Irish chip maker Movidius has created the world's first deep learning USB stick that can add artificial intelligence (AI) to future products from self-driving cars to robots, and drones that will learn to think for themselves. Entitled the Fathom Neural Compute Stick, the device will sell for less than 100 and will allow powerful neural networks to be moved out of the cloud and deployed on new products like robots and drones. It is the latest breakthrough for the Dublin company, which has been winning major multi-million dollar deals with Google and drone maker DJI. 'With Fathom, every robot, big and small, can now have state-of-the-art vision capabilities' – DR YANN LECUN, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY "Any organisation can now add deep learning or machine intelligence to devices using the USB stick and create products that will be accessible to broader markets," Movidius co-founder David Moloney told Siliconrepublic.com. "We've already seen how the auto industry has been outflanked by Tesla and this is also starting to affect other industries.
A self-locking mailbox could someday flag down delivery drones and intelligently screen your driveway for intruders. Columbus State University computer scientist Lydia Ray presented the technology, called the ADDSMART project, during a 20 October session at the annual IEEE Ubiquitous Computing, Electronics, and Mobile Communication Conference in New York City. The project aims to achieve two goals: clearly marking addresses for autonomous vehicles, and reducing the energy and data storage costs of home surveillance systems. An early prototype mailbox attachment suggests that the trick, in both cases, may be radio-frequency identification. Powered by an Arduino Yun processor, one component of the ADDSMART device controls a high-frequency 13.56-MHz RFID reader, USB camera, passive-infrared motion sensor, solenoid lock, and an onboard Wi-Fi module.
Redwood City, California-based Skydio and member of NVIDIA's startup accelerator, Inception, has just released the latest version of their AI capable GPU-accelerated drone, Skydio 2. Comprised of six 4K cameras, with an NVIDIA Jetson TX2 as the processor for the autonomous system, Skydio 2 is capable of flying for up to 23 minutes at a time and can be piloted by either an experienced pilot or by the AI-based system. The Jetson TX2 has 256 GPU cores and is capable of 1.3 trillion operations a second. According to the team, the drone uses nine custom deep neural networks that help the drone track up to 10 objects while traveling at speeds of 36 miles per hour. "Skydio 2 enables you to capture everything from a backyard pickup game to a downhill adventure with a single tap, the company wrote in blog post. "It builds on Skydio R1's foundation and takes it to the next level."
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. Festo's Bionic Learning Network prototypes for this year are a bit less crazy than we're used to, but they're also far more practical, with immediate potential applications, especially in collaborative robotics: Festo presents a bionic gripper called the OctopusGripper, which is derived from an octopus tentacle. Free-moving, intuitive to operate and safe when interacting with the user: the pneumatic lightweight robot is based on the human arm and has great potential as a sensitive helper for human–robot collaboration in the future.