Robotics, by definition, has been a discipline to aid other fields, such as manufacturing and space exploration. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly important in life sciences; a field that has been transformed by the convergence of insights and approaches from distinct scientific and technological disciplines. Robotics can help automate numerous processes — including repetitive tasks used in drug discovery, in vitro fertilization — and in lab bench work, such as analytical testing and preparation of chemical agents.
In our recent paper in Science Robotics, we show how robotics in the life sciences can also enable scientists to study and interrogate biological processes at the microscale in a dynamic and adaptive manner.
A recent Conversation piece pointed out that the British electricity mix in 2016 was the cleanest in 60 years, with record capacity from renewable energy, mainly from wind and solar power. But one problem with this great expansion in renewables is they are intermittent, meaning they depend on weather conditions such as the wind blowing or sun shining. Unlike conventional power, this means they can’t necessarily meet surges in demand. Hence many press headlines in recent years about the “lights going out”.
Engineers at MIT have fabricated transparent, gel-based robots that move when water is pumped in and out of them. The bots can perform a number of fast, forceful tasks, including kicking a ball underwater, and grabbing and releasing a live fish.
The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has announced a call for startup companies in robotics, machine vision and motion control for its Automate Launch Pad Competition. The competition will be held at the Automate 2017 Show and Conference in Chicago, Illinois on April 5, 2017. The presenting sponsor of the competition is GE. The event is co-produced with Silicon Valley Robotics.
Brad Knox talks bots_alive and a new form of character AI. Much like motion capture for scripted animation, this new technique may revolutionize how interactive characters are created, through observation of authentic human-generated behavior.
Robotics isn’t gender neutral, it’s gender blind. And that means that there are a lot of hidden opportunities for savvy investors and entrepreneurs. One of the first robotics companies I followed was Restoration Robotics, a Silicon Valley based company that’s raised more than $111 M USD in 6 rounds. Restoration Robotics saw a niche for robotics in treating male baldness.
On the 15th November 2016, the IEEE’s AI and Ethics Summit posed the question: “Who does the thinking?” In a series of key-note speeches and lively panel discussions, leading technologists, legal thinkers, philosophers, social scientists, manufacturers and policy makers considered such issues as:
The social, technological and philosophical questions orbiting AI.
Proposals to program ethical algorithms with human values to machines.
The social implications of the applications of AI.