Xi Jinping, China’s President, last year called for an “industrial robot revolution.” Since then China has created policies giving value added tax refunds and subsidies to companies making robots, and robot user companies can qualify for tax breaks.
Almost one year ago, Leka won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Robot Launch competition for Moti, a robotic toy that helps autistic children learn to regulate their own emotions through play. Leka cofounder and CEO Ladislas de Toldi writes about where Leka is now.
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, Rise of the Robots; Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future and Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot and the Battle for the Amercan Dream – new books that have recently come to market. You may find some or all of them of interest.
In a strategic move sure to have long-term ramifications, Foxconn and Alibaba each invested $118 million for a combined 40% share of the new SoftBank Robotic Holdings Group, an entity which holds Aldebaran, Pepper and the Pepper SDK software group. Starting June 20, Pepper robots will go on sale to businesses and consumers in Japan.
There are two very good reasons to watch Humans, the new robot-themed drama series that premiered in the UK on Sunday. Firstly, it’s a well-made high-energy thriller with a pacy storyline, focusing on a domestic future not unlike the present – only with robots. Secondly, it tackles the questions we should be asking about that future.
A reader recently asked about the synergies between robocars and ultracapacitors / supercapacitors. It turns out they are not what you would expect, and it teaches some of the surprising lessons of robocars.
With this robotics Grand Challenge, DARPA has advanced both the science of robotics and the story. Real robots did useful things, like operate power tools, drive cars and climb stairs far more successfully than we anticipated. But at the same time, the world saw that it was incredibly difficult for them to perform simple human tasks like opening a door. Anyone who is worried about robots stealing their jobs, or killing us in our sleep, can sleep a little sounder tonight.
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 …
The DRC is not about robots going off to mitigate disasters on their own - it’s about honing the interface between humans and robots so we can take best advantage of what each has to offer. With hundreds of people coalescing around a common goal at this event, an inspiring community has arisen.
Capturing and processing camera and sensor data and recognizing various shapes to determine a set of robotic actions is conceptually easy. Yet Amazon challenged the industry to do a selecting and picking task robotically and 28 teams from around the world rose to it.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported on several past crashes involving automated vehicles. (Per SAE Standard J3016, I use the term “automated vehicle” instead of “autonomous vehicle” or “self-driving car” or “driverless car.”) A few thoughts.