Thursday, June 30, 2016

Robopocalypse Report #85


The FAA will now allow drones less than 25 kg to be flown without special permits by companies in the US for commercial purposes.

Nissan (!) has a new GT-R drone.

Flirtey demonstrated ship to shore delivery of supplies via drone for disaster relief.

Drones may be the future of home mail delivery.

A drone in Northern Ireland has been delivering a controversial medical pill to women.

An automated 'refueling station' for drones is being built.

Japan has developed a drone to patrol croplands.

Americans expect drone delivery of pizzas by 2036.  They are going to be in for a surprise.

Drones keep getting in the way of fire fighters.

There's now a selfie drone, the Roam-E.

Supposedly, this hexacopter has a fully integrated sense and avoid system.

A startup is attempting to do drone delivery.

Self Driving Cars:

Self driving cars are going to change the insurance industry drastically. 

Who should be protected with self driving cars?  The riders or the public around the vehicle?  Would you buy a car that could kill you to save others?

Faraday Future claims it will be testing self driving cars in California.

Columbus, Ohio may be the first city to deploy self driving taxis in the US, having won $50 million for that in the Smart Cities grant program.

Drivers (or riders?) prefer self driving cars that will prioritize their lives over others in an accident.  Duh.  However, equally duh that the car will pick the least lives to be lost, not because its the most ethical stance, but because that will cost the manufacturer the least when settling with victims.

Is Intel partnering with BMW to produce self driving cars?

3d Printing:

A gentleman in Texas 3d printed a shed in 24 hours.

University of Eindhoven is 3d printing a pavilion in concrete.

Drivers will soon be able to customize their cars' 'skins' with 3d printing. 

There is a new bio-ink for 3d printing with stem cells.

This team used strands of cartilage as its scaffolding for 3d printing.

A 3d printed kidney helped doctors during a complicated surgery.

Lunar 3d printing as a pitstop on the way to Mars?!

Some argue 3d printed guns are not a threat.

Dollo the self replicating 3d printer is expected on kickstarter soon.

A 3d printer has been developed for use in schools.

This tiny 3d printed camera can be injected via syringe. 


Boston Dynamics introduces Sauropodobot!  Oh, well, no, more like Spotmini. Someone just needs to skin this sucker and give it a tail and it'll pass for a mini sauropod though.

Then there is Zume, the robo pizzeria.  Robopocalypse, guys.  Robopocalypse.

Duke University has developed a processor for robotic motion calculation in real time.

Rutgers has developed a new 'squishy' motor for robots.

Musk's OpenAI work is really ambitious: wants to make robots to do household chores.

Japan has started to explore the capability for construction to be done by robots on other worlds. 

A mini robo sub is becoming available for the public.

The Russian robot that escaped into the street before its batteries died tried to escape again.  We should nuke it from orbit.  Its the only way to be sure.  ;)

Software Bots:

Twitter just bought machine learning company Magic Pony for $150 million.

Twitch is suing bot makers.

Ticket buying bots used by scalpers are now illegal in New York.

A dad in New York made a Harry Potter sorting hat for his daughters using IBM's Watson.

Google highlights 5 concerns about AI. 

Musk's OpenAI project is working on a robo butler. has developed a tool to allow for easy assembly of, well, assembly lines of robots.

Citi Bank may be integrating Amazon's Alexa into its banking app.

Alexa is slowly paving the way to the smart house.

Watson has been used to treat cancer in 10,000 veterans.

The DoNotPay bot used to deal with traffic tickets has 'beaten' over 160,000 traffic tickets.


People are using implanted chips to open doors, interact with the environment.

Here's a sneak peak of the first cyborg Olympics. 

A 3d printed, Frozen inspired prosthetic arm brought a smile to a little girl.

Not all cyborgs are human.  Some are locusts and they have a purpose.

Philosophy & Economics:

In Europe, there is a draft plan to declare robots to be 'electronic persons' and require companies to pay for social security for each bot.  This is weird, but potentially clever way of doing a robot tax, but at the same time paving the way for law for when and if computers become sentient.

Are we panicking over nothing when it comes to AI?

How humans & AI can work together rather than against each other.

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