If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
In the latest turn in the long-running saga between tech companies and San Francisco's municipal legislators, the city has voted to ban delivery robots on most of its sidewalks and severely restrict their use in areas where permitted. The new rules are the strictest in the nation and a departure from the approach of states like Idaho, where new rules actively encourage robot delivery. Proponents say delivery robots relieve congestion and reduce accidents on city roads. But some pedestrians in San Francisco have complained that they crowd sidewalks and present a hazard to humans. Autonomous delivery robots began toting food to waiting customers in San Francisco earlier this year after a company called Marble partnered with Yelp Eat 24 to test its flagship delivery bot.
Companies that are testing delivery robots hit a stumbling block in San Francisco this week. The city's Board of Supervisors voted to require permits for any autonomous delivery devices, restricting them to specific (and less-crowded) areas of the city. Additionally, these robots aren't allowed to make actual deliveries -- they are only allowed to be used for testing purposes. This restriction doesn't apply to delivery drones; the San Francisco Board of Supervisors only has jurisdiction over the sidewalks. Complaints were first brought by a group called Walk San Francisco, which campaigns for the safety of pedestrians.
San Francisco, land of unrestrained tech wealth and the attendant hoodies and $29 loaves of bread, just said whoa whoa whoa to delivery robots. The SF Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday, December 5 to severely restrict the machines, which roll on sidewalks and autonomously dodge obstacles like dogs and buskers. Now startups will have to get permits to run their robots under strict guidelines in particular zones, typically industrial areas with low foot traffic. And even then, they may only do so for research purposes, not making actual deliveries. It's perhaps the harshest crackdown on delivery robots in the United States--again, this in the city that gave the world an app that sends someone to your car to park it for you.
SaaS had a major impact on the way companies consume cloud services. This ebook looks at how the as a service trend is spreading and transforming IT jobs. Shoppers are torn between shopping online, and in-store but many have never used a chatbot to help them get the best deals online according to a new survey. Applet services automation platform IFTTT recently surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers ahead of this holiday rush to take a pulse on their shopping expectations when it comes to retail technologies, and discounts. It wanted to understand what plans brands have for their customers.
The box-shaped CarriRo Delivery robot, which is 133 cm long and 109 cm high, is designed to run on sidewalks and carry loads of up to 100 kg, ZMP said. Customers can unlock the robot's cargo hold using a code sent to their smartphones. While looking to improve the robot's features, including climate management in the cargo hold, ZMP and its partners will urge the government to make regulatory changes that allow the robot to be tested on public roads. Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd. began testing an autonomous delivery robot in Australia last year, while companies like Amazon.com Inc. and Rakuten Inc. are seeking to commercialize drones for door-to-door parcel deliveries.
China's second-biggest e-commerce company, JD.com (Alibaba is first), is testing mobile robots to make deliveries to its customers, and imagining a future with fully unmanned logistics systems. It's the first time that the company has used delivery robots in the field. JD has been testing delivery robots since November last year. The UGVs now cost $7,300 per robotic unit which JD figures can reduce delivery costs from less than $1 for a human delivery to about 20 cents for a robot delivery.
Rules governing the use of food delivery robots remain to be seen across the US. But major food businesses are investigating the possibilities already. In the latest deal, Yelp Eat24 has begun testing delivery by robot in partnership with Marble in select San Francisco neighborhoods. TechCrunch spied Marble's delivery robots, stickered with a Yelp Eat24 logo, earlier this month. But the companies announced their robot delivery service officially today.
It's the most San Francisco scene in San Francisco. Next to them, someone has laid out fishing rods for sale. Think of Marble like a self-driving car, except its domain is the sidewalk. Instead of delivering humans to places like restaurants, Marble delivers food from restaurants to humans. If you live in San Francisco's Mission or Potrero Hill neighborhoods and you order delivery through Yelp Eat24, you may just get a text asking if you want Marble to roll the food on over to your pad.
Sharing a sidewalk with one of DoorDash's delivery robots is a bit like getting stuck behind someone playing Pokémon Go on his smartphone. The robot moves a little bit slower than you want to; every few meters it pauses, jerking to the left or right, perhaps turning around, then turning again before continuing on its way. These are the sidewalks of the future, technology evangelists promise. Autonomous delivery robots, once the exclusive purview of 1980s sci-fi movies, are coming to a city near you, with promises of reduced labor costs, increased efficiency, and the reduction of cars. But as robot fleets proliferate – Starship robots perform food deliveries for DoorDash and Postmates in Redwood City, California, and Washington DC, while Marble robots will begin making deliveries for Yelp Eat24 in San Francisco on Wednesday – the question none of these companies seems to want to answer is this: are these the sidewalks that we actually want?
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. This video was published on March 31, not April 1, which I assume means that Pepper's fish mode is going to be a real thing: In fact, it's possible that this capability has already been enabled, so feel free to toss your Pepper into the nearest lake and let us know how it goes. Kinema Pick is the world's first Deep Learning 3D Vision system for industrial robots.