At this rodeo, robots enter downed planes and explore fake radioactive disasters


Last week in the New Mexico desert, military and civilian bomb squads faced off at the 12th annual Robot Rodeo, which is a week of intense training organized by Sandia National Laboratories. To test their skills, bomb squads steered their bots to enter downed planes, explore faux-radioactive disaster sites, and climb flights of stairs. "Everybody else is running away from the bomb, and these guys are going in," says Jake Deuel, robotics manager at Sandia and coordinator of the rodeo. His goal is for the event to help bomb squads tackle real-world situations and learn what their robots can and cannot do. "We train these guys to come home safe," he says.

Westworld's Real Villain Has Always Been Its Privacy Policy


Throughout its two seasons, HBO's Westworld has trotted out no shortage of bad guys, from robot gunslingers to mad inventors to dialog that sputters and clunks. But as the plot unfolds, the catalytic evil of the park has turned out to be something far less futuristic than far-reaching theories would imply. If you don't watch Westworld, or if the plot has understandably spun your head beyond comprehension, a very, very quick recap: A company called Delos operates a fantasyland where wealthy guests dress up in Wyatt Earp cosplay and commit generally terrible acts against lifelike automaton "hosts." The creator of the robot masses imbues them with sentience; they rebel, kill a lot of people, and general chaos ensues. While the first season meticulously built the world of the park, this latest run of episodes has taken a step back to explore not just the fact that it exists, but why.

The robots aren't coming... They are already here


If you've ever commanded a plastic tower the size of a Pringles tube to play Ed Sheeran, tweaked your home central heating from the office or bought a product that Amazon recommended, then you've had a close encounter with artificial intelligence (AI). OK, the smarts on display here make your average toddler look like Einstein. But the machines are catching up fast – with the help of some super-bright humans. Tokyo's Henn-na, the world's first hotel staffed by robots. By'everything else' he means stuff like cancer, climate change and time travel, rather than today's cryptic crossword.

The Impact of AI Over The Next Half Decade


An experiment was initially performed in 2011 where both humans and AI were "asked" to identify what was shown in a blurred image. Human error rated at 5% while AI at 26%. In 2013 the experiment was repeated and AI error dropped to 3%. In 2015 an AI managed to almost beat the top Poker players in the U.S. (and poker is a strategic "thinking" game where not merely the cards "have a role to play". The main point was that it learned how to "bluff", … yes, … really!

Machines Will Soon Be Able To Learn Without Being Programmed


Machine Learning (ML), along with the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be the next big revolution in science and technology. AI experts are debating why machine learning is the most wondrous thing, today. They are trying to predict the way ML can affect the future and its evolution. The ability to feed the machine with big amounts of data, so that the machine can learn concepts and rules to focus on specific categories of problems and solutions, is a critical part of AI development. In 1959, the term'machine learning' was coined by Arthur Samuel, an AI professional.

Current Robotic Applications in Healthcare


It's no secret that technology is advancing at a rapid pace. This is especially true in the healthcare industry. Operations, treatments, and discoveries that were once deemed to be impossible by medical science have come every-day realities. Although exciting, these advancements leave many people wondering what's to come. Some of the most promising and exciting technologies of all lays in the field of robotics.

The Softer Side of Robots - Advanced Science News


Soft robotics allow for safe interactions with humans, which is imperative for healthcare applications and wearable electronic devices. Smart materials--including shape-memory polymers, pneumatic polymers, hydrogels, and electroactive polymers--have all demonstrated utility in various applications, but each mode of actuation possesses drawbacks. Electromagnetic actuators (EMAs) are controlled by a magnetic field, leading to high-performance systems with small sizes, fast response times, and high power efficiency. However, these devices typically use rigid components, which are not amenable to soft robotics. Professor Yon Visell of the California NanoSystems Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and co-workers have developed a method to fabricate soft electromagnetic actuators (SEMAs) that is both inexpensive and scalable.

Automation Isn't Replacing Recruiters, It's Making Them Formidable


Ahh we love the'humans versus robots' debate, don't we? Well more than ever, it becomes apparent that human-tasked roles at scale are being replaced. Not us!!" is what I persistently hear, when we are faced with this subject, and the preposterousness of it all sets us into a panic. How can a robot, a piece of technology, an algorithm; how can they possibly make the kind of decisions that recruiters make, the human element, the relationships, the conversations, the crucial judgments, and the nuances of selection that set us apart and earn our fees? Well let's wind back a little.

#263: ICRA 2018 Exhibition, with Juxi Leitner, Nicholas Panitz, Ben Wilson and James Brett


Leitner speaks about the Amazon Picking challenge, a challenge to advance the state of robotic grasping, and their robot which won the challenge in 2017.