Web of Things
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Web of Things
How wirelessly connecting objects to the Internet can help organisations anticipate change.
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Ecovacs Winbot Puts Robotic Muscle Into Window Cleaning

Ecovacs Winbot Puts Robotic Muscle Into Window Cleaning | Web of Things | Scoop.it

You’ve got a robot that vacuums your carpet, and it doesn’t even scare the cat too much anymore. That’s progress, right? So where do you turn next in your quest for automated domestic help? How about a robot that does windows?

The Ecovacs Winbot cleans both sides of a window at the same time, with a two-part system. A driver that contains the motor sits on one side of the glass while a follower unit goes on the other side. The two units are held together with a powerful, variable-strength magnet. The robot senses its position on the window and follows a zig-zag path to cover the entire area. A remote is also included to allow manual direction of the robot.

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Would You Be Comfortable Trusting Your Health To a Robot Doctor?

Would You Be Comfortable Trusting Your Health To a Robot Doctor? | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Technology is marching ever forward and the medicine is no exception. CNN's Fortune Tech predicts tech will eventually take over 80 percent of what doctors do today andthat might begreat, but would you feel comfortable putting your life in the handsof Dr. Robot?  Chances are that someday, you won't have a choice. 


by Gizmodo UK

09 Dec 2012

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MIT's Wearable Sensor Pack Turns First Responders Into Digital

MIT's Wearable Sensor Pack Turns First Responders Into Digital | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Robots have seemingly unlimited potential when it comes to search and rescue operations - they can enter hazardous environments, quickly map dangerous areas for first responders, and help establish communication links and a game plan for larger recovery and triage efforts. But in these scenarios, humans aren't going anywhere. We still need breathing, thinking bodies on the ground. So a team at MIT has built a wearable sensor pack that can "roboticise" human first responders, allowing the first person into a dangerous environment to digitally map it in realtime, just like a robot.


The prototype platform consists of a variety of sensors - accelerometers, gyroscopes, a camera, and a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) rangefinder, among others - affixed to a sheet of plastic roughly the size of a tablet computer, which is in turn strapped to the user's chest. These sensors wirelessly beam data to a laptop, allowing others to remotely view the user's progress through an environment. It also allows the sensor platform to build a digital map of the area as the user moves through it, providing the responders that follow with far more situational awareness than they would have otherwise.


Australian Popular Science

Clay Dillow

25 Sep 2012

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The world's first city for robots | Green Futures Magazine

The world's first city for robots | Green Futures Magazine | Web of Things | Scoop.it

A science project of unprecedented scale begins this month in the New Mexico desert, as a technology firm breaks ground for a model metropolis. Washington-based Pegasus Global Holdings will build a town replete with schools, parks and an airport.

 

But the intended residents are not people, but robots.

 

Scheduled to open in 2015, the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, or CITE, will be built across 20 square miles to the scale of a mid-sized American city. With housing and infrastructure to accommodate 35,000 people, the $1 billion plan features both old and new elements of urban and suburban design, from LEED-certified office buildings to 1980s-era ‘McMansions’.


Via Wildcat2030
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A Real Internet Of Things For The Developing World (And Burning Man)

A Real Internet Of Things For The Developing World (And Burning Man) | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Aria has a grand idea: creating an Internet-like network of autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs)  that could one day allow someone to make a one-to-one sale with anyone in the world or send medication quickly to where it’s needed most, simply by delivering goods on a flying autonomous vehicle to its destination. But before Aria (that’s the name of Matternet’s open-source group) does that, it’s teaming up with ReAllocate--an organization that’s building a network of designers and engineers who want to use their expertise to work on humanitarian issues--for an experimental project at Burning Man (if Aria can secure tickets; that’s still up in the air).

 

After the Burning Man pilot, ReAllocate plans to bring the shipping container project, dubbed "Startup Country," to Oakland to create a portable kitchen for food entrepreneurs. "We’re transforming shipping containers into innovation centers," says Dr. Mike North, the founder of ReAllocate. "We want to take them into the developing world, bring people from the community in, and facilitate them developing their own social enterprises."

 

As with the Burning Man project, Aria can use these shipping containers in the developing world as ground stations where it can swap batteries and payload. "The ground stations are like the routers of the Internet. They can extend range and capacity of the drones," explains Arturo Pelayo, the co-founder of Aria.

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Disruptor of the Day: Joshua Smith – A Researcher on The Cutting Edge of Sensor Technology [Q&A]

Sensors are everywhere around us from smartphone touchscreens to elevator buttons to thermostats. These sensor devices, which receive and respond to a signal, are a linchpin of the so-called “Internet of Things.” As they become smaller, cheaper and require less power they are being deployed in more places that we encounter every day — whether we are aware of it or not.

 

Nice interview w/ MIT researcher Joshua Smith.

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Do androids dream of dust-free floors?

Do androids dream of dust-free floors? | Web of Things | Scoop.it

It is not only that robots and technological devices are developing their own identities, however: they are also capable of recognizing distinct human features. Robots developed by Magnitogorsk-based Android Technologies, for example, some with strikingly anthropomorphic features, are able to distinguish different voices and faces.

 

“Many use robotic devices in everyday life and don’t even know about it, while others intentionally buy robots to help them clean swimming pools or mow lawns,” said Alexander Turkot, head of the IT cluster at the Skolkovo foundation.

 

Turkot believes that the Internet of Things could present interesting developments in robotics, such as multi-agent systems, where individual devices or robots interact with each other on their own network. These robots also possess systems that allow solutions to problems to emerge from within the robots and not be introduced from outside – for example, by programmers.

 

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Self-sculpting sand | R&D Mag

Self-sculpting sand | R&D Mag | Web of Things | Scoop.it
New algorithms developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers could enable heaps of ' smart sand' that can assume any shape, allowing spontaneous formation of new tools or duplication of broken mechanical parts.

Via Wildcat2030
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Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate | Video on TED.com

TED Talks In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more.
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This Tiny Gizmo Could Be A Very Big Deal In 2013 - And Beyond

This Tiny Gizmo Could Be A Very Big Deal In 2013 - And Beyond | Web of Things | Scoop.it
A $70 gizmo from Leap Motion could change the way we interact with computers - and eventually, lots of other things, too.


Wired called this "the best gesture-control system we've ever tested." The Verge called it "the next big thing in computing."


Leap Motion has already received preorders worth tens of millions of dollars, says Andy Miller, the company’s president and COO. (...)


Because Leap Motion has big plans. Laptops and desktops are just the start. “The consumer is side a way of getting it out there, but the bigger business might be licensing deals,” Miller says. “We have been contacted by thousands of businesses that want to use this.”


He reels off potential applications that range from robotic surgery to fighter jets, from semiconductor clean rooms to fast-food restaurant kitchens. “We’ve talked about seatback screens on planes,” he says. “Climate control systems. Set-top boxes and TVs and remote controls. Tablets. MRIs.”


McDonald’s and Jack in the Box like the idea of putting Leap Motion controllers in their kitchens so that workers can manipulate screens without having to touch them.


Others want to use Leap Motion in casinos, nightclubs and DJ booths to let people control huge video boards.


“This is a big thing that really could change the way we interact with devices,” Miller says.


Dan Lyons / read write 

24 Dec 2012



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Meet KUBI: A Telepresence Rig That Works Like Your Neck

Kubi means “neck” in Japanese and that’s just what this new telepresence product is supposed to reproduce.


This rig, designed to work with any tablet, essentially creates a user-controlled pivoting system that allows the person you are video-calling to control the position, angle, and rotation of the tablet camera.


It’s not amazingly complex nor is it completely mobile, facts that make Kubi far more interesting for, say, a small office or conference room. Controlling Kubi’s neck, the caller can look around the room, tilt the camera up and down, and keep the camera and tablet a safe distance from the proceedings. As a parent, I’d see Kubi being useful when talking with the family. Rather than one kid hogging the iPad, I could control my position remotely and see everyone in the room from a slight distance.


They’re selling pre-orders on the device for $200 on Indiegogo and are looking for funding of $200,000. I doubt it will be difficult.


via TechCrunch


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Social Robots May Gain Legal Rights, Says MIT Researcher - Slashdot

Social Robots May Gain Legal Rights, Says MIT Researcher - Slashdot | Web of Things | Scoop.it

"Social robots — machines with the ability to do grocery shopping, fix dinner and discuss the day's news — may gain limited rights, similar to those granted to pets. Kate Darling, a research specialist at the MIT Media Lab, looks at this broad issue in a recent paper, 'Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots.' 'The Kantian philosophical argument for preventing cruelty to animals is that our actions towards non-humans reflect our morality — if we treat animals in inhumane ways, we become inhumane persons. This logically extends to the treatment of robotic companions. Granting them protection may encourage us and our children to behave in a way that we generally regard as morally correct, or at least in a way that makes our cohabitation more agreeable or efficient.' If a company can make a robot that leaves the factory with rights, the marketing potential, as Darling notes, may be significant."

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Robot learns self-awareness | KurzweilAI

Robot learns self-awareness | KurzweilAI | Web of Things | Scoop.it

“Only humans can be self-aware.”

 

Another myth bites the dust. Yale roboticists have programmed Nico, a robot, to be able to recognize itself in a mirror.

 

Why is this important? Because robots will need to learn about themselves and how they affect the world around them — especially people.

 

Using knowledge that it has learned about itself, Nico is able to use a mirror as an instrument for spatial reasoning, allowing it to accurately determine where objects are located in space based on their reflections, rather than naively believing them to exist behind the mirror.


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Virginia Tech: RoboJelly

Researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas built Robojelly from materials known as shape-memory alloys, which return to their original shape when bent. Eight moving segments wrapped in carbon nanotubes and coated with a platinum powder replicate the jellyfish's natural opening-and-closing method of propulsion.

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Oscillating gels may one day grant robots a sense of touch

Oscillating gels may one day grant robots a sense of touch | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Researchers at MIT and the University of Pittsburgh have successfully resuscitated non-oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel by exerting a mechanical force: a process akin to the resuscitation of a human heart. By exhibiting a chemical response to a mechanical stimulus (a rare feat for non-living matter), it's thought the material could lead to the development of artificial skin that would enable robots to feel and self-repair.

 

"Think of it like human skin, which can provide signals to the brain that something on the body is deformed or hurt," said Anna Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering at Pittsburgh. "This gel has numerous far-reaching applications, such as artificial skin that could be sensory - a holy grail in robotics."

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PYGMY robot ring enhances human-robot interaction

PYGMY robot ring enhances human-robot interaction | Web of Things | Scoop.it

The PYGMY robot ring was recently presented by Masayasu Ogata (Anzai Imai Lab) at the Interaction 2012 Conference in Tokyo last week, where the PYGMY robot rings are able to express emotion and enhance interaction through the activation of a small display solenoid or servo attached to the ring. The ring display uncannily looks like a blinking eye, and can be controlled remotely thanks to a special controller, although there is always the old standby of a smartphone application.

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Tacocopter Aims To Deliver Tacos Using Unmanned Drone Helicopters

Tacocopter Aims To Deliver Tacos Using Unmanned Drone Helicopters | Web of Things | Scoop.it
The Internet is going wild for Tacocopter, perhaps the next great startup out of Silicon Valley, which boasts a business plan that combines four of the most prominent touchstones of modern America: tacos, helicopters, robots and laziness.
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