184 posts tagged robots
Sell your data to save the economy and your future
Imagine our world later in this century, when machines have got better.
Cars and trucks drive themselves, and there’s hardly ever an accident. Robots root through the earth for raw materials, and miners are never trapped. Robotic surgeons rarely make errors.
Clothes are always brand new designs that day, and always fit perfectly, because your home fabricator makes them out of recycled clothes from the previous day. There is no laundry.
I can’t tell you which of these technologies will start to work in this century for sure, and which will be derailed by glitches, but at least some of these things will come about. (via BBC News - Sell your data to save the economy and your future)
In 1949, He Imagined an Age of Robots
It was a vision that never saw the light of day.
The year was 1949, and computers and robots were still largely the stuff of science fiction. Only a few farsighted thinkers imagined that they would one day become central to civilization, with consequences both liberating and potentially dire.
One of those visionaries was Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), an American mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1948 he had published “Cybernetics,” a landmark theoretical work that both foreshadowed and influenced the arrival of computing, robotics and automation. Two years later, he wrote “The Human Use of Human Beings,” a popularization of those ideas and an exploration of the potential of automation and the risks of dehumanization by machines.
In 1949, The New York Times invited Wiener to summarize his views about “what the ultimate machine age is likely to be,” in the words of its longtime Sunday editor, Lester Markel. (via M.I.T. Scholar’s 1949 Essay on Machine Age Is Found - NYTimes.com)
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)
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)
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
Who coined the term ‘robot’? A Czech writer and journalist called Karel Capek. He wrote a play called ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.)’ in 1920. In it the robots take over the world and kill the human race. Remarkably, he wrote the play way before robots even existed! It’s no wonder, that with this kind of genesis, we are afraid they actually will erase the human race.
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)