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Emily – short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard – is a remote-controlled rescue boat used by lifeguards to save people’s life at sea (Photo: Hydrolanix – EMILY robot)

This article was first published on the IEC e-tech website.

Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots and drones can be deployed quickly in areas deemed too unsafe for humans and are used to guide rescuers, collect data, deliver essential supplies or provide communication services.

The Weekly Drone Roundup is a newsletter from the Center for the Study of the Drone. It covers news, commentary, analysis and technology from the drone world.

by   -   June 20, 2017

Conferences and trade shows, held in interesting locations around the world, can be entertaining, informative and an opportunity to explore new places, meet new people and renew acquaintances. Three recent examples: Xponential, the mostly defense-related unmanned land, sea and air show, held in Dallas; Innorobo, focused on service robotics, in Paris; and ICRA, the IEEE’s premier robotics conference, in Singapore.

by   -   June 8, 2017
Image: ICRA 2017

ICRA, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, is an annual academic conference covering advances in robotics. It is one of the premier conferences in its field. This year, I was invited to attend to its 2017 edition in Singapore.

by   -   April 19, 2017

Six to ten years ago, exhibitors at Automate were promoting bin-picking in many, many booths. Bin picking wasn’t mentioned this year because it is an available option these days. For the last six years vendors have been promoting human-robot collaboration in manufacturing. Here’s what I saw this year at the big Automate and ProMat trade shows held last month in Chicago.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of work absenteeism in the UK. In these videos, Philip “Robo-Phil” English reviews the Laevo Exoskeleton—a unique, wearable back-support that aids users working in a bent forward position or lifting.

Code review of a C++ program with an error found.
Code review of a C++ program with an error found.

I have been part of many software teams where we desired to do code reviews. In most of those cases the code reviews did not take place, or were pointless and a waste of time. So the question is: how do you effectively conduct peer reviews in order to improve the quality of your systems?

I found this book, Peer Reviews in Software: A Practical Guide by Karl E. Wiegers. This book was recommended to me, and having “practical guide” in the title caught my attention —  I have reviewed other books that claimed practical, but were not. Hopefully this book will help provide me (and you) with tools for conducting valuable code reviews.

From a technology standpoint the film’s underlying premise – that robots seeking to repair themselves have a consciousness – is not as simple as it would seem. While there is no universal test for self-awareness, like a Turing or mirror test, the film seems to suggest that if a robot seeks to self-repair or self-mutilate, it shows it has at least some level of consciousness. But I see this as problematic; self-repair is simply a good algorithm.

by   -   March 15, 2015

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Alex Garland’s first feature film as a director, Ex Machina, had its US debut at SxSW on March 14. This stylish idea film explores the Turing Test in a very Pinteresque fashion as a young coder falls in love with an advanced AI. Ex Machina is beautifully framed, but Garland’s stark script succeeds on the strength of the acting from Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac.

by   -   December 5, 2014

thymioII_1

This is Kidbotics, a new educational robotics review series for kids who, like me, are just coming into the robotics scene.  I am 12 years old, and these reviews are meant to give kids (and their parents and teachers) a sense of whether these will make a fun introduction to robotics for kids with minimal experience. Today we are looking into the depths of the ThymioII, a wonderful little robot by Mobsya with some really great things going for it. 

 

Economist_Cover_March_2014

The Economist, a prestigious London-based business magazine zealously read around the world, has a 14-page Special Report in their current issue. ‘Rise of the Robots’ offers insight into why robotic technology is so fascinating and so prevalent in the media. The reporter, Oliver Morton, a briefings editor for The Economist, traveled around the world and spent months developing information for the report and ended it with the tagline: “They are coming to work and play among us in ever greater numbers.”

RoboEarth - mapping in the cloud

UPDATE: New video of a collaborative, cloud-based mapping experiment. Mapping is essential for mobile robots and a cornerstone of many more robotics applications that require a robot to interact with its physical environment. It is widely considered the most difficult perceptual problem in robotics, both from an algorithmic but also from a computational perspective. Mapping essentially requires solving a huge optimization problem over a large amount of images and their extracted features. This requires beefy computers and high-end graphics cards – resulting in power-hungry and expensive robots.

by   -   October 19, 2013

DEMO describes itself as the launchpad for emerging technology and trends. The DEMO Fall 2013 Conference was produced by IDG, the publishing giant of Computerworld, PC World, MacWorld, etc. I went to see the 40 start-ups presenting their new products and apps, searching for anything robotic, and interested in everything else that might be trendsetting. Videos of all 40 presentations can be seen here.

by   -   August 8, 2013

In light of the popularity of his AR.Drone tutorials, we have invited Robohub contributor Mike Hamer to act as Guest Editor for our next focus series “Getting Started in Robotics.”

Like many children who show an early interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), my childhood years were spent constructing Lego masterpieces and deconstructing household electronics.



Disney Robotics
September 17, 2017


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