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Military & Defense

Photo by Paul Ridgeway.
Photo by Paul Ridgeway.

Should robots be allowed to make life and death decisions? This will be the topic of heated debate at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva next week (April 13-17th, 2015). As part of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), experts from all over the world will gather to discuss questions related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems.” Take our public survey on the topic to voice your opinion. 

by   -   March 17, 2015

Sky_Futures_FAA_Exemption_SUAV_Coalition

Sky-Futures, a UK-based company offering drone inspection services to the global oil and gas industry, through their Houston office, was awarded an FAA exemption allowing their drones to fly in US air space.

by   -   February 27, 2015

Paul Jefferson, one of the earliest humanitarian deminers, said “a landmine is the perfect soldier: Ever courageous, never sleeps, never misses”.

by   -   February 13, 2015
Teams could test their AUVs in the real location one week before euRathlon 2014 competition. Photo credit: CMRE
Team testing their AUVs onsite one week before euRathlon 2014 competition. Photo credit: CMRE

euRathlon is a new outdoor robotics competition that invites teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident. The euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge will require a team of ground, marine and aerial robots to work together to survey the scene, collect environmental data, and identify critical hazards. euRathlon 2015 will be held in Piombino, Italy, from the 17th– 25th September 2015. 

In fall 2014 in Mobile Bay, Alabama, Virginia Tech engineering students made history during a five-minute demo that placed an adult-sized humanoid robot with a hose in front of a live fire aboard a U.S. Navy ship.

by   -   January 23, 2015
Example of visualization of the euRathlon 2013 Common Shared Data Set (CSDS) for the scenario "Search and rescue in a smoke-filled underground structure". Technically, it's a ROS rviz visualization of a recorded sensor rosbag. Photo credit: euRathlon
Example of visualization of the euRathlon 2013 Common Shared Data Set (CSDS) for the scenario “Search and rescue in a smoke-filled underground structure”. Technically, it’s a ROS rviz visualization of a recorded sensor rosbag. Photo credit: euRathlon

euRathlon is an EU-funded project that aims to set the standard for research through robotics competitions. It not only provides opportunities to test advanced emergency response robots in very challenging outdoor scenarios, but also recognises that there is an urgent need to develop useful metrics that will advance the field. A series of Common Shared Data Sets of real data gathered before and during the competitions are now available to the robotics community through a cloud tool sponsored by ECmanaged.

by and   -   January 6, 2015

The Singapore Ministry of Defence convened the sixth edition of the Island Forum in November 2014 to explore the emerging future of artificial intelligence and robotics, developments that could have enormous implications for societies, economies, culture, and security. Representatives from the Ministry and the Singapore Armed Forces were joined by some of the world’s leading roboticists, economists, military strategists, and ethicists to share their insights in deep conversations over the two-day event.

Your weekly roundup of drone news: In 2007, Addie Wagenknecht started using drones to make abstract paintings. Her works both challenge and celebrate the aerial robot and its power. In an in-depth conversation with Arthur Holland Michel, Wagenknecht explains how to make a drone painting, and what she thinks it means to make art by drone.

Alex Leveringhaus, author of a recent Oxford Martin School policy paper titled Robo-Wars: The Regulation of Robotic Weapons discusses the ethics of autonomous weapons, urges governments to recognise the increasing prominence of these weapons in contemporary and future forms of warfare, and proposes steps towards suitable regulation.

by   -   November 21, 2014
Minesweepers_1
Minesweepers competition arena with surface and buried mines.

Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-Free World is an outdoor robotic competition initiated by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society – Egypt Chapter that aims to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) contamination and the role of science and technology in solving this serious problem. The final competition took place last month at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. 

by   -   October 30, 2014
ALCOR laboratory’s  BlueBotics Absolem in the field.
ALCOR laboratory’s BlueBotics Absolem in the field.

ALCOR Lab members describe their experience.

From September 23rd to October 2nd the first TRADR Joint Exercise (TJEx) took place at the Tremora hospital (ex American hospital of Calambrone) near Pisa, Italy, in cooperation with the TRADR partners and the firefighters from the Firebrigade of Pisa. Using a proven-in-practice user-centric design methodology, TRADR develops novel science and technology for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts over multiple missions.

by   -   October 29, 2014
Gridbot_Tata
2″ Gridbots Stinger Robot brought out 30″ wooden log from a 12″ pipeline at TATA Power bringing unit alive again! Source: @GridBots

Gridbots Technologies, a start-up located in Ahmedabad, India, has focused their efforts on providing the power industry, particularly nuclear power companies, defense organizations and space agencies with robotics, AI and vision products.

by   -   October 2, 2014
Team University of Gerona at the euRathlon 2014 Sea Challenge.
Team University of Gerona at the euRathlon 2014 Sea Competition.  ©euRathlon.

euRathlon is an outdoor robotics competition focused on realistic emergency-response scenarios inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident. After a successful land-based competition in 2013, a marine-based competition takes place this year in La Spezia, Italy (29 Sept – 3 Oct).

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