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April 29, 2018

Computers Match Accuracy of Radiologists in Screening for Breast Cancer Risk

Commercial software performs as well as doctors in measuring breast density and assessing breast cancer risk Photo: iStockphoto Women with dense breasts have a greater risk of undergoing mammogram screenings that miss signs of breast cancer. That’s why 30 U.S. states legally require that women receive some notification about their breast density. A new study suggests that commercial software for automatically classifying breast density can perform on par with human radiologists: a finding that could encourage wider use of automated breast density assessments. Increased breast density represents […]
April 26, 2018

Video Friday: Cassie on Fire, Disney’s Soft Robot Hand, and Car Humanoid

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Michigan Robotics/Dynamic Legged Locomotion Lab via YouTube Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): NASA Robotic Mining Competition – May 14-18, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA ICRA 2018 – May 21-25, 2018 – Brisbane, Australia Dynamic Walking Conference – May 21-24, […]
April 25, 2018

Houston Mechatronics Raises $20M to Bring NASA Expertise to Transforming Robot Submersibles

Engineers from NASA’s Robonaut and Valkyrie projects team up with industry veterans to develop transforming underwater vehicles Image: HMI Deep ocean robotics is not generally an area where we expect to see much in the way of significant innovation. When we do write about submersible robots, they’re usually confined to very near-surface operations. This isn’t a total surprise: It seems like the only people who really worry about what’s going on in the deep ocean (meaning hundreds or thousands of […]
April 24, 2018

U.S. Spy Agencies Seek Tech to Identify Deadly Chemicals From 30 Meters Away

Three teams are developing rival technologies to combat explosives, nerve gases, and other threats Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA/Getty Images Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA/Getty Images Careful Work: Investigators examine a bench in England for chemical traces of a nerve agent after two victims were found there. Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who became a double agent for the United Kingdom, and his daughter, Yulia, weren’t the only people affected by a nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, in March. Nearly 40 others […]
April 23, 2018

Can Amazon Build a Home Robot That Is Useful and Affordable?

Domestic robots are hard, but rumor has it that Amazon wants in Photo: Jeff Bezos via TwitterAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks with SpotMini, created by Boston Dynamics, at a recent technology conference. Amazon’s Lab126 R&D division is reportedly developing a home robot that it wants to start testing in employees’ homes by the end of the year. Yesterday, Bloomberg broke a story that Amazon’s Lab126 research and development group in San Francisco has been working on some kind of mobile home […]
April 22, 2018

Sony Partners With CMU to Develop Food Prep and Delivery Robots

A research agreement on robotics and AI will result in robot waiters and chefs Photo: iStockphoto Last week, Sony and Carnegie Mellon University announced a collaboration “on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research.” Usually, these announcements pretty much just end there, with the implication being that giant corporation X will support academic research institution Y by funding ongoing research or a string of new initiatives. This Sony/CMU announcement is a bit more exciting because of how specific it is: The project will […]
April 19, 2018

Video Friday: Investing in Robotics, Horrific Westworld Animatronics, and Circus Robot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Rudi Renner Agentur via VimeoCircus artist Martin Riedel performs with an industrial robot arm at Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain 2018 in Paris. Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): RoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, Italy […]
April 19, 2018

Marissa Mayer’s New Startup Gets Lucky (a Lucky Building, That Is)

The tech incubator Lumi Labs starts out with a bit of Silicon Valley magic on its side Photo: Tekla Perry Just about everyone in Silicon Valley acknowledges that running a successful startup takes more than a great technology and the right people—it takes a little bit of luck. And Marissa Mayer, former Yahoo CEO and Google employee number 20, doesn’t deny the power a little luck has had on her career. She once told me that she wouldn’t have landed […]
April 17, 2018

Robots Continue Attempting to Master Ikea Furniture Assembly

These robots are slow, careful, and successful, making them way better than humans at assembling an Ikea chair Image: NTU Apparently, one of the standards by which we should be measuring the progress of useful robotic manipulation is through the assembly of Ikea furniture. With its minimalistic and affordable Baltoscandian design coupled with questionably creditable promises of effortless assembly, Ikea has managed to convince generations of inexperienced and desperate young adults (myself included) that we can pretend to be grownups by […]
April 17, 2018

“Dog Cam” Trains Computer Vision Software for Robot Dogs

Strapping some gear to an Alaskan Malamute produces data that can train deep learning algorithms to navigate the world like a dog Image: DECADE A dog’s purpose can take on new meaning when humans strap a GoPro camera to her head. Such “dog cam” video clips have helped train computer vision software that could someday give rise to robotic canine companions. The idea behind DECADE, described as “a dataset of ego-centric videos from a dog’s perspective,” is to directly model the behavior of intelligent beings […]
April 17, 2018

The Arduino Cookbook Review

Arduino is a 15-year-old brand and I believe that nowadays everyone with even a minor interest in technology may be owning one of these microcontroller boards. But how many of you are actually using it or have ever made a useful project with it? Sometimes the Arduino is abandoned on a shelf or lays resting in a drawer because of a lack of inspiration, time, missing information /education. There is a ton of documentation, sketches (sample code), and books available […]
April 16, 2018

FlyJacket Lets You Control a Drone With Your Body

EPFL’s FlyJacket exosuit allows you to embody a fixed-wing drone, making it feel like you’re flying Photo: EPFL LIS It takes a lot of practice to fly a drone with confidence. Whether it’s a multirotor or a fixed-wing drone, there are a lot of complicated things going on all at once, and most of the control systems are not even a little bit intuitive. The first-person viewpoint afforded by drone-mounted cameras and VR headsets helps, but you’re still stuck with […]
April 12, 2018

Video Friday: Robot With Scissors, Cassie on a Segway, and Atlas Kicking

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: RC2L/KITECH via YouTube Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): NASA Swarmathon – April 17-19, 2018 – Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA RoboSoft 2018 – April 24-28, 2018 – Livorno, Italy ICARSC 2018 – April 25-27, 2018 – Torres Vedras, Portugal NASA Robotic Mining […]
April 11, 2018

See Straight Through Walls by Augmenting Your Eyeballs With Drones

A drone combined with a HoloLens can simulate X-ray vision while offering easy and intuitive control Image: Graz University of Technology Robots make fantastic remote-sensing systems, ideal for sending in to disaster areas or for search-and-rescue. Drones in particular can move rapidly over large areas or through structures, identifying damage or looking for survivors by sending a video feed from their on-board cameras to a remote operator. While the data that drones provide can be invaluable, managing them can be […]
April 9, 2018

Don’t Forget, It’s National Robotics Week!

Hundreds of robotics events are taking place all over the country this week Image: IEEE Spectrum; Robot cards: National Robotics WeekIEEE Spectrum teams up each year with iRobot and Georgia Tech’s Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) to create a set of trading cards featuring 10 famous robots and their creators. Check out the 2018 deck! In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed resolution H.Res. 1055 to make the second week of April officially National Robotics Week. Now […]