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by   -   September 20, 2017

How do we build robots? How do we program them? Can we improve these processes?

As highlighted in a previous post, despite the fact that robotics is increasingly regarded as a ‘Science’, as shown by the launch of new journals such as Science Robotics, reproducibility of experiments is still difficult or entirely lacking.

by   -   September 20, 2017

SharkNinja, a well-known marketer of home consumer products, has entered the American robotic vacuum market with a product that is priced to compete against iRobot’s Roomba line of floor cleaners. Their new ION Robot navigates floors and carpets and docks and recharges automatically. It sells at a very favorable price point to iRobot’s.

by   -   September 15, 2017

NHTSA released their latest draft robocar regulations just a week after the U.S. House passed a new regulatory regime and the senate started working on its own. The proposed regulations preempt state regulation of vehicle design, and allow companies to apply for high volume exemptions from the standards that exist for human-driven cars.

by   -   September 13, 2017
Tesla Motors autopilot (photo:Tesla)

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has released a preliminary report on the fatal Tesla crash with the full report expected later this week. The report is much less favourable to autopilots than their earlier evaluation.

by   -   September 8, 2017

Aerospace conglomerate United Technologies is paying $30 billion to acquire Rockwell Collins in a deal that creates one of the world’s largest makers of civilian and defense aircraft components. Rockwell Collins and United’s Aerospace Systems segment will combine to create a new business unit named Collins Aerospace Systems.

by   -   September 8, 2017


How will robocars fare in a disaster, like Harvey in Houston, Irma, or the tsunamis in Japan or Indonesia, or a big Earthquake, or a fire, or 9/11, or a war?

by   -   September 5, 2017

In an OpEd piece in the NY Times, and in a TED Talk late last year, Oren Etzioni, PhD, author, and CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, suggested an update for Isaac Asimov’s three laws of Artificial Intelligence. Given the widespread media attention emanating from Elon Musk’s (and others) warnings, these updates might be worth reviewing.

by   -   September 2, 2017


August fundings totaled $369 million but the number of August transactions, seven, was down from previous months, eg: both July and June had 19 fundings each. Acquisitions, on the other hand, remained steady with a big one pending: Snap has been negotiating all month to acquire Chinese drone startup Zero Zero Robotics for around $150M.

File 20170830 24267 1w1z0fj

Future robots will work side by side with humans, just as they do today.
Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

by Thomas Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management and Lee Dyer, Cornell University

The technologies driving artificial intelligence are expanding exponentially, leading many technology experts and futurists to predict machines will soon be doing many of the jobs that humans do today. Some even predict humans could lose control over their future.

by   -   August 30, 2017

China has rapidly become a global leader in robotics and automation. 2016 annual sales of industrial robots reached the highest level ever for any single country: 87,000 units (up 27% from 2015) and China’s stock of industrial robots is now, at 340,000 units, also the highest total in the world. while Chinese robot manufacturers increased their market share to 31% (up 120% from 2015).

by   -   August 16, 2017
PARAMOUR on Broadway – A Cirque du Soleil Musical. Credit: Richard Termine

Last year, Intel partnered with Lady Gaga on the Super Bowl Halftime Show to showcase its latest aerial technology called “Shooting Star.” Intel did a reprise performance of its Shooting Star technology for Singapore’s 52nd birthday this past week. Instead of fireworks, the tech-savvy country celebrated its National Day Parade with a swarm of 300 LED drones animating the night sky with shapes, logos, and even a map of the country.

by   -   August 11, 2017
DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The U.S. Army has ordered its members to stop using drones made by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology because of “cyber vulnerabilities.” The directive applies to all DJI drones and systems that use DJI components or software. It requires service members to “cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries and storage media and secure equipment for follow-on direction.”

As AI surpasses human abilities in Go and poker – two decades after Deep Blue trounced chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov – it is seeping into our lives in ever more profound ways. It affects the way we search the web, receive medical advice and whether we receive finance from our banks.

Instead of worrying so much about robots taking away jobs, maybe we should worry more about wages being too low for robots to even get a chance. Seasonal labor for harvesting agricultural products, particularly fruits and vegetables, is dependent on human labor from a diminishing universe of willing workers.



Disney Robotics
September 17, 2017


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