Robots: AI-Alerts


Kroger ends its unmanned-vehicle grocery delivery pilot program in Arizona

USATODAY

Nuro has partnered with Fry's Food Stores to utilize its autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries in Scottsdale. Supermarket giant Kroger said it soon will end a pilot program in which more than 2,000 grocery deliveries were made in self-driving vehicles from a store in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program, launched last August, featured deliveries in autonomous vehicles from robotics company Nuro from the Kroger-owned Fry's store at 7770 E. McDowell Road for customers in ZIP code 85257. The companies described it as the nation's first program featuring deliveries to the general public from fully unmanned vehicles. Wednesday will mark the final day of deliveries.


Robotic Surgery Now Common at West Virginia Hospital

U.S. News

During surgery, the da Vinci robot is docked over the patient and the instruments still typically enter through the abdomen, through much smaller incisions than a traditional laparotomy, which opens up the belly. The surgeon sits at a nearby control panel in the operating room where they can maneuver cameras and instruments with a range exceeding the human hand.


Latest Generation of Lionfish-Hunting Robot Can Find and Zap More Fish Than Ever

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's always cool to see lionfish while snorkeling or scuba diving. They're spectacular-looking, and because they're covered in flamboyant spines, they're usually secure enough in their invincibility that they'll mostly just sit there and let you get close to them. Lionfish don't make for very good oceanic neighbors, though, and in places where they're an invasive species and have few native predators (like most of the Atlantic coast of the United States), they do their best to eat anything that moves while breeding almost continuously. A single lionfish per reef reduced young juvenile fish populations by 79 percent in only a five-week period. Many species were affected, including cardinalfish, parrotfish, damselfish, and others.


Six positive ways drones can be used

BBC News

An extended 5km (3.1 miles) no-fly zone for drones has come into force around airports in the UK after reported sightings at Gatwick, Heathrow and Dublin airports in recent months grounded hundreds of flights and left thousands stranded. Previously, only a 1km (0.6 mile) exclusion zone was in place. But despite the negative reputation they have received, the use of drones isn't all bad. From finding missing people to delivering takeaways, here are some of the ways the unmanned aircraft can be beneficial. A Norfolk man who went missing in June last year was only found when a police drone spotted him stuck on a marsh.


Would you be happy being interviewed by a robot?

BBC News

The world's first robot designed to carry out unbiased job interviews is being tested by Swedish recruiters. But can it really do a better job than humans? Measuring 41cm (16in) tall and weighing 35kg (77lbs) she's at eye level as she sits on top of a table directly across from the candidate she's about to interview. Her glowing yellow face tilts slightly to the side. Then she blinks and smiles lightly as she poses her first question: "Have you ever been interviewed by a robot before?"


The Genderless Digital Voice the World Needs Right Now

WIRED

Boot up the options for your digital voice assistant of choice and you're likely to find two options for the gender you prefer interacting with: male or female. The problem is, that binary choice isn't an accurate representation of the complexities of gender. Some folks don't identify as either male or female, and they may want their voice assistant to mirror that identity. But a group of linguists, technologists, and sound designers--led by Copenhagen Pride and Vice's creative agency Virtue--are on a quest to change that with a new, genderless digital voice, made from real voices, called Q. Q isn't going to show up in your smartphone tomorrow, but the idea is to pressure the tech industry into acknowledging that gender isn't necessarily binary, a matter of man or woman, masculine or feminine. The project is confronting a new digital universe fraught with problems.


Uber Not Criminally Liable In Death Of Woman Hit By Self-Driving Car, Prosecutor Says

NPR

A video still from a mounted camera captures the moment before a self-driving Uber SUV fatally struck a woman in Tempe, Ariz., last March. A Yavapai County prosecutor found that Uber is not criminally liable for the crash. A video still from a mounted camera captures the moment before a self-driving Uber SUV fatally struck a woman in Tempe, Ariz., last March. A Yavapai County prosecutor found that Uber is not criminally liable for the crash. An Arizona prosecutor has determined that Uber is not criminally liable in the death of a Tempe woman who was struck by a self-driving test car last year.


Hacked Driverless Cars Could Cause Collisions And Gridlock In Cities, Say Researchers

#artificialintelligence

When 10-20% of vehicles are hacked, clusters of roads become inaccessible from each other. Even a small scale hack of automated cars could cause collisions and gridlock in Manhattan, hindering emergency services, according to the latest research. Researchers at Georgia Tech and Multiscale Systems Inc. investigated the'cyber-physical' risks of hacked Internet-connected vehicles, and this week will present their results to the 2019 American Physical Society March Meeting in Boston. The rise of connected cars, and the predicted future of automated cars have for some time being worrying regulators. However, until now most of the focus has been on preventing individual accidents, such as when a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber in Arizona in 2018.


Shimi Will Now Sing to You in an Adorable Robot Voice

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Human-robot interaction is easy to do badly, and very difficult to do well. One approach that has worked well for robots from R2-D2 to Kuri is to avoid the problem of language--rather than use real words to communicate with humans, you can do pretty well (on an emotional level, at least) with a variety of bleeps and bloops. But as anyone who's watched Star Wars knows, R2-D2 really has a lot going on with the noises that it makes, and those noises were carefully designed to be both expressive and responsive. Most actual robots don't have the luxury of a professional sound team (and as much post-production editing as you need), so the question becomes how to teach a robot to make the right noises at the right times. At Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology (GTCMT), Gil Weinberg and his students have a lot of experience with robots that make noise of various sorts, and they've used a new deep learning-based technique to teach their musical robot Shimi a basic understanding of human emotions, and how to communicate back to those humans in just the right way, using music.


China's Xinhua Presents News Using Robot News Anchor

U.S. News

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China's Xinhua state news agency on Sunday used a lifelike robotic news anchor that mimics human facial expressions and mannerisms to present a story about delegates attending an annual parliament meeting arriving in Beijing.