Cultibotics
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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
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Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places | Science

Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places | Science | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“What do the Sahara desert and the Amazon rainforest have in common? Until recently, archaeologists would have told you they were both inhospitable environments devoid of large-scale human settlements. But they were wrong. Here today at the annual meeting of the AAAS (which publishes Science), two researchers explained how remote sensing technology, including satellite imaging and drone flights, is revealing the traces of past civilizations that have been hiding in plain sight.”

John Payne's insight:

Link to abstract:

https://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2015/webprogram/Session9535.html

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DOT and FAA propose new rules for small unmanned aircraft systems

DOT and FAA propose new rules for small unmanned aircraft systems | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
“The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.”
John Payne's insight:
A summary of the proposed rules is here: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/media/021515_sUAS_Summary.pdf
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Is AI dangerous? That depends… | SciAm Blogs

Is AI dangerous? That depends… | SciAm Blogs | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Somewhere in the long list of topics that are relevant to astrobiology is the question of ‘intelligence’. Is human-like, technological intelligence likely to be common across the universe? Are we merely an evolutionary blip, our intelligence consigning us to a dead-end in the fossil record? Or is intelligence something that the entropy-driven, complexity-producing, universe is inevitably going to converge on?”

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Linaro launches 96Boards.org for open hardware ARM SBCs | LinuxGizmos

Linaro launches 96Boards.org for open hardware ARM SBCs | LinuxGizmos | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Linaro, the ARM-backed not-for-profit engineering organization that has aimed to standardize open source Linux and Android software for Cortex-A processors, is now trying to do the same thing for hardware. Linaro, which is owned by ARM and many of its top system-on-chip licensees, has launched 96Boards.org, a cross between a single board computer hacker community and an x86-style hardware standards organization.”

John Payne's insight:

Linaro's press release is here:

http://www.linaro.org/news/linaro-announces-96boards-initiative-accelerate-arm-software-development/

 

More information is available from 96Boards.org:

https://www.96boards.org

 

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Flyability wins UAE Drones For Good Award

Flyability wins UAE Drones For Good Award | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Flyability SA is proud to announce that it has won the UAE Drones for Good Award, an international competition with a $1M prize money to reward uses of drones which have a positive impact on humanity.”

John Payne's insight:

You've probably seen earlier versions of this drone bouncing off furniture and walls, and that's the point, it bounces off and keeps going.  The gimbal system allows the enclosing cage to rotate freely, and the counterrotating propellers cancel torque.  Steering is accomplished by vectoring thrust from the propellors, using movable vanes.  The net result is a very robust machine, that can be sent into the unknown, like a disaster site, with a high expectation of survival.

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Jan Peters : Motor skill learning, from simple skills to table tennis and manipulation | CMU RI Seminar

“Autonomous robots that can assist humans in situations of daily life have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. A first step towards this goal is to create robots that can learn tasks triggered by environmental context or higher level instruction. However, learning techniques have yet to live up to this promise as only few methods manage to scale to high-dimensional manipulator or humanoid robots. … Jan Peters is a full professor (W3) for Intelligent Autonomous Systems at the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and at the same time a senior research scientist and group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where he heads the interdepartmental Robot Learning Group.”

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Cultibotics: Crop-neutrality

The US government currently favors production of certain crops, including corn (maize) and soy beans. A proposal, authored by Tamar Haspel and published yesterday in The Washington Post (Unearthed: A rallying cry for a crop program that could change everything), would change that by shifting subsidies from support for particular crops to crop-neutral support.

 

While this isn't specifically about robotics, it would have the effect of making more money available for equipment to produce crops other than the handful that have traditionally been subsidized, and, increasingly over time, that will mean robotic equipment, as the value added by sensors, processing, and flexible behavior will become too compelling to forego.

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Autonomous quadcopter has smartphone brain | IEEE Spectrum

Autonomous quadcopter has smartphone brain | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“This is a fantastic example of just how far smartphones have come: they’re certainly powerful computers, but it’s the integrated sensing that comes standard in almost all of them (things like gyros, accelerometers, IMUs, and high resolution cameras) that makes them ideal for low-cost brains for robots. What’s unique about the CES demo is that it’s the first time that a sophisticated platform like this (vision-based real-time autonomous navigation of a flying robot is pretty darn sophisticated) has been controlled by a very basic consumer device.”

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NASA developing robotic helicopter scout for Mars rovers | Gizmag

NASA developing robotic helicopter scout for Mars rovers | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The next big discovery is always beyond the next hill, but what if you can't see over it? That's the problem facing NASA with its Mars rovers, so the space agency is looking into how robotic helicopters could help scout the land ahead and give engineers back on Earth data to help plot the best route.”

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Collaboration, connectivity, convergence: 2015 and beyond | Robotics Online

Collaboration, connectivity, convergence: 2015 and beyond | Robotics Online | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Blurred lines. One of the most transformative periods in the robotics industry is upon us. It will be a period of collaboration, connectivity and convergence that will catapult us into a world teeming with automation in every aspect of our lives. It’s already here in many forms. Our smartphones, our smart appliances, all the sensors in our cars. We just take them for granted.”

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John Leonard : Mapping, localization, and self-driving vehicles | CMU RI Seminar

“This talk [discusses] the critical role of mapping and localization in the development of self-driving vehicles. After a discussion of some of the recent amazing progress and open technical challenges in the development of self-driving vehicles, we [discuss] the past, present and future of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) in robotics. We [review] the history of SLAM research and [discuss] some of the major challenges in SLAM, including choosing a map representation, developing algorithms for efficient state estimation, and solving for data association and loop closure. We [also present] recent results on real-time dense mapping using RGB-D cameras and object-based mapping in dynamics environments.”

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Training a robot via human feedback | MIT Media Lab

“In this MIT Media Lab "Labcast" we describe work by Postdoctoral Researcher Brad Knox to allow even technically unskilled users to train our robots. The system, called TAMER, allows users to give the robot positive and negative reinforcement, much like you would train a pet!”

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First in vivo use of micromotors to deliver medicine | ACS Nano

First in vivo use of micromotors to deliver medicine | ACS Nano | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Using zinc-based micromotors as a model, we demonstrate that the acid-driven propulsion in the stomach effectively enhances the binding and retention of the motors as well as of cargo payloads on the stomach wall. The body of the motors gradually dissolves in the gastric acid, autonomously releasing their carried payloads, leaving nothing toxic behind.”

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Apple studies self-driving car | Reuters

Apple studies self-driving car | Reuters | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Technology giant Apple is looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to make a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers, a senior auto industry source familiar with the discussions said on Saturday.”

John Payne's insight:

In a parallel article, the Verge reports: “Apple has apparently had this in the hopper for a while: the report claims that Tim Cook signed off on Titan nearly a year ago, giving ex-Ford engineer and current Apple exec Steve Zadesky a team of 1,000 staff from across a variety of departments in the company. In recent months, company staff have visited contract manufacturers that could potentially build a car (or components of a car) on Apple's behalf; one company that WSJ names is Magna Steyr, which has built cars for Mercedes and BMW in the past, among others.”


http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/13/8037083/apple-is-working-on-an-electric-car-wall-street-journal-reports

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Michael Tarr : CMU’s new BrainHub | CMU RI Seminar

“Michael J. Tarr is the Head of the Department of Psychology in Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Chair of Carnegie Mellon's BrainHub Steering Committee . [Themes he discusses include:] (1) The complexity and challenges of studying the mind and brain; (2) How the study of the mind and brain may benefit from considering contemporary artificial systems; (3) Why studying the mind and brain might be interesting (and possibly useful) to computer scientists.”

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V-One conductive ink printer aims to short-circuit electronic prototyping | Gizmag

V-One conductive ink printer aims to short-circuit electronic prototyping | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Many hours of design and development need to be expended on prototype layouts along with masking, etching, and populating those boards with components. Even after all of this, just one simple layout mistake can ruin all of your work and you have to go through the entire process again. The Voltera V-One aims to change all of that with the promise of a one button, conductive ink printing system solely designed to reduce the effort in rapid, small run hardware prototyping.”

John Payne's insight:

Voltera's Kickstarter campaign stands at twice their $70K goal, with 29 days left:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/voltera/voltera-your-circuit-board-prototyping-machine

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UAE announces Robotics & AI Award for Good competition

“The UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good encourages innovation that benefits humanity. It focuses on three areas: education, healthcare and social services. Any solution can win; from hardware to software and any combination in between.”

John Payne's insight:

As with the Drones for Good competition, the prize will be US $1 million.

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AI-driven laboratory robot to speed drug discovery | University of Cambridge

AI-driven laboratory robot to speed drug discovery | University of Cambridge | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Eve, an artificially-intelligent ‘robot scientist’ could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers writing in the Royal Society journal Interface. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.
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ONR tests robot surrogates for training marines | Gizmag

ONR tests robot surrogates for training marines | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Robots and other mechanical beings are cropping up in the most unexpected places. Case in point: Pay a visit to the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and you'll find yourself greeted in the lobby by a human mechanical surrogate. Operated by a human in a remote location, the surrogate is not intended to put Walmart greeters out of a job, but is part of a program by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to create robots, avatars, and animatronic surrogates for military training.”

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Raspberry Pi 2: 900MHz quad-core | The Register

Raspberry Pi 2: 900MHz quad-core | The Register | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The Raspberry Pi Foundation is likely to provoke a global geekgasm today with the surprise release of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: a turbocharged version of the B+ boasting a new Broadcom BCM2836 900MHz quad-core system-on-chip with 1GB of RAM – all of which will drive performance "at least 6x" that of the B+.”

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FRE2015 to be held in Slovenia | University of Maribor

FRE2015 to be held in Slovenia | University of Maribor | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

Field Robot Event 2015

John Payne's insight:

The 2015 running of Field Robot Event will be held June 16th through 18th, hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences of the University of Maribor, Hoče, Slovenia.

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The year ahead (and behind) in robotics | Popsci.com

The year ahead (and behind) in robotics | Popsci.com | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Some of the most exciting robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) projects that made news last year won't make an impact for years, or possibly decades. That's how robot-spotting goes. To follow this field closely is to watch some of the most powerful technology in human history unfold at an often maddeningly slow pace. Despite what you may have seen or read, we're still in the opening frames of that great, era-spanning time-lapse video, the one that ends with the android underclass marching for the right to reproduce.”

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LIDAR Lite module | SparkFun

“This is the LIDAR Lite, a compact high performance optical distance measurement sensor from PulsedLight. The LIDAR Lite is ideal when used in drone, robot, or unmanned vehicle situations where you need a reliable and powerful proximity sensor but don’t possess a lot of space. All you need to communicate with this sensor is a standard I2C or PWM interface and the LIDAR Lite, with its range of up to 40 meters, will be yours to command!”

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Robotbase's superset of TurtleBot, a Kickstarter project | IEEE Spectrum

Robotbase's superset of TurtleBot, a Kickstarter project | IEEE Spectrum | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“As always with Kickstarter, you’re buying into a dream, and the dream here is going to be a real challenge to fulfill. After talking with Duy, we’re optimistic about this project, because if nothing else, you’re getting a lot of solid hardware and capability for your money. If all of the software components and apps work as advertised, even better.”

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