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by   -   December 19, 2014
Photo credit: Dr. Sven Behnke of the University of Bonn
Photo credit: Dr. Sven Behnke of the University of Bonn

In the early 1970s the UK Government commissioned a special report Artificial Intelligence: A General Survey authored by James Lighthill on behalf of the Science & Engineering Research Council (the infamous Lighthill Report), which damned AI and was “highly critical” of basic research in foundational areas such as robotics. The report recommendations led to the withdrawal of research funding from all but three UK universities. The same kind of official doubts that the Lighthill Report made explicit in the UK lay behind a less extreme slow down in research funding in the US. This is sometimes referred to generically as the “first AI winter.”

by   -   December 18, 2014

If you write papers with results based on simulation and submit them for peer-review, then be warned: if I should review your paper then I will probably recommend it is rejected. Why? Because all of the many simulation-based papers I've reviewed in the last couple of years have been flawed.

by   -   November 25, 2014

The fourth annual EU Robotics Week is on across Europe, with more than 300 activities happening this week in 25 EU countries.

by   -   November 6, 2014

ROBO-STOX® licenses their proprietary index to ETF Securities to provide European investors with highly diversified access to a new age of growth in robotics and automation.

by   -   October 29, 2014

The issue is often raised whether robotics needs to be regulated. While some believe that there is no need to intervene because regulation may stifle innovation, others believe that indeed there is need to intervene since robotics may otherwise prove disruptive. However, both arguments are partial, and for this very reason wrong. Thanks to existing laws, a robot (like any other physical phenomenon) is already instantly regulated in the very moment materializes .

by   -   October 28, 2014

Poppy_humanoid_acrobatFunded by the European Research Council (ERC), Poppy is a 3D printed open source humanoid designed by the Inria’s Flowers lab, a French research facility that creates computer and robotic models as tools for understanding developmental processes in humans. Inria Research Director Pierre-Yves Oudeyer (who developed Poppy as a tool for studying the science of learning and development) hopes that the open source and 3D printable aspects of the project will enable researchers to quickly print custom body parts and experiment with different robot morphologies in order to study their impact on behaviour and learning.

by   -   October 6, 2014

The latest project to take advantage of the benefits of marine drones - the Robotic Exploration of Ocean Fronts by British National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) - is one of largest and most ambitious unmanned ocean exploration missions to date.

by   -   August 11, 2014


Many governments have determined that robotics will play a significant role in contributing to their economy and have set up projects to fund bottlenecks to speed up the process.

by   -   June 9, 2014


Several robotics funding announcements have been made recently, the biggest of which was announced at AUTOMATICA 2014. The Partnership for Robotics in Europe launched SPARC – a €2.8 billion public-private program to increase Europe’s share of the global robotics market. Two smaller fundings in the Service Robotics space also occurred.

by   -   May 3, 2013

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert L. Stephenson

by   -   November 25, 2012

The “Factories of the Future” is one of the three Public-Private Partnership included in the European Commission’s recovery package launched in December 2008 to address the economic crisis. It consists of a research programme of 1.2 B$ to support the manufacturing industry in the development of new and sustainable technologies. The main goal of this initiative is to help European industry to stay competitive and to meet future challenges by converting to a demand-driven industry with higher quality, lower waste generation and energy consumption. The overall motivation is to keep high-tech and low-cost production in Europe and even getting it back from low-wage countries.

by   -   November 10, 2012

The 2nd European Robotics Week will be from 26 November to 2 December 2012 and offers one week of various robotics related activities across Europe for the general public, highlighting growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas. The Week aims at inspiring students of all ages to pursue careers in STEM-related fields, i.e. science, technology, engineering and math.

by   -   November 4, 2012

Credit: Infonaut, AEC
Europeans attitudes towards robots
Overall EU citizens have a positive view of robots: more than two-thirds of Europeans are of this opinion, according to a Special Eurobarometer survey. However, further analyses show that the public are clear that while robots serve a utilitarian purpose and are useful for tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans, their use nevertheless requires careful management. EU citizens express widespread concern that robots could steal people’s jobs; however, a sizable minority consider that robots could boost job opportunities in the EU.
The survey shows that support for the use of robots is greatest in areas where the tasks are too difficult or too dangerous for humans, such as space exploration and manufacturing, but there is outright opposition to their use to take care of people. This also means that EU citizens would feel very uncomfortable if a robot were used to look after their children or elderly parents or even to walk their dog, although they can tolerate the idea of a robot assisting them at work. 
North-South divide
Credit: Infonaut/Honda
The survey shows a North-South divide when it comes to attitudes to robots, with EU citizens in the northern countries holding far more positive views than in the southern countries. In Sweden and Denmark 88% of respondents express a positive attitude, while 44% of respondents in Greece and 35% in Portugal express negative attitudes.  The perception that robots steal people’s jobs is greater in countries badly affected by the economic crisis than in some of the more resilient Western-European economies.  
Personal experience of robots  
Few EU citizens have experience of using robots:  in total, 12% have used or currently use a robot: six percent have experience of the use of a robot at home and six percent have used or currently use a robot at work. Conversely, 87% of EU citizens have never used a robot in their lives.  
Credit: Infonaut, Wakamaru
When asked about the prospects for robots performing tasks in the home, respondents in countries with generally more positive attitudes towards robots tend to think that it will be 10 more years whereas in countries with a more skeptical stance towards robots the tendency is to think that it will take more than 20 years.
The survey presents the results of a Special Eurobarometer survey into public attitudes towards robots. The aim of the survey is to gauge public opinion towards robots by measuring public perceptions, acceptance levels, worries  and reservations among EU citizens aged 15 and over in the 27 Member States. The survey was conducted by TNS Opinion & Social at the request of  Directorate-General for Information Society and Media (INFSO).