At the Phoenix Open PGA Golf Tournament held February 4-7 in Scottsdale Arizona, Golf Laboratories, an independent golf testing facility for clubs, shafts and ball testing based in San Diego, brought a robot to the tee-off spot and promptly hit a hole-in-one.
In a transaction valued at $45 million, iRobot has sold its Defense and Security division to Arlington Capital Partners. Sean Bielat, who takes over as the CEO, says the new company will be the largest independent provider of ground-based robots to the Department of Defense.
Google-backed DeepMind created an AI sophisticated enough to beat a human champion in the Chinese board game Go, marking another milestone of development and progress in AI research. What will be next as we raise the bar?
Pulitzer-Prize-winning John Markoff has been covering the technology beat at the New York Times for almost three decades, and recently published Machines of Loving Grace – a book that chronicles the evolution of robotics and AI. In this interview we turn the lens around and ask Markoff about what motivates his interest to report on robotics, and how he sees trends in robotics today being informed by people and events from the past.
In our previous post we looked at socially engaging robots and how they are helping to break down barriers to remote presence. Another area on the fringe of telepresence is service robots. These robots operate autonomously, but have the ability to be controlled in telepresence mode when the need arises. The symbiosis between robot and machine allows these robots to take care of easier things, while allowing humans to take over when it needs help. As autonomy improves, the bar moves higher and higher.
Perhaps the biggest upcoming robotics-driven economic and social change will be the arrival of fully autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. Imagine a world full of self driving cars, planes and boats — the benefits will range from life-saving and cost reduction to greater mobility options for people of all ages.
Two CES keynote presentations illustrate how artificial intelligence and data synthesis will provide the backbone to enable meaningful and productive interaction between humans and machines ... not only on screens, but with gestures, visual cues and spoken understandable communication to and from smart devices and robots of all types. And it's not just a near-term future they foretell -- they give examples of where it is already happening.
CES draws huge traffic to the worlds of digital, electronics, robotics, IoT and consumer products. Everyone wants to learn about products and thematic or even paradigm changes that will affect their lives in the near future, and over 6,000 members of the media from all over the world were there to gather that information. Their observations have been -- and will be -- top news stories for months to come.
Every year cars get a little better, but we’re in for a period of about 5 years in electric cars where each year's new model is a lot better, and that’s trouble for people trying to sell them. To top it off, in a few years robocar features will start getting more serious (starting with the first no-supervision traffic jam assist), and so other parts of the car will also be on the Moore’s Law curve. How might a taxi model for robocars mitigate this?
At a press conference last week at CES, Toyota, led by Gill Pratt of DARPA fame and now CEO of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), informed the world what Toyota intended to do with it’s billion dollar investment in their new AI research facilities in Silicon Valley and Cambridge.
For many years, industrial robots were not able to monitor their surroundings. With the introduction of different sensors for robots, they are now able to feel what they are handling and see what they are doing or who is around them. However, force sensing is still less popular than vision systems, even though it can be as useful as vision, and in some instances more so. Here’s why you should use force feedback in your robotic applications.
While many people view technology or regulation as the biggest obstacles to robocar deployment, it could be that the bigger obstacle is that we have yet to determine what our safety goals are for autonomous cars, and also how to test these vehicles so that we can know when these goals have been met.
Last month we caught up with Dario Floreano, the head of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Here we continue our discussion, covering acoustic sensing, multi-drone operations and more. Missed Part 1? Check it out here.
From Grand Challenges such as the recent DRC, to STEM events such as FIRST, to startup pitches such as Robot Launch, competitions have been used to push the state of the art in the field, inspire the next generation of technology experts, create networking opportunities between startups and investors, and much more. But how effective are competitions in meeting these goals? What do participants, coaches and organizers think? Why are competitions important to the field of robotics?
We are surveying participants, team leaders and organizers of robotics competitions to find out. If you have ever been involved in a robotics competition, please take 5-10 minutes to share your experience with us.