Saturday, August 04, 2018

Robopocalypse Report #106


A report claims 13% of all drones will have an embedded sim card and LTE capability by 2022.

Abu Dhabi is conducting trials for constructions site inspection by drone.

Aerovironment is building a helicopter drone for NASA for use on Mars.

Airbus is preparing is Zephyr S solar powered drone to be an internet hub.

Amazon just patented using airships as giant floating aerial warehouses for drones to deliver from.

An Arizona based man developed a drone based anti drowning system.

Australia's Hunter's Valley is going to use drones for agricultural and inspection work.

The Boise Fire Department has been authorized by the FAA to use drones to combat wildfires.

The British government with a foundation has released a report about drone use in its cities.

A British bill would ban children from owning drones larger than a certain size.

California's Air National Guard is lending a hand in the Carr fire by using its Reaper drone.

A drone is monitoring a Cape Town farm's crops and helping to reduce chemical use by 30%.

You can control a drone with your torso rather than a joy stick.  Apparently, its more effective.

A new drone is designed to avoid crashing damage in a way inspired by insects.

A drone light show was incorporated into an airshow for the first time.

DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy program has finished phase 2.

DJI is making it easier for commercial drone operators to unlock the geofencing on their drones.

Watch a drone be used to fight a fire in a high rise.

Flight Week saw expert drone jockeys study storms, weather patterns and cattle.

A Flightwave drone is being used for a study of marine life in the Pacific.

Flytrex is preparing to start food deliveries in North Carolina via drone.

Ft Collins, Colorado's mayor has joined the FAA's drone advisory board.

The Future Flight Consortium has been selected by Singapore to test urban drone applications.

German researchers are trying to control drones via cellular voice channels.

Google spent a lot of time and energy to get the hook right for its delivery drones.

Growtopia Farms has been using drones for herbicide delivery.

Harris County, TX has been catching illegal garbage dumping in Houston using drones.

In the Himalayas, a drone was used to find a missing climber.

India is expected to reverse the ban on recreational drone use this October.

Intel just flew 2018 drones in a single display swarm setting a record.

Remains of a 5,000 year old Irish monument were found via drone.

Ireland's Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology will use drones to check lake water quality.

Irish startup DroneSAR plans on making search and rescue less expensive.

Two recent near misses between drones and aircraft at the Jersey airport in the Channel Islands raises concerns.

Kesper's new program for drones can find building specific damage using IR.

Komatsu and Propeller Aero have teamed for 3d mapping of construction projects.

Marin County Sheriff is starting a drone program.

In Mongolia, drones are being used to hunt dinosaur bones.

Nevada has started a drone safety center.

North Dakota State Univesity has a drone that can spray 33 acres of farmland with herbicide in an hour minutes.

Can pro drone racing overcome its perception of being flying toys?

Teaching helicopters to fly themselves is rather challenging.

UAVOS' HAPS solar powered long endurance UAV is under development and the prototype has a 46 ft wing span but only weighs 33 lbs.

The Uniform Law Commission, a nonprofit, has proposed some very specific antitrepassing laws for drones, ones that the Commercial Drone Association very strongly opposes.

The state of Virginia just doubled its R&D budget for drones to $6M.

VTO Labs can retrieve a LOT of information from damaged drones.

Worldplay wants to fix the delivery problem for drones by having a delivery mat that IDs the proper customer before the drone drops off the package.

Self Driving Cars:

Baraja has a new type of lidar for self driving cars.

Bosch just launched a road service alert system for self driving cars.

Take a look at the world from the POV of's self driving car tech. has started providing rides with its self driving cars as part of an Uber like system in Frisco, TX.  The rides are geofenced and there is still a safety driver.

Ford has just spun out is self driving car work into a separate company.

Inrix has developed software that allows cities to compile a list of its laws in a computer friendly manner.

Phantom Auto will be testing its self driving cars in Sacramento.

Roborace is still pursuing its dream of self driving race cars.

A self driving bus is being tested at Times Square in NYC.

Tesla is quietly working on its own chips for self driving cars.

Uber has resumed testing its self driving car in Pittsburgh, but only controlled by people. Meaning its not really self driving.

Uber has also ended its self driving truck program.

Waymo's self driving cars are putting 25,000 miles per day every day now.

Waymo is teaming up with Walmart for grocery pick-up in Phoenix.

Waymo is testing rides to and from public transit.

Can Waymo's self driving cars fix Phoenix's public transit?

Startup Zoox is building a bidirectional self driving taxi from the ground up.

Zoox has been testing their vehicle in San Francisco.

3d Printing:

Lockheed just printed a titanium spherical end piece for a fuel tank.  This is the largest, by far, part printed for use in space.

A Russian firm announced what appears to be the world's largest construction 3d printer.

You can legally download 3d printable guns next month.  A judge blocked gun control groups from stopping the 3d printed gun designs from being released.  20 states are suing to stop the files from being placed online.  The effort may be moot: more than 1,000 people have already downloaded the plans for 3d printing the AR-15.  A Seattle judge blocked the sale of 3d printed guns, for now.  A meta discussion.

Some are calling for people to take a stand on 3d printed guns, but not for the reason you'd think.

3d printing the next gen of rocket engines.

Gefertec claims it has a new wire fed 3d metal printing technology for aerospace.

3d printing the next generation of batteries.

3d printed implants can help bone grow.


Boston Dynamics is gearing up to build 1,000 mini spot robot dogs per year.

Meet the centaur-esque Centauro robot.

Cornell has developed a bot to display emotions.

DARPA is working on insect size (cm to mm) robots.

MIT has developed circuits for cell sized robots to detect their surroundings.

Rolls Royce is developing tiny robots to fix planes.

RSTAR is a new search and rescue bot.

Robots that teach robots.

A new robotic hand can gently catch deep sea creatures.

And another was also developed.

The robo subs of antarctica.

Robots working together can determine the best order for their tasks.

Using a software bot this robotic hand learned how to grasp like a human.  Thanx, OpenAI!

And the winners of the 2018 robotic art contest are...? But can a robot truly make art?

Japan's Yanmar has developed robotic tractors for farming.

Russia may send its own robots to the International Space Station.


What would you do with a robotic mentally controlled limb?

Why are Swedes inserting chips into their bodies?


Musk states promises of automation at the Tesla factory were more headaches than anything.

Carlsberg, a Danish beverage company, is making a beer sniffer to speed up new beer development.

A bot has been made to test and assess the mixing and reactions of different chemicals.

A look inside Moderna Therapeutics' factory.

Walmart is testing an automated system for online grocery orders.

Software Bots:

AI can be sexist and racist.

AI Box may have been onto something.

Amazon's facial recognition software often misIDs people including 28 lawmakers.

Bots may be forced to reveal they are bots if a bill in California gets passed.

Fox has a software bot that predicts the success of a movie based on its trailer.

Google's Deep Mind is having some issues with its software not being able to create catchy music.

Google is building virtual agents to handle call center work.

Google Docs uses software bots to catch your grammar mistakes.

Google Glass is back with an AI.   How long until the BrainPal(tm)?

Google Ventures has an algorithm that decides whether or not to invest or not in a startup.

IBM Watson recommended cancer treatments that were unsafe and incorrect.

LG is opening an a new AI lab in Toronto.

Microsoft developed a Zork-like dungeon generator to improve its bots' language comprehension.

Microsoft and National Geographic have teamed up for a software bot research grant.

NIST designed an optical chip for neural networks.

Pinscreen is being sued by an ex engineer claiming the AI avatar tech it has was faked.

Salesforce bought an Israeli AI marketing biz.

A software bot has been developed to predict the effects of mutations in the 'dark zones' of the human genome.

Software bots can potentially untangle the data from a brain scan.

In China, a software bot predicted a superhard tungsten nitride variant.

Software bots can help monitor water supplies.

Software bots are conducting a secret war over website scraping.

Software bots can be fouled with 3d printing and stickers.

Software bots can predict your personality based on tracking your eyes.

Software bots have brought the robopocalypse for bankers, especially at Nordea.

Software bots are being used to spot roadwork that needs doing like potholes to improve efficiency.

A software bot is being used to plan radiation therapy for cancer treatments.

Software bots who pose as nonwhite women online get the most abuse.

UCLA has 3d printed a hardware system for a software bot to be able to ID objects.

UNC Chapel Hill is using software bots to create new drugs.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are proposing an analog computer design for AI.

Because Venmo transactions are public, a bot has been tweeting all the people who bought drugs with the app.

Voice Assistants still have a problem understanding accents.

Someone is looking at using software bots to clean up wikipedia's gender biases.

Wired discusses the rise of purely computer generated celebrities.


3,000 years of pondering the robopocalypse.  Sorta.

One of the creators of West World said we should not be afraid of artificial intelligence, but rather we should be afraid of artificial stupidity.

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