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Politics, Law & Society

Instead of worrying so much about robots taking away jobs, maybe we should worry more about wages being too low for robots to even get a chance. Seasonal labor for harvesting agricultural products, particularly fruits and vegetables, is dependent on human labor from a diminishing universe of willing workers.

By Jeff Morgan, Trinity College Dublin

Robots have been taking our jobs since the 1960s. So why are politicians and business leaders only now becoming so worried about robots causing mass unemployment?

This week’s news is preliminary, but a U.S. house committee panel passed some new federal regulations which suggest sweeping change in the US regulatory approach to robocars.

Join us at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017) for a full day workshop that will bring together international stakeholders in robotics to examine best practices for accelerating robotics innovation through strategic policy frameworks.

by   -   July 14, 2017

A quick, hassle-free way to stay on top of robotics news, our robotics digest is released on the first Monday of every month. Sign up to get it in your inbox.

by   -   June 20, 2017

WeRobotics Global has become a premier forum for social good robotics. The feedback featured below was unsolicited. On June 1, 2017, we convened our first, annual global event, bringing together 34 organizations to New York City (full list below) to shape the global agenda and future use of robotics in the social good sector.  WeRobotics Global was kindly hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, the first donor to support our efforts. They opened the event with welcome remarks and turned it over to Patrick Meier from WeRobotics who provided an overview of WeRobotics and the big picture context for social sector robotics.

The device named “Spark” flew high above the man on stage with his hands waving in the direction of the flying object. In a demonstration of DJI’s newest drone, the audience marveled at the Coke can-sized device’s most compelling feature: gesture controls. Instead of a traditional remote control, this flying selfie machine follows hand movements across the sky. Gestures are the most innate language of mammals, and including robots in our primal movements means we have reached a new milestone of co-existence.

by   -   March 15, 2017

If you take humans out of the driving seat, could traffic jams, accidents and high fuel bills become a thing of the past? As cars become more automated and connected, attention is turning to how to best choreograph the interaction between the tens or hundreds of automated vehicles that will one day share the same segment of Europe’s road network.

by   -   February 22, 2017

Robotics undoubtedly has the potential to improve lives in the developing world. However, with limited budgets and expertise on the ground, putting this technology in place is no small task. Step forwards WeRobotics, a new Swiss/American NGO dedicated to meeting this goal through the creation of in-country ‘flying labs’. Co-founder Adam Klaptocz explains all.

Part 2: Autonomous Systems and Transparency

In my previous post I argued that a wide range of AI and Autonomous Systems (from now on I will just use the term AS as shorthand for both) should be regarded as Safety Critical. I include both autonomous software AI systems and hard (embodied) AIs such as robots, drones and driverless cars. Many will be surprised that I include in the soft AI category apparently harmless systems such as search engines. Of course no-one is seriously inconvenienced when Amazon makes a silly book recommendation, but consider very large groups of people. If a truth (such as global warming) is – because of accidental or willful manipulation – presented as false, and that falsehood is believed by a very large number of people, then serious harm to the planet (and we humans who depend on it) could result.

by   -   January 20, 2017

world-economic-forum-2017-theresa-may

The population of the scenic ski-resort Davos, nestled in the Swiss Alps, swelled by nearly +3,000 people between the 17th and 20th of January. World leaders, academics, business tycoons, press and interlopers of all varieties were drawn to the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. The WEF is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas for the coming year and beyond. Perhaps unsurprisingly given recent geopolitical events, the theme of this year’s forum was Responsive and Responsible Leadership.

by   -   January 2, 2017

Techno-businesswoman-finance

2016 was a busy and abundant year for seed, crowd, series A,B,C,D and VC funding of robotics-related startups. 128 companies got funded, some multiple times. $1.95 billion, 50% more than 2015 which was also a phenomenal year with over $1.32 billion  funded.

by   -   December 8, 2016

Robotics and artificial intelligence enthusiast Thosha Moodley gives a summery of her experience at European Robotics Week 2016’s central event in Amsterdam, where the theme was service robots.

Hiroshi Ota and Minako Inoue with 2 Robovie R3 robots in Oriza Hirata's "I, Worker"
Hiroshi Ota and Minako Inoue with 2 Robovie R3 robots in Oriza Hirata’s “I, Worker”

How can robotics help to enhance the development of the modern arts? Japan’s famous playwright, stage director Oriza Hirata and leading roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro launched the “Robot Theater Project” at Osaka University to explore the boundary between human-robot interactions through robot theater. Their work includes renditions of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”, Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”, and their own play “I, Worker”. Their work has spread internationally to Paris, New York, Toronto and Taipei.

For this interview, we would like to invite their collaboration partner Yi-Wei Keng, director of Taipei Arts Festival, to share his insights on the intersection of robotics and the arts.

interview by   -   October 16, 2016

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In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Edson Prestes, Professor at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and an organizer of the Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) 2016 competition. The HRATC competition challenges teams around the world to develop methods of controlling robots to detect land mines in large open environments.



ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017


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