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Pepper Now Available at Funerals as a More Affordable Alternative to Human Priests

 − at 21:00, 22. Aug. 2017



In Japan, thrifty Buddhists can now hire the Pepper robot as a funeral assistant

[original entry]

Industry Urges United Nations to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons in New Open Letter

 − at 21:00, 21. Aug. 2017



Representatives from 116 companies around the world, including Elon Musk, renew a call for the UN to ban lethal autonomous weapon systems

[original entry]

AI in Space

 − at 15:00, 21. Aug. 2017



NASA is partnering with machine learning researchers and computer companies on planetary defense and mapping the moon

[original entry]

Video Friday: AI vs. Dota 2, Cassie gets Bored, and Georgia Tech's Robotarium

 − at 17:30, 18. Aug. 2017



Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

[original entry]

Contemporary Robotics – Professional

 − at 17:10, 18. Aug. 2017

We’re moving towards a world full of robots, that’s a fact. In this series, we’re taking a break for a second to assess where Contemporary Robotics are at today and what the future looks like. For this third chapter, we’re focusing on robots in the professional world.

contemporary-robotics-professional

Contemporary Robotics – Professional

Professional Robots are about to invade all the sectors

So far, robots have been limited to mostly industrial applications. Since the first Unimate in the 1960’s, robots have invaded most of the factories around the world. From giant arms moving cars around the plant, to helpers like Baxter, they disrupted and drastically improved the industrial sector. Agriculture is already seeing drones and autonomous combines and tractors take over, and so is the rest of the primary sector.

contemporary-robotics-professional-dji-agras

Professional Robotics in Agriculture

And now, they’re about to bring the same disruption to many other fields. We can already foresee a future where the tertiary sector will also see the arrival of robots. From robot cashiers, to robot cooks (see Moley), a lot of jobs are about to be replaced by robots. We were wondering a couple of weeks ago about this: will a robot take your job?

Professional Robots will provide (autonomous) workers

We previously discussed how Artificial Intelligence will make robots better, and in a near future allow them to work autonomously. Uber for instance is currently working on autonomous vehicles, either for its ride-sharing service, or for freight with a line of autonomous trucks.

contemporary-robotics-professional-robot-cashier

Professional Robotics- Pepper

A lot of tasks will soon be managed by robots which will achieve them autonomously. They will help us cope with the decreasing volume of available workforce by handling all the jobs they can.

Professional Robots will make working safer

Thanks to their development and improvement, robots will decrease the number of humans at risk as they will take their places in dangerous situations. We can think here of the example of the robots doing minesweeping, or the ones working in the Fukushima nuclear plant. An inspection job that would kill any human trying to achieve it, but a perfect one for small robots. And while we can only hope for the least possible amount of catastrophes, we can expect robots to assist us and protect us during the aftermath, and rescue the ones in need.

contemporary-robotics-professional-fukushima

Professional Robotics Fukushima

Furthermore, they’ll also make exploring the unknown safer. Whether in the oceans, or in dangerous corners of the earth, or in space, they will help us get a better understanding of what’s out there. And support the inherent risks for us.

contemporary-robotics-professional-underwater

Professional Robotics – UUV

          

Related Stories

 

[original entry]

Robots Podcast #241: Tensegrity Control, with Kostas Bekris

 − at 09:00, 18. Aug. 2017

In this episode, Jack Rasiel speaks with Kostas Bekris, who introduces us to tensegrity robotics: a striking robotic design which straddles the boundary between hard and soft robotics. A structure uses tensegrity if it is made of a number of isolated rigid elements which are held in compression by a network of elements that are in tension. Bekris, an Associate Professor of Computer Science, draws from a diverse set of problems to find innovative new ways to control tensegrity robots.

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[original entry]

Reliable Perching Makes Fixed-Wing UAVs Much More Useful

 − at 22:14, 17. Aug. 2017



Inspired by birds, S-MAD uses a controlled approach and microspine toes to land on vertical surfaces and take off again

[original entry]

Self-Driving Wheelchairs Debut in Hospitals and Airports

 − at 21:17, 17. Aug. 2017



The autonomous vehicles sense positions, select routes, and stop for obstacles

[original entry]

Contemporary Robotics – Industrial

 − at 22:48, 15. Aug. 2017

We’re moving towards a world full of robots, that’s a fact. In this series, we’re taking a break for a second to assess where Contemporary Robotics are at today and what the future looks like. For this fourth chapter, we’re studying robotics in the industrial world.

contemporary-robotics-industrial

Industrial Robots have already transformed the secondary sector

As explained in our previous chapter, robots have arrived in most of the factories around the world. We’ve come a long way since the first Unimate in the 1960’s. They have not only made the work safer for the workers, but they do it better too. By being more productive, they helped drive the production costs down and proved to be extremely cost-effective. They also helped make possible what seemed impossible or too complicated.

contemporary-robotics-industrial-robot-car-tesla-factories

 

Thus, they impacted our world and our lives far beyond just our factories.

Industrial Robots will keep being improved and improve our lives.

Not only they make jobs safer and drive manufacturing costs down, but they have a strong positive impact on the economy. Indeed, it has been witnessed that heavy investments in automation are correlated with an increase in the GDP, which itself is correlated with an improvement in the quality of life.

contemporary-robotics-industrial-baxter

And with these investments and the research and development, “traditional” robots are going to get better and smaller, and consequently agiler. Soon, we’ll see robots doing tasks which were reserved for humans, and we’ll see them in companies of all sizes. We’ve seen the first iterations of Baxter and everything indicates that more and more similar robots will help disrupt work as we know it.

Industrial Robots are leading us towards an automated world

We can’t dissociate the improvements in robotics with those in AI. As robots get smarter thanks to artificial intelligence, they’ll get more autonomous. We’re already seeing some warehouses having robots moving the stocks around. With autonomous cars and trucks around the corner, we can wonder “How long before all the warehousing and shipping is done by robots only?“.

contemporary-robotics-industrial-warehouse

And since we’re bound to see robots in all companies, we’re left wondering: which jobs are going to be automated and be done by autonomous robots in the future?

 

          

Related Stories

 

[original entry]

How Much Would You Pay to Drive a Jumping Robot on the Moon?

 − at 20:00, 15. Aug. 2017



The European Space Agency is looking for lunar business proposals, and little gaming robots might be on the way to the moon

[original entry]