A new era of robotics is upon us, bring with it stories of science-fantasy robots; doctorless hospitals; learning how to tame robots; automatically controlling a 600-robot swarm; searching for electronic immortality; crowd-sourced flood data; humanoid robots; transferring real-time data from fire scenes; human-robot emergency response; falling in love with a robot; and establishing trust in human-robot interactions.
Star Wars: These could be the Droids We’re Looking for in Real Life
The latest Star Wars episode has unleashed a new era of science fantasy robots. One of the heroes of The Force Awakens is BB-8, a capable spherical droid at the center of the story. But droids have been at the heart of the epic science fantasy saga since the original Star Wars movie back in 1977, when C-3PO uttered the immortal words: “I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations. And this is my counterpart R2-D2.”
How to Tame a Robot with High Performance Software
Now, programming robots is not just for those with years of coding knowledge, it’s for anyone who wants to experience what it’s like to simply wave at a robot and have it wave back. Quipt open-source software turns a human’s motions into instructions a robot can understand, stitching together the robot with motion capture system cameras that look into a space and let the robot see where it is.
Can I Trust My Robot? And Should My Robot Trust Me?
If we’re serious about long-term human presence in space, such as manned Mars bases, we must figure out how to streamline human-robot interactions. Right now, even the most basic of robots seem to have impenetrable brains. Problems around effective communication arise throughout robotics. As a space roboticist, I think about this sort of problem in orbit.
Algorithm Reduces Communications Overload for Human-robot Emergency Response Teams
Autonomous robots performing a joint task send each other continual updates: “I’ve passed through a door and am turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing two feet, I’ve encountered a wall. I’m turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing four feet, I’ve encountered a wall.” And so on. Computers have no trouble filing this information away until they need it. But such a barrage of data would drive a human being crazy.
My Robot Valentine: Could You Fall in Love with a Robot?
Imagine it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re sitting in a restaurant across the table from your significant other, about to start a romantic dinner. As you gaze into each other’s eyes, you wonder how it can possibly be true that as well as not eating, your sweetheart does not – cannot – love you. Impossible, you think, as you squeeze its synthetic hand. Could this be the future of Valentine’s Day for some?
Automatic Programming Makes Swarm Robots Safer, More Reliable
Researchers applied a novel method of automatically programming and controlling a swarm of up to 600 robots to complete a specified set of tasks simultaneously. This reduces human error and many of the bugs that can occur in programming, making it more user-friendly and reliable than previous techniques.
Will Computers Ever Truly Understand What We’re Saying?
From Apple’s Siri to Honda’s robot Asimo, machines seem to be getting better at communicating with humans. But some neuroscientists caution that today’s computers will never truly understand what we’re saying, because they do not take into account the context of a conversation the way people do. Machines don’t develop shared understanding of people, place and situation.
Robots in Healthcare could lead to a Doctorless Hospital
Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice. Do you take the traditional path with human staff, where long-term trials have shown a 90-percent chance they will save your child’s life? Or do you choose the robotic track, tended to by technical specialists and robots, but where similar trials have shown your child has a 95-percent chance?
Silicon Soul: The Vain Dream of Electronic Immortality
“In just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal.” — Ray Kurzweil, Global Futures 2045. Without even considering the ethical, philosophical, social or legal scope of such a statement, it’s important to consider if it actually makes any sense. To give an educated guess, we have to move away from computer science and look at biology…
Citizen Scientists Use Drones to Map El Nino Flooding
Forget about selfies. California residents are using smartphones and drones to document the coastline’s changing face. Starting this month, The Nature Conservancy is asking tech junkies to capture flooding and coastal erosion that come with El Nino. The idea is that crowd-sourced, geotagged images of storm surges and flooded beaches will give scientists a brief window into what the future holds.
Scientists unveil Social and Telepresence Robots Powered by Intelligent Software
Say hello to Nadine, a “receptionist” at Nanyang Technological University. She is friendly and will greet you back. Next time you meet her, she will remember your name and your previous conversation. She looks almost like a human being, with soft skin and flowing brunette hair. She smiles when greeting you, looks at you in the eye when talking, and can also shake hands. And she is a humanoid.
Firefighter Drone Transfers Real-time Data from Fire Scene to Ground Station
Resesrchers developed an unmanned aerial vehicle, named the Fireproof Aerial RObot System, which detects fires in skyscrapers, searches the inside of the building, and transfers data in real time from fire scenes to the ground station. The fireproof FAROS, whose movements rely on a quadrotor system, can also fly and climb walls.
- Read more: 7 Cool Things to Know about AI
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