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)
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...
In recent years, there have been many demands for equipment with high productivity to have a system that retains positioning information, even after the main power supply is turned off.
From All About Circuits: Google ATAP is bringing touchless interfaces to the market using a miniaturized radar chip no bigger than a dime. This is Project Soli. Soli’s radar sensor is a marvel in many respects. For one thing, it solves a long-lived issue when it comes to gesture-recognition technology. Previous forays into the topic yielded almost-answers such as stereo cameras (which have difficulty understanding the overlap of fingers, e.g.) and capacitive touch sensing(which struggles to interpret motion in a 3D context). Google ATAP’s answer is radar. Radar is capable of interpreting objects’ position and motion even through other objects, making it perfect for developing a sensor that can be embedded in different kinds of devices like smartphones... (full article)
The Star: Chinese appliances giant Midea moved a step closer to fulfilling its ambition to acquire German industrial robotics firm Kuka with two weekend deals raising its stake to nearly a majority. Two of Kuka’s biggest German shareholders – technology company Voith and entrepreneur Friedhelm Loh – said they had decided to take up Midea’s offer of €115 (RM512) per share and sell their stakes. German news agency DPA reported that Voith had agreed to sell its stake of 25.1% for €1.2bil (RM5.34bil). And Loh told the business daily Handelsblatt he had decided to sell his stake of 10% for nearly €500mil (RM2.22bil). Combined with its existing holding of 13.5% in Kuka, the two purchases mean Midea now holds 48.5%, or not far from the outright majority, in the Augsburg-based robot builder. Cont'd.. .
Industrial robotics is changing the U.S. manufacturing industry portrait.
A manufacturing cell can reduce part transportation because the close proximity of the cell's resources makes part transportation almost non-existent.
Yuri Kageyama for News Factor: The U.S. robotics expert tapped to head Toyota's Silicon Valley research company says the $1 billion investment by the giant Japanese automaker will start showing results within five years. Gill Pratt [pictured above] told reporters that the Toyota Research Institute is also looking ahead into the distant future when there will be cars that anyone, including children and the elderly, can ride in on their own, as well as robots that help out in homes. Pratt, a former program manager at the U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, joined Toyota Motor Corp. first as a technical adviser when it set up its artificial intelligence research effort at Stanford University and MIT. He said safety features will be the first types of AI applications to appear in Toyota vehicles. Such features are already offered on some models now being sold, such as sensors that help cars brake or warn drivers before a possible crash, and cars that drive themselves automatically into parking spaces or on certain roads. "I expect something to come out during those five years," Pratt told reporters recently at Toyota's Tokyo office of the timeframe seen for the investment. Cont'd...
John DiPietro for NHVoice: Lately, Boston Dynamics has released a new video of its robot called Mini Spot. In the video, the robot is seen running around outside, planning around objects in a home and climbing up stairs. The best part of the video is how delicately the robot picks up a wine glass and puts into the dishwasher. The wine-glass act has been highlight as it could be judged as to how much skilled is the robot in handling delicate things. For robots to safely operate around humans they need to be able to sense their environment and capable of knowing how mighty they are. Mini Spot weighs 55 lbs and is all electric and runs for around 90 minutes on a charge depending on what is it doing. The robot is having many sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro and proprioception sensors in its limbs. Cont'd...
The system has been designed to enable the picking surface to be changed very quickly.
Freed from the isolation of the real-time system and from other functions such as the user interface, OEMs are able to explore more innovative solutions with less risk and overhead.
George Konidaris and Daniel Sorin of Duke University have developed a new technology that cuts robotic motion planning times by 10,000 while consuming a small fraction of the power compared to current options. Watch one of their robotic arms in action as they explain how their innovative solution works.
HEBOCON is a robot contest for the technically ungifted. They held the first tournament in Tokyo in July 19,2014... (Facebook page)
Identifying the departments with the biggest backlog, the most amount of overtime or the area that receives the highest number of complaints is a straight forward way to prioritize which areas of the organization to automate.
While the exterior mechanics of a robot may be fascinating, it is their programming and software that has the most utility for future workforces.
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AS40 Conveyors are designed for ease of use and simple integration with robotic applications. Built on a rigid aluminum frame, they feature tee slots for rapid accessory mounting and a tail that flips up at the push of a button for easy under-belt cleaning and belt changes. Nosebar tails are available for transferring small parts between conveyors. All conveyors include a 10 Year Warranty and most are available with a fast five day lead time.