“September 12, 2014 — MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) today announced plans to extend the capabilities of ROS to Qualcomm ® Snapdragon™ 600 processors, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. Today’s announcement is made in conjunction with ROSCon 2014, the annual ROS Developer Conference. ROSCon runs from Sept. 12-13 in Chicago, IL.”
John Payne's insight:
The announcement goes on to say “Via this agreement, OSRF will create and subsequently support a ROS release for Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processors for both the Linux and Android operating systems. OSRF will test, refine, and fully integrate support for the ARM instruction set architecture into ROS development efforts. Once complete, OSRF will perform ongoing maintenance to generally support ROS on Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processors.”
“This talk overviews my research activities from the shape-from-shading through the current e-Heritage project, which digitizes tangible and in-tangible heritage, analyzes such data for archaeological research and displays in the cloud computer for preservation and promotion.”
“Qualcomm is offering a US$10 million prize purse in the hope of stimulating the research and development of precision diagnostic equipment, seen by many as essential in a world where healthcare systems are often strained to breaking point. In order to win the prize, the successful scanner must comply with an ambitious set of parameters.”
John Payne's insight:
While incorporating such units into robots is a possibility, I see their real contribution to robotics in helping to drive down the cost of sensors while helping to drive the development of both sensors and sensory data processing.
“Robots will be running the City within 10 years, rendering investment bankers, analysts and even quants redundant, it has been claimed. ... Artificial intelligence is about to outpace human ability, according to Dave Coplin, a senior Microsoft executive. Computers will not only be able to undertake complex mathematical equations but draw logical, nuanced conclusions, reducing the need for human interference, he said.”
“After Microsoft started offering the Xbox One without the Kinect sensorearlier this year to better complete with Sony's PS4, it was only a matter of time before a standalone Kinect was released. That time has now arrived, with a standalone Kinect to be available from October 7. ... The standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One will be priced at $150 ...”
“A collection of autonomous robots designed to scuttle around on distant planets looking for resources and materials in much the same way that members of insect colonies do on Earth are currently being tested by NASA engineers. The robots, dubbed "swarmies," are designed to individually survey an area, signal the others when they have found something of value, and then divide up the task of collecting the material and returning it back to base.”
“Nijenhuis, a 27-year-old based in the Netherlands, is the mind behind Robirds, a line of robotic birds of prey. He’s hoping to sell them to the aviation and waste management industries under the name Clear Flight Solutions. Nijenhuis is currently testing remote controlled Peregrine Falcons and eagles with promising results. By the end of the year, he’s hoping to have fully autonomous robot birds on offer.”
John Payne's insight:
Birds aren't necessarily a nuisance; it depends on the type of bird and the situation. But they certainly can be pests, and for those circumstances having robotic faux-predators available would be very handy.
“Car manufacturers have been using stationary robots to help build their products for years, but airplanes are constructed differently, posing challenges to the use of robotics. ... Trying to squeeze into small enclosed areas, carrying out highly repetitive tasks, retiring with back injuries even while your expertise is needed: these everyday realities of working in aviation construction may become a thing of the past.”
“The laws governing drone use in the US right now are relatively black and white. For the most part, you either can fly, or you can't — and there's no in between. That's really limiting for the parties that can't, and, at the same time, it's really permissive for the parties that can, giving them little guidance as to where they should and shouldn't be flying.”
“Robo Brain isn’t exactly feasting on the internet. That implies a level of choice, or agency. What’s happening to Robo Brain is closer to force-feeding, as researchers from four different universities regularly cram its cloud-based computational system with data collected from the internet. So far, it has digested roughly 120,000 YouTube videos, a million documents, and a billion images.”
“The field of machine ethics combines artificial intelligence techniques with ethical theory, a branch of philosophy, to determine how to program machines to behave in an ethical manner. But there is currently no agreement, says Susan, as to which ethical principles should be programmed into machines.”
“As the leaders in connected play, we’re excited to launch Ollie – our next generation app-controlled robot. Initially introduced as Sphero 2B at CES in January, Ollie takes connected play to the next level by combining the technology that Sphero 2.0 is known for with innovative controls and integrated gameplay for a whole new experience.”
“In five years the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to launch a robotic servicing mission to inspect, fix, refuel or move satellites in geostationary Earth orbit. ... In order to move that plan along, the research agency today issued a Request for Information (RFI) calling on commercial and private space groups to provide details on what it would take to accomplish the lofty goal.”
“Touch is a much more complicated sense than one might think. Humans have an array of organs that allow them to sense pressure, sheer forces, temperature and vibrations with remarkable precision. ... Replicating that sensitivity is the goal of haptics, a science that is playing an increasing role in connecting the computing world to humans.”
“The core of the 90.2 mm x 95.3 mm Creator CI20 SBC is its Ingenic JZ4780 system-on-chip, which integrates a pair of MIPS32 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, and an IEEE754 FPU. The Ingenic SoC is accompanied by 1GB of DDR3 DRAM and 8GB of NAND flash memory, and there’s also an one SD card slot and a set of signals for a second SD interface resides on an expansion connector.”
“Dyson is teasing a big announcement for September 4, and it released a new video teaser to get people thinking about what might be unveiled. The video shows a lab as seen from the perspective of a particularly wide-angle lens, along with quick bursts of schematic imagery that’s somewhat suggestive of robotic vacuum designs, with a circular device even depicted rolling along the floor at one point in the video.”
“At MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Caleb Harper’s CityFARM demonstrates the future of food production. He grows plants through aeroponics, a system that produces plants without soil. Plants are hooked up to servers and misting mechanisms. LEDs fill in for the sun and ladybugs (purchased on Amazon) occasionally make an appearance. Plants are periodically sprayed with a nutrient-rich mist that provides optimal pH balance. Light and temperatures are closely monitored. The environment nurtures plants that have twice the nutrient density of their conventional counterparts. Lettuce, bok choy, and tomatoes have already fed the scientists in the lab.”
“The sheer density of the rainforests in Australia's far-north creates a slight problem for local conservationists. With incursions by invasive plants posing a threat to the native flora, inaccessibility for people makes it a difficult and time-consuming task to monitor the region. Now researchers from the CSIRO have developed two mini helicopters capable of hunting down the dangerous weeds from the air, significantly reducing the resources needed to preserve local plant life.”
“Google has created what it calls a "Matrix-style," virtual version of California's road system that it's been using to test self-driving cars before sending them out onto the actual road, according to the Guardian. Google is apparently so thrilled with its simulation that it asked California's government earlier this year, in a letter obtained by the Guardian, whether it could use these virtual simulations in place of actual driving tests when certifying a vehicle for public road tests — and it seems that it may be able to.”
“MIT researchers have come up with a two-pronged approach that significantly reduces the computation associated with lengthy delivery missions. The team first developed an algorithm that enables a drone to monitor aspects of its “health” in real time. With the algorithm, a drone can predict its fuel level and the condition of its propellers, cameras, and other sensors throughout a mission, and take proactive measures — for example, rerouting to a charging station — if needed.”
"New research coming out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) suggests that letting robots have control over human tasks in manufacturing is not just more efficient — it’s actually preferred by workers."
John Payne's insight:
At a guess, I'd say this would be true because it frees the human workers from thinking about time/motion efficiencies while doing work requiring detailed motor skills.