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by   -   August 25, 2015
image: kopretinka/flickr
image: kopretinka/flickr

What should a robocar do when it meets another robocar on a very narrow road? If they’re in control, humans may resolve this in a number of ways, but it’s a widely held belief that this is one of the many problems baffling the developers of autonomous vehicles. Are they right? 

by   -   August 14, 2015

alphabetEverybody has heard about Google’s restructuring. In the new setup, Google X, which includes the self-driving car division, will be a subsidiary of the new Alphabet holding company, and no longer part of Google.

by   -   June 8, 2015
Photo credit: Brad Templeton.
Photo credit: Brad Templeton.

This weekend I went to Pomona, CA for the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, where robots (mostly humanoid) competed at a variety of disaster response and assistance tasks. This contest — a successor of sorts to the original DARPA Grand Challenge, which changed the world by giving us robocars — got a fair bit of press, but a lot of it was around this video showing various robots falling down when doing the course …

by   -   May 19, 2015

Google_car

Google has done over 2.7 million km of testing with their existing fleet, they announced. Now, they will be putting their small “buggy” vehicle onto real streets in Mountain View. The cars will stick to slower streets and are NEVs that only go 25mph.

by   -   April 20, 2015

BRL NAO with Stereo Headset_PGibbons

Yesterday I looked through the eyes of a robot.

It was a NAO robot fitted with a 3D printed set of goggles, so that the robot has two real cameras on its head (the eyes of the NAO robot are not in fact cameras). I was in another room wearing an Oculus Rift headset. The Oculus was hooked up to the NAO’s goggle cameras, so that I could see through those cameras – in stereo vision.

by   -   March 4, 2015

whitehouseAll over the world, people (and governments) are debating about regulations for robocars. First for testing, and then for operation. It mostly began when Google encouraged the state of Nevada to write regulations, but now it’s in full force. The topic is so hot that there is a danger that regulations might be drafted long before the shape of the first commercial deployments of the technology take place.

by   -   February 13, 2015

Lutz_PODThe government-baked robocar projects in the UK are going full steam, with this press release from the UK government to accompany the unveiling of the prototype Lutz pod, which should ply the streets of Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

by   -   February 4, 2015

After yesterday’s story about Uber and CMU, and a rumour about Google's plans to launch an Uber-like “ride share” service, a lot of speculation has flown that Uber will now be at odds with Google. Since then, the Uber blog post and this interview with Uber folks tell a slightly different story.

by   -   January 28, 2015

The number of people aged 65+ is on the rise, and so is the number of robotics projects that hope to avert the impending care crisis by augmenting or substituting human caregivers with robotic ones. But how much time are we comfortable letting our seniors spend with robots?

by   -   January 19, 2015

The world “parking” means many things, and the many classes of parking problems have varying difficulties.

by   -   January 16, 2015

Robot-DNA_evolution

Evolutionary robotics has been around for about 20 years: it’s about 15 years since Stefano Nolfi and Dario Floreano published their seminal book on the subject. Yet, surprisingly the number of real, physical robots whose bodies have been evolved can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

by   -   January 2, 2015
photo: http://blog.udot.utah.gov/
photo: http://blog.udot.utah.gov/

Yesterday’s note on Here’s maps brought up the question of the wisdom of map-based driving. While I addressed this a bit earlier let me add a bit more detail.

A common first intuition is that because people are able to drive just fine on a road they have never seen before that this is how robots will do it. They are bothered that present designs instead create a super-detailed map of the road by having human driven cars scan the road with sensors in advance. After all, the geometry of the road can change due to construction; what happens then?

by   -   January 1, 2015

I see new articles on robocars in the press every day now, though most don’t say a lot new. Here, however, are some of the recent meaningful stories from the last month or two while I’ve been on the road. There are other sites, like the LinkedIn self-driving car group and others, if you want to see all the stories.

by   -   November 25, 2014

Data from our latest poll suggest that readers are optimistic about the role of robots as care assistants for senior members of their families. The majority of our participants were of the opinion that robots will enable seniors to socialize with other people better, using teleconferencing systems such as Skype/FaceTime. However, opinions are split on whether robots themselves will be able to keep seniors company.

by   -   October 18, 2014

The boomer generation, which took over the suburbs and exurbs, have nice houses but minimal transit options. Without the ability to drive, many seniors fear being shut in, and find themselves forced to leave their homes.



Robots Podcast: Space business
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