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In agriculture robots replace job vacancies | Robohub

In agriculture robots replace job vacancies | Robohub | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“So as new types of machines find their way into the fields, rest assured that they are not, for the most part, displacing workers who would otherwise be in those fields, but rather, in some cases, moving them into more technical work as robot tenders, and in other cases taking over work that fewer and fewer people are willing to do for the money it pays, and that, for those few who are displaced, there will be other farmers nearby anxious to hire them. Meanwhile, a new industry will be germinating.”

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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
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Festo's bionic ants and butterflies | IEEE Spectrum

Festo's bionic ants and butterflies | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“About this time every year, alarmingly close to April 1, German automation company Festo announces its newest animal-inspired robots. Last year it was a kangaroo (we had to double check that it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke), and before that, a seagull, dragonfly, and floating air jellies, among other cool things. For 2015, Festo is introducing two new insectoid robots: cooperative ants and swarming butterflies.”

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When and how much to 'trust a strange computer' | Nature

When and how much to 'trust a strange computer' | Nature | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“We must consider interactions between intelligent robots themselves and the effect that these exchanges may have on their human creators. For example, if we were to allow sentient machines to commit injustices on one another — even if these 'crimes' did not have a direct impact on human welfare — this might reflect poorly on our own humanity. Such philosophical deliberations have paved the way for the concept of 'machine rights'.”

John Payne's insight:

The title used here is a takeoff on a line delivered by C3PO, speaking to R2D2, in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, "R2D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer."

 

In my mind, this problem can be loosely conceived in terms of constraints, vaguely similar to those that can be used to determine the layout of on-screen objects in Apple's iOS and OS X.

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Introduction to Spectral Remote Sensing | NEON Education

“This video explores the basic principles used by optical sensors like Landsat, AVIRIS, and other remote sensing sensors to record the things that we can't see with our eyes - like the health of plants on the ground.”

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The looming threat of Artificial Unintelligence: Dumb algorithms | Zero Moment

The looming threat of Artificial Unintelligence: Dumb algorithms | Zero Moment | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“I'm not arguing that AI is entirely harmless. If anything, it's inevitable that autonomous algorithms will cause harm to humans. But just as there's a difference between recognizing the inherent danger of defunct satellites turning into lethal space junk, and ranting about a future filled with orbital lasers and mind-control satellites, the risks associated with AI should be assessed for what they are, and with at least a modicum of sanity. The AI that's poised to ruin lives has nothing in common with supervillains like Ultron, and won't be what anyone would consider superintelligent. More likely, the AI that hurts us will be very, very dumb.”

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For a brighter robotics future, offload their brains | Ars Technica

For a brighter robotics future, offload their brains | Ars Technica | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Robots already stand in for humans in some of the dullest and most dangerous jobs there are, handling everything from painting cars to drilling rocks on Mars. And if you listen to the hype about the potential of drones and autonomous vehicles, it's just a matter of time before robots do more. These future autonomous handymen and handywomen will deliver packages, take us to the airport, or handle less romantic tasks like shuffling freight containers and helping bedridden patients. … There's just one problem: robots are dumb.”

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Materials that couple sensing, actuation, computation and communication

“Tightly integrating sensing, actuation, and computation into composites could enable a new generation of truly smart material systems that can change their appearance and shape autonomously. Applications for such materials include airfoils that change their aerodynamic profile, vehicles with camouflage abilities, bridges that detect and repair damage, or robotic skins and prosthetics with a realistic sense of touch.”

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Tesla Model S to go semi-autonomous: Musk foresees a future where human driving is illegal | Gizmag

Tesla Model S to go semi-autonomous: Musk foresees a future where human driving is illegal | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has a complicated outlook when it comes to the future of "smart" machines. He's warned about the dangers of strong artificial intelligence, but he's all-in on the lesser forms of artificial smarts, like those at the core of Teslas. He's also bullish on self-driving cars, and this week Musk went so far as to declare that they may completely replace the cars we drive today.”

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Video Friday: Robots push it to the limit, designing a drone, and Zoomer Kitty | IEEE Spectrum

Video Friday: Robots push it to the limit, designing a drone, and Zoomer Kitty | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Next week promises to be an amazing one for robotics. We’re getting word that there will be not one, not two, but three new robot announcements. We’ll have all the details for you here on the blog, of course. But today is Friday, and we know why you’re here. Let’s get to it.”

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Delphi plan autonomous cross-country trip | Wired

Delphi plan autonomous cross-country trip | Wired | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“On March 22, an autonomous car will set out from the Golden Gate Bridge toward New York for a 3,500-mile drive that, if all goes according to plan, will push robo-cars much closer to reality. … It’s being done not by Google or Audi or Nissan, but by a company many people have never heard of: Delphi.”

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Marvell launches first Apple HomeKit SDK for IoT accessories | AnandTech

Marvell launches first Apple HomeKit SDK for IoT accessories | AnandTech | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Today Marvell is announcing general availability of the industry's first embedded software development kit (SDK) with Apple HomeKit support. Specifically, Marvell's existing EZ-Connect IoT Platform is now HomeKit enabled.”

John Payne's insight:

Another article, from 9to5mac.com, includes Marvell's press release: http://9to5mac.com/2015/03/10/marvell-homekit-chipset-sdk/

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Will you need a new license to operate a self-driving car? | IEEE Spectrum

Will you need a new license to operate a self-driving car? | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Self-driving cars promise a future where you can watch television, sip cocktails, or snooze all the way home. But what happens when something goes wrong? Today’s drivers have not been taught how to cope with runaway acceleration, unexpected braking, or a car that wants to steer into a wall.”

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Creative AI: Software writing software and the broader challenges of computational creativity

Creative AI: Software writing software and the broader challenges of computational creativity | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“In this final part of our deep dive into the world of computational creativity, we turn to the underlying ideas and challenges that face the field as a whole as researchers grapple with questions of non-human creativity and public fears about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.”

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Whole brain emulation (WBE): What happens when we get there? | Ars Technica

Whole brain emulation (WBE): What happens when we get there? | Ars Technica | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Long the domain of science fiction, researchers are now working to create software that perfectly models human and animal brains. With an approach known as whole brain emulation (WBE), the idea is that if we can perfectly copy the functional structure of the brain, we will create software perfectly analogous to one. The upshot here is simple yet mind-boggling. Scientists hope to create software that could theoretically experience everything we experience: emotion, addiction, ambition, consciousness, and suffering.”

John Payne's insight:

This won't happen tomorrow, or even next year, but it probably will happen this century.

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Shelf-picking robots to compete for a prize from Amazon | MIT Technology Review

Shelf-picking robots to compete for a prize from Amazon | MIT Technology Review | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

Pete Wurman, chief technology officer of Kiva Systems, says that about 30 teams from academic departments around the world will take part in the challenge, which will be held at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle (ICRA 2015). In each round, robots will be told to pick and pack one of 25 different items from a stack of shelves resembling those found in Amazon’s warehouses.

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Autoponics Founder Video

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You've seen Heather Hava before, in connection with NASA funded research (video linked below) to provide chambers and other equipment for gardening in space.  Here she and co-founder Daniel Zukowski briefly describe their new venture, Autoponics.

https://youtu.be/Z_ZgZtXK438

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Boring robots: Why autonomous butlers are the beginning of ubiquitous robotics | Zero Moment

Boring robots: Why autonomous butlers are the beginning of ubiquitous robotics | Zero Moment | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Compared to the usual subjects of robotics coverage—assassin drones, driverless cars, Amazon's still-completely-hopeless delivery bot program—there's nothing particularly titillating about an autonomous courier rolling quietly through hotel corridors, looking more like a small, mobile ATM than the “butler bot” that it's sometimes described as. Is it interesting that it can weave through foot traffic without, as many other self-navigating bots do, grinding to a halt until the area is completely clear of humans? Is it cool that it can share an elevator with people, accomplishing the not-insignificant task of navigating in extremely close-quarters without bumping into or obstructing guests? Yes and yes, but only for people with an outsize interest in the nuts and bolts of robotics.”

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Will the DARPA Robotics Challenge's final, grueling stage kill the humanoid bot? | Zero Moment

Will the DARPA Robotics Challenge's final, grueling stage kill the humanoid bot? | Zero Moment | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The other major news [besides the list of teams] to come out of DARPA's announcement is of a more technical, and potentially hilarious nature. “We're cutting the cord,” said DRC program manager Gill Pratt during a telephone briefing yesterday. “None of the robots have tethers.” The machines competing in June won't have power cords, communication cables, or—and this is the most important part—safety tethers. … Let's be clear about this: Robots are going to faceplant during the DRC finals.”

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UberBlox modular toolkit on Kickstarter

UberBlox modular toolkit on Kickstarter | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“UberBlox Systems was founded in 2013 with the mission to develop, expand, and support a robust high-quality construction system and prototyping set to allow anyone to dream up machines and build them with ease and fast, focusing more on design variations and their vision than on time-consuming fabrication details and know-how.”

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Mark Cutkosky: Bio-inspired dynamic surface grasping | CMU RI Seminar

“The adhesive system of the gecko has several remarkable properties that make it ideal for agility on vertical and overhanging surfaces. It requires very little preload for sticking and (unlike sticky tape) very little effort to detach. It resists fouling when the gecko travels over dusty surfaces, and it is controllable: the amount of adhesion in the normal direction depends on the applied tangential force. Moreover, it is fast, allowing the gecko to climb at speeds of a meter per second. … Mark R. Cutkosky is the Fletcher Jones Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.”

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OmniVeyor TM 100: A warehouse solution | Harvest Automation

Video showing how the Harvest Automation OmniVeyor TM-100 system works.

John Payne's insight:

The OmniVeyor moves tubs and their contents around a warehouse, from low shelf to low shelf.  They could conceivably be used in combination with Kiva's robots to move completed orders from picking stations to shipping.

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Blasting weeds away with grit | Ag Professional

Blasting weeds away with grit | Ag Professional | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Fortunately, the war on weeds has a new non-chemical weapon to add to its arsenal: a machine that obliterates weeds by “blasting” them with grit. Propelled Abrasive Grit Management (PAGMan) is a device created by agronomist Frank Forcella and a team from South Dakota State University.

Via CIMMYT, Int., Alan Yoshioka
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A new 96Boards-compliant product has been announced by Qualcomm

A new 96Boards-compliant product has been announced by Qualcomm | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The DragonBoard 410c is based on the 64-bit capable Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processor and is designed to be compatible with the 96Boards Consumer Edition specification. It should be commercially available this summer through distributors, but you can sign up now.”

John Payne's insight:

Qualcomm's product page: https://developer.qualcomm.com/mobile-development/development-devices/dragonboard/410c

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Omni Stereo: Omnidirectional stereo camera | Occam Vision Group

Omni Stereo: Omnidirectional stereo camera | Occam Vision Group | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Combining the power of two Omni 60 cameras, the Omni Stereo is a compact, high frame rate, all-in-one omni-directional video and depth sensor. Ideally suited to vehicle and robot localization, obstacle detection, and free-space estimation. Available March 10.”

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Will Nissan beat Google and Uber to self-driving taxis? | IEEE Spectrum

Will Nissan beat Google and Uber to self-driving taxis? | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Documents obtained by IEEE Spectrum suggest the first cab capable of driving itself (and that you won’t feel obliged to tip) might be made by Nissan. In January, the Japanese automaker announced that it would be working with NASA to “demonstrate proof-of-concept remote operation of autonomous vehicles for the transport of . . . goods . . . and people.” Using a California Public Records Act request, Spectrum has uncovered more details on the particular technologies Nissan and NASA plan to share and, more important, that the main goal of their collaboration appears to be the development of a fleet of remotely-supervised autonomous taxis.”


Via Reno J. Tibke
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Stopping killer robots and other future threats | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

“Fully autonomous weapons are not unambiguously bad. They can reduce burdens on soldiers. … But the potential downsides are significant. Militaries might kill more if no individual has to bear the emotional burden of strike decisions. Governments might wage more wars if the cost to their soldiers were lower. Oppressive tyrants could turn fully autonomous weapons on their own people when human soldiers refused to obey. And the machines could malfunction—as all machines sometimes do—killing friend and foe alike.”

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