Today’s manufacturers struggle to keep pace with rapid changes in technology because of the inability to adapt and the new skills required of their workforce.
Francis Shen spends a lot of time thinking about transhuman cyborgs, brain-wave lie detectors, sex robots and terrorists hacking into devices implanted in our heads.
Sporting a trendy brown bob, a humanoid robot named Erica chats to a man in front of stunned audience members in Madrid.
Humans aren’t the only people in society – at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too – without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law.
Brandon Alexander would like to introduce you to Angus, the farmer of the future. He’s heavyset, weighing in at nearly 1,000 pounds, not to mention a bit slow. But he’s strong enough to hoist 800-pound pallets of maturing vegetables and can move them from place to place on his own.
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a technology whereby two robots can work in unison to 3-D-print a concrete structure. This method of concurrent 3-D printing, known as swarm printing, paves the way for a team of mobile robots to print even bigger structures in the future. Developed by Assistant Professor Pham Quang Cuong and his team at NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3-D Printing, this new multi-robot technology is reported in Automation in Construction. The NTU scientist was also behind the Ikea Bot project earlier this year, in which two robots assembled an Ikea chair in about nine minutes.
The human arm can perform a wide range of extremely delicate and coordinated movements, from turning a key in a lock to gently stroking a puppy’s fur. The robotic “arms” on underwater research submarines, however, are hard, jerky, and lack the finesse to be able to reach and interact with creatures like jellyfish or octopuses without damaging them. Previously, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and collaborators developed a range of soft robotic grippers to more safely handle delicate sea life, but those gripping devices still relied on hard, robotic submarine arms that made it difficult to maneuver them into various positions in the water.
Where am I? Like humans, robots also need to answer that question, while they tirelessly glue, weld or apply seals to workpieces. After all, the production of precision products depends on robot control systems knowing the location of the adhesive bonding head or welding head to the nearest millimeter at all times. This means the robot needs some sort of eye. In the automotive industry and many other sectors, specialized sensors perform this function, most of which operate on the principle of laser triangulation. A laser diode projects a line of red light onto the workpiece, from which the light is reflected at a specific angle before being detected by a camera. From the position of the light striking the camera chip, the position and distance of the sensor with respect to the workpiece within the coordinate system can be calculated.
Future robots will assist the elderly while adapting to the culture of the individual they are caring for. The first of this type of robots are now being tested in retirement homes within the scope of “Caresses,” an interdisciplinary project where AI researchers from Örebro University are participating.
A robot that reminds older people where they have put things and helps them exercise has been used by residents in three retirement homes in a trial to combat cognitive decline in later age.