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AI ethicist Kate Darling: 'Robots can be our partners'

The Guardian

Dr Kate Darling is a research specialist in human-robot interaction, robot ethics and intellectual property theory and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. In her new book, The New Breed, she argues that we would be better prepared for the future if we started thinking about robots and artificial intelligence (AI) like animals. What is wrong with the way we think about robots? So often we subconsciously compare robots to humans and AI to human intelligence. The comparison limits our imagination.


Robotics trends: Artificial Intelligence leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2021

#artificialintelligence

Verdict lists the top five terms tweeted on robotics in Q1 2021, based on data from GlobalData's Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform. Robots capable of drywalling, managing vertical farms, and assisting in the US space programmes to reach Mars and beyond, were popularly discussed in Q1 2021. Sean Gardner, an executive board member and AI specialist at Resourceful Nonprofit, a provider of free or low-cost technology and training to other non-profit organisations, shared an article on how sensors and AI have advanced in automating the construction industry. Construction robotics company Canvas has built an AI-driven robot that can perform drywalling with human artistry and expertise.


Sound location inspired by bat ears could help robots navigate outdoors

Engadget

Sound location technology has often been patterned around the human ear, but why do that when bats are clearly better at it? Virginia Tech researchers have certainly asked that question. They've developed a sound location system that mates a bat-like ear design with a deep neural network to pinpoint sounds within half a degree -- a pair of human ears is only accurate within nine degrees, and even the latest technology stops at 7.5 degrees. The system flutters the outer ear to create Doppler shift signatures related to the sound's source. As the patterns are too complex to easily decipher, the team trained the neural network to provide the source direction for every received echo.


Girls of Steel Robotics 2021 - CMU Crowdfunding

CMU School of Computer Science

The Girls of Steel, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3504, founded in 2010 at Carnegie Mellon's Field Robotics Center, has a team mission to empower everyone, especially women and girls, to believe they are capable of success in STEM. The principles of our team include: teamwork, communication, respect, integrity, inclusion, and safety. We teach mechanical and technical skills, programming and analytical thinking, as well as leadership, teamwork, and business skills. We also value a commitment to quality, ethical behavior, and respect for others. Through outreach we aim to educate young people in STEM using hands-on design and development of a robot.


The Morning After: Touring Mercedes' very luxurious EV

Engadget

This "S-Class of EVs" is the first full-electric car from Mercedes to come to the US, combining a low drag coefficient with a large battery pack for a range of 478 miles, using Europe's WLTP estimate. Tesla, Porsche and Audi already have electric luxury sedans, but this looks like an interesting and extremely classy competitor. Roberto Baldwin is ready to walk us through the features and its futuristic interior, which includes a biometric sensor for logging in with voice or fingerprint. There's no word on how much it will cost, and we haven't taken it on the road yet, but I'm already digging its unique taillights and fastback hatch. It's barely been a month since DJI unveiled a new drone, and the company already has another to show.


Walmart invests in GM-owned autonomous car startup Cruise

Engadget

Walmart is signaling its commitment to autonomous deliveries with a new investment in self-driving company Cruise. The two already have a cozy relationship, having recently worked together on a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. Walmart was so impressed with Cruise's "differentiated business, unique tech and unmatched driverless testing" that it decided to take part in the GM subsidiary's $2.75 billion funding round. The investment will see Cruise become an important part of the retailer's "last mile delivery ecosystem" -- industry parlance for the final journey from warehouse to customer. Walmart has struck additional partnerships on driverless deliveries with companies including Google's Waymo, Ford and Udelv.


Autonomous-Truck Developer TuSimple Plans Driverless Road Test This Year

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

After opening at $40.25, the stock stumbled, slipping about 20%. But it regained much of its loss to close at $40. "I guess it was a rough awakening to life as a public company for a few hours, but we are optimistic," Chief Financial Officer Pat Dillon said. Top news and in-depth analysis on the world of logistics, from supply chain to transport and technology. Chief Executive Cheng Lu said the company is planning to conduct a "driver-out" pilot program without anyone at the wheel in the fourth quarter on a roughly 100-mile run between Tucson and Phoenix. The company has a fleet of 50 trucks it is testing in the U.S. Southwest and approximately 20 more in China, running with two people in the cab.


First gate-to-gate autonomous airplane flight

ZDNet

A San Francisco-based company is claiming an aviation first with a gate-to-gate fully autonomous flight. You can see a video of the flight in the embed below. The company, Xwing, is setting out to introduce autonomous technology for regional air cargo, an overlooked space in the global race for autonomy but, with its sub-500 mile predictable routes and significant commercial importance, an intriguing entry point for autonomous air travel. Xwing is betting it can gain ground amid growing unmet logistics demand using its human-operated software stack that seamlessly integrates with existing aircraft to enable regional pilotless flight. "Over the past year, our team has made significant advancements in extending and refining our AutoFlight system to seamlessly integrate ground taxiing, take-offs, landings and flight operations, all supervised from our mission control center via redundant data links," says Marc Piette, CEO and founder of Xwing.


$74,000 NYPD robot dog hits streets of Manhattan

#artificialintelligence

A robot dog joined the human members of the NYPD's response to a domestic dispute inside a public housing apartment building in Manhattan. NEW YORK - Now viral videos show -- for lack of a better term -- a robot dog joining the human members of the NYPD's response to a domestic dispute inside a NYCHA building in Kips Bay, Monday. "I can't believe what I'm seeing," 344 E. 28th St. Tenant Association President Melanie Aucello said. Aucello shot one of those viral videos on her smartphone and compared the scene she witnessed to something out of a dystopian movie. "It scared me," she said.


Microwave weapon could disable a swarm of military attack drones

New Scientist

Military drones can resist radio-jamming anti-drone devices, but a microwave weapon could take down a whole swarm at once, or disable just one with sniper-like precision