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by   -   January 20, 2017
Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla
Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla

NHTSA released the report from their Office of Defects Investigation on the fatal Tesla crash in Florida last spring. It’s a report that is surprisingly favorable to Tesla. So much so that even I am surprised.

by   -   January 17, 2017

3d-printed-divergent3d-ces2017

CES is the big event for major car makers to show off robocar technology. Most of the north hall, and a giant parking lot next to it, were devoted to car technology and self-driving demos.

by   -   January 11, 2017

Brad Templeton offers his learned perspective on recent reports from the Netherlands that a Tesla AutoPilot correctly predicted a collision

by   -   December 29, 2016

car-wash

We tend to assume that automation is a process that continues – that once some human activity has been automated there’s no going back. That automation sticks. But, as Paul Mason pointed out in a recent column that assumption is wrong.

by   -   December 29, 2016

For all of us who participated in the Jibo IndieGoGo crowdfunding and are anxiously awaiting delivery – which has been delayed again – this Chinese knock-off came as quite a surprise.

by   -   December 27, 2016

Alan Winfield introduces the recently published IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems…

by   -   December 26, 2016
Image: Kenguru
Image: Kenguru

Robocars are broadly going to be a huge boon for many people with disabilities, especially disabilities that make it difficult to drive or those that make it hard to get in and out of vehicles. Existing disability regulations and policies were written without robocars in mind, and there are probably some improvements that need to be made.

by   -   December 26, 2016
Image: Festo
Image: Festo

Ask a child to design a robot, and they’ll produce a drawing that looks a little like you or I—the parts may be gray and boxy, but it will have two arms, two legs, and a head (probably with an antenna coming out of the top). Starting from the beginning of robotics, the human form has seemed like an excellent starting point. One of the best places to draw inspiration for robotic design, however, is the kingdom of insects, arachnids, snails, and slugs.

by   -   December 14, 2016

Brad Templeton discusses Waymo and why it is an important move away from being a unit of a mega-company like Google or Alphabet.

by   -   December 9, 2016

congestion-traffic

I believe we have the potential to eliminate a major fraction of traffic congestion in the near future, using technology that exists today which will be cheap in the future. The method has been outlined by myself and others in the past, but here I offer an alternate way to
explain it which may help crystallize it in people’s minds.

by   -   November 16, 2016
Source: HBO, Westworld
Source: HBO, Westworld

Please note: The following article may contain spoilers up to Episode 5 of Westworld.

HBO’s Westworld (on Sky Atlantic here in the UK) is progressing nicely, though even now at five episodes in it’s probably a little too early to start speculating about what is going on exactly. However, at the risk of casting wild speculations that hindsight later proves naive, one character that is particularly interesting: Anthony Hopkin’s Dr. Robert Ford.

by   -   November 11, 2016
This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the "Quela" drilling location in the "Murray Buttes" area on lower Mount Sharp. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Quela” drilling location in the “Murray Buttes” area on lower Mount Sharp. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Late morning, red skies over Mars, and the first human interloper emerges from her landing craft to review the dusty expanse. As she eases carefully down the ladder towards the alien earth, her mind spins with the words that, like Armstrong’s, will echo forever in the human conscious. She speaks and, when her signal reaches home just over three minutes later, 11 billion hearts skip a beat. It’s a powerful image, oft perpetuated in such media as the upcoming National Geographic “global event series” MARS. But below is another, far realer image: the crater left by Schiaparelli after its parachute jettisoned too early and it ploughed into the Martian surface, fatally. Images like this illustrate the truly difficult, dangerous and costly business of spaceflight.

by   -   October 31, 2016
Source: commaai
Source: commaai

Comma.ai, the brash startup attempting to make a self-driving system entirely from a neural network has announced it will cancel the “comma one” add-on box it has planned to sell to owners of certain Honda vehicles. The box stuck on the rear-view mirror and used the car’s own bus commands to provide an autopilot similar to those offered by car makers, with lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control.

by   -   October 21, 2016

westworld-promo-hbo

For a sci-fi fan like me, fascinated by the nature of human intelligence and the possibility of building life-like robots, it’s always interesting to find a new angle on these questions. As a re-imagining of the original 1970s science fiction film set in a cowboy-themed, hyper-real adult theme park populated by robots that look and act like people, Westworld does not disappoint.





Birdly
August 22, 2014


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