If you have a robot in close proximity to a person, and anything that goes wrong, that's a risk to that person," Raibert said. Things have gone wrong, at least on the job. In 2015, a 22-year-old man was killed while helping to set up a stationary robot at a Volkswagen plant in Germany. The robot pushed him against a metal plate and crushed him. In another case that year, a robot's arm malfunctioned, hit and crushed a woman's head in a Michigan auto plant.
Ford reported a sharp drop in October sales in the U.S. Unit sales declined 12% as passenger car sales slumped. Ford postponed its release on Tuesday due to fire delays at its headquarters in Michigan. Ford is working on a new technology that uses an array of sensors that monitors activity going on behind a car that is backing up and stops it if the driver doesn't notice a pedestrian or another car. SAN FRANCISCO -- Ford Motor is working on a suite of new driver-assist safety features for its production cars that stop short of offering full autonomy. Among the technologies being developed at the automaker's Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, include camera- and laser-enabled systems that can take over the steering wheel in an emergency to avoid high-speed collisions, as well as mapping-triggered dash alerts that warn drivers they're traveling down a one-way road.
Vast swarms of miniature robots are coming -- and they might be the answer to scrubbing our waters clean of lead. "Microbots" smaller than the width of a human hair could be highly effective and cost-efficient tools for removing lead and other contaminants from industrial wastewater, according to a new study published in the journal Nano Letters last month. In the space of a single hour, the study showed, self-propelled microbots could remove up to 95 percent of lead from water. Lead is commonly found in wastewater from mines or factories that make batteries and electronic devices, and can pose a serious risk to public health, as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan demonstrates. Heavy metal pollution can cost big cities billions of dollars a year, said Samuel Sánchez, co-author of the study and a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany.