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by   -   December 13, 2017

The Swiss Drone Industry Map above (click for larger image) is an attempt to list and group all companies and institutions in Switzerland that provide a product or service that makes commercial operations of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles possible. An entity can only appear in one box (i.e. main activity) and must be publicly promoting existing or future products and services. Swiss drone research centres, system integrators and pilot schools are not part of the map. Corrections, suggestions and new submissions are welcome!

by   -   December 13, 2017

In this episode of Robots in Depth, Per Sjöborg speaks with Mel Torrie, founder and CEO of ASI, Autonomous Solutions Inc. Mel talks about how ASI develops a diversified portfolio of vehicle automation systems across multiple industries.

by   -   December 13, 2017

The two biggest societal challenges for the twenty-first century are also the biggest opportunities – automation and climate change. The confluence of these forces of mankind and nature intersect beautifully in the alternative energy market. The epitaph of fossil fuels with its dark cloud burning a hole in the ozone layer is giving way to a rise of solar and wind farms worldwide. Servicing these plantations are fleets of robots and drones, providing greater possibilities of expanding CleanTech to the most remote regions of the planet.

by   -   December 12, 2017

Three very different robotics startups have been battling it out over the last week to win the “Robohub Choice” award in our annual startup competition. One was social, one was medical and one was agricultural! Also, one was from the UK, one was from the Ukraine and one was from Canada. Although nine startups entered the voting, it was clear from the start that it was a three horse race – thanks to our Robohub readers and the social media efforts of the startups.

by   -   December 11, 2017
Neural nets are so named because they roughly approximate the structure of the human brain. Typically, they’re arranged into layers, and each layer consists of many simple processing units — nodes — each of which is connected to several nodes in the layers above and below. Data is fed into the lowest layer, whose nodes process it and pass it to the next layer. The connections between layers have different “weights,” which determine how much the output of any one node figures into the calculation performed by the next.
Image: Chelsea Turner/MIT

By Larry Hardesty

Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing huge sets of training data, have been responsible for the most impressive recent advances in artificial intelligence, including speech-recognition and automatic-translation systems.

UBTECH Education   Transforma   Shanghai Jiao Tong University   Advisian   

interview by   -   December 10, 2017
Image: ICRA 2017

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews several companies at the International Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA). ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s biggest conference and one of the leading international forums for robotics researchers to present their work.

by   -   December 7, 2017

By Sylvia Herbert, David Fridovich-Keil, and Claire Tomlin

The Problem: Fast and Safe Motion Planning

Real time autonomous motion planning and navigation is hard, especially when we care about safety. This becomes even more difficult when we have systems with complicated dynamics, external disturbances (like wind), and a priori unknown environments. Our goal in this work is to “robustify” existing real-time motion planners to guarantee safety during navigation of dynamic systems.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Origami-inspired artificial muscles are capable of lifting up to 1,000 times their own weight, simply by applying air or water pressure. Credit: Shuguang Li / Wyss Institute at Harvard University

By Lindsay Brownell

Soft robotics has made leaps and bounds over the last decade as researchers around the world have experimented with different materials and designs to allow once rigid, jerky machines to bend and flex in ways that mimic and can interact more naturally with living organisms. However, increased flexibility and dexterity has a trade-off of reduced strength, as softer materials are generally not as strong or resilient as inflexible ones, which limits their use.

by   -   December 7, 2017

By Susannah Odell and Natasha McCarthy

Technology narratives

The nature, promise and risks of new technologies enter into our shared thinking through narrative – explicit or implicit stories about the technologies and their place in our lives. These narratives can determine what is salient about the technologies, influencing how they are represented in media, culture and everyday discussion. The narratives can influence the dynamics of concern and aspiration across society; the ways and the contexts in which different groups and individuals become aware of and respond to mainstream, new and emerging technologies. The narratives available at a particular point in time, and who tells them, can affect the course of technology development and uptake in subtle ways.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Dan Burstein, reporter, novelist and successful venture capitalist, declared Wednesday night at RobotLab‘s winter forum on Autonomous Transportation & SmartCities that within one hundred years the majority of jobs in the USA (and the world) could disappear, transferring the mantle of work from humans to machines.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Intel and Warner made a splash at the LA Auto Show announcing how Warner will develop entertainment for viewing while riding in robotaxis. It’s not just movies to watch, their hope is to produce something more like an amusement park ride to keep you engaged on your journey.

by   -   December 6, 2017
Credit: Melanie Saldana

The first International Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL) happened mid-November in Mountain View, California.

You can now watch all the videos online, including talks by J. Andrew Bagnell (CMU), Rodney Brooks (Rethink Robotics, MIT), Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley), Yann LeCun (Facebook, NYU) and Stefanie Tellex (Brown University).

by   -   December 6, 2017

Twenty-two different startups were funded in November cumulatively raising $782 million, down a bit from the $862 million in October. The big $400 million funding for UBTech and the $55 million for TuSimple were the only two fundings over $50 million and they were both for Chinese startups with funding from Chinese VC firms.

Six acquisitions were reported during the month including another takeover of a European robotics company by a Chinese one.

On the IPO front, three existing publicly-traded stocks announced additional shares to raise additional funds.

by   -   December 2, 2017

In the lead up to the finals of the Robot Launch 2017 competition on December 14, we’re having one round of public voting for your favorite startup from the Top 25. While in previous years we’ve had public voting for all the startups, running alongside the investor judging, this year it’s an opt-in, because many of the startups seeking investment are not yet ready to publicize. Each year the startups get better and better, so we can’t wait to see who you think is the best! Make sure you vote for your favorite – below – by 6pm PST,  10 December and spread the word through social media using #robotlaunch2017.

by   -   December 1, 2017

By Anusha Nagabandi and Gregory Kahn

Enabling robots to act autonomously in the real-world is difficult. Really, really difficult. Even with expensive robots and teams of world-class researchers, robots still have difficulty autonomously navigating and interacting in complex, unstructured environments.

ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017

December 2017

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