab (University of Lisbon) in Portugal have recently developed an autonomous system designed to assist children in improving their handwriting skills. The system they created, presented in a paper published in Springer's International Journal of Social Robotics, entails the use of a social robot in one-to-one learning sessions with children. For some children, handwriting can be a difficult skill to acquire, yet it is a fundamental stepping stone in their academic path. In fact, poor handwriting can negatively affect a child's academic performance, self-esteem and learning motivation. To master handwriting, a child needs to learn to coordinate cognitive, motor and perceptual abilities, thus he/she might also require a considerable amount of practice.

AAAI Video Highlights: Drones Navigating Forests and Robot Boat Swarms

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Last Friday, we posted a bunch of videos from the AAAI Video Competition. There are lots of good videos (really, they're all good), and we didn't want to play favorites or otherwise influence your votes, so we didn't add much in the way of commentary or anything like that. But it's been almost a week, and a few of those videos are certainly worth taking a closer look at. First, we have a video accompanying "Evolution of Collective Behaviors for a Real Swarm of Aquatic Surface Robots," by Miguel Duarte, Vasco Costa, Jorge Gomes, Tiago Rodrigues, Fernando Silva, Sancho Moura Oliveira, and Anders Lyhne Christensen, from the BioMachines Lab and Institute of Telecommunications, in Lisbon, Portugal. This video is fantastic because, among other reasons, I HAD THAT EXACT SAME PLAYMOBIL PIRATE SHIP WHEN I WAS A KID.

Talking artificial intelligence with Vishal Sikka All media content DW.COM 17.11.2016


Are our kids prepared to face the challenges of a computerized world? And what role will artificial intelligence play in their lives? Investors believe it is "inevitable" that artificial intelligence will destroy millions of jobs and that governments are unprepared for it, a new survey revealed, pointing to the technology's negative side-effects. Until Thursday, the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is home to computer nerds and geeks from around the world. Artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles feature prominently at this year's Web Summit.

Waymo launching driverless ride-hailing service in Phoenix

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Alphabet Inc's Waymo self-driving unit is launching a ride-hailing service for the general public with no human driver behind the steering wheel. And, the firm has been testing such fully self-driving cars on public roads in Arizona, Chief Executive John Krafcik said on Tuesday. The announcement by Krafcik at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon is a major advance in the roll-out of fully autonomous vehicles. The firm recently unveiled a self-driving minivan that it hopes could revolutionize the way we travel. It showed off the technology at the closely-guarded'fake town' dubbed The Castle, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco While self-driving car companies test their vehicles in public, they routinely have a human in the driver's seat ready to take over if the technology fails.

Flying cars? Uber, NASA see them in Los Angeles skies by 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Uber is setting its sights on the skies with UberAir. Uber announced it will bring flying cars to Dallas and now Los Angeles by 2020. SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber has a host of issues to contend with, from remaking its corporate culture to battling unfriendly cities. But the ride-hailing company is nonetheless forging ahead with plans to make a Blade Runner vision of transportation -- self-flying cars-- a reality by 2020. Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden planned to announce at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon Wednesday that Los Angeles will join Dallas as the first two cities to host the company's proposed network of flying vehicles.