Robots: AI-Alerts

VW and Ford extend collaboration to electric, self-driving cars

The Japan Times

FRANKFURT - Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. will cooperate on electric and self-driving car technology, sharing costs on a global scale to take a major step forward in the industry's disruptive transformation. VW will invest $2.6 billion in Ford's autonomous-car partner Argo AI in a deal that values the operation at more than $7 billion, the two manufacturers said Friday in a joint statement in New York, confirming a figure first reported by Bloomberg. This includes $1 billion in funding and VW contributing its Audi $1.6 billion Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit. "While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach," Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said. Ford shares climbed as much as 2.1 percent as of 9:40 a.m.

Atlantic League to debut robot umpires and allow players to steal first base

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The Atlantic League, an independent baseball league, is rolling out a new revolutionary rule and will debut robot umpires to start the second half of the season. On Wednesday, during the league's All-Star Game in York, Pennsylvania, robots will call balls and strikes for the first time in a professional game, according to The Washington Post. The league will also allow batters to steal first base -- yes, steal first -- on a pitch not caught cleanly, similar to a dropped third strike. Except, the runner can attempt to reach first during any count. Using robots will still include a human element, however.

Robotics Austin Forum July 2019


Dr. Mitchell Pryor earned is BSME at Southern Methodist University in 1993. After graduating, he taught math and science courses at St. James School in St. James Maryland before returning to Texas. He completed is Masters (1999) and PhD (2002) at UT Austin with an emphasis on the modeling, simulation, and operation of redundant manipulators. Since earning his PhD, Dr. Pryor has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the mechanical and electrical engineering departments as well as led and conducted research in the area of robotics and automation in Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory. He has worked for numerous research sponsors including, NASA, DARPA, DOE, INL, LANL, ORNL, Y-12, and many industrial partners.

Inside an Amazon Warehouse, Robots' Ways Rub Off on Humans

NYT > Economy

My trip to Amazon's Staten Island center had its origins two months earlier. I was writing about a former worker named Justin Rashad Long, who contended that he had been fired for speaking out about working conditions there. Beyond the claim of retaliation, Mr. Long said laboring at Amazon had been a tremendous slog: Employees worked long shifts with few breaks. Managers held them to unreasonable goals. The time they spent waiting in line at metal detectors -- to discourage theft -- lengthened their day.

A tiny jellyfish robot could swim inside the bladder to deliver drugs

New Scientist

A tiny jellyfish-like robot could one day swim through the human body to deliver drugs to the right location. Metin Sitti and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany designed a robotic jellyfish that can swim, burrow and transport objects. It is 3 millimetres in diameter, roughly the size of a baby common jellyfish. It consists of a central body and eight bendable flaps that can beat upwards and downwards in unison. They beat roughly 150 times per minute, also similar to that of baby jellyfish, and are extended by flippers that help the robot propel through water.

Five Japanese automakers to join Toyota-SoftBank self-driving venture

The Japan Times

Five Japanese automakers will join a self-driving technology joint venture formed last year by Toyota Motor Corp. and SoftBank Corp., sources close to the matter said Wednesday. Mazda Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp., Subaru Corp., Isuzu Motor Ltd., and Toyota's minivehicle-making unit Daihatsu Motor Corp. will each buy a stake of less than 10 percent in Monet Technologies Inc., they said. Currently, SoftBank owns 40.2 percent of the joint company, with Toyota holding a 39.8 percent stake. Honda Motor Corp. and Toyota's truck-making subsidiary Hino Motor Ltd. already have a 10 percent stake each in the venture. Monet is developing next-generation mobility services using autonomous driving technology.

Apple just bought more self-driving car technology with acquisition of

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In this Saturday June 15, 2019 photo customers leave an Apple store on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. Apple has bought a struggling self-driving car startup as the iPhone maker continues to explore the potential market for robotic vehicles, despite recently curtailing its work on the technology. The Cupertino, Calif., company confirmed its acquisition of The Cupertino, California, company confirmed its acquisition of A recent filing with California labor regulators disclosed that

Tiny flying insect robot has four wings and weighs under a gram

New Scientist

A solar-powered flying robot has become the lightest machine capable of flying without an attached power source. Weighing just 259 milligrams, the insect-inspired RoboBee X-Wing has four wings that flap at a rate of 170 times per second. It has a wingspan of 3.5 centimetres and is 6.5 cemtimetres high. The flying robot was developed by Noah Jafferis and colleagues at Harvard University. Its wings are controlled by two muscle-like plates that contract when voltage passes through them.

Rapid robot rollout risks UK workers being left behind, reports say

The Guardian

British workers are being shut out of decisions over the rising use of robots in the UK economy, according to a report. According to the commission on workers and technology, run by the Fabian Society and the Community trade union, almost six in 10 employees across Britain in a poll said their employers did not give them a say on the use of new technologies. Risking a future where workers' jobs get worse and people's voices go unheard over changes in the workplace, the findings come as a separate report finds the use of robots in poorer regions triggers the loss of almost twice as many jobs as in wealthier ones. In a study by the consultancy firm Oxford Economics, the rapidly growing use of robots is expected to have a profound impact on jobs across the world, resulting in up to 20m manufacturing job losses by 2030. Around 1.7m manufacturing jobs have already been lost to robots since 2000, according to the study, including as many as 400,000 in Europe, 260,000 in the US and 550,000 in China.

Amazon Explores Having Its Drones Provide 'Home Surveillance' For Customers

NPR Technology

Gur Kimchi, vice president of Prime Air, talks about Amazon's drone delivery service. Federal officials recently approved a patent for the company to explore allowing its drones to provide "home surveillance" for its customers. Gur Kimchi, vice president of Prime Air, talks about Amazon's drone delivery service. Federal officials recently approved a patent for the company to explore allowing its drones to provide "home surveillance" for its customers. Going on vacation and want some extra security around your home?