robotics

This Brain Implant Could Change Lives

From Youtube: It sounds like science fiction: a device that can reconnect a paralyzed person’s brain to his or her body. But that’s exactly what the experimental NeuroLife system does. Developed by Battelle and Ohio State University, NeuroLife uses a brain implant, an algorithm and an electrode sleeve to give paralysis patients back control of their limbs. For Ian Burkhart, NeuroLife’s first test subject, the implications could be life-changing.

There's Waldo is a robot that finds Waldo

From Youtube: We built a little robot called "There's Waldo" to test the capabilities of Google's new AutoML Vision service. We've found that technologies can be unapproachable, and irrelevant by extension, to many people—so we learn ahead of the curve, and show our work in fun ways, to demonstrate what's possible. There's Waldo is a robot built to find Waldo and point at him. The robot arm is controlled by a Raspberry Pi using the PYUARM Python library for the UARM Metal. Once initialized the arm is instructed to extend and take a photo of the canvas below. It then uses OpenCV to find and extract faces from the photo. The faces are sent to the Google Auto ML Vision service which compares each one against the trained Waldo model. If a confident match of 95% (0.95) or higher is found the robot arm is instructed to extend to the coordinates of the matching face and point at it. If there are multiple Waldos in a photo it will point to each one. While only a prototype, the fastest There's Waldo has pointed out a match has been 4.45 seconds which is better than most 5 year olds.

60 Years of Challenges and Breakthroughs by DARPA

From Youtube: With a focus on the people and perseverance behind DARPA’s ability to make the impossible possible, trace the agency’s history from its charter following the Soviet Union’s Sputnik launch to advances across a spectrum of technologies. Building on a legacy of innovation, DARPA continues to push technological boundaries to ensure U.S. military superiority and serve the people who serve and protect our nation.

What People See in a Robot: A New Look at Human-Like Appearance

From Youtube: What People See in a Robot: A New Look at Human-Like Appearance. A long-standing question in HRI is what effects a robot’s human-like appearance has on various psychological responses. A substantial literature has demonstrated such effects on liking, trust, ascribed intelligence, and so on. Much of this work has relied on a construct of uni-dimensional low to high human-likeness. I introduce evidence for an alternative view according to which robot appearance must be described in a three-dimensional space, encompassing Body/Manipulators (e.g., torso, arms, legs), Facial Features (e.g., head, eyes), and Surface Look (e.g., eyelashes, skin, genderedness). The broad human-likeness concept can thus be decomposed into more concrete appearance dimensions, and robots’ degrees of human-likeness are constituted by different combinations of these dimensions. In a study using 24 robots selected from this three-dimensional appearance space, I then show that the different dimensions separately predict inferences people make about the robot’s affective, social-moral, and physical capacities.

Marc Raibert, Boston Dynamics CEO, on being acquired and selling the SpotMini

From Youtube: Marc Raibert, Boston Dynamics CEO, on being acquired and selling the SpotMini. Boston Dynamics’ rocked the world with the DARPA-funded Big Dog, and founder Marc Raibert showed off its latest creation, the SpotMini at TC Sessions Robotics 2018 at UC Berkeley.

Force Jacket - Pneumatically-Actuated Jacket - Disney Research

From aeon.co magazine: Immersive experiences seek to engage the full sensory system in ways that words, pictures, or touch alone cannot. With respect to the haptic system, however, physical feedback has been provided primarily with handheld tactile experiences or vibration-based designs, largely ignoring both pressure receptors and the full upper-body area as conduits for expressing meaning that is consistent with sight and sound. We extend the potential for immersion along these dimensions with the Force Jacket, a novel array of pneumatically-actuated airbags and force sensors that provide precisely directed force and high frequency vibrations to the upper body. We describe the pneumatic hardware and force control algorithms, user studies to verify perception of airbag location and pressure magnitude, and subsequent studies to define full-torso, pressure and vibration-based feel effects such as punch, hug, and snake moving across the body. We also discuss the use of those effects in prototype virtual reality applications.

Man and Machine: the macroeconomics of the digital revolution

From lse.ac.uk: The automation of robots and artificial intelligence is pretty well advanced in certain industries. The income now is shifting more and more to capital and away from workers, contributing to a general widening of inequality in the United States. Jeff Sachs argues that we need to pursue policies so that the coming generation of smart machines works for us and our well-being, rather than humanity working for the machines and the few who control their operating systems.

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