If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
This year's CES was a great show for robots. "From the latest in self-driving vehicles, smart cities, AI, sports tech, robotics, health and fitness tech and more, the innovation at CES 2018 will further global business and spur new jobs and new markets around the world," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. Voice control of almost everything from robots to refrigerators was de rigueur. The growing amount of artificial intelligence software and the race between Amazon, Google and their Chinese counterparts Alibaba and Baidu to be the go-to service for integration was on full display. Signs advertised that products worked with Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa or both, or with Duer-OS (Baidu's conversational operating system) but, by the sheer number of products that worked with the Alexa voice assistant, Amazon appeared to dominate.
In the past decade, countries and regions around the globe have developed strategic roadmaps to guide investment and development of robotic technology. Roadmaps from the US, South Korea, Japan and EU have been in place for some years and have had time to mature and evolve. Meanwhile roadmaps from other countries such as Australia and Singapore are just now being developed and launched. How did these strategic initiatives come to be? What do they hope to achieve?
Abstract: "Visual recognition involves reasoning about structured relations at multiple levels of detail. For example, human behaviour analysis requires a comprehensive labeling covering individual low-level actions to pair-wise interactions through to high-level events. Scene understanding can benefit from considering labels and their inter-relations. In this talk I will present recent work by our group building deep learning approaches capable of modeling these structures. I will present models for learning trajectory features that represent individual human actions, and hierarchical temporal models for group activity recognition.
In this episode Abate talks with Zhe Zhang from Perceptin where they are building embedded platforms for robots to do Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms in real time. Zhe explains the methods they incorporate such as sensor fusion and hardware synchronization to make a highly accurate SLAM platform for IOT, consumer, and automotive grade robots. Zhe is the co-founder and CEO of PerceptIn. Prior to founding PerceptIn, he worked at Magic Leap in Silicon Valley and prior to that he worked for five years at Microsoft. Zhang has a PhD in Robotics from the State University of New York and an undergraduate degree from Tsinghua University.
In this episode of Robots in Depth, Per Sjöborg speaks with Erin Rapacki about how the FIRST robotics competition was a natural and inspiring way into her career spanning multiple robotics companies. She also shares her game plan for starting a new robotics company and insight on the startup and venture capital landscape.
When it comes to robocars, new LIDAR products were the story of CES 2018. Far more companies showed off LIDAR products than can succeed, with a surprising variety of approaches. CES is now the 5th largest car show, with almost the entire north hall devoted to cars. In coming articles I will look at other sensors, software teams and non-car aspects of CES, but let's begin with the LIDARs. When it comes to robocar LIDAR, the pioneer was certainly Velodyne, who largely owned the market for close to a decade.
The robotics work programme implements the robotics strategy developed by SPARC, the Public-Private Partnership for Robotics in Europe (see the Strategic Research Agenda). EuRobotics regularly publishes video interviews with projects, so that you can find out more about their activities. The project aims at aligning roboticists' visions of a future with robots with empirically-based knowledge of human needs and societal concerns through a new proximity-based human-machine ethics that take into account how individuals and community connect with robot technologies. At the core of these guidelines is the concept of collaborative learning, which permeates all aspects of REELER and will guide future SSH-ICT research. Integrating the recommendations of the REELER Roadmap for responsible and ethical learning in robotics in future robot design processes will enable the European robotics community to addresses human needs and societal concerns.
Today's e-commerce spurs demand for reduced response times in fulfillment centers; generally has fewer products per order; and is constantly changing -- increasing system complexity and the need for flexibility in automation. Today's warehouses and distribution centers are far more complex than they were 10 years ago and employee turnover remains high; with complexity comes higher wages yet labor is increasingly hard to find -- all adding to the equation. Businesses are making investments in a variety of technologies to improve their inventory control, order processing methods, labor situation and to enhance their pick and pack operations to be faster, less rigid, requiring less physical exertion, and achieve more accurate results. "These factors are contributing to the need to convert warehouses and distribution centers into assets for competitive differentiation. Mobility will be front and center in this shift, says VDC Research in their recent'Taking Advantage of Apps and App Modernization in Warehousing' report.
As close to a quarter million people descended on a city of six hundred thousand, CES 2018 became the perfect metaphor for the current state of modern society. Walking the floor last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the hum of the crowd buzzed celebrating the long awaited arrival of the age of social robots, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence. In the same way that Alexa was last year's CES story, social robots were everywhere this year, turning the show floor into a Disney-inspired mechatronic festival (see above). The applications promoted ranged from mobile airport/advertising kiosks to retail customer service agents to family in-home companions. One French upstart, Blue Frog Robotics, stood out from the crowd of ivory-colored rolling bots.