Shockingly, Robots Are Really Bad at Waiting Tables

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  According to Chinese newspaper Workers’ Daily, two restaurants in Guangzhou, China, that gained some amount of notoriety for their use of robotic waiters have now been forced to close down. One employee said, “the robots weren’t able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again.” Yeah, we can’t say we’re surprised. As far as I can tell, all of these waiter robots can do essentially one thing: travel along a set path while holding food. They can probably stop at specific tables, and maybe turn or sense when something has been taken from them, but that seems to be about it. “Their skills are somewhat limited,” a robot restaurant employee told Workers’ Daily. “They can’t take orders or pour hot water for customers.” Those are just two of the many, many more skills that human servers have, because it’s necessary to have many, many more skills than this to be a good server.  Cont'd...

Zora, The First Social Robot Already Widely Used In Healthcare

Controlled via a tablet by health professionals, Zora can lead a physical therapy class, read out TV programmes, weather forecasts or local news.

How Robotics Help Speed Up Delivery of CPG to Store Shelf

Luckily, robotics can adapt to changing sizes, using end-of-arm tools that can adjust their grips on the items that need to be handled.

XPONENTIAL - U.S. Army, Navy Leaders to Speak at AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2016

Gen. David G. Perkins, commander of Training and Doctrine Command, and Frank Kelley, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems, to address largest trade show for unmanned systems industry

Introducing BIG-i, the World's Most Versatile Personal Robot

Interactive learning home companion by NXROBO was unveiled at the Pepcom Digital Focus Spring Showcase last week

WHILL and 5D Robotics Collaborate to Accelerate Autonomous Personal Mobility Development

"Fully autonomous personal mobility devices can bring our B2B customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their mobility services," said WHILL founder and CEO, Satoshi Sugie.

DENSO Invests in Semiconductor Laser Technology Startup TriLumina

DENSO is looking to speed up the adoption of LiDAR and driver monitoring technologies in Advanced Driver Assistance systems, which are key technologies used in autonomous vehicles. This strategic investment enables TriLumina to gain broader access to the automotive market.

Velodyne LiDAR Announces ULTRA Puck™ VLP-32A, High Definition Real-Time 3D LiDAR Sensor for the Automotive Market

Advanced, Small Form-Factor 32-Channel Unit To Make Public Debut at SAE 2016 in Detroit

Indiegogo - eeMod Is Released, a Revolutionary Arduino Compatible Prototyping Platform

eeRoots announces the crowdfunding campaign and pre-sale of eeMod, a prototyping platform that promises to greatly simplify electronic prototyping by combining the most useful sensors and modules in a single Arduino compatible integrated development platform for home automation, robotics, electronic control and other projects

SCHAFT Unveils Awesome New Bipedal Robot at Japan Conference

From Evan Ackerman at IEEE Spectrum:   Right now, the New Economic Summit (NEST) 2016 conference is going on in Tokyo, Japan. One of the keynote speakers is Andy Rubin. Rubin was in charge of Google’s robotics program in 2013, when the company (now Alphabet) acquired a fistful of some of the most capable and interesting robotics companies in the world. One of those companies was SCHAFT, which originated at the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo... ... SCHAFT co-founder and CEO Yuto Nakanishi climbed onstage to introduce his company’s new bipedal robot. He explains that the robot can climb stairs, carry a 60-kg payload, and step on a pipe and keep its balance. It can also move in tight spaces, and the video shows the robot climbing a narrow staircase by positioning its legs behind its body (1:22). In a curious part of the demo (1:36), the robot is shown cleaning a set of stairs with a spinning brush and what appears to be a vacuum attached to its feet... ( article )

Toyota Expands AI, Robotics Research to Third Facility

Kirsten Korosec for Fortune:  Toyota  will expand the footprint of its artificial intelligence and robotics research center by adding a third facility in Ann Arbor, Mich. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, made the announcement on Thursday during his keynote speech at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose. The Ann Arbor facility will be located near the University of Michigan, where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics, and materials science. Last year, the world’s largest automaker said it would invest $1 billion over the next five years in a research center for artificial intelligence to be based in Palo Alto, Calif. The institute aims to bridge the gap between research in AI and robotics in order to bring this technology to market. The technology is largely being developed for self-driving cars, but the institute is also researching and developing AI products for the home.   Cont'd...

Yale A-WARE™ RFID Technology Offers Simple, Powerful Performance Control for Warehouses

At MODEX booth #3147, attendees can view Yale A-WARE in action, to see how it can help increase throughput, safety and equipment life.

IEEE Standards Association Introduces Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems

Industry Connections Program to identify needs and build consensus for standards, certifications and codes of conduct regarding the ethical implementation of intelligent technologies

Gestures improve communication - even with robots

Robot avatars programmed to talk with their hands to be understood better

Yaskawa and Clearpath Partner to Develop Mobile Manipulation Solution

This fully integrated solution will feature a Motoman® MH12 robot equipped with end-of-arm tool and vision system, mounted on Clearpath's OTTO 1500 self-driving vehicle. This project is currently under development and supported under the advanced research division of Clearpath.

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Personal & Service Robots - Featured Product

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.