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Robots and Robotics

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Will Robots Take My Job? This Tool Knows If Robots Are Coming for Your Job. Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake.

This Tool Knows If Robots Are Coming for Your Job

He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high. " Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg.

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth). In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. Russia Made a Robot Gunslinger. Engineer Creates Sex Robot That Needs To Be Romanced First. There's no escaping Boston Dynamics' wheeled jumping robot.

Boston Dynamics has officially unveiled its latest robot after footage leaked earlier in February showing the new design.

There's no escaping Boston Dynamics' wheeled jumping robot

Known as "Handle" the new research robot incorporates elements from the company's previous Altas robot, but achieves more efficient mobility by adding wheels and a significantly less complex joint system. Described in February by company founder Marc Raibert as "nightmare inducing," Handle looks to be extraordinarily mobile, speeding down stairs, through snow and leaping up to four feet (1.2 m) vertically. According to the company, Handle can reach speeds up to 9 mph (14.5 km/h) and has a range of 15 miles (24 km) on a single battery charge. Might Snake Robots Ready the Moon for Human Settlement?

Interested in learning more about robots colliding with interstellar exploration?

Might Snake Robots Ready the Moon for Human Settlement?

Discover the fascinating field of modern robotics with some of the world’s greatest professors by starting your free trial of The Great Courses Plus. Humans living in a village on the moon might sound like the backdrop for a sci-fi movie, but the European Space Agency (ESA) believes it’s a realistic scenario. When scanning the moon as a potential destination for human settlement — or, at the very least, interstellar travel expeditions — the agency is homing in on lava tubes, which are molten rock tunnels where lava once flowed.

Since the moon is not sheltered from the sun’s radiation like the Earth, people hanging out on the lunar surface for an extended period must stay underground — and these tunnels could be a cheaper alternative to constructing habitation modules buried in the ground. Nearly 50 years since man first stepped on the moon, the ESA is plotting out a “moon village.” Robots Are Growing Tons of Our Food. Here's the Creepy Part. Armando Veve You don't see self-driving cars taking over American cities yet, but robotic tractors already roar through our corn and soybean farms, helping to plant and spray crops.

Robots Are Growing Tons of Our Food. Here's the Creepy Part.

They also gather huge troves of data, measuring moisture levels in the soil and tracking unruly weeds. MIT applies soft touch to robots with programmable 3D-printed skins. Spectators of the DARPA Robotics Challenge finals in 2015 would have noticed that many of the competing robots were padded up for protection in case they took a tumble.

MIT applies soft touch to robots with programmable 3D-printed skins

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is looking to build customizable shock-absorbing protection into robots by using 3D printing to produce soft materials that not only dampen the impact of falls, but also allows them to carry out safer, more precise movements. Robotics engineers have long had a keen interest in soft materials. At their simplest, such materials can protect robots against falls and collisions, but can also protect people in environments were robots and humans are increasingly working together. Robot With Human Paintbrush. Chemically-powered, autonomous Octopus could spawn a new generation of soft robots.

Harvard engineers have come up with a robot octopus that is made entirely of soft materials, is autonomous, and requires no tether to operate.

Chemically-powered, autonomous Octopus could spawn a new generation of soft robots

The Octobot combines 3D printing, mechanical engineering, and microfluidics to create what could be the first in a new generation of soft, autonomous machines. No pain no gain: Hurting robots so they can save themselves. It's probably not something you'd say to a person writhing in agony on the floor, but physical pain can have its benefits.

No pain no gain: Hurting robots so they can save themselves

It is after all how kids learn to be wary of hot surfaces and carpenters to hit nails on the head. Researchers are now adapting this exercise in self-learning to an artificial nervous system for robots, a tool they believe will better equip these machines to avoid damage and preserve their – and our – well-being. We send robots into all kinds of situations we wouldn't dare set foot in ourselves. Theconversation. Autonomous learning puts human-like dexterity within robotic reach. Although humans perform intricate hand movements like rolling, pivoting, bending and grabbing different shaped objects without a second thought, such dexterity is still beyond the grasp of most robots.

Autonomous learning puts human-like dexterity within robotic reach

But a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington has upped the dexterity stat of a five-fingered robotic hand that can ape human movements and learn to improve on its own. Built at a cost of around US$300,000, the University of Washington's design is based on a Shadow Hand skeleton, which is actuated with a custom pneumatic system that gives it the ability to move faster than a human hand.

Although the hand is currently too expensive for commercial or industrial use, it does allow researchers to test control strategies that wouldn't otherwise be possible. TOP 10 robot stories of 2015. Dec 29, 2015 TOP 10 robot stories of 2015 TOP 10 robot stories of 2015 in 2015, we saw robots become more adaptable then ever before. now, they ride motorcycles, automate hotel concierge, and cook you dinner. continuing our annual review, we highlight 10 of the most important stories involving robots from the past 12 months. japanese hotel serviced by robots.

TOP 10 robot stories of 2015

The Dawn of Killer Robots. The Convention on Conventional Weapons discussions at the United Nationsmeatbags Take two six-foot-tall, 330-pound bipedal humanoid robots named ATLAS and ESCHER.

The Dawn of Killer Robots

They’re not Terminators, but they sure resemble those iconic killer robots from the big screen. When Motherboard gained exclusive access to ATLAS and ESCHER, both of which are funded by the US military, we couldn’t help but ask their human operators if that comparison comes up a lot. “We do get that a lot,” said David Conner (no relation to John), a senior research scientist with Virginia Tech’s TORC Robotics. With millions of dollars in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon’s blue-sky research lab, TORC services one of seven ATLAS robots, which are built by Google-owned Boston Dynamics.

The evolution machine: Mother robot makes each child better than the last. It was only last month that futurists Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warned about the dangers of intelligent machines, and a new research project led by the University of Cambridge won't do much to put their minds at ease. Scientists have created a mother robot that can not only build its own children robots, but mimic the process of natural selection to improve their capabilities with each generation. The process begins with a robotic arm and a set of five plastic cubes with motors inside. Robots and Utopia: Silicon Valley's Quirkiest CEO. I’m interviewing Rob Nail, but I don’t know who to make eye contact with, him or his toy robot. The white-and-aquamarine bot blinking at me innocently is named Wesley.

He retails for $20,000, is Wall-E cute and is roughly the size of Nail’s 19-month-old son. Nail hardly notices. In fact, he’s oblivious to all the strange stuff surrounding us: the Oculus Rift viewing station where, moments before, I rode a virtual roller coaster; the model airplanes hanging from the ceiling; and the other robot, which retails for $14,000 and which Nail once used to stream himself to a party. Instead of, you know, actually going. At 42, the tech hipster is the CEO of one of Silicon Valley’s oddest futurist meccas: Singularity University, an unaccredited “institution” that convenes tech evangelists, educates midcareer executives at conferences, incubates new startups and teaches middling corporations how to “disrupt” themselves. Who is to blame when a robot kills a human? Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, Western nations have harbored a collective anxiety about the replacement of human jobs by mechanized labor.

Economists have long tried to predict which jobs will be lost to machines, but they offer no guarantees. People fear being replaced. But robots aren’t just taking jobs. Last Monday, at a Volkwagen plant in Germany, one robot killed an employee. The Exoskeletons Are Coming. Robots square off at the 2015 DRC Finals. A sporting event where a contestant opens a door, promptly falls on their face, and then stands up again sounds like less than riveting, but on Friday some 10,000 people at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, cheered and screamed encouragement as exactly that happened.

Of course, the fact that the contender was a robot called Tartan Rescue and the competition was the first day of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Final 2015 had something to do with it. Aimed at creating robots that may one day help responders during major disasters, the two-day Challenge is host to 23 international teams competing for US$3.5 million in prizes. The severity of the aftermath that hindered responders following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 was the inspiration for the Robotics Challenge.

Dubai to put 'robocops' on the streets in two years. These days, life looks more and more like some futuristic TV series. Now that's been taken another step closer by the announcement of authorities in the United Arab Emirates, that they will soon introduce "robocops" onto their streets. This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque. CareJack vest takes soft (and smart) approach to lifting heavy loads. The CareJack vest uses flexible, soft electronics to aid caregivers and workers in carrying heavy loads (Photo: Fraunhofer IPK/IZM) Being a nurse, construction worker, or grocery stocker is a taxing and potentially risky job. Power-assist exoskeletons to go on sale in Japan.

From the land of personal robotics (and the Rising Sun) comes news of the impending launch of a power-assisted exoskeleton to be known as HAL-3 (Hybrid Assisted Leg). Designed for the 'rehabilitation of person who have a functional disorder in their lower body, or power augmentation of the unimpaired', HAL is expected to sell for around one million Japanese yen (AUD$12,000) when it goes on sale. ATRIAS bipedal robot can take a beating and keep walking. Meet The First Men To Get Reconstructed Bionic Hands After Amputation. LONDON (AP) — Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs. The three men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as "bionic reconstruction," which includes a voluntary amputation, the transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand.

Roboticist: Lethal Autonomy 'Inevitable' Brain-controlled prosthetic arm connected to nerves. Max Ortiz Catalan (right) and Richard Brånemark with the first patient who received the bone-anchored prosthesis. Terrifying Robot Update: Thursday October 2, 2014. Yes, let the soothing j-pop wash over you like a wave, calm, peaceful, yes look at their cute little dancing hahaha isn’t it so nice? What do you mean when the lights cut you couldn’t see anything except their faintly glowing pom-pom hands and their eyes which light up like coal fires that looked to you like the gates of hell?

What do you mean you think they can see in the dark? Here comes the future: We’re making robots that feel! It’s an Anthropocene magic trick, this extension of our digital selves over the Internet, far enough to reach other people, animals, plants, interplanetary crews, extraterrestrial visitors, the planet’s Google-mapped landscapes, and our habitats and possessions. If we can revive extinct life forms, create analog worlds, and weave new webs of communication—what about new webs of life?

Why not synthetic life forms that can sense, feel, remember, and go through Darwinian evolution? What you need to know about the robots that feed humanity. In Iowa, there's a 3,000-acre farm that uses machines to accomplish most tasks, from seeding to fertilizing and chemical application. Low-cost autonomous robots replicate swarming behavior. Left To Their Own Devices, Robots Evolve Into Diverse Populations. Making robots work out where they are and where they’re going.

Robots that use Wi-Fi to see through walls. Building machines from muscle: University of Illinois demonstrates "walking" bio-robot. MIT researchers augment humans with extra robotic arms. HitchBOT aims to be first robot to hitchhike across Canada. New Law Enforcement Robot Can Wield Excessive Force Of 5 Human Officers. Watch this robot play a table tennis champion — and almost win!

The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots. Stretchable optical circuits could find use in robot skin and more. Paralyzed woman walks again with 3D-printed robotic exoskeleton. A robot in every home: Dyson enters race to provide ‘advanced household androids’ for all. Is It Possible to Degrade and Exploit Your At-Home Sexbot? Robots to Breed with Each Other and Humans by 2045.

With its giant fembots, Japan is winning the go-go arms race. This crime-predicting robot aims to patrol our streets by 2015. Should Killer Robots be Banned? Kant & Sexbots. New NASA Robot, 'Valkyrie,' Looks Like Iron Man. Scientists develop "heart pump" for pee-powered robots. How Self-Replicating Spacecraft Could Take Over the Galaxy. 'Terminator'-style cube robots swarm and self-assemble. Robot WildCat Runs Sixteen Miles Per-Hour. RHex robot shows off Parkour moves. Disney Research software makes mechanizing characters easy.

MIT Scientists Create Robot Capable Of Feeling Lust. Giant Crabster robot to explore shipwrecks and shallow seas. DFKI's robot ape to colonize the Moon? Japanese robots make a stink about bad breath, body odor. Mini humanoid robots are beginning to walk more like people. Advanced humanoid robot takes first steps. Don't snatch! Disney Research builds robot that takes objects more naturally.

TV: The Sex Life of Robots. Orwellwasright's Weblog. HERB the robot butler takes part in Oreo cookie challenge. A very human-like robot invented by Japanese engineers. Creepily realistic robot can hold conversations and answer questions. Wang Zi Won’s Mechanical Buddhas. Robots will soon replace the tractor.

Robot toddler could unlock secrets of human development. Hajime Sakamoto takes a ride on giant robot legs. Panasonic Power Loader Light exoskeleton takes a load off your back. Roboy team aims to build robot toddler in nine months. DARPA Takes Robot Through the Paces. Two ways of looking at robots. World's most anatomically correct musculoskeletal robot is presented in Japan. Artificial intelligence – can we keep it in the box? Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied. Robots are learning to walk and run at Delft University. Disney Research robot can juggle, play catch.

Mind-controlled robot avatars inch towards reality. RSLSteeper launches third version of its bebionic myoelectric hand. Neuro Evolving Robotic Operatives. Salad-Making Robot Gives Us a Creepy View Of the Future. AMP-Foot 2.0 prosthesis mimics human ankle's spring. DARPA's Robotics Challenge gives birth to new humanoid robots. Bipedal hobby robot walks a tightrope. Researchers Developing Robotic Police Officers. Japanese first responders to wear robotic exoskeletons. NASA developing exoskeleton for astronauts and the earthbound. Harvard's Robobee learning to fly.

Autonomous swimming robot inspired by the sea turtle. Baxter industrial robot aims at bringing automation to smaller manufacturers. A Robot With a Delicate Touch. Noodle-shaving robots are replacing human cooks, and look pretty evil doing it. World record quadrocopter swarm puts on impressive light show. Flying drone controlled with mind power.