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expert opinions

by   -   December 18, 2014

If you write papers with results based on simulation and submit them for peer-review, then be warned: if I should review your paper then I will probably recommend it is rejected. Why? Because all of the many simulation-based papers I've reviewed in the last couple of years have been flawed.

by   -   December 18, 2014

Soft robotics is finally leaving the research lab and entering the real world.   One of the companies leading the way is a Boston-based startup that is commercializing the innovations of the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard. I’m talking today with Soft Robotics CEO Carl Vause. Full transcript below.

 Andrew Williams is shown with a couple of girls from the CompuGirls project. He says, "In this project we're communicating to the girls that we're going to teach you how to use these technology tools with robotics to advance your community, better understand yourself and show that you do belong in technology and you have some valuable contributions you can make."

Andrew Williams is shown with a couple of girls from the CompuGirls project. He says, “In this project we’re communicating to the girls that we’re going to teach you how to use these technology tools with robotics to advance your community, better understand yourself and show that you do belong in technology and you have some valuable contributions you can make.”
Photo credit: John C. Williams, Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics (HEIR) Lab, Marquette University

If one of the keys to building a future technology workforce is finding new ways to engage women and minorities in computer science, giving teenage girls an understanding of what the field is, and how they might contribute, matters.

by   -   December 11, 2014

When I talk about robocars, I often get quite opposite reactions ... while some say they will never give up car ownership, others can't see why anyone would own a car if there were robotaxis available. Still other believe that human drivers will be banned from roads before long. I predict none of these extremes will be true, but that the market will offer all options to the public.

by   -   December 11, 2014

crowdfundingFour successful startups and the president of Robohub have some advice for future crowdfunders. They’ve been there and offered the perk T-shirt, so listen up.

by   -   December 11, 2014
Photo credit: Jer Thorp
Photo credit: Jer Thorp

Two years ago, Swedish communications technology giant Ericsson found itself looking for a way to explain the value it saw in the Internet of Things. Rather than publish another whitepaper on the topic, the company struck on a different communication tool: Legos. More specifically, Lego robots.

by   -   December 9, 2014
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced updated rules that will give operators an annual permission to operate in built up areas.

by   -   December 5, 2014

thymioII_1

This is Kidbotics, a new educational robotics review series for kids who, like me, are just coming into the robotics scene.  I am 12 years old, and these reviews are meant to give kids (and their parents and teachers) a sense of whether these will make a fun introduction to robotics for kids with minimal experience. Today we are looking into the depths of the ThymioII, a wonderful little robot by Mobsya with some really great things going for it. 

Alex Leveringhaus, author of a recent Oxford Martin School policy paper titled Robo-Wars: The Regulation of Robotic Weapons discusses the ethics of autonomous weapons, urges governments to recognise the increasing prominence of these weapons in contemporary and future forms of warfare, and proposes steps towards suitable regulation.

by   -   December 5, 2014
RPAS training session in progress. Source: Resource Group.
Small RPAS training session in progress. Source: Resource Group.

No two countries see eye-to-eye when it comes to regulating drones; and every country seems to have different guidelines for determining who can deploy drones.

by   -   December 3, 2014

Amazon_PrimeAir

Just over one year ago, Amazon announced that it is developing a drone delivery service – Prime Air – in a bid to get packages into customers’ hands within 30 minutes. How feasible is this from a cost perspective? Kiva Systems co-founder indicates drone delivery could cost as low as 20 cents/package. 

by   -   December 1, 2014

We asked Alan Winfield what the first successful landing on a comet means for the future of space mining. Find out his answer below.

by   -   November 28, 2014

A recently released US Department of Defense report, DTP 106: Policy Challenges of Accelerating Technological Change, sets out the potential benefits and concerns of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and associated technologies. The authors call for policy choices to be made sooner rather than later.

by   -   November 28, 2014

Most people most of the time make decisions with little awareness of what they are doing. These decisions include driving on auto-pilot, brushing our teeth, etc. Often we are not ‘mindful’ in such circumstances. However most of our judgments and actions are appropriate, most of the time. But not always!

This image of a robot arm, developed by the Stanford Research Institute, is similar to the one that appeared in the 1976 NSF Annual Report. The robotic system used computer vision to identify and make decisions about parts on an assembly line. This is one of several projects from that era aimed at improving the productivity of American manufacturing processes. Credit: SRI International
This image of a robot arm, developed by the Stanford Research Institute, is similar to the one that appeared in the 1976 NSF Annual Report. The robotic system used computer vision to identify and make decisions about parts on an assembly line. This is one of several projects from that era aimed at improving the productivity of American manufacturing processes. Credit: SRI International

The fundamental research in computing and engineering that has enabled robotics to develop in the US has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since its inception. Yet despite these early investments in sensors, machine movement and computer vision, it wasn’t until 1972 that the first grant with “robot” in the title was funded in the US .