Friday, December 30, 2016

Robopocalypse Report #97


7-11 is building on their initial trials with Flirtey for delivery by drone.   The extended trials have been going on for over a month now.

An aerial test track has been built out for Africa for drones.

Amazon has conducted its first drone delivery in England. 

Amazon is considering an airship to act as a mothership for its delivery drones.

Amazon has patented a way to protect its drones from hackers, jammers and ... arrows.

Are drones the new big cat toys?!

The best (?) drone photography of the year.

A new British drone dives into the water like a seabird.

Casey Neistat built a custom drone he used in snowboarding.

DARPA's ALIAS kit to convert any aircraft into a drone has passed phase 2 of the program.

Drone controllers have evolved to allow for second screens.

Drones are herding elephants away from danger.

Facebook's drone crashed because a gust of wind snapped a wing.

The French have started a trial system using drones to deliver mail.

Google wants to do food, starting with pizza, delivery via drone for around $6.

John Hopkins demonstrated blood can be delivered by drone safely.

In New Hampshire, a camera drone hit some  guests at a wedding.  Those guests are now suing the groom.

NovAerial's helicopter drones get profiled.

The Swedish Griff drone can lift over 300 lbs.

Now there is a Swiss feathered drone.

A video captured killer whales eating a shark.

Self Driving Cars:

Amazon is building an Uber-like tasking system for truckers.  You know where this is going.

Blackberry may be exiting the phone market, but it is getting into the self driving car arena.

Self driving cars will headline CES.

Delphi is going to start its own self driving car service.

Florida does not require permits for self driving cars.

Ford will unveil its self driving Ford Focus at CES.

Now that it is legal to drive everywhere in Michigan with or without a driver for a self driving car, GM is going to massively expand its testing there.

Google has spun off its self driving car business into a new company called Waymo.  Supposedly, it has ended the attempt to build cars without steering wheels.

Norway wants to start testing self driving cars in 2017.

An update to Tesla's Autopilot will force the car to follow the speed limit and other road rules.

Tesla's autopilot appears to have predicted an accident a couple seconds before the impact of the cars in front of it.

Uber has moved its self driving cars to Arizona after it biffed it in San Francisco.   Will Lyft actually the rules when to attempt to roll out their self driving cars in SF?

Uber has introduced Uber Freight as its stepping stone to self driving semi service.

Volkswagon is trying to get into our good graces again by developing a system that watches for signs on the road for you.

Waymo just took delivery of a number of self driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

Waymo is in talks to provide its tech to Honda for their self driving cars.

How lidars work for self driving cars.

Self Driving Cars of any stripe are perfectly legal in Michigan.

Samsung has taken over supplying the self driving computers from Mobileye for Tesla.

Santa Clara University's self driving bus (golf cart) brakes for squirrels, skateboarders and students.

The press noticed Uber's self driving car fleet garage on 5th and Harrison. Uber started picking up and dropping off people in SF using their self driving cars.  The California DMV told them to stop because they were unpermitted.  Uber flipped the DMV the bird (understandable but stupid).  The California Attorney General started to get involved and it seems Uber pulled the cars from the road.  Uber just made its life much, much harder assuming their intent is to get their cars on the road in California much faster.  They have move toe cars to Arizona.

Uber has admitted its self driving cars have problems crossing bike lanes.

Self driving trucks that travel in platoons are more efficient.  

3d Printing:

Adidas has launched its first 3d printed shoe.

A man 3d printed a Camaro engine.

More arrests have been made for 3d printing guns in Australia.

A 3d printed concrete bridge was unveiled in Madrid, Spain.

Hershey's and SciFutures teamed up to do a three printing demo for chocolate.

How to navigate the 3d bioprinting patent minefield.

Next Dynamics has a 3d printer capable of creating electronics.

Pinshape has released a 3d printable materials guide.

What does the future hold for 3d printing?

What is the strongest 3d printer filament?


A new bot from Cornell has a human like sense of touch.

The robopocalypse is sneaking into the construction site.  This time with a roboexecavator.

A South Korean robotics company collaborated with a Moldovan American designer to make a giant mech.   Here is the interview with the lead designer.  They may owe royalties to James Cameron.  ;)

Stanford built a semi humanoid robot to explore a 17th century shipwreck.


New EEG tech allows people to control robots without implants.

Through electrostimulation, a person's brain can be convinced a prosthetic limb is its own.

Software Bots:

2016 was the year software bots got creative.

Software bots are going to be for...mental health?!

AI is being used to create new drugs.

Amazon's Alexa has infested a lamp.

Amazon's Alexa is being placed in the Wynn hotel in Vegas to control the rooms for the Wynn's customers.

Amazon's Alexa now works with the logitech Harmony entertainment system.

Amazon is looking to dominate the new interface, voice command, with its Alexa bot.

Apple has published its first paper on AI.

Bridgewater Associates are replacing their managers in their hedge fund with software bots.

Cortana is going to be used on IoT devices with screens.

Facebook's Zuckerberg showed off Jarvis, his home AI.  Jarvis is voiced by Morgan Freeman.

Google may try to prevent Samsung putting its Viv assistant on the Galaxy S8 phone.

Google's Assistant is being added to Sony TV and speakers.

Microsoft's latest attempt at a chatbot, Zo, gets profiled.  I wonder if it'll become a neonazi, too.

Hayao Miyazaki finds AI generated animation offensive.

Parallel intelligence is proposed as the next step in AI development.

It is now illegal to use bots to snap up tickets for concerts, etc.

IBM's Watson was used to help with a Japanese woman's leukemia.

Automated Systems:

Amazon Go won't shake up your local retail store any time soon.

Amazon is hardly alone in testing their new automated store: Panasonic is testing one in Japan.

The Brits are testing an automated beer dispenser.

In China, a 'smart' restaurant suggests orders based on your face.

The Japanese automated hotel gets profiled again.


How do we manage the downsides of the robopocalypse?

2017 is going to be a big year for AI.

Some are saying autonomous systems still will need human oversight for the foreseeable future.

The White House has stated there will need to be a stronger social safety net for those displaced by the Robopocalypse.

The Robopocalypse will greatly increase productivity, but may lead to even greater income inequality.

A poll conducted shows support for the idea of a universal basic income.

Will human-robot marriage become a thing?

2016 in robotics.

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