Saturday, March 24, 2018

Robopocalypse Report #101


Mini, really mini, drones.

Amazon is patenting drones that understand your hand motions.

In Arizona, north of Flagstaff, a drone crash caused a 335 acre wild fire.

In Britain, aircraft/drone near misses have tripled.

Britain might shed its beyond line of sight regulations for drones.

BMW is helping to build the world's fastest racing drone.

DJI is building 1,000 custom drones for the construction firm Komatsu.  Or is it Skycatch?

Drones and art...

A drone used an origami inspired robotic arm.

Drone Delivery Canada has been testing in the US, specifically NY.

Drone deliveries are coming really soon to the US.

Drones hunting drones is about to be a thing, too.

The FAA expects the commercial drone industry to quadruple by 2022.

Facebook and Uber are interested in testing drones in Kenya.

Ford wants to build drones.

Awards for the GeniusNY competition will amount to $3 million.

Flying Legos, folks.

LeveTop has a new form factor for drones.

Riga is becoming a haven for drone development.

A Russian hobby drone reached 33,000 ft.

A Russian billionaire intercepted a drone.

Walmart has applied for a patent on using drones to pollinate plants.

Walmart is patenting drones that will help customers.

Self Driving Cars:

An Uber self driving car hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.  Uber, as a result, has halted its self driving car tests.  Uber may not actually be at fault.  However, the video of the incident would argue otherwise, I'd say.  Others agree and have far, far harsher words for Uber (Theranos of self driving cars?  ouch).  Experts are saying a human, paying attention, would have easily avoided the accident.  The tech clearly failed.  The Uber sensor provider is just as baffled as everyone else.

Many companies developing self driving cars have suspended driving their vehicles on public roads in the aftermath: nuTonomy and Toyota for two.  Toyota's suspension of testing is indefinite.

Sharing info is vital for making self driving cars safer.  The accident may slow down development and deployment of self driving cars.  Washington, DC isn't likely to change legislation for self driving cars because of the accident.  Arizona is not interested in changing legislation.

Some are very angry over the reactions to the death caused by the Uber car.

Uber had been considering selling its self driving tech to Toyota.  That may not be possible since Uber's miles driven before a driver must take control is only 13 vs 5,600 for Waymo and 1,200 for GM.

A loop hole might allow self driving cars companies to avoid being sued.

Could solar storms cause problems for self driving cars?

The US Senate has been considering a self driving car bill, but Democrats have been citing concerns with it due to the Tesla Autopilot problems.

Apple has more self driving cars in California than Google, ahem, Waymo does.

Aston Martin is looking at the autonomous vehicle future.

Baidu will continue its testing after the Uber crash, but in Beijing.

Ford thinks drones could compensate for failed self driving car sensors.

GM is spending $100 million on production ready self driving cars and their production starts next year...

GM's Cadillac poked fun at Tesla's Autopilot.

Hyundai is taking a conservative approach to self driving cars, especially after the Uber accident.

Land Rover will be testing its self parking capabilities in London.

Lyft has teamed up with Magna for its self driving car ridesharing.

MIT is developing ways to improve self driving car sensing in fog.

Norway has unleashed autonomous snow plows at one of their airports.

Torc Robotics has been testing their self driving car in the snow.

Volkswagen feels China might drive the self driving car market.

Waymo has a video of riders getting used to a self driving car.


Fedex is embracing the robopocalypse.

Neato has a voice commanded vac bot.

Picking strawberries appears to be actually hard for robots.

A soft robotic UUV is attempting to study fish.

A Turkish company has unveiled a humanoid robot.

Robots at SxSW.

India now has automated subways thanks to Bombardier.

Toyota uses robots for its rough road tests.

Robopocalypse comes for basketball?!  Robots can shoot better hoops than humans can.

The Robopocalypse might short circuit Africa's assent through manufacturing.

The Xprize Foundation is offering a $10 million prize for robotic avatars.

A pipe crawling bot is going to help DOE decommission a nuclear facility.

A agbot helps with data collection for precision farming.

And the robopocalypse comes for...artists?


A brain interface adds the sense of presence to prosthetic arms.

Brain scanning got easier.

Emotiv demoed a headset that allows you to mentally control drones and other electronic devices.

Implantable sensors can relay health data via cell phone.

Software Bots:

AI has taken a look at gender bias in Hollywood.

AI can tell gender based on smile.

AI has spotted a lot of viruses.

AI diagnostics must be deployed with care.

Alexa has a brief mode for less chattiness.

Amazon is supposedly readying an Alexa for business.

One of the original developers of Apple's Siri is surprised at how limited the assistant still is.

Siri won't be reading hidden notifications anymore.

EA is teaching AI to play Battlefield 1.

Google built a hardware interface for its AI music maker.

Google has open sourced its Exoplanet Hunting AI.

Google is building better bots to recognize eye disease.

Google has been intentionally damaging the neural net behind DeepMind to better understand how they work.

IBM's Watson is coming to vehicles.

Machine learning is being applied to notifications on your phone.

Machine learning is also classifying types of cancer.

Microsoft has stated its AI can translate Chinese to English as well as a human can.

A new test could tell whether AI has common sense.

There are new ways to classify and generate music using bots.

How accurate is your AI?

3d Printing:

The US AFRL demoed 3d printing of high temperature carbon fiber composite parts.

The USAF also funded a 3d printer with 4 different printing methods in one machine (it costs $350k, currently).

LSEV claims it has the first production 3d printed car.

Lawsuits are being filed over 3d metal printing patents.


A new group has been formed to forecast problems with AI.

Walmart is attempting to embrace the robopocalypse.

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