AI News, Video Friday: Giant Fighting Robots, Glass 3D Printer, and 10 New Robots from Fetch

Video Friday: Giant Fighting Robots, Glass 3D Printer, and 10 New Robots from Fetch

Once again, the biggest thing that happened in robotics this week was apparently something about a giant robot duel, despite the fact that we posted some absolutely excellent stuff about robot arms control and simulated evolution in leafcutter ants.

kiiinda don’t know if I agree with Peter Diamandis saying that this will move the entire field of robotics forward, and being a robot purist, I have to say that this isn’t exactly what I’d call a robot.

Their Kickstarter campaign has a $1 million stretch goal togetIHMC officially involved to develop a “a custom high-end balance control system,”so hit up the link below to contribute, and it’ll only cost you $1,000 for a ride in the robot, and just $1,500 to do something reckless with its weapons.

MIT ] via [ Gizmodo ] They’re small, they’re mostly plastic, and their lifetime is measured in seconds: meet 10 brand new killer robots from Fetch Robotics:

Ekso Bionics ] Zano is a bit behind on its Kickstarter promises, but at least it looks like they do have a drone that does seem to fly and do dynamic obstacle avoidance while making one of the worst drone noises I’ve ever heard:

IFM Technologies ] With the cost of DNA sequencing plummeting faster than Moore’s law, automation needs in biology labs are drastically changing.

RoboHub ] Earlier this week, Kate Darling, who writes excellent articles for us from time to time, gave a talk at a conference in Sweden called, er, The Conference.

The robot uprising has begun and it's about to change your life

Savioke's Relay delivery robot can tell when a hotel door has been opened, but it cannot recognise the human;

The robot in question is called Relay, an armless device just under a metre tall which ferries small objects (a toothbrush or a bottle of water) from the hotel's front desk to guests' rooms.

Technically, the question is rather easy: the hotel's lifts have been retrofitted with a server-supported device that enables the robot to automatically summon them and choose a floor.

As Michael Clamann, a research scientist at Duke University's Humans and Autonomy Lab, describes, humans live in a world of social feedback, a world of (usually) clear causes and effects.

robot choosing floors using unseen machine intelligence, with no visible gestures, might seem magical - or terrifying.

Savioke spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the robot move effectively through the hotel, equipping it with sensors, from Lidar to sonar to 3D depth cameras.

Since GPS is ineffective indoors, the whole hotel has been laser-scanned by the robot, with the range of traversable and non-traversable areas stitched together by algorithms (the robot is banned from the second floor, for example, because of an open stairwell).

(pictured) is in a hotel room in Aloft Cupertino Until recently, workplace robots have been mostly stationary machines tethered to assembly lines or, as in the systems Amazon Robotics has installed in its specially designed warehouses, powerful, fast-moving automata that operate behind cages in "human exclusion zones", navigating by paths laid out by stickers on the floor.

says Canoso, who notes that the hospitality industry is only the first step in Savioke's ultimate business: "a peer-to-peer microdelivery service [to make] the last 300 metres of any delivery more frictionless."

So-called "service robots", she says, are designed to "be around people without being in cages", even if the standards on what constitutes robot safety are not yet written.

The bots' hatches can be programmed to open only to its intended recipient Fetch's robots, named Fetch and Freight, are intended to work in large-scale warehouses, the sort that stock consumer goods for online purchase.

In the company's lab, a good portion of which is set up to resemble a prototypical fulfilment centre (shelves lined with bags of marshmallows), WIRED watches as a Freight robot follows one of Wise's co-workers down the aisle.

The worker is represented by a pair of shuffling marks - think of the curve of someone's back heel - and Freight is programmed to recognise a typical human gait pattern.

When people ask how Wise is getting robots to pick the correct things off the shelf - a task so difficult, Amazon's robotics wing has been hosting a yearly "picking challenge", in which teams compete to get robots to correctly choose, say, a bag of MMs from a collection of objects - she says they tell her, "It's impossible, you can't recognise everything."

Tally's 3D vision can sweep entire shelving racks to build a picture of the store Roboticists often reference the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, a landmark piece of US legislation that resulted in massive changes in the landscape to accommodate people with disabilities.

Because the majority of workplaces were required to install ramps, for instance, robots subsequently did not generally have to deal with differences in elevation.

Perhaps his notion was incomplete: robots are increasingly able to move around in our environments as they are, without special markings or codes, in part because of technological improvements, but also because we had already been designing environments meant to compensate for human limitations.

When Volvo launches an autonomous car project in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2017 - the largest such trial to date involving everyday drivers - it will happen only in a section of the city's ring roads with the clearest markings.

Tally compares the real world to a planogram of how a store should be laid out This idea comes into sharp relief as WIRED meets Brad Bogolea and Jeff Gee, the CEO and chief product designer of Simbe (for "simulated being") in San Mateo.

What Tally does - faster and more accurately than humans, says the company - is sweep up and down the aisles of those stores, unblinkingly casting its 13-megapixel 3D vision, comparing what is on the shelf against what should be there.

Large retail environments are typically structured according to "planograms", or visual blueprints of how each shelf should look, created to ensure standardisation.

From there, it is essentially a matter of pattern matching (made easier, says Bogolea, by the fact that consumer goods producers strive for visual differences in their packaging).

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