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expert opinions

by   -   August 26, 2016
Source: Ford Velodyne LiDAR/YouTube
Source: Ford Velodyne LiDAR/YouTube

In anticipation of the need for LiDAR devices in cars with assisted steering and other self-driving technologies, both Velodyne and Quanergy received funding. Quanergy raised $90 million and Velodyne got $150 million.

by   -   August 24, 2016

AlanWinfieldRobots and their impact on the economy is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Will robots increase productivity and jobs, improve society, and will wealth be shared? To address this question, we’ll be talking to three European Experts about the robot economy. In today’s interview, we sat down with Alan Winfield, Professor at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and expert in robot regulation and ethics. He is often invited to discuss the role of robots in society, including at the World Economic Forum, the Royal Society, and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

by   -   August 23, 2016
Source: Otto/YouTube
Source: Otto/YouTube

Brad Templeton, from Robocars.com, discusses the latest robocar related news.

by   -   August 22, 2016
A Bird’s Eye View of AT&T’s Drone Inspection Program, Source: AT&T/YouTube
A Bird’s Eye View of AT&T’s Drone Inspection Program, Source: AT&T/YouTube

CNN just inaugurated their new drone division. So have many other news organizations. Network providers are also setting up drone operations for a variety of purposes.

by   -   August 19, 2016
Source: Jibo/YouTube
Source: Jibo/YouTube

Bringing a complex new product to market is an intensive process fraught with problems. Getting hardware ready for manufacturing is often the easy part; it’s the software and regulatory compliance that’s often the most challenging. Here are three examples: Ford Motor Co., Velodyne LiDAR and Jibo.

by   -   August 18, 2016
Hunan Changsha 5S robot store. Source: gog.cn
Hunan Changsha 5S robot store. Source: gog.cn

Chinese consumer manufacturer Midea, after having spent over $4 billion to acquire 94% of German robot maker Kuka, is planning to spend an additional $1.5 billion to turn itself into China’s preeminent robot powerhouse.

by   -   August 18, 2016
Source: US DOT
Source: US DOT

At the recent AUVSI/TRB conference in San Francisco, there was talk of upcoming regulation, particularly from NHTSA. Secretary of Transportation Foxx and his NHTSA staff spoke with just vague hints about what might come in the proposals due this fall. Generally, they said good things, namely that they are wary of slowing down the development of the technology. But they said things that suggest other directions.

by   -   August 17, 2016

warehouse-distribution-centre-supply-chain

International Data Corporation (IDC) has awarded five pioneering players in the warehouse robotics market with the 2016 IDC Innovators Award. Companies selected met the following criteria: revenue of less than $50 million with an innovative technology, or a groundbreaking new business model, or both.

by   -   August 15, 2016
One taxi cab with quite a few self-driving cars in the city.
One lone taxi cab surrounded by quite a few self-driving cars in congestion.

Robin Chase wrote an article wondering if robocars will improve or ruin our cities and asked for my comment on it. It’s a long article, and I have lots of comment, since I have been considering these issues for a while. On this site, I spend most of my time on the potential positive future, though I have written various articles on downsides and there are yet more to write about.

Robin’s question has been a popular one of late, in part a reaction by urban planners who are finally starting to think more deeply on the topic and reacting to the utopian visions sometimes presented. I am guilty of such visions, though not as guilty as some. We are all seduced in part by excitement of what’s possible in a world where most or all cars are robocars — a world that is not coming for several decades, if in our lifetimes at all. It’s fair to look at the topic from both sides, as no technology is 100% good.

by ,   -   August 12, 2016
Care-o-bot
Source: Fraunhofer IPA/photo: Jens Kilian

Future Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) should be safe, but patients also have a right to privacy, liberty and social contact. The survey investigates, in a hypothetical scenario, how Annie’s SAR should prioritise tasks, asking to indicate in how far Annie’s privacy and autonomy can be violated in the interest of her well-being. The survey is designed to investigate how variable people’s opinions are and to understand whether respondents agree on a set of behavioural rules in this hypothetical scenario.

by   -   August 12, 2016
Platooning. Photo: Dan Boman
Trucks platooning on the motorway. Photo: Dan Boman

At the recent AUVSI/TRB symposium, a popular research topic was platooning for robocars and trucks. Platooning is perhaps the oldest practical proposal when it comes to car automation because you can have the lead vehicle driven by a human, even a specially trained one, and thus, resolve all the problems that come from road situations too complex for software to easily handle.

by   -   August 11, 2016

Robot-sale-business-robots-selling

Spin-offs are disrupting, but often necessary. Here are two recent examples: iRobot sold off its Defense & Security Business Unit to a private equity firm, and Harvest Automation sold the IP and work in process of its warehousing robot group to a new venture-backed startup.

by   -   August 9, 2016

NAO-humanoid-robot-robots-Aldebaran

When I was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in 2014, Justin Webb’s final question was, “If you can make an ethical robot, doesn’t that mean you could make an unethical robot?” The answer, of course, is yes. But at the time, I didn’t realise quite how easy it is to transform a robot from ethical to unethical. In a new paper, we show how.

by   -   August 5, 2016
Maj. (Dr.) George Kallingal showcases a robotic surgical system while Lt. Col. (Dr.) Thomas Novak, Brooke Army Medical Center's chief of pediatric urology, looks on at San Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio.  Photo credit: Robert Shields
Maj. (Dr.) George Kallingal showcases a robotic surgical system while Lt. Col. (Dr.) Thomas Novak, Brooke Army Medical Center’s chief of pediatric urology, looks on at San Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio. Photo credit: Robert Shields

Robotic surgery has long been dominated by Intuitive Surgical which has placed more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals around the world. Nevertheless, an increasing number of new players are entering the marketplace.

by   -   August 3, 2016

stock_market_exchange_money

Despite all the high-profile billion-dollar acquisitions, eg: ARM by SoftBank, KUKA by Midea and Uber China by Didi Chuxing, M&A are down 19% this year, according to both Forbes and CB Insights. Buyers are buying, but they are seeking cash-positive market-realistic targets. Values (both monetary and vanity) are taking a hit. What’s a startup to do?

According to CB Insights, startups can (1) get bought at a lower valuation and take the hit; (2) lower their cash burn rate and play the long game; or, (3), if they already have strong fundamentals and good growth, continue on.





Construction with amorphous materials
September 6, 2013


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