187 posts tagged Robotics
Ant studies to aid design of search and rescue robots
A study showing how ants tunnel their way through confined spaces could aid the design of search-and-rescue robots, according to US scientists.
A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology found fire ants can use their antennae as “extra limbs” to catch themselves when they fall, and can build stable tunnels in loose sand.
Researchers used high speed cameras to record in detail this behaviour.
PhD student Nick Gravish, who led the research, designed “scientific grade ant farms” - allowing the ants to dig through sand trapped between two plates of glass, so every tunnel and every movement could be viewed and filmed.
“These ants would move at very high speeds,” he explained, “and if you slowed down the motion, (you could see) it wasn’t graceful movement - they have many slips and falls.” Crucially, the insects were able to gather themselves almost imperceptibly quickly after each fall. To see how they managed this, the team set up a second experiment where, to move from their nest to their food source, the ants had to pass through a labyrinth of smooth glass tunnels. “We could watch these glass tunnels and really see what all the body parts were doing when the ants were climbing and slipping and falling,” said Mr Gravish. (via BBC News - Ant studies to aid design of search and rescue robots)
What’s going to happen is massive income transfers to flesh and blood human beings. These income transfers will come to be seen as a right-of-birth.
This will make complete social sense once you realize that most of the beings on earth will be robots and therefore not-of-birth.
Birth is something that happens to a minority of beings who are special, flesh and blood humans.
The concern, as I see it, is over accepting the dual truth that robots will in all likelihood be sentient beings with an inner life just as ourselves, and they will live in grinding inescapable poverty. (via The robot threat: In the long run, we are telepathic androids | The Economist)
Kevin Drum on why the robots will rise up and take all our jobs
We’ve had technologies that save labor and increase productivity for years. What makes artificial intelligence different?
Kevin Drum: The difference is that, in the Industrial Revolution, we got big productivity increases from steam engines but there were still people required to run those machines. We had a huge increase in the amount of stuff you could make, but you needed people to design the machines, and make the machines, and use the machines.
With the digital revolution, the difference is that smart machines provide both power and intelligence. You don’t need human beings for anything anymore. You don’t need them for power, or for the intelligence to use the power. It puts everyone out of work eventually. Because smart machines will become as smart as human beings, there simply is not a job that a machine can’t do on its own. (via Kevin Drum on why the robots will rise up and take all our jobs)
NAO Robot Has Learned To Write
Maybe you’ve dreamt of being that man or woman who is so important as to compose speeches and letters simply by barking out declamations whilst an attentive assistant jots down your brilliant every word. Robot developer Franck Calzada has brought us one step closer. He’s created an assistant scribe for the common man in his new program in which a NAO robot can write any word.
At the moment, however, you’re going to need a lot of time – and patience – if you enlist NAO’s services. To say it’s deliberate in its writing is quite the understatement.
Calzada has himself spent a lot of time with NAO, teaching it to play games like catch, Hangman and the Statue Game. Now, with his ability to write any word it hears, NAO can actually get some work done. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Nao write. And while it will definitely be some time before it begins replacing office workers, its penmanship has certainly improved. (via NAO Robot Has Learned To Write | Singularity Hub)
‘Touchy’ robot arm reaches past clutter
Thanks to a robot with a flexible arm covered with tactile sensors, a man with quadriplegia was able to pull a blanket over himself and grab a cloth to wipe his face. Whether reaching for a book out of a cluttered cabinet or pruning a bush in the backyard, people’s arms frequently makes contact with objects during everyday tasks. Animals do it too, when foraging for food, for example. (via Futurity.org – ‘Touchy’ robot arm reaches past clutter)
Researchers Expect To See A $6.5 Billion Market For Home Robotics By 2017
According to ABI Research’s Consumer Electronics Research Service, the consumer robotics market is currently at about $1.6 billion and growing. A slow economy and fairly expensive parts has stagnated things for the time being but improved devices and more interesting implementations – home helper robots, for example – could push the market up considerably
Full Story: CrunchBot
Student Alejadro Bordallo demonstrates a competitive game of rock-paper-scissors with a robot in this photo. It’s all for the National Museum of Scotland’s Edinburgh International Science Festival, which runs through April 7. This little ‘bot was programmed to strategize using artificial intelligence and it looks as though it triumphed over its human adversary in the round pictured above. (via Image of the Day: | DVICE)