Cultibotics
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Cultibotics
Cultibotics is about applying robotics to making horticultural best practices scalable and economical.
Curated by John Payne
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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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HorseFly: Truck-based drone delivery | Zero Moment

HorseFly: Truck-based drone delivery | Zero Moment | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The FAA's requirement that unmanned aircraft stay within a human's unbroken line of sight throughout its operation is a deal-breaker for Prime Air, as is the restriction on carrying external payloads. That Amazon's scheme is grounded is not news. It was always going to be. But there's hope yet for drone delivery. Cincinnati-based Amp Holdings is currently developing a drone, called Horsefly, that deploys from a compartment in the roof of an electric delivery truck.”

John Payne's insight:

Robohub previously covered HorseFly, last June: http://robohub.org/horsefly-unmanned-aerial-parcel-delivery-system-uses-truck-as-base/

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Michael Wagner: Developing trust in autonomous robots | CMU RI Seminar

Michael Wagner writes: “For decades, our lives have depended on the safe operation of automated mechanisms around and inside us. The autonomy and complexity of these mechanisms is increasing dramatically. Autonomous systems such as self-driving cars rely heavily on inductive inference and on complex software, both of which confound traditional software-safety techniques that are focused on amassing sufficient confirmatory evidence to support safety claims. In this talk I survey methods and tools that, taken together, can enable a new and more productive philosophy for software safety that is based on Karl Popper’s idea of falsificationism.”

John Payne's insight:

Michael Wagner is “a Senior Commercialization Specialist at the NREC and the CEO of Edge Case Research, a company [he] co-founded to help make autonomous vehicles and other complex software-based systems safer and more reliable.”

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SkyProwler convertible drone, quad or fixed wing, doing well on Kickstarter | Gizmag

SkyProwler convertible drone, quad or fixed wing, doing well on Kickstarter | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“Like a quadcopter, the SkyProwler has four horizontal propellers that allow it to perform vertical take-offs and landings, and to hover in mid-air. … If users want to make it really sleek and fast, though, they can instruct the aircraft to retract its landing gear and pull its four copter props into the sides of its body, switchblade-style. It's then being powered solely by the two rear props, maintaining lift using its wings.”

John Payne's insight:

SkyProwler is just the beginning, however.  Krossblade really wants to build aircraft large enough to carry passengers.

 

Company website:

http://www.krossblade.com

 

SkyProwler Kickstarter campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/350745213/krossblade-skyprowler-multi-mission-vtol-transform?ref=nav_search

 

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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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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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Building a real-life Baymax | Gizmag

Building a real-life Baymax | Gizmag | Cultibotics | Scoop.it

“The recent animated feature Big Hero 6 is more than a collection of comic book fantasies – there's some hard science behind the soft robots. Baymax, the inflatable robot designed to care for humans who stars in the film may seem as unlikely as a chocolate teapot, but Chris Atkeson, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon is working on a real life version (minus the karate and flying armor).”

John Payne's insight:

This project was briefly mentioned on Robohub in November:

http://robohub.org/cmu-project-to-build-real-baymax/

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Cuba’s Urban Farming Revolution: How to Create Self-Sufficient Cities

Cuba’s Urban Farming Revolution: How to Create Self-Sufficient Cities | Cultibotics | Scoop.it
Havanas’s unique agricultural infrastructure emerged from punishing trade sanctions following the fall of the USSR but today provides an exemplary precedent that could be applied worldwide

Via Alan Yoshioka
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A distributed robot garden system | MIT CSAIL

The Robot Garden is a system that functions as a visual embodiment of distributed algorithms, as well as an aesthetically appealing way to get more young stu...
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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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