Using an Intel RealSense camera embedded above its "face," the Segway Robot is able to detect depth and traverse environments without bumping into things. At the moment, its capabilities are limited to just following people around on command, but it's not hard to see how it could be used for teleconferencing or home security. Imagine a connected helper like Amazon's Echo that can actually follow you around your house, for example. At IDF this week, Segway announced that it's opening up SDKs for the robot, so that developers will actually be able to make it useful. That includes a robot SDK, giving devs access to things like vision, speech, movement and interaction, and a mobility SDK, which lets them control the bot remotely.
Despite these dire warnings, we continue to press ahead in robotics and AI research. Because there is a dissonance between the sci-fi debate and the future role of robots in our society. The first generation of truly smart AI devices is likely to be self-driving vehicles, which offer potentially massive social benefits. From a public safety perspective these benefits are clear. In 2016, 1,810 people were killed on Britain's roads and 25,160 were seriously injured.
Security robots typically have to operate by themselves, which can be a problem when intruders get pushy. Turing Video has a simple answer to this, however: give human security officers a lift. It just premiered a security robot, Nimbo, whose Segway-based design includes a unique "Ride-On Mode" that lets a passenger hop on and travel at up to 11MPH. The bot is designed to autonomously patrol areas and deliver audiovisual warnings if it catches a trespasser with its computer vision (based on tech like Intel RealSense), but this helps its organic counterparts respond to alerts or supplement the machine's own coverage.
"As you know, robot cars, trucks, drones and other technology threaten to replace tens of millions of American jobs, pose a danger to the safety of our roads and public spaces, and come with significant privacy and security threats," we wrote in a letter to the president-elect. "We should not allow the robot makers alone to oversee the safety of vehicles coming out of robot factories, but the Obama Administration's eleventh hour appointments do just that."
In preparation for next year's Winter Olympics in South Korea, electronics giant LG is trialling new robots in the country's largest airport. From today, Seoul's Incheon International Airport will be home to two of LG's latest prototype bots: the Airport Guide Robot and the Airport Cleaning Robot. The bots were first unveiled at CES earlier this year, and both do exactly what their names suggest. The Guide Robot will roam the terminals, ready to provide travelers with directions and information about boarding times. It speaks four languages -- Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese -- and users can even get it to scan their boarding pass to be escorted to their correct departure gate.