Fellow Robots Partners with Nihon Unisys, Ltd. in Japan to Introduce Retail Robot NAVII in Yamada Denki for a Proof of Concept

SoftBank's Pepper Robots to Staff Tokyo Cell Phone Store

BY ANGELA MOSCARITOLO for PCMAG:  SoftBank is giving its Pepper robot a new job with some big responsibilities.  The Japanese telecom giant is planning to open a cell phone store in Tokyo this spring staffed primarily by Pepper robots, according to a report from The Japan Times. About five to six Pepper robots will run the store from March 28 through April 3, and be responsible for helping customers and making sales.  "I don't know how this will turn out, but it should be a quite interesting experiment," SoftBank CEO Ken Miyauchi told the newspaper.  The robots will be able to answer questions about different cell phone options, and when someone's ready to buy, they'll even attempt to complete the sale. SoftBank does plan to have humans at the ready to handle tasks Pepper can't yet do — like checking customer IDs when drawing up a new contract.  Cont'd...

Innovation on the Rise: More States Adopting Pro-Innovation Policies, According to Consumer Technology Association's 2016 Innovation Scorecard

Twelve states and the District of Columbia are now championing innovation-friendly policies at the highest level according to the 2016 Innovation Scorecard, an annual innovation policy performance index released today by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Hosts Artificial Intelligence Debate with Lanier, Rothblatt, and more at NYC's 92Y Genius Festival and Online, March 9

Arguing for the motion are Jaron Lanier, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time, and documentary filmmaker James Barrat, whose most recent book is subtitled Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

HACKLET 93 - ROBOTICS TOOLKIT AND ESP8266 PACKET INJECTION

Adam Fabio for Hackaday:  [Kevin Harrington] loves robots, but hates reinventing the wheel every time he creates a new machine. He’s built BowlerStudio: A robotics development platform to combat this problem. BowlerStudio was asemifinalist in the 2015 Hackaday Prize. BowlerStudio is a soup-to-nuts platform for creating all sorts of robots. [Kevin] has integrated Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D modeling, kinematics, machine vision, and a simulation engine complete with physics modeling into one whopper of a software package. To prove how versatile the system is, he designed a hexapod robot in the CAD portion of the program. The robot then taught itself to walk in the simulation. Once the design was 3D printed, the real robot walked right off the bread board. [Kevin] linked the hardware and software with DyIO, another of his projects.

BowlerStudio is a huge boon for just about any robotics hacker, as well as educators. An entire curriculum could be created around the system. Thanks to its Java roots, BowlerStudio is also a multi-platform. [Kevin] has binaries ready to go for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.  Cont'd...

Blue Ocean Robotics Announces US Market Expansion Strategy

BLUE OCEAN ROBOTICS ANNOUNCES SECOND WAVE IN US EXPANSION STRATEGY WITH PLANS TO OPEN SEVERAL FRANCHISE-LIKE SUBSIDIARIES IN THE US

Peer-Reviewed Case Study Demonstrates Various Health Improvements Following ReWalk Exoskeleton Use

"The study has confirmed what we can see with the ReWalk system also in daily practice: The ReWalk system on the one hand creates an additional possibility of mobility for the patient, but is moreover also an excellent therapy and training tool for people with complete or incomplete paraplegia

Experts At Davos Say Weaponized Artificial Intelligence Robots Are Dangerous

Matt Dayo for STGist:  This may sound like science fiction, or the plot of a Marvel movie, but AFP is reporting that scientists and arms experts in attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland have issued a dire warning saying that robots with advanced artificial intelligence (or AI robots) could one day join wars and kill many people.

A former United Nations Disarmament Affairs representative, Angela Kane, has told a forum in Davos that there are many countries that don’t understand what is involved and the development of such technology is limited to a certain number of rich and advanced nations.

Kane and other experts at the debate say rules must be agreed to prevent the development of these killer AI robots.  But at one point during the debate, Kane said “it may be too late.”  Cont'd...

Alpha, Turing Robot, and Blue Frog Robotics to Build China's First "Smart Home Ecosystem"

Alpha (www.gdalpha.com) yesterday announced the launch of its S Plan - a $304 million initiative aimed at developing a range of smart devices from smart robots to smart watches. As part of the initiative, Alpha revealed its strategic partnership with leading robot developers and manufacturers, Blue Frog Robotics and Turing Robot, to build China's first "Smart Home Ecosystem."

How To Sell Robots To The Military

By and large the people you encounter in the military and Defense are smart, dedicated, and honest. They are haunted by the specter that the equipment they procure may result in the death of American servicemen. If you have a product that can save lives, then you might just have yourself a sale.

How Robots Could Make Their Way into the Classroom

Robots are effective options to increase the learning experience within the classroom setting.

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

New effort aims for fully implantable devices able to connect with up to one million neurons

RE2 Robotics 2015 Year in Review: Expanded Product Sales, New Markets, and Management Team

RE2 Robotics, a leading developer of robotic manipulator arms, shared the Company's year in review for 2015.

A problem-solving approach IT workers should learn from robotics engineers

Greg Nichols  for ZDNet:  Google-owned Boston Dynamics got some bad news in the final days of 2015.  After years of development and intensive field trials, the Massachusetts-based robotics company learned that the U.S. Marines had decided to reject its four-legged robotic mule, Big Dog. The reason? The thing is too damn noisy for combat, where close quarters and the occasional need for stealth make excess machine noise a liability.

The setback reminded me of a story another group of robotics engineers told me about the development of their breakthrough machine, a robotic exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk and soldiers to hump heavy packs without wearing down. It also reminded me of a powerful approach to solving problems and dealing with setbacks that I've encountered again and again reporting on robotics.

Ekso Bionics, which went public in 2015, invented the first viable untethered exoskeleton, one that doesn't need to be plugged into an external power source. Their achievement rests on one engineering breakthrough in particular, and to arrive at it Ekso's engineers had to do something that's surprisingly difficult but incredibly instructive for non-engineers--they had to change the way they thought about their problem.  Cont'd...

 

Emoshape Announces Production of the Emotions Processing Unit II

THE EMOTION SYNTHESIS ENGINE OF ROBOTS, AI & IoT will be produced with a microchip that enables an emotional response in AI, robots and consumer electronic devices.

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Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

Maplesoft - Free Whitepaper: Developing a Robot Model using System-Level Design

This paper uses NAO, the humanoid robot from Aldebaran Systems, to demonstrate how MapleSim can be used to develop a robot model, and how the model can be further analyzed using the symbolic computation engine within Maple.