Category: Robots

Doing the robot

Check out this tiny skull borrowing robot worm bringing precise, nerve dodging, surgical help in accessing tumors  growing around the nerves and bones of the inner-ear.

This TED talk presents a future for flying robots: Precision Farming.

For those of you with a bet on, the dominant life form out in the cosmos is probably superintelligent robots.



a robot wrap-up: we’ll make great pets.

//Steve Wozinak (Apple co-founder) stepped back from his previous AI apocalypse statements telling TechRepublic he thinks that we’ll make great pets and be treated well.

//Meanwhile robots are getting married in Japan…where else really.

//From Perth, the aussie robot Hadrian can lay bricks really fast, apparently will build house in about two days (non-stop). Look out Sydney housing market…

//a robotic cure for baldness?

image from DARPA 2015 robotics challenge

Robots falling over

Getting a humanoid robot to walk is hard, we take the process for granted (beyond the toddler stage) however programming that movement mathematically is not easy.

Currently the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) just finished running a robotics challenge for humanoid robots based around simple activities robots may need to complete in a disaster relief scenario. It was won by a Korean team.

But here is a compilation video of the robots falling over, kinda like a funniest home video section that amusingly highlights the difficulties of robot development:

Transform your android tablet into a telepresence robot

Origibot, describes itself as ‘the worlds most affordable telepresence robot’, plans to transform your Android tablet into a one-armed telepresence robot.

Origibot is a robotic telepresence platform powered by Android tablets. While connected to its cloud-powered web interface and app, Origibot can stream live video and audio to any computer or smartphone (iOS, Windows, Mac included). In addition to streaming live video and audio, Origibot features a durable aluminum arm and servo-driven gripper. Users can fetch them selves a drink, open doors, feed their pets, or retrieve the TV remote with Origibot.

While currently a project looking for funding at Indiegogo, you can go here to check out some nifty gifs of the robot in action, locking doors, getting drinks, even bringing Grandma her meds etc

Source: SimpleBotics

Fear of ‘Artificial Intelligence’

Do you fear the rise of a superintelligence? Will it be benevolent or a Terminator style scenario? This MIT Tech Review article parses out the prevailing thoughts and comments on the actual possibilities. Which appear to be zero.

When AI research fell far short of its lofty goals, funding dried up to a trickle, beginning long “AI winters.” Even so, the torch of the intelligent machine was carried forth in the 1980s and ’90s by sci-fi authors like Vernor Vinge, who popularized the concept of the singularity; researchers like the roboticist Hans Moravec, an expert in computer vision; and the engineer/entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil, author of the 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines. Whereas Turing had posited a humanlike intelligence, Vinge, Moravec, and Kurzweil were thinking bigger: when a computer became capable of independently devising ways to achieve goals, it would very likely be capable of introspection—and thus able to modify its software and make itself more intelligent. In short order, such a computer would be able to design its own hardware.

As Kurzweil described it, this would begin a beautiful new era. Such machines would have the insight and patience (measured in picoseconds) to solve the outstanding problems of nanotechnology and spaceflight; they would improve the human condition and let us upload our consciousness into an immortal digital form. Intelligence would spread throughout the cosmos.

You can also find the exact opposite of such sunny optimism. Stephen Hawking has warned that because people would be unable to compete with an advanced AI, it “could spell the end of the human race.” Upon reading Superintelligence, the entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted: “Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.” Musk then followed with a $10 million grant to the Future of Life Institute. Not to be confused with Bostrom’s center, this is an organization that says it is “working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity,” the ones that could arise “from the development of human-level artificial intelligence.”


Source: MIT Technology Review

Singapore wants a driverless version of Uber

Singapore will be trialling driverless taxis in 2015 in an experiment in easing traffic congestion.

The city-state will open one of its neighborhoods to driverless cars in 2015, with the idea that such vehicles could operate as a kind of jitney service, picking up passengers and taking them to trains or other modes of public transportation.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Can a robot, or a piece of software, be jailed if it commits a crime?

Swiss artists code an automated online shopping bot, and instructed it to purchase on a darknet market that lists over 16,000 items, not all of them illegal. It does however end up buying illegal items.

The artists created the project to explore:

the ethical and philosophical implications of these markets, which, despite high-profile internationally co-ordinated raids costing millions, persist and flourish. “We really want to provide new spaces to think about the goods traded on these markets. Why are they traded? How do we as a society deal with these spaces? At the moment there is just a lot of pressure, but not a lot of thinking about stuff, just immediate reaction.”

The answer to the question posed in the headline is answered by the artists who take full responsibility for the goods purchased, as they initially coded the bot. For me this does open up interesting ideas around how would authorities deal with a piece of software that randomly purchases illegal items and mails them to people. How could the recipient prove they didn’t order it?

Source: Guardian

Image: !Mediengruppe Bitnik


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