April 4, 2019

DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Q&A With Program Manager Timothy Chung

We speak with DARPA SubT program manager Dr. Timothy Chung to get more details about the challenge In an earlier post today, we distilled half a dozen DARPA-dense docs into an easy-to-follow overview of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge (SubT), a new competition that will task teams of humans and robots to explore complex underground environments. In this post, we have an interview with SubT program manager Timothy Chung, whom we met late last year at DARPA’s D60 Conference. “I think for many […]
April 4, 2019

DARPA Subterranean Challenge: SubT Is the Next Challenge for Robotics

The DARPA Subterranean Challenge will task teams of robots with autonomous exploration deep beneath the surface of the Earth This weekend, nine teams of robots (and their humans) will make their way to the Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colo. There, they’ll take part in an initial integration exercise for the DARPA Subterranean Challenge, or SubT. DARPA SubT is a challenge on a similar scale to DARPA’s incredible Robotics Challenge that took place in 2015—a series of competitions based […]
April 2, 2019

How IBM Watson Overpromised and Underdelivered on AI Health Care

After its triumph on Jeopardy!, IBM’s AI seemed poised to revolutionize medicine. Doctors are still waiting h5.sb-dek a { text-decoration: none; } .article-detail aside.ct, .article-detail audio.ct, .article-detail canvas.ct, .article-detail div.ct, .article-detail figure.ct, .article-detail figcaption.ct, .article-detail form.ct, .article-detail iframe.ct, .article-detail img.ct, .article-detail object.ct, .article-detail nav.ct, .article-detail table.ct, .article-detail video.ct, .article-detail .inlay.ct { display: block; margin: 0 auto; } ul, ol { margin: 1em 0; padding: 0 0 0 15px; } table.netNeutral { width:100%; margin: 0 0 0; background-color: #D7DCDB; rules: rows; frame: […]
April 1, 2019

Industrial Robots Keep the Modern Factory Moving

The relative ease with which Triflex can be repaired and replaced compared to its competition is one of its best features. Conventional six-axis industrial robots typically run a series of cables along the outside of the robotic arm to control power consumption, movement and other dynamic functions. These cables are usually housed in a plastic or rubber tube or tied together using materials as rudimentary as rubber bands or duct tape. As the robotic arm twists, turns and bends, the […]
March 26, 2019

Disposable Delivery Drones Undergo Successful Tests With U.S. Marines

These gliders fly autonomously or via radio control to deliver supplies, and then are left where they land Two years ago, we spotted an interesting delivery drone concept at a military expo in Washington, D.C., called TACAD, or TACtical Air Delivery. The idea was to use gliders made out of cheap, disposable materials to deliver a substantial amount of supplies over long distances. You’d have to launch these gliders from larger aircraft, but they’d be able to deliver hundreds of […]
March 25, 2019

GITAI Partners With JAXA to Send Telepresence Robots to Space

The founder and CEO of SCHAFT joins space robotics startup GITAI to develop telepresence robots GITAI is a robotics startup with offices in Japan and the United States that’s developing tech to put humanoid telepresence robots in space to take over for astronauts. Today, GITAI is announcing a joint research agreement with JAXA (the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) to see what it takes for robots to be useful in orbit, with the goal of substantially reducing the amount of money […]
March 25, 2019

Untold History of AI: Invisible Woman Programmed America's First Electronic Computer

The “human computers” who operated ENIAC have received little credit The history of AI is often told as the story of machines getting smarter over time. What’s lost is the human element in the narrative, how intelligent machines are designed, trained, and powered by human minds and bodies. In this six-part series, we explore that human history of AI—how innovators, thinkers, workers, and sometimes hucksters have created algorithms that can replicate human thought and behavior (or at least appear to). […]
March 21, 2019

Robotic Dreams, Robotic Realities: Why Is It So Hard to Build Profitable Robot Companies?

Roboticists need to discuss openly and honestly not only our successes but also our failures A version of this article appears in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2019). In mid-November, we received the sad news that Alphabet is closing SCHAFT, a spinoff of the University of Tokyo robotics lab. The decision comes one year after Boston Dynamics was sold to SoftBank, the company that also acquired Aldebaran Robotics (known for the Pepper and Nao robots). During […]
March 18, 2019

Untold History of AI: Charles Babbage and the Turk

The famed 19th century engineer may have been inspired by an early example of AI chicanery and hype The history of AI is often told as the story of machines getting smarter over time. What’s lost is the human element in the narrative, how intelligent machines are designed, trained, and powered by human minds and bodies. In this six-part series, we explore that human history of AI—how innovators, thinkers, workers, and sometimes hucksters have created algorithms that can replicate human […]
March 14, 2019

Latest Generation of Lionfish-Hunting Robot Can Find and Zap More Fish Than Ever

It’s round three of invasive lionfish vs. underwater robots It’s always cool to see lionfish while snorkeling or scuba diving. They’re spectacular-looking, and because they’re covered in flamboyant spines, they’re usually secure enough in their invincibility that they’ll mostly just sit there and let you get close to them. Lionfish don’t make for very good oceanic neighbors, though, and in places where they’re an invasive species and have few native predators (like most of the Atlantic coast of the United […]