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) …
Stretch is a robot with a strong grip and it's ready to do your laundry. Hello Robot launched the 50-pound bot on Tuesday. The startup was founded by Google's former robotics director, Aaron Edsinger, and Georgia Tech professor Charlie Kemp, who met at MIT. The helpful robot can be teleoperated from a computer, although Hello Robot says it will eventually work autonomously. With the gripper, 3D camera, laser, and other sensors, and the help of open-source software, you can use the robot to open cabinet doors, grab a coffee cup, wipe down a table, or vacuum the couch.
Most people surveyed about autonomous are comfortable with the technology and yet billions continue ... [ ] to be invested in the technology. In a recent survey by Myplanet of various technologies, "autonomous driving" came in as the most uncomfortable of the thirty-five technologies at 66.8% of the Americans surveyed. To put that in perspective, one of the technologies near the middle of the pack was "surgical robot" at 42% negative, which translates into "I'd rather your'bot cuts me open than have it drive me to the corner store." As summarized well by Jason Cottrell, Myplanet CEO, "Customers have made up their minds about autonomous driving and it's skewed heavily to the negative." Other studies, in fact, corroborate that level of fear (e.g.
White Castle has plans to usher robots into the kitchen. The burger chain announced a partnership with the artificial intelligence firm Miso Robotics on Monday. The idea is to reduce human contact with food during the cooking process and comes after many restaurants were crippled due to the pandemic, White Castle said in a statement. "The deployment will put autonomous frying to work for enhanced production speeds, improved labor allocation and an added layer of health and safety in the cooking process," the burger chain said. The restaurant didn't address how many workers could be displaced by robots.
HAYWARD, California – Robots that can cook -- from flipping burgers to baking bread -- are in growing demand as virus-wary kitchens try to put some distance between workers and customers. Starting this fall, the White Castle burger chain will test a robot arm that can cook french fries and other foods. The robot, dubbed Flippy, is made by Pasadena, California-based Miso Robotics. White Castle and Miso have been discussing a partnership for about a year. Those talks accelerated when COVID-19 struck, said White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson.
While robotic short-order cooks have been in development for a few years, their use in actual customer-facing businesses has been largely restricted to either independent or gimmick restaurants. But that changes today as Miso Robotics, maker of Flippy, and White Castle, maker of sliders, announce an Indiana-based pilot program that could one day see burger-flipping robots slinging patties and dunking fries all across the country. "The industry is facing some real, fundamental challenges," Buck Jordan, Miso Robotics CEO and Co-founder, told Engadget. "There's labor challenges due to self-sufficiency in kitchens, there's been a massive increase of delivery and now, of course, shifting consumer preferences towards low-touch establishments. These are all challenges that can be solved through automation."
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is demonstrating remarkable potential in enterprise deployments, saving thousands of hours each year, reducing wages costs and enabling people to focus on higher-value work. However, recent experience has shown that intelligent and agile automation of business processes requires more than RPA. The biggest problem with enterprise operations today is the simple fact that most firms only implemented RPA and believe that this technology is the only good solution for optimizing their routine processes. An RPA application often has to coexist with other applications supporting different workflows for handling huge digital workload while increasing productivity and reducing costs. RPA is relatively easy and quick to implement technology and promises a strong ROI and is defiantly a helpful element for automating simple, repetitive tasks, especially in connection with legacy systems or documents.
It is not surprising that Automation will change the industry landscape while impacting the employment percentage of the common man. Robots have been replacing humans over the past decades in several countries. While some experts believe that it will lead to a future without work, others are unconvinced of this forecast. A study co-authored by Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist and Pascual Restrepo, an assistant professor of economics at Boston University, states the statistics on this trend and how the impact of robots differs by industry and region and may play a notable role in exacerbating income inequality in the USA. According to the study, from the period of 1990 to 2007, the addition of one robot per 1000 workers reduced the national employment-to-population ratio by an average of 0.2 percent.
Facebook Connectivity, in league with ULC Robotics, has developed a robot capable of winding optical fibre on live medium voltage (MV) power lines that typically serve residential areas in much of the world, at a claimed cost three to five times cheaper than traditional aerial fibre construction. Karthik Yogeeswaran, wireless systems engineer at Facebook Connectivity, said in a blog post the idea for the project came after travelling through rural Africa and noticing the ubiquity of power line infrastructure, which is far "more pervasive than the total fibre footprint of the country". In order to keep costs down, Facebook needed to lower the preparatory and manual work needed to wind fibre around power lines, and to minimise disruption of electrical services, the robot needed to able to do its job on a live line and be able to avoid and cross obstacles it encountered. Keeping the weight of the robot within the limits that a medium voltage power line could handle was a key challenge because it would limit the amount of fibre it could carry, so the size of the cable needed to be reduced. "Using the MV power line as a support adds a number of additional challenges. The first is the voltage stress. MV conductors can have a voltage as high as 35kV which can cause degradation phenomena such as tracking, partial discharge, and dry band arcing," Yogeeswaran said.
Based in Hangzhou, outside Shanghai, Unitree Robotics was founded in 2017 by Xing Wang with the mission of making legged robots as popular and affordable as smartphones and drones are today. In a showcase of the heavily Boston Dynamics-inspired company's recent progress, it has released a video showing its four-legged robot A1 balancing in a yoga-like pose. "Marc Raibert … is my idol," Wang once told IEEE Spectrum about the president and founder of Boston Dynamics. While the famous robotics company serves as inspiration for Unitree Robotics, the Chinese company wants to make "make quadruped robots simpler and smaller, so that they can help ordinary people with things like carrying objects or as companions," Wang told IEE Spectrum. In order to instill this accessibility into their A1 robot, Unitree Robotics, made it weigh only 12 kg -- just under half the weight of Boston Dynamics' Spot robot, which weighs 25 kg.