Tag: category-/Science/Engineering & Technology/Robotics

AI Weekly: Charlatan AI is a public nuisance

That’s why tech companies should spare the world overblown or fabricated depictions of what their AI can do. False perceptions about what is and isn’t possible have potentially negative implications for public perception, business decisions, and even government policy. More lawmakers talked about AI last year in Congress and the United Kingdom’s Parliament, according to the […]

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Nvidia opens robotics research lab in Seattle

Nvidia today opened its robotics research lab, a 13,000-foot facility in Seattle. The lab will house 50 roboticists, 20 from Nvidia Research staff, and others from the wider academic research community. Dieter Fox, a member of University of Washington computer science faculty, is the director of the lab. The lab was intentionally opened in Seattle […]

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Naughty America uses volumetric video capture to put AR strippers in your bedroom

Naughty America has created a new version of its augmented reality technology, allowing you to see virtual strippers in your bedroom with your smartphone or AR glasses app. Naughty America once again enjoys its status as the only porn company in the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2019, the big tech trade show. The company has a meeting room, […]

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Sphero’s Specdrums turn color into sound

It’s been quite the journey for Sphero, the Colorado company best known for its app-enabled balls that teach coding, perform tricks, and make for great cat toys. In the roughly eight years since it announced its eponymous product, Sphero has launched an education-focused lineup ( Sprk) and miniature Sphero models (Sphero Mini) and collaborated with Disney […]

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This AI teaches robots how to walk

Artificially intelligent (AI) systems have imbued robots with the ability to grasp and manipulate objects with humanlike dexterity, and now, researchers say they’ve developed an algorithm through which machines might learn to walk on their own. In a preprint paper published on Arxiv.org (“Learning to Walk via Deep Reinforcement Learning“), scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and […]

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Ottopia’s remote assistance platform for autonomous cars combines humans with AI

The burgeoning autonomous vehicle (AV) revolution seems to crank up a notch every other week, with Waymo recently unveiling its first commercial driverless car service, Volvo announcing its first commercial autonomous truck, and countless companies working on the underlying technology that will bring self-driving transport to the mainstream. But full autonomy that involves millions of […]

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RightHand Robotics raises $23 million to grow its ecommerce solution in Europe and Japan

RightHand Robotics today announced the close of a $23 million funding round to bring its services to customers in Europe and Japan and expand sales, engineering, and customer service divisions of the company. The RightPick platform combines proprietary machine learning-driven tech with commercially available cameras and robotic arms to complete orders by picking and sorting items […]

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Google teaches robots how to recognize objects by interacting with their environment

Google’s teaching AI systems to think more like children — at least, when it comes to object recognition and perception. In a paper (“Grasp2Vec: Learning Object Representations from Self-Supervised Grasping“) and accompanying blog post, Eric Jang, a software engineer at Google’s robotics division, and Coline Devin, a Ph.D. student at Berkeley and former research intern, describe an […]

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Anki’s Cozmo gets a holiday update with new storyboarding features

Who said old robots can’t learn new tricks? Just two years and change following its debut, Anki’s Cozmo — a cute companion with an AI-powered personality — is getting a milestone update to ring in the New Year. The first spotlight feature in 3.1 Holiday Release (as Anki’s calling it) is Cozmo Performs. It replaces […]

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Microsoft HoloLens shoves off for boot camp

The United States Army awarded a $480 million contract to Microsoft that will equip military personnel with prototype versions of HoloLens intended to increase “lethality, mobility, and situational awareness.” HoloLens is an all-in-one augmented reality headset from Microsoft which first shipped in 2016 for $3,000. Its robust tracking system constantly maps the world while overlaying […]

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Roam Robotics raises $12 million to enhance human capabilities with exoskeletons

Roam Robotics, a company that’s setting out to “enhance” human capabilities through exoskeletons, has raised $12 million in a series A round of funding led by Yamaha Motor Ventures, with participation from Menlo Ventures, Boost VC, Heuristics Capital Partners, R7 Partners, Spero Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, and Venture Investment Associates. Founded out of San Francisco in […]

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Anki survey: Brits may embrace companion robots, but some fear the Terminator

About 60 percent of Brits believe there will be a robot in every home within the next 50 years, according to a survey by futurist firm Envisioners and robotics company Anki. Still, some people are convinced that there’s a dystopian future akin to movies like The Terminator. The survey of United Kingdom residents asked whether […]

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How Munich’s Franka Emika wants to reinvent industrial robotic assistants

While images of human-like robots jumping over boxes have captured popular attention, the real robotics revolution is taking place in manufacturing and assembly shops around the world. The fast-growing field of robotic assistants, sometimes called “cobots” or collaborative robots, are making robots cheaper, more flexible, and safer to use for a growing range of mundane tasks. […]

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IAM Robotics raises $20 million for inventory picker robots

There’s a lot of money in robotics — particularly in logistics robotics. The industrial machines market is forecast to be worth $41.23 billion by 2020, according to Grand View Research, with startups like GreyOrange and RightHand leading the charge. But they’re not the only game in town. Pittsburgh startup IAM Robotics today announced that it has […]

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Rethink Robotics’ assets bought by Hahn, Universal Robots hires 20 employees from pioneering firm

The failure of Boston-based Rethink Robotics last month came as a shock to employees as well as to an industry that seems to be enjoying rapid growth. But two deals announced this week will allow the pioneering firm’s work to live on. Hahn Group of Germany has acquired the patents and trademarks from Rethink Robotics. […]

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Trifo raises $11 million to put robots in your home

iRobot’s Roomba. Neato’s Botvac. Samsung’s Powerbot. Those are just a sampling of the dozens of robot vacuum cleaners on the market, sales of which are fueling an industry expected to be worth $4.43 billion by 2023. But that hasn’t deterred Trifo, a two-year-old home robotics startup backed by Samsung Ventures, from pursuing a spot among […]

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DARPA wants to build ‘contextual’ AI that understands the world

We owe a lot to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies. The 60-year-old agency proposed and prototyped the precursor to the world wide web. It developed an interactive mapping solution akin to Google Maps. And its personal assistant — […]

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AI Weekly: For evidence of academic investment in AI, look no further than Pittsburgh

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced this week that it would invest $1 billion in a new college of computer engineering: the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. It’s the single largest investment in artificial intelligence (AI) by a U.S. academic institution to date. And when the new building hosts its first classes in 2022, […]

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Microsoft brings Robot Operating System to Windows 10

In recent years, the robotics industry has experienced outsized growth. It’s expected to be worth almost $500 billion by 2025, and judging by recent funding rounds, investors are optimistic about the future. Warehouse robotics company GreyOrange raised $140 million for its platform in early September; in June, Bossa Nova scooped up $29 million in July for its […]

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Moxi is a hospital robot with social intelligence

Moxi, a robot from Diligent Robotics endowed with social intelligence made its debut today in pilot programs at hospitals in Texas. Moxi is a robot with a face, head, and arm that gets around on four wheels. The robot can use its hand to do things like grab and store medical supplies then deliver them to […]

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