Friday, October 23, 2015

Robopocalypse Report #28: Digital Hormones for Robots...greeeeeeaaaaat...


Google's latest delivery drone prototype has been spotted.  Google has also registered its delivery drones for testing in the US.

Amazon appears to have gotten permission for its drone delivery tests in the US, amongst others.

The FAA is going to require everyone who buys a drone will have to register that drone.  There are lots of negative responses to the FAA Plans requiring everyone must register a drone when bought.

Legislation fencing in drones from aircraft is looming.

Researchers are working on drones to automatically repair cities in the future.

A Japanese company has developed an origami-like orinthopter drone, the skeleton of which is 3d printed.

NOAA Fisheries is using a hexacopter to monitor the health of southern resident killer whales.

A new virtual reality app allows for flying your drone.
Self Driving Cars:

Why self driving cars must be 'programmed to kill.'

Self driving cars might map our cities in the future.

A road rally enthusiast took the Tesla S largely hands off from coast-to-coast using the new Autopilot software in under 58 hours. On the other hand, many people are using it beyond what its capable of doing and nearly getting themselves killed.

Honda is planning a partially self driving car in 2020.

One opinion on how close are we - really - to self driving cars and how far we have come in the past 11 years.

Google's self driving car may hit production in the next few years.

Japan is putting together the regulations for self driving cars.

Mother Nature Network claims self driving cars won't replace mass transit.

Uber needs self driving cars to prevent becoming just another taxi company.

Will self driving cars kill motor sports?

Rio Tinto's mine trucks are already self driving (and remotely monitored).

German researchers has a self driving car drive from Nogales to Mexico City without human intervention.

Wired calls out a Scientific American article claiming hacking cars is nearly impossible for its inaccuracy.

3d Printing:

A University of Colorado student 3d printed high heels as her "final thesis."

A Torontoan has developed a solar powered 3d printer for medical device production in remote locations.

Caterpillar, the heavy equipment company, is adopting 3d printing for manufacturing.

Medical science is one of the areas 3d printing has a potential to transform the industry.  3d printing life-like prosthetics is now possible and 3d printing cartilage is now possible, too.  Scottish researchers are 3d printing stem cells.  3d printed organs may face issues with patent law.  Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a 3d printed tooth made from resin that can kill 99% of mouth bacteria.


Harvard has improved their robotic bee so it can swim and fly.

Cornell has developed 'soft actuators.'

Bristol Robotics Lab has developed the Row Bot, a swimming bot that uses microbial fuel cells to swim, well, the claim is forever because the microbes produce energy from the water and its organics for the robot to keep going.  In other words, this robot is the equivalent of a jelly fish, folks: it eats for energy.

How do you teach a robot to fall down gracefully?

Can studying the spider cricket help improve robotic hopping design?

DARPA's jazz playing bots are meant to explore ways people and robots can interact.

Dubai based Digi Robotics is branching out into several areas other than just industrial bots.  This includes a self driving car (Carbot), food service and fire fighting bots.

Fetch Robotics' warehouse bot is ready for the early adopters.  I think they are targeting the wrong market: this robot follows people around is really meant to be a shopping cart at the grocery store.  Seriously.  The elderly and parents with kids would LOVE this thing.  However, sell it to the market, not the consumer.

Robots are now making very high end furniture.

UC San Diego has developed a bot that can explore and clean air ducts.

Dyson, the vacuum cleaner company, has their own vacuum bot, but it is pricey and delayed.

Robots may not be the machines of logic alone (sorry, Data).  It seems some are working on giving robots the digital equivalent of hormones.  Greeeaaaaat.  Teenager bots.  Just what we need in the Robopocalypse.

Deepfield Robotics has developed a bot to go out into the field and weed.

Robotics has already had an impact on farming.


The Japanese have been working on artificial skin for robotic prosthetics to provide touch sensation.

Software Bots:

A new algorithm can predict human behavior better than people can.

Japanese researchers have developed software for bots to change their tone if people are not paying attention to what they are saying.

Google is apparently rethinking its method for machine learning.


Some governments are subsidizing the robopocalypse.

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