Sony Partners With CMU to Develop Food Prep and Delivery Robots

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Last week, Sony and Carnegie Mellon University announced a collaboration "on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research." Usually, these announcements pretty much just end there, with the implication being that giant corporation X will support academic research institution Y by funding ongoing research or a string of new initiatives. This Sony/CMU announcement is a bit more exciting because of how specific it is: The project will be about food. Researchers will focus on defining the domain of food ordering, preparation, and delivery. Initially, they will build upon existing manipulation robots and mobile robots, and will plan on developing new domain-specific robots for predefined food preparation items and for mobility in a limited confined space.

Reconfigurable Path Planning for an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

AAAI Conferences

In this paper, we present a motion planning framework for a fully deployed autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle which integrates two sample-based motion planning techniques, Probabilistic Roadmaps and Rapidly Exploring Random Trees. Additionally, we incorporate dynamic reconfigurability into the framework by integrating the motion planners with the control kernel of the UAV in a novel manner with little modification to the original algorithms. The framework has been verified through simulation and in actual flight. Empirical results show that these techniques used with such a framework offer a surprisingly efficient method for dynamically reconfiguring a motion plan based on unforeseen contingencies which may arise during the execution of a plan. The framework is generic and can be used for additional platforms.

China's e-commerce dynamo JD makes deliveries via mobile robots


China's second-biggest e-commerce company, (Alibaba is first), is testing mobile robots to make deliveries to its customers, and imagining a future with fully unmanned logistics systems. On the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $13 billion, some deliveries were made using mobile robots designed by JD. It's the first time that the company has used delivery robots in the field. The bots delivered packages to multiple Beijing university campuses such as Tsinghua University and Renmin University. JD has been testing delivery robots since November last year.

Intel's tiny Euclid computer can be the brains of a robot


A compact computer called Euclid from Intel should make the development of robots much easier. Euclid looks much like the Kinect camera for Xbox consoles, but it's a self-contained PC that can be the guts of a robot. It's possible to install the Euclid computer where the "eyes" of a human-like robot would be typically placed. Intel demonstrated the Euclid computer in a robot moving on stage during CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote at the Intel Developer Forum on Tuesday. Euclid has a 3D RealSense camera that can serve as the eyes in a robot, capturing images in real-time.

The Morning After: Robot dogs and Audi's electric supercar


Along with Nikon's new camera, we also have hands-on impressions of some new drones, a supercar and Sony's new Aibo. Sony's robot dog is back, and the new model will arrive in the US later this year. Pre-orders open in September for the $2,899 First Litter Edition with accessories and three years of cloud services included. Devindra Hardawar saw a few of the AI-powered pups at an NYC event and found that "if you're an early adopter, or someone allergic to most animals, it might just fill the fur baby-sized hole in your heart." Yesterday drone behemoth DJI didn't just reveal the Mavic 2 Pro, it also introduced a second option in the line: the Mavic 2 Zoom.