Robots: AI-Alerts

Russia Downs Drone Near Its Syria Air Base: TASS

U.S. News

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's military said it had shot down a drone that came close to its Syrian air base at Hmeimim on Saturday and was launched from the Idlib "de-escalation" zone controlled by what Moscow calls "illegal military groups", TASS agency reported.

AI robot arm scans Where's Wally books to find elusive character in seconds

The Independent

AI robot arm scans Where's Wally books to find elusive character in seconds AI robot arm scans Where's Wally books to find elusive character in seconds Whole process takes just a matter of seconds. Whole process takes just a matter of seconds. Next time you're struggling on a particularly challenging page of Where's Wally, there could be an easy solution. A robot with the sole purpose of picking out the elusive Wally's face in a crowd has been built. Designed by creative agency Redpepper the robot uses artificial intelligence software to recognise Wally in a crowd of other fictional faces and then uses a robotic arm to point him out.

Robots Are Getting More Social. Are Humans Ready?


In this Monday, July 30, 2018, photo, Anki Inc. CEO Boris Sofman holds Vector, the company's new home robot, in New York. Personal home robots that can socialize with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are humans ready to invite them into their lives?

Therapy Robot Teaches Social Skills to Children With Autism

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

For some children with autism, interacting with other people can be an uncomfortable, mystifying experience. Feeling overwhelmed with face-to-face interaction, such children may find it difficult to focus their attention and learn social skills from their teachers and therapists--the very people charged with helping them learn to socially adapt. What these children need, say some researchers, is a robot: a cute, tech-based intermediary, with a body, that can teach them how to more comfortably interact with their fellow humans. On the face of it, learning human interaction from a robot might sound counter-intuitive. But a handful of groups are studying the technology in an effort to find out just how effective these robots are at helping children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Radio jammers saved Venezuela's president from deadly drone attack

New Scientist

Radio jamming systems apparently thwarted an attempted presidential assassination with improvised drone bombs in Venezuela. On Saturday 4th August, President Nicolas Maduro's speech at an outdoor rally was interrupted by two explosions. Seven soldiers on parade were injured, three critically. Others scattered while bodyguards rushed to protect the president with bulletproof shields. Witnesses reported seeing two multicopter drones which crashed into a nearby apartment building and exploded.

As Uber Gives up on Self-Driving Trucks, Kodiak Jumps In


For the developers of self-driving vehicles, semi-trucks are a potential low-hanging fruit. Although big rigs are imposingly, intimidatingly huge, they also predominantly run on freeways and other fixed routes that are simpler to automate. Fleet managers are easier to convince with rational, financial arguments than individual car buyers. Today, a new startup, Kodiak Robotics, is edging out of stealth, announcing $40 million in financing, and telling the world it's going to pick and ship that fruit. The company is worth watching because it's cofounded by Don Burnette, who also cofounded Otto, a trucking startup acquired by Uber in 2016, and particularly notable because it led to a high-profile legal spat in the nascent autonomous vehicle industry.

Meet the guy with four arms, two of which someone else controls in VR

MIT Technology Review

Yamen Saraiji has four arms, and two of them are giving him a hug. The limbs embracing Saraiji are long, lanky, and robotic, and they're connected to a backpack he's wearing. The arms are actually controlled remotely by another person, who's wearing an Oculus Rift VR headset, with which they can see the world from Saraiji's perspective (cameras linked to the backpack ensure a good view), and wield handheld controllers to direct the non-human arms and connected hands. After the hug, the robotic arms release Saraiji. Then the right hand gives him a high five, and Saraiji smiles.

Venezuela arrests six over 'drone attack' during Maduro speech

Al Jazeera

Venezuela's interior minister says six people have been arrested, after what President Nicolas Maduro says was an assassination attempt against him. The president accuses Colombia and a group of US financiers of trying to kill him. Venezuela's opposition fears the government will launch a crackdown. Colombia's Foreign Affairs Ministry called that accusation absurd, and in Washington, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton strongly denied any US role.

The Explosive-Carrying Drones in Venezuela Won't Be the Last


On Saturday, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a speech in Caracas before a large military assemblage, drones carrying explosives approached, detonating near the stage. While Maduro was unharmed, Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the attack injured seven soldiers. It's a method of assault that only a few years ago felt unthinkable, but has quickly become inevitable. Details remain scarce about the exact nature of the attack, which Rodriguez characterized as an "assassination attempt," including what type of drones were used and the nature of the explosives involved. In a televised address to his country, Maduro appeared to attribute the strike to far-right factions in Venezuela and Columbia.

Harvard's robotic cockroach could come to the rescue

BBC News

Kevin Chen, of the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory said it was hoped these HAMR robots could eventually be used in rescue and emergency situations.