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The world's first robot-run farm will harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce daily | Tech Insider

The world's first robot-run farm will harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce daily | Tech Insider | Robotics | Scoop.it
It could represent the future of farming.
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Blue Origin makes historic second landing using the same rocket | Gizmag

Blue Origin makes historic second landing using the same rocket | Gizmag | Robotics | Scoop.it
SpaceX isn't the only private company racking up space firsts. Having successfully flown to space and completed a powered landing last November, Blue Origin's New Shepard booster on Friday became the first rocket to repeat the feat.
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U.S. manufacturing may depend on automation to survive and prosper | Brookings

U.S. manufacturing may depend on automation to survive and prosper | Brookings | Robotics | Scoop.it
Can this sector be saved? We often hear sentiments like: "Does America still produce anything?" and "The good jobs in manufacturing have all gone." There is nostalgia for the good old days when there were plentiful well-paid jobs in manufacturing. And there is anger that successive U.S. administrations of both parties have negotiated trade deals, notably NAFTA and the admission of China into the World Trade Organization, that have undercut America's manufacturing base.
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How we built a robot that can evolve – and why it won't take over the world | The Conversation

How we built a robot that can evolve – and why it won't take over the world | The Conversation | Robotics | Scoop.it
Robots that can reproduce could improve their design in ways we wouldn't think of but still within our control.
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New $7 Million XPRIZE competition seeks to usher in new era of ocean exploration | XPrize

New $7 Million XPRIZE competition seeks to usher in new era of ocean exploration | XPrize | Robotics | Scoop.it
The three-year competition includes nine months for team registration, 12 months for initial solution development and 18 months to complete two rounds of testing and judging by an expert panel. In each round, teams will complete a series of tasks, including making a bathymetric map (a map of the sea floor), producing high-resolution images of a specific object, and identifying archeological, biological or geological features. Teams also must show resiliency and durability by proving they can operate their technologies, deployed from the shore or air, at a depth of up to 4,000 meters.
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Robots to reside in more than 1 in 10 American households by 2020 | Juniper Research

Juniper Research has forecast that over 1 in 10 American households will own a consumer robot by the end of the decade, up from under 1 in 25 this year.
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Hallie Siegel's curator insight, December 16, 2015 3:34 PM

Question is: what will those robots look like and what will they really do? 

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J&J, Alphabet aim for smarter, smaller, cheaper surgical robot | Reuters

J&J, Alphabet aim for smarter, smaller, cheaper surgical robot | Reuters | Robotics | Scoop.it
Creation of the new company, Verb Surgical Inc, follows an announcement in March by J&J and Google Inc of their plans to pool their technologies and expertise to create robotics for the operating room. Google has since changed its name to Alphabet, and its life sciences unit is now called Verily.

J&J's Ethicon division, world leader in equipment for general surgery, designed a basic prototype of the robot last year and expects it to be a "disruptive" alternative to existing products, Gary Pruden, global chairman of J&J's medical devices group, said in an interview.

Current robotic systems, including those sold by market leader Intuitive Surgical Inc, are the size of a compact car and require the surgeon to sit at a control panel about 10 feet from the patient, Pruden said.

Verb's robot will be about 20 percent the size, allow the surgeon to work closer to the patient and likely be considerably less expensive than current systems, which can cost $2 million or more, he said.
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Jibo raises another $16 Million to bring its 'Family Robot' to China And Japan

Jibo raises another $16 Million to bring its 'Family Robot' to China And Japan | Robotics | Scoop.it

"Much of the money flowing into the Cambridge, Mass.-based robotics startup is from Asia. Jibo raised a $25 million Series A round at the beginning of the year and soon added an additional $11 million from strategic investors in Asia. The Asia-based investors include Samsung, LG, Acer , Dentsu Ventures,KDDI and NetPosa. The new round consists mostly of previous investors, but also includes new investors Fenox Venture Capital and Ningbo GQY, a Chinese company that makes digital screen displays.

PitchBook, a private equity research firm, said the new round brings Jibo’s valuation to $128.45 million."

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How Locus Robotics invented its own robot to finish what Kiva Systems started | Boston Business Journal

How Locus Robotics invented its own robot to finish what Kiva Systems started | Boston Business Journal | Robotics | Scoop.it
When Kiva Systems was acquired by Amazon in 2012, the robot maker was in a category of its own: making bots for e-commerce fulfillment in large warehouses.
But when Amazon absorbed Kiva's technology, it stopped selling its robots to e-commerce fulfillment centers outside of Amazon (Kiva, now known as Amazon Robotics, is based in North Reading and has 30,000 of its bots roaming Amazon warehouses around the country).
Hallie Siegel's insight:

More competition for Amazon - but a very different system.

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Life with robots: 'What people enjoy most is avoiding social interaction' | The Guardian

Life with robots: 'What people enjoy most is avoiding social interaction' | The Guardian | Robotics | Scoop.it
Why does humanity need robots? Sometimes, to spare us the need to talk to other humans, according to Andra Keay, managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics.

Speaking at the Web Summit conference in Dublin, she cited the example of Relay, a robot designed to work in hotels, taking items from staff to guests.

“People do enjoy the social interaction with the robot, but it turns out what they enjoy most is not having to have a social interaction with another person at a time when they’re not feeling sociable,” said Keay.
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MPs are told the word 'robot' is not derogatory, but only if it's an intelligent one | Independent

MPs are told the word 'robot' is not derogatory, but only if it's an intelligent one | Independent | Robotics | Scoop.it
MPs have been told that calling an opponent “robot” is not a derogatory term – but only if they are referring to a “high functioning intelligent robot”. The bizarre row over whether the word was unparliamentary erupted during a debate on the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent, led by the SNP.  After John Woodcock, a pro-Trident Labour MP, launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s record on education and health in Scotland, SNP MPs attempted to intervene. 
Hallie Siegel's insight:

More peanuts, please.

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Google’s robot group struggles to fill leadership vacuum as it shoots for ambitious launch before 2020 | Business Insider

Google’s robot group struggles to fill leadership vacuum as it shoots for ambitious launch before 2020 | Business Insider | Robotics | Scoop.it
Google bought a bunch of robotics companies in 2013. Then leader Andy Rubin quit, and the state of the project is in flux.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Interesting story about the impact of Andy Rubin's departure on Google's robotics teams and the formation of Alphabet. Worthwhile read.

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Robot Companies: Robots Won't Steal Our Jobs, They'll Be Our Minions | Motherboard

Robot Companies: Robots Won't Steal Our Jobs, They'll Be Our Minions | Motherboard | Robotics | Scoop.it
Human overlords will crack the whip, making robot laborers work around the clock, according to a new report.
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AI Pioneer Marvin Minsky dies at 88 | New York Times

AI Pioneer Marvin Minsky dies at 88 | New York Times | Robotics | Scoop.it
Professor Minsky laid the foundation for the field by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

With two founding fathers in the field passing away so closely together, it feels as though a chapter is closing. 

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Look out for the Internet of Flying Things as businesses takes to the skies

Look out for the Internet of Flying Things as businesses takes to the skies | Robotics | Scoop.it
The battle for business advantage is moving to the skies as retailers, the construction industry, security and sports firms look to commercial drones to out perform competition in 2016. 
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Artificial Intelligence and Nonprofits — The Digital Civil Society Lab | Medium

Artificial Intelligence and Nonprofits - The Digital Civil Society Lab - Medium
Unlike the machine learning experts who are joining OpenAI, I see no reason to assume that the nonprofit structure is sufficient to accomplish their goals. If the challenges of AI are as great as these minds seem to suggest, is the “lesser evil” OK?
I commend them for directing their expertise toward beneficial uses of the technology. I also think it’s time to reconsider the institutional technology of the nonprofit corporation. We need institutions that can generate, direct and hold digital resources for long-term public benefit; I’m not sure the current nonprofit firm is the answer.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Interesting criticism of the non-profit model in this context.

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The billion-dollar robot question — how can we make sure they’re safe? | Washington Post

Self-driving cars, drones and delivery pods are coming. But how do we make sure they're safe?
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Robots to reside in more than 1 in 10 American households by 2020 | Juniper Research

Juniper Research has forecast that over 1 in 10 American households will own a consumer robot by the end of the decade, up from under 1 in 25 this year.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Question is: what will those robots look like and what will they really do? 

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Japanese company creating a robot companion for your desk - CNET

Japanese company creating a robot companion for your desk - CNET | Robotics | Scoop.it
Demonstrated at this year's International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, the MJI (More Joyful Innovation) Communication Robot is an egg-shaped desktop device that communicates through a 5-inch screen. The screen shows the companion's emotive eyes as a default, but also serves as a display for photos, weather, news and other information. Set for a release of early 2016, the MJI Robot also has built-in telephone functionality.

The size of the robot is roughly that of an electric tea-kettle, and comes in at a weight of 3kg (6.5 lbs). It has Wi-Fi and 4LTE connectivity and is kitted out with cameras for motion-tracking, facial recognition and surveillance.

The MJI is being geared towards the elderly and those that require a simple communication interface with their technology. Thanks to voice activation and communication, the table-top buddy can send and receive messages and phone calls without requiring any manual input.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Looks familiar! Could be competition for Jibo. 

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Could a robot run for President? | The Washington Post

Could a robot run for President? | The Washington Post | Robotics | Scoop.it
This is a less random question than it might at first seem. The Constitution relies on language that seems obvious but which isn't always clear-cut (to which the Supreme Court can attest). There's the examination of how the Constitution adapts to new situations, given that the possibility of a machine that was indistinguishable from a human likely wasn't at the front of the founding fathers' minds. And, more broadly, there's the general question of what constitutes a "person."
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Waxing philosophical on what it means to be human.

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China wants robots to replace millions of low-paid workers | Mashable

China wants robots to replace millions of low-paid workers | Mashable | Robotics | Scoop.it
China needs advanced robotics to help balance its economic, social, and technological ambitions with continued growth.
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Fidelity joins growing field of automated financial advice | New York Times

Fidelity joins growing field of automated financial advice | New York Times | Robotics | Scoop.it
Fidelity is testing an online platform called Fidelity Go as part of its move into the so-called robo-adviser segment of the investment market.
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Robot to help passengers find their way at Schipol aiport in Amsterdam | Gadgets 360

Robot to help passengers find their way at Schipol aiport in Amsterdam | Gadgets 360 | Robotics | Scoop.it
If you are travelling to Amsterdem this week, you might find a robot guiding you around at the busy Schiphol airport.

The robot is being developed as part of "Spencer" project, which is being funded by the European Commission and is a collaboration between researchers and businesses in five different countries.
Hallie Siegel's insight:

Wish I had seen this when passing through Amsterdam earlier this month!

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China’s robot sector needs to pick up pace to upgrade manufacturing and rival foreign competitors, say experts | South China Morning Post

China’s robot sector needs to pick up pace to upgrade manufacturing and rival foreign competitors, say experts | South China Morning Post | Robotics | Scoop.it
China’s robot industry is not yet mature enough to contribute to upgrading the country’s manufacturing sector, industry insiders and foreign players say.

There are more than 1,000 robot-related firms across China, but quality – not quantity – is the robot sector’s biggest challenge, according to Qu Daokui, chairman of Siasun Robot and Automation, a Shenyang-based industrial robot producer.
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China’s top leaders add political weight to robot conference | South China Morning Post

China’s top leaders add political weight to robot conference | South China Morning Post | Robotics | Scoop.it
Appearance by vice-president at industry expo in capital highlights Beijing’s sci-tech ambitions
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