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Famed "snakebot" can now swim

ZDNet

A robot that's developed something of a mythology over the years now has a new trick. Snakebot, named ground rescue robot of the year in 2017 and helping its creator win the "Oscars of automation" in 2019, can now swim. The robot consists of several actuated joints that work together to produce a range of motions. Snakebot can stand slither, roll, stand up to pull itself over obstacles, and climb a variety of objects and surfaces. CMU robotics professor Howie Choset and systems scientist Matt Travers are the brains behind Snakebot.


On sustainable robotics

Robohub

The climate emergency brooks no compromise: every human activity or artefact is either part of the solution or it is part of the problem. I've worried about the sustainability of consumer electronics for some time, and, more recently, the shocking energy costs of big AI. But the climate emergency has also caused me to think hard about the sustainability of robots. And, I'm ashamed to say, very little robotics research is focused on the development of sustainable robots. A search on google scholar throws up a handful of excellent papers detailing work on upcycled and sustainable robots (2018), sustainable robotics for smart cities (2018), green marketing of sustainable robots (2019), and sustainable soft robots (2020).


Want to Get Along With Robots? Pretend They're Animals

WIRED

Pigs, rats, and locusts have it easy these days--they can bother whoever they want. But back in the Middle Ages, such behavior could have landed them in court. If a pig bit a child, town officials would hold a trial like they would for a person, even providing the offender with a lawyer. Getting insects to show up in court en masse was a bit more difficult, but the authorities tried anyway: They'd send someone out to yell the summons into the countryside. That's hilarious, yes, but also a hint at how humans might navigate a new, even more complicated relationship.


Smartly dressed: Researchers develop clothes that sense movement via touch

#artificialintelligence

In recent years there have been exciting breakthroughs in wearable technologies, like smartwatches that can monitor your breathing and blood oxygen levels. But what about a wearable that can detect how you move as you do a physical activity or play a sport, and could potentially even offer feedback on how to improve your technique? And, as a major bonus, what if the wearable were something you'd actually already be wearing, like a shirt of a pair of socks? That's the idea behind a new set of MIT-designed clothing that use special fibers to sense a person's movement via touch. Among other things, the researchers showed that their clothes can actually determine things like if someone is sitting, walking, or doing particular poses.


The Place for Artificial Intelligence in Education

#artificialintelligence

Technology's impact on the educational world strengthens with each year. Among many other developments, artificial intelligence seems to be an up-and-coming trend. It is clear that great changes are coming, and machines will take a direct role in them. Schools and universities will never return to the original format. Many wonder whether robots will replace professors, whether the effects of progress will be positive or negative and what should be done to improve current teaching approaches.


Boston Dynamics' latest robot doesn't do backflips -- and that's a smart move

#artificialintelligence

Boston Dynamics has made a name for itself through fascinating videos of biped and quadruped robots doing backflips, opening doors, and dancing to Uptown Funk. Now, it has revealed its latest gadget: A robot that looks like a huge overhead projector on wheels. It's called Stretch, it doesn't do backflips, it doesn't dance, and it's made to do one task: moving boxes. But this could, in fact, become the most successful commercial product of Boston Dynamics and turn it into a profitable company. Stretch has a box-like base with a set of wheels that can move in all directions.


Quadruped robot automatically adapts in unstructured outdoor environments

#artificialintelligence

The four-legged robot Dyret can adjust the length of its legs to adapt the body to the surface. Along the way, it learns what works best. This way it is better equipped the next time it encounters an unknown environment. The name Dyret (Norwegian for "The Animal") is an acronym for Dynamic Robot for Embodied Testing. "We have shown the benefits of allowing a robot to continuously adapt its body shape. Our physical robot also proves that this can easily be done with today's technology," says senior lecturer Tønnes Nygaard at UiO's Department of Informatics.


South Florida restaurant buys robots to fight staffing issues

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. The future of food is here. A restaurant in Florida has added several new high-tech workers to its roster. After struggling with staffing issues, the seafood place decided to invest in robots to help deliver food to tables and perform other important tasks.


How Technology Can Improve Your Construction Business

#artificialintelligence

No matter the industry you look at, you will surely see a competitive environment everywhere. It's because of this competition, more and more companies are trying to find ways to improve. The competitive atmosphere of various industries is giving rise to new industries. The new ones are trying to help all kinds of companies reduce costs and maximize profits by optimizing many areas. The most notable of these are the tech companies that create solutions for businesses.


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.