Robotics Gone Wild: 8 Animal-Inspired Machines

Thomas Claburn for InformationWeek:  Among programmers, there's a principle called DRY, which stands for "Don't repeat yourself." It's an attempt to avoid writing code that duplicates the function of other code.

DRY embodies the same resistance to needless repetition as the more common idiom, "Don't reinvent the wheel."

Among those making robots, a group that includes software and hardware engineers attempts to adhere to these principles, as can be seen in designs that borrow from nature, from the evolved forms of life on Earth.

Biomimicry and bioinspired design provide a way to avoid reinventing the wheel. The biological systems of living things have been honed through eons of Darwinian user testing.

Borrowing aspects of animal physiology isn't the only option or necessarily the best option for robot designers. For some purposes, something new may be necessary. For others, biomechanically systems can't be easily duplicated.  Cont'd...

Cozmo Is an Artificially Intelligent Toy Truck That's Also the Future of Robotics

CADE METZ for WIRED:  HANNS TAPPEINER TYPES a few lines of code into his laptop and hits “return.” A tiny robot sits beside the laptop, looking like one of those anthropomorphic automobiles that show up in Pixar’s Cars movies. Almost instantly, it wakes up, rolls down the table, and counts to four. This is Cozmo—an artificially intelligent toy robot unveiled late last month by San Francisco startup Anki—and Tappeiner, one of the company’s founders, is programming the little automaton to do new things.
The programs are simple—he also teaches Cozmo to stack blocks—but they’re supposed to be simple. Tappeiner is using Anki’s newly unveiled software development kit—an SDK, in coder parlance—that he says even the greenest of coders can use to tweak the behavior of the toy robot. And that’s a big deal, at least according to Anki. The company claims the SDK is the first of its kind: a kit that lets anyone program such an intelligent robot, a robot that recognizes faces and navigates new environments and even mimics emotions. With the kit, Tappeiner says, “we’re trying to advance the field of robotics.” He compares the move to Apple letting people build apps for the iPhone.  Cont'd...

The New Police Arsenal - Robots

Bomb robots were designed to help detonate and remove Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), not to deliver payloads. But the Dallas police improvised and attached a bomb delivery system to the robot.

New Obi™ Robotic Dining Device a Breakthrough for People Living with Physical Challenges

Spouses, parents and others also enjoy the charming robot

Cogobuy Establishes EZ-ROBOT.CN

To Provide Services for Trillion-level Industrial Robotics Market

Robot Would Assemble Modular Telescope - In Space

A new concept in space telescope design uses a modular structure and an assembly robot to build an extremely large telescope in space, performing tasks in which astronaut fatigue would be a problem. The design is detailed in a paper published this week by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems by authors from Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Lab.

Robotics - too good to be true? Just 52% believe that robots can go beyond data entry to understand business processes

New research from Redwood Software and Shared Services Link reveals that limited understanding is hindering the potential of the robotic revolution

Endeavor Robotics Partners with Persistent Systems to Integrate MPU5 Radios onto Battle-Proven Family of Robots

Leading Robotics provider integrating cutting edge radio communications to provide greatly enhanced and battle-proven capabilities to the US Warfighter

JIMU Robot, the World's First Buildable, Programmable and Shareable Robotic Building Block Line Available World-wide Today

New interactive building block system allows users to design, create and program their very own robot, as well as share and like creations through the JIMU Robot app

Accenture to Invest €500,000 in RoboValley to Create New Innovations in Robotics

Accenture teams with RoboValley to advance the development of robotics technology

I, Snowbot

From New York Magazine:  Snowden’s body might be confined to Moscow, but the former NSA computer specialist has hacked a work-around: a robot. If he wants to make his physical presence felt in the United States, he can connect to a wheeled contraption called a BeamPro, a flat-screen monitor that stands atop a pair of legs, five-foot-two in all, with a camera that acts as a swiveling Cyclops eye. Inevitably, people call it the “Snowbot.” The avatar resides at the Manhattan offices of the ACLU, where it takes meetings and occasionally travels to speaking engagements. (You can Google pictures of the Snowbot posing with Sergey Brin at TED.) Undeniably, it’s a gimmick: a tool in the campaign to advance Snowden’s cause — and his case for clemency — by building his cultural and intellectual celebrity. But the technology is of real symbolic and practical use to Snowden, who hopes to prove that the internet can overcome the power of governments, the strictures of exile, and isolation... (full article)

Rise in Robotics Requires New Tax Approach, EU Report Warns

Linda A. Thompson for Bloomberg:  European lawmakers warn that the growing use of robots and artificial intelligence may cause job losses across the continent, threatening to result in plummeting tax revenues if current tax frameworks aren't revised to account for the rise of the robotic workforce.

Practitioners told Bloomberg BNA that taxing robots as “electronic persons,” as the EU contemplates in a recent report, would hinder innovation and that other ways of taxing the value that robotics create should be explored.

The recent European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs draft reportrecommends the European Commission adopt a resolution to require companies to report on “the extent and proportion of the contribution of robotics and AI to the economic results of a company for the purpose of taxation and social security contributions.” Its first paragraph references Frankenstein, and comes amid mounting concerns that the rise in automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace will fundamentally alter economies, destroy jobs and jeopardize social welfare programs such as social security.  Cont'd...

MATE Announces Winners of 2016 Student Underwater Robotics Competition

Memorial University and Ozaukee High School take top honors at underwater robot competition held at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab


The Wave Glider began its mission on November 27, 2015 in the South Pacific, where it helped the UK FCO protect the Pitcairn Island Marine Sanctuary against illegal fishing activities. After successfully completing its mission, the Wave Glider was remotely piloted more than 2,808 nautical miles (5200 km) - through strong equatorial currents, doldrums, and challenging sea states - back to port in Hawaii.

ARxIUM Selects Wael Pharmacy as Distributor of RIVA Automated Compounding System in Bahrain

Country's leading healthcare equipment distributor to market the unmatched IV compounding capabilities of RIVA

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