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by   -   November 13, 2017

Robocar news is fast and furious these days. I certainly don’t cover it all, but will point to stories that have some significance. Plus, to tease you, here’s a clip from my 4K video of the new Apple car that you’ll find at the end of this post.

by   -   November 13, 2017

The Singles’ Day Shopping Festival held each year on November 11th is just like Black Friday, Mothers’ Day or any other sales-oriented psuedo-holiday, but bigger and more extravagant. Starting in 2009 in China as a university campus event, Singles Day has now reached all over China and to more than 180 countries.

by   -   November 9, 2017
Credit:Waymo

In a major milestone for robocars, Waymo has announced they will deploy in Phoenix with no human safety drivers behind the wheel. Until now, almost all robocars out there have only gone out on public streets with a trained human driver behind the wheel, ready to take over at any sign of trouble. Waymo and a few others have done short demonstrations with no safety driver, but now an actual pilot, providing service to beta-testing members of the public, will operate without human supervision.

by   -   November 6, 2017


Participants and startups in the emerging self-driving vehicles industry (components, systems, trucks, cars and buses) have been at it for over almost 60 years. The pace accelerated in 2004, 2005 and 2007 when DARPA sponsored long-distance competitions for driverless cars, and then again in 2009 when Uber began its ride-hailing system.

by and   -   November 2, 2017
Citizen Sophia. Flickr/AI for GOOD Global Summit, CC BY

I was surprised to hear that a robot named Sophia was granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

by   -   November 2, 2017

Twenty-eight different startups were funded in October cumulatively raising $862 million, up from $507 million in September. Three of the top four fundings were for startups involved in the self-driving process. An additional five lower-amount startups were also funded for self-driving applications or components along with two of the six acquisitions.

by   -   November 2, 2017
An analysis by Stanford researchers shows that the use of robot-assisted surgery to remove kidneys wasn’t always more cost-effective than using traditional laparascopic methods.
Master Video/Shutterstock

The internet hummed last week with reports that “Humans Still Make Better Surgeons Than Robots.” Stanford University Medical Center set off the tweetstorm with its seemingly scathing report on robotic surgery. When reading the research of 24,000 patients with kidney cancer, I concluded that the problem lied with the humans overcharging patients versus any technology flaw. In fact, the study praised robotic surgery for complicated procedures and suggested the fault lied with hospitals unnecessarily pushing robotic surgery for simple operations over conventional methods, which led to “increases in operating times and cost.”

by   -   October 31, 2017

My previous post on the House and Senate automated driving bills (HB 3388 and SB 1885) concluded by noting that, in addition to the federal government, states and the municipalities within them also play an important role in regulating road safety.

Many websites paint a very positive picture of the robocar future. And it is positive, but far from perfect. One problem I worry about in the short term is the way robocars are going to make traffic worse before they get a chance to make it better.

by   -   October 24, 2017

Healthy humans take for granted their five senses. In order to mold metal into perceiving machines, it requires a significant amount of engineers and capital. Already, we have handed over many of our faculties to embedded devices in our cars, homes, workplaces, hospitals, and governments. Even automation skeptics unwillingly trust the smart gadgets in their pockets with their lives.

by   -   October 24, 2017

Despite recent attempts to tease the robotics projects incubating at its Google X skunkworks, industry observers say that Google has done more to stifle than advance innovation in robotics.

by   -   October 20, 2017


NEDO, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, is a regular funder of robotic technology, has an office in Silicon Valley, and participates in various regional events to promote its work and future programs. One such event was Robots on the Rise: The Future of Robotics in Japan and the US held October 16th in Mountain View, CA and jointly sponsored by Silicon Valley Forum.

Sony Pictures

The new Blade Runner sequel will return us to a world where sophisticated androids made with organic body parts can match the strength and emotions of their human creators. As someone who builds biologically inspired robots, I’m interested in whether our own technology will ever come close to matching the “replicants” of Blade Runner 2049.

by   -   October 13, 2017

SoftBank and Huawei jointly demonstrated various use cases for their forthcoming 5G network. 5G commercial services, which will provide ultra-high throughput of over 800 Mbps with ultra-low latency transmission of less than 2ms, will begin being rolled out in 2020 in Japan and Korea and 2021-2023 in China, Europe and the U.S.

by   -   October 12, 2017
Copyright: Nilfisk

Danish Nilfisk Holding A/S began being listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under symbol NLFSK after being spun off from NKT A/S, a Danish conglomerate. Nilfisk is one of the world’s leading suppliers of professional cleaning equipment with a strong brand and a vision for growth in robotics.



ANYmal: A Ruggedized Quadrupedal Robot
November 11, 2017


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