Building A Better 'Bot': Artificial Intelligence Helps Human Groups


In a series of experiments using teams of human players and robotic AI players, the inclusion of "bots" boosted the performance of human groups and the individual players, researchers found. The study adds to a growing body of Yale research into the complex dynamics of human social networks and how those networks influence everything from economic inequality to group violence. In this case, Christakis and first author Hirokazu Shirado conducted an experiment involving an online game that required groups of people to coordinate their actions for a collective goal. People whose performance improved when working with the bots subsequently influenced other human players to raise their game.

Robot takes to stage in British "Spillikin" play

Daily Mail

Six years ago he embarked on a project to create a robot that would save tour guides from tediously repeating the same script each day. Jackson's company, Cornish-based Engineered Arts, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots. The Android has even been described as'affectionate' by leading lady Norman, who works closely with the robot throughout the performance Featuring the bizarre'robothespian', the play brings love and technology together for a story about a robot maker who builds a robot to keep his wife company after he dies'Spillikin' runs in London until March 19 and continues its tour until April. Jackson's company, Cornish-based Engineered Arts, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots.

Video Friday: Robots With Airbags, Drone vs. Drone, and MIT's Jumping Cube

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Fun times with drones: Watch a human-flown drone with a red hat try, and fail, to run into an autonomous drone that's programmed to avoid collisions: We've posted about MIT's soft robotic jumping cube before, but I don't think we've ever posted a video with music that makes us feel quite this old: Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a soft robotic cube that uses a series of spring-loaded metal tongues to jump, bounce, and roll. Shakey was created from 1966-72 by the Artificial Intelligence Center at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International). Here, we follow the paradigm, learning-from-observation, in which a robot learns how to perform a dance from observing a human dance performance. The third part tries to answer the question, what is the merit to preserve folk dances by using robot performance by the answer that such symbolic representations for robot performance provide new understandings of those dances.

Janitorial Services and Artificial Intelligence


Interestingly, the development and construction of cleaning focused AI and robotics would assist in resolving the challenge of transfer learning by improving human interaction and response; a concept that is currently the focus of the COCORO Engine, developed by Sharp. The AI's current focus is navigation mapping and control decision-making for floor scrubbers, meaning the AI learns and communicates the most efficient route for floor scrubbers to take, as well as when to turn the device on and off. A significant challenge facing the present acceptance and adoption of AI technologies in the janitorial services arena are unions concerned with human job loss. The organizations that will succeed in this market are the ones that are able to partner with experienced janitorial services vendors to develop and fine tune learning, reporting, communication, and interaction capabilities to ensure the safe performance of the automated systems.

Robotics of things - the next big thing in embedded


Whether they are smart, low energy, edge devices, intermediate gateways or compute nodes, all based on multicore system-on-chip (SoC) architectures requiring performance, reliability and security. As a result the embedded systems industry seems to be headed into two key areas: intelligence and autonomy. Sensor technology and image processing will continue to advance. Ultimately, the evolution of today's systems into highly intelligent and autonomous systems will have a huge positive impact to the global economy, and more importantly to the health, safety, and quality of our lives.

A new twist on airplane wing design

MIT News

The new concept is described in the journal Soft Robotics, in a paper by Neil Gershenfeld, director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA); Benjamin Jenett, a CBA graduate student; Kenneth Cheung PhD '12, a CBA alumnus and NASA research scientist; and four others. A test version of the deformable wing designed by the MIT and NASA researchers is shown undergoing its twisting motions, which could replace the need for separate, hinged panels for controlling a plane's motion. Building up a large and complex structure from an array of small, identical building blocks, which have an exceptional combination of strength, light weight, and flexibility, greatly simplifies the manufacturing process, Gershenfeld explains. The work was supported by the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute Team Seeding Program, the NASA ARMD Convergent Aeronautics Solutions Program, and the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship program.

The Case for a New "Final Frontier" in Data Analytics


As a case in point, see the "Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act" or "DIGIT Act", i.e., S. 2607, a bill introduced in the Senate on March 1, 2016 and amended on September 28, 2016, "to ensure appropriate spectrum planning and inter-agency coordination to support the Internet of Things" – A companion bill, H.R. He expresses the concern that "most of the'analytics of things' thus far have been descriptive analytics – bar (and Heaven forbid, pie) charts, means and medians, and alerts for out-of-bounds data," and highlights areas where business analytics can make a difference in IoT beyond descriptive (dashboard-type report on performance) such as diagnostic (alerts that need attention), predictive (e.g., breakdown potential) and prescriptive (recommendations based on predictions, experiments, or optimizations). The same paper proposes an overall definition "in general, prescriptive solutions assist business analysts in decision-making by determining actions and assessing their impact regarding business objectives, requirements, and constraints. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines Cyber-Physical Systems as "smart systems that include engineered interacting networks of physical and computational components," and underscores that "CPS and related systems (including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet) are widely recognized as having great potential to enable innovative applications and impact multiple economic sectors in the worldwide economy".

When Artificial Intelligence Robots Start Replacing Physicians, Will We Notice -- Or Care?


It turns out that Mr. Khosla believes that AI will take away 80% of physicians' work, but not necessarily 80% of their jobs, leaving them more time to focus on the "human aspects of medical practice such as empathy and ethical choices." Sherpaa claims that 70% of members' health issues are delivered via virtual visits. Digital Trends reported on two U.K.-based companies who are developing AI chatbots designed specifically for health care, Your.MD and Babylon Health. The hardest part of using AI in health care may not be developing the AI, but in figuring out what the uniquely human role in providing health care is.

Video Friday: Robot Toes, Wolverine Haptic Hand, and More From IROS 2016

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

This paper presents an integrated pipeline that allows the robot to autonomously acquire visual infor- mation, define step locations, compute feasible multi- contact situations using hands and feet, and generate a motion plan to reach the desired goal even going through different contact states. This shared knowledge from the flying platform enables the walking robot to localize itself against the global map, and plan a global path to the goal by interpreting the elevation map in terms of traversability. This new ability allows robot designers to tailor the properties of viscoelastic damping materials in order to reduce impact forces and isolate vibrations. The experiments conducted on the SCHUNK 5-Finger Hand demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm showing skills comparable to human capabilities in learning new grasps and in performing wide variety from power to high precision grasps of very small objects.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Machine Learning And AI


Machine learning is, in essence, the very advanced application of statistics to learning to identify patterns in data and then make predictions from those patterns. The virtual assistant in your pocket -- be it Siri, Cortana, or Google Now -- represents a major leap forward in the ability of computers to understand natural human speech, and they're continuously improving. People are already doing very exciting things with machine learning algorithms. This ability to learn, coupled with advances in robotics and mobile technology, means that computers can now help humans perform complex tasks faster and better than ever before.