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AKA Customized Functions, Pepper Can Work as an English

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AKA, an artificial intelligence development company, announced a function called "Academy Mode", developed for Pepper to serve in the classroom despite the current situation of COVID-19. Academy Mode is designed specifically for the Softbank Robotics Humanoid robot, Pepper, to fit classroom settings and will be released in Korea, Japan, and China's market first. Since entering Japan's market in 2015, AKA has been working together continuously with Softbank Robotics Japan. In May 2019, AKA became an official reseller of Softbank Robotics China for the Pepper robot. Since then, AKA has been actively developing different functions for Pepper to work better in the English education environment.


This guy built a hilariously complicated robot barber and let it cut his hair with scissors

Mashable

Shane Wighton's YouTube channel, Stuff Made Here, is no stranger to remarkably complicated robotics projects. You might remember his viral video where he built a basketball hoop where he'd never miss. So now, with many barbershops and salons closed during the pandemic, Wighton's latest project was a robot that could cut hair. But we're not talking a robotic arm that buzzes hair. Wighton's robot uses scissors, sensors, probes, and lots of other things I don't fully understand to do a full haircut.


Meet White Castle's new robot chef, Flippy

Mashable

Move over human grill cooks, White Castle is teaming up with Miso Robotics to test an automated sous-chef. The aptly named Flippy--an AI-enabled kitchen assistant--is set to join the staff at a Chicago-area burger joint for a trial run that could usher in a new era of robot hash slingers. Since its unveiling in 2018, Flippy has cooked more than 40,000 pounds of fried food--including 9,000 sandwiches at LA's Dodger Stadium, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field, and two CaliBurger locations, where it works alongside humans to increase productivity and consistency. "I think automation is here to stay and this is the first example of a really large credible player starting down that journey," Miso Robotics CEO Buck Jordan told TechCrunch of the White Castle collab. Engineers are working to install the latest version of Flippy at an undisclosed location in Chicago, where the mechanical fry cook will be integrated into the restaurant's point-of-sale system, allowing it to get to work as soon as an order is placed.


Pegasystems launches tool for self-healing RPA bots - Techzine Europe

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Pegasystems launches X-ray Vision, a tool that allows Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots to repair themselves without human intervention. X-ray Vision aims to address the problem of bot failures. This service detects when a bot is malfunctioning and then repairs it immediately. Defective bots occur when the user interfaces and processes change. X-ray Vision's AI model is constantly modified using machine learning to improve the detection of these defective bots.


AI 50 Founders Predict What Artificial Intelligence Will Look Like After Covid-19

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Transportation "can also become truly contactless if needed," says James Peng, who is CEO of ... [ ] self-driving startup Pony.ai. The first few months of 2020 have radically reshaped the way we work and how the world gets things done. While the wide use of robotaxis or self-driving freight trucks isn't yet in place, the Covid-19 pandemic has hurried the introduction of artificial intelligence across all industries. Whether through outbreak tracing or contactless customer pay interactions, the impact has been immediate, but it also provides a window into what's to come. The second annual Forbes' AI 50, which highlights the most promising U.S.-based artificial intelligence companies, features a group of founders who are already pondering what their space will look like in the future, though all agree that Covid-19 has permanently accelerated or altered the spread of AI. "We have seen two years of digital transformation in the course of the last two months," Abnormal Security CEO Evan Reiser told Forbes in May.


Human AI collaboration

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The wait is over: artificial intelligence (AI) is here. And despite apocalyptic predictions about workers being replaced by intelligent machines, leading organizations are taking a new tack: actively searching for strategies to integrate AI into teams to produce transformative business results. These "superteams" hold the promise of enabling organizations to reinvent themselves to create new value and meaning, while giving workers the potential to reinvent their careers in ways that help increase their value to the organization and their own employability. For organizations that still view AI mainly as an automation tool to reduce costs, connecting their AI initiatives with their efforts to craft more effective teams is a first step toward enabling humans and machines to work together in new, more productive ways. The Readiness Gap: Fifty-nine percent of organizations say the redesign of jobs to integrate AI technology is important or very important for their success over the next 12 to 18 months, but only 7 percent say they are very ready to address this trend.


National University of Singapore used Intel neuromorphic chip to develop touch-sensing robotic 'skin'

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During the virtually held Robotics: Science and Systems 2020 conference this week, scientists affiliated with the National University of Singapore (NUS) presented research that combines robotic vision and touch sensing with Intel-designed neuromorphic processors. The researchers claim the "electronic skin" -- dubbed Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin (ACES) -- can detect touches more than 1,000 times faster than the human nervous system and identify the shape, texture, and hardness of objects within 10 milliseconds. At the same time, ACES is designed to be modular and highly robust to damage, ensuring it can continue functioning as long as at least one sensor remains. The human sense of touch is fine-grained enough to distinguish between surfaces that differ by only a single layer of molecules, yet the majority of today's autonomous robots operate solely via visual, spatial, and inertial processing techniques. Bringing humanlike touch to machines could significantly improve their utility and even lead to new use cases.


Drones and artificial intelligence show promise for conservation of farmland bird nests

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Farmland bird species are declining over most of Europe. Birds breeding on the ground are particularly vulnerable because they are exposed to mechanical operations, like plowing and sowing, which take place in spring and often accidentally destroy nests. Researchers flew a drone carrying a thermal camera over agricultural fields to record images. These were then fed to an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of accurately identifying nests, a first step to aid their protection. Researchers tested the system in Southern Finland near University of Helsinki's Lammi Biological Station, using wild nests with eggs of the Lapwing Vanellus vanellus.


Creator of 'robot chef' makes move on commercial kitchens in the UK

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The company behind the world's first AI-powered robot kitchen assistant has announced its debut funding round in the UK in what could be a pivotal step in its quest to get the concept established with restaurant chains here. Miso Robotics – the US creator of the Flippy robot – is aiming to raise £24m via Crowdcube to support its expansion into Europe. The company has previously raised more than $17m (£13m) in funding rounds in the US, following a valuation of over £64m in 2019. Flippy, which cooks burgers, fries and chicken, can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills and is already deployed in the US market at CaliBurger restaurants and iconic venues such as the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles through Levy Restaurants, part of Compass Group. This week, Miso Robotics announced that US fast food chain White Castle will deploy Flippy in order to modernise its operations. The fundraising comes at a time when QSRs are having to work even harder to build resilient operations that offer safer working environments as they reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.


AI News Curation Editors: Not Ready For Prime Time? - Robot Writers AI

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It appears we may not be ready to turn over important news curation duties to AI-driven editors, according to an opinion piece in Analytics India. Case in point: Trusting AI to get the story right resulted in a major gaffe at AI-driven MSN News last week, observes Analytics India writer Ram Sugar. The problem: MSN's AI ran the wrong photo along with a piece on racism, which it curated from another online news source. That triggered charges from the misidentified source -- Jade Thirwall -- that the AI software itself was plagued by racist programming. Observes Sugar: "Having a completely automated information curator cannot be justified -- unless some organization wants to hide behind the veil of AI by shifting the blame to a non-human entity."