This video is a TED talk given by Marc Raibert is the founder and CEO of robot maker Boston Dynamics in April 2017. It really shows how far robots have evolved. It focuses on ‘SpotMini’ a multifunction robot.
The concept will be that the world is being transformed by the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. While we are not there yet, our society is in the process of being massively changed by the growing introduction of robots, AI and Automation. The series will show the struggle between the emergent AI and humanity.
This might be a good series if it makes it through to production.
Predictions are that Robots, Automation and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasing role in our lives.
This week is National Robotics Week. This has been an annual recognition since 2010. Events are going on all over the country this week, most aimed at K-12 STEM. The list can be found here.
We have seen wheeled robots. We have seen two legged and four legged robots. The new Boston Dynamics ‘Handle’ merges wheels and legs in an innovative design.
With a 24 kilometer (15 mile) range on a single battery charge, and the ability to pick up and carry loads up to 45 kilograms (99 pounds), this is an impressive robot. The ability to handle a variety of terrains and obstacles easily is also impressive.
We have all seen the hype about deliveries by drone. Now Amazon has begun some trial deliveries in the UK and hope to expand these efforts. The ‘Prime Air’ autonomous drone deliveries are just a trial for now. I don’t think that this will put UPS or FedEx out of business anytime soon, but it is a step towards automated delivery.
The White House has just (Octoberr 2016) issued the report entitle “Preparing For the Future of Artificial Intelligence“.
In short the report:
- highlights the benefits of AI
- talks of the need for standards
- brings up how AI should be regulated
- raises the issue of job loss due to automation
If you are interested in Robots, AI and Automation, your time would be well spent reading this 48 page report.
The Dubai Police may be deploying a robot as early as 2017. The robot shown above was on display at Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Tech Week in recently Dubai. There may only be the one unit in use next year, but by 2020 more extensive use of robots is planned.
The robot could salute and shake the hands of conference attendees. The touch screen on its chest can be used to report crimes and pay for traffic violations. The robot also has the capability for facial recognition. The Dubai police are working with IBM Watson as well as Google to enhance the robots skills, particularly with verbal communication.
This is another example of robots beginning to work side-by-side with humans. It is also another example of how robots could begin to gradually displace humans in some jobs.
The World Robotics Conference has been going on since October 21 and ends today in Beijing. As you would expect, there have been demonstrations of robots that continue to be ever more human like. The event was cosponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation (RAS) Society.
While the commentator in the above video is Chinese, the subtitles give an explanation of the two human-like robots being displayed. One wonders how soon it will be before we begin to encounter these human-like robots?
The original Westworld movie premiered in 1973. Yesterday, October 2, a new ‘Westworld’ series premiered on HBO. The story is of a ‘role playing’ theme park, Westworld, with an old west setting. Most of the Westward inhabitants are robots who are set to portray a predetermined story line. Guests, however, can choose their own paths and explore their fantasies.
I missed last night’s premier, but will be catching one of the rebroadcasts this week. With all of the interest now in robotics, and the human like robots that have recently been produced, this series has a different impact than it did in the 70s. And as you would expect, part of the on-going story stems from the fact that, after 30 years in operation, something goes wrong.
It seems that advances in robotics are being announced every day. The optical navigation system demonstrated in this video shows how the small robots aboard the ISS, SPHERES, may soon be able to navigate autonomously in zero gravity. The three SPHERES robots have been in experimental operation aboard the ISS since 2006.
There is significant long term benefits from repair to assisting humans with their jobs in space. We have all seen similar roving robotic eyes in Science Fiction video. This is a step in moving fiction to fact for future space missions.