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Robots Were Supposed To Automate Every Industry. Now Cobots -- Cheap, Smart Robots -- Actually Might.

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Robots in factories have historically been unwieldy, dangerous, and confined to large industrial settings. But now, smaller collaborative robots are overcoming traditional challenges in the robotics industry. They're paving the way for robot technology that gets us much closer to our Jetsons-like future. When George C. Devol, inventor of the automatic garage door opener, pitched his programmable Unimate arm, he was initially met with skepticism. However, "the robot had one advantage immediately," said Devol. "And that is that a robot can work three shifts, or 24 hours a day." Get the free data-driven report to see how robots are revolutionizing factories and manufacturing.


AI to create as many jobs as it displaces by boosting economic growth, finds report

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In a report released today, PwC found that the general net effect of AI on jobs in the UK will be broadly neutral, however, certain sectors will be affected very differently. For example, PwC predict AI having a positive effect on the health and social work sector, where they estimate employment to increase by nearly one million. While they expect a 25% reduction in the number of jobs in the manufacturing industry, this represents almost 700,000 jobs. John Hawksworth, the chief economist at PwC, said: "Major new technologies, from steam engines to computers, displace some existing jobs but also generate large productivity gains." "This reduces prices and increases real income and spending levels, which in turn creates demand for additional workers."


This 90-pound 'blind' robot dog definitely won't kill everything you hold dear

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It's not like it matters. The MIT Cheetah 3 robot doesn't need sun to hunt you down and dance on your soon-to-be lifeless corpse. You recall when you first read about the "full-grown Labrador" sized robot. It was a Thursday in July, and you somehow happened across press release from EurekAlert. Instead, according to the MIT researchers who developed it, it used "tactile information" to move around.


This 90-pound 'blind' robot dog definitely won't kill everything you hold dear

Mashable

It's not like it matters. The MIT Cheetah 3 robot doesn't need sun to hunt you down and dance on your soon-to-be lifeless corpse. You recall when you first read about the "full-grown Labrador" sized robot. It was a Thursday in July, and you somehow happened across press release from EurekAlert. Instead, according to the MIT researchers who developed it, it used "tactile information" to move around.


Amazon is tripling its robot workforce--to 110,000--in 2017

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It was the eighth-largest private employer in the US at the end of 2016, and it's poised to climb those ranks quickly. The online retailer also announced plans to build a second US headquarters that will employ 50,000 employees. But Amazon's growth comes at a cost. It has a well-earned reputation for overwhelming competitors. Even though Amazon represents a small portion of the overall retail industry, it dominates the industry's sales growth.


RPA is Creating a Billion-Dollar Market While No One is Looking - RTInsights

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RPA, which covers AI and machine learning capabilities used to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that once needed humans, is coming. RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, but don't be confused: it doesn't refer to R2D2, or any of the Kiva robots scurrying around the Amazon warehouse. RPA is language that covers the broad use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform. Given the innovation it represents and the pain points it satisfies, RPA is quickly making its way towards a billion dollar revenue market. In recent months alone, leading startups in the space have raised over $300 million for their RPA systems.


Some grip: Three-way merger shakes up robot "hands" market

ZDNet

A three-way merger is shaking up the market for end-of-arm components that give robots task-specific abilities. The merging companies are Perception Robotics (US), OptoForce (Hungary), and On Robot (Denmark). The resulting company will be called OnRobot and will be headquartered in Denmark. Former CEO of Universal Robots, Enrico Krog Iversen, will manage the new enterprise. Collaborative robots (cobots) have transformed industrial automation in the last decade.


Robots & AI creating more jobs in Asia than they destroy Internet of Business

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The belief that robots, automation, and AI simply displace jobs and make humans irrelevant is not borne out in Asia, reports Chris Middleton. However, there are lessons to learn from the technologies' impact – in Asia and the rest of the world. Robots and automation are creating more jobs in Asia than they destroy, according to a new report from the Asia Development Bank (ADB). ADB analysis of a dozen Asian economies between 2005 and 2015 found that rising demand more than compensated for jobs lost to automation. The adoption of robotics and other connected systems stimulated higher productivity and economic growth, creating 134 million new jobs, compared with the 101 million lost to new technologies.


Robots Saving Retail From An Apocalypse

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The lights are going out at malls across the United States with more than 20 major retail bankruptcies in 2017. As of today, store closures have skyrocketed to 7,000 doors throughout the nation, affecting such iconic brands as Toys R Us, Walgreens, Gap, Sam's Club, The Children's Place, Hallmark, Stride Ride, Aeropostale, Wet Seal, The Limited and Walmart. At the same time, investment in retail technology has never been higher, especially robots.A month after Walmart laid off close to 10,000 workers with the shuttering of Sam's Club, it announced a new partnership with Pittsburgh-based robot manufacturer, Bossa Nova. The mechatronics innovator will begin rolling out inventory auditing scanning bots to 50 Walmart locations. The machines will automate the tasks previously held by inventory associates by autonomously navigating around the store to check the shelf display, inventory position, and pricing of the big box's 200,000 items.


The first wireless flying robotic insect takes off

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To power RoboFly, the engineers pointed an invisible laser beam (shown here in red laser) at a photovoltaic cell, which is attached above the robot and converts the laser light into electricity.Mark Stone/University of Washington Insect-sized flying robots could help with time-consuming tasks like surveying crop growth on large farms or sniffing out gas leaks. These robots soar by fluttering tiny wings because they are too small to use propellers, like those seen on their larger drone cousins. Small size is advantageous: These robots are cheap to make and can easily slip into tight places that are inaccessible to big drones. But current flying robo-insects are still tethered to the ground. The electronics they need to power and control their wings are too heavy for these miniature robots to carry.