Amazon’s launch in Australia today is likely to put fresh scrutiny on the speed of Australia Post’s own deliveries. To that end, Australia Post is trialling the use of robots to deliver parcels more promptly.
Soft robotic actuators, which are pneumatic artificial muscles designed and programmed to perform lifelike motions, have recently emerged as an attractive alternative to more rigid components that have conventionally been used in biomedical devices. In fact, earlier this year, a Boston Children’s Hospital team revealed a proof-of-concept soft robotic sleeve that could support the function of a failing heart.
Not all robots will take over human jobs. My colleagues and I have just unveiled a prototype care robot that we hope could take on some of the more mundane work of looking after elderly and disabled people and those with conditions such as dementia. This would leave human carers free to focus on the more personal parts of the job. The robot could also do things humans don’t have time to do now, like keeping a constant check on whether someone is safe and well, while allowing them to keep their privacy.
Toyota Motor Corporation today revealed T-HR3, the company’s third generation humanoid robot. Toyota’s latest robotics platform, designed and developed by Toyota’s Partner Robot Division, will explore new technologies for safely managing physical interactions between robots and their surroundings, as well as a new remote maneuvering system that mirrors user movements to the robot.
“Robots are not taking over the world”, the diplomat leading the first official talks on autonomous weapons assured Friday, seeking to ease criticism over slow progress towards restricting the use of so-called “killer robots”.
By now you’ve probably heard how robots are going to take over our jobs. And how this will leave future generations with plenty of time on their hands to take up hobbies and pursue creative interests. All while our robot friends spend their days doing the lion’s share of the work needed to make the world run.
The sense of touch is often taken for granted. For someone without a limb or hand, losing that sense of touch can be devastating. While highly sophisticated prostheses with complex moving fingers and joints are available to mimic almost every hand motion, they remain frustratingly difficult and unnatural for the user. This is largely because they lack the tactile experience that guides every movement. This void in sensation results in limited use or abandonment of these very expensive artificial devices. So why not make a prosthesis that can actually “feel” its environment?
Robots are a hot item and Radboud University is right on trend by using them to replicate babies’ brain and behaviour. Johan Kwisthout, coordinator of the Master’s programme in Artificial Intelligence, explains how this works and what else we can expect from robots.
Military robots are not all bad.
The World Robotics Olympiad, being held in Costa Rica this weekend, shows human athletes still have little to worry about: sweat and glory do not compute well when relegated to faceless automatons.