Kuratas vs. MegaBot: Giant Japanese & American Robots to Battle


The makers of American mech “MegaBot” have challenged the makers of Japan’s “Kuratas” mech to a duel, and the challenge has been accepted. Personally, I would be all over this, but for one fact – there will be human pilots inside. For me, this moves it out of the exciting realm of Battlebots competition, and nudges it towards a gladiator type competition, using the potential for human injury or death as part of the lure of the show. I personally don’t think there should be human pilots involved because A), it puts people in danger, and gives the whole thing an exploitive, unwholesome flavor, and B) if humans were not involved, the fight could be as crazy as giant fighting robots should be.

Full article HERE.

The robot revolution is happening, and they’re not even smart yet


image by Julosstock https://about.me/julientromeur

Jobs are being lost NOW. People are going into automation, and their job is to help their company make money by replacing people with programs and machines. The jobs being lost are not coming back. Some argue that the jobs being lost to automation will simply be replaced by other jobs. But even if these new mystery jobs are eventually created, most experts in the field believe that they would be massively outpaced by the job losses.

So, even before a superintelligent AI threatens us with extinction, the relatively simple programs and machines of today pose a potentially serious economic threat, simply by performing as they were designed.

This article has a slightly more optimistic outlook, even while acknowledging these same concerns:

Full article at LondonCommunityNews

Next job going to robots – bricklayer


New autonomous robot “Hadrian” in Perth, Australia, created by Fastbrick Robotics, “could raise the brick shell of a new home within two days.”

Full article HERE.

ORi – Open Roboethics initiative


If a dog runs out in front of your self-driving car, and the choice is either hit the dog, or plummet from a cliff, which choice should it make? What if it’s a child instead of a dog? Would you trust a robot to take care of your grandparent? Will autonomous vehicles create more jobs than they displace, or vice versa? Should robots make life/death decisions?

These are the types of questions considered by the Open Roboethics initiative (ROi). You can participate and help shape the debate by answering polls on their site, ROi.

Young kids abuse robots because they instinctively recognize them as their future subjugators


Ok so that’s just one theory.

“Researchers set up a bit of a sting operation, placing a robot in a mall for two weeks, observing how people interacted with it. After children happened upon a humanoid robot in the mall, kids immediately took to abusing it with little or no regard to its feelings.
The researchers wrote some of the behavior they observed their paper Why Do Children Abuse Robots?”

Maybe someone should design a robot safe for when the robot is not being used. This would protect the robot from the kids, the kids from the robot, and society from the damage which could be inflicted by a kid/robot collaboration.

Full article HERE.

Maine: most of your top jobs could soon be done by robots, according to one study



NPR’s Money Team developed an online database of jobs which may soon be performed by robots, using data from an Oxford University report.

“When matched up against the top 20 jobs in Maine, the results are scary. Fourteen of the top 20 jobs in Maine — in terms of numbers of workers — have a 50 percent or greater chance of being taken over by robots, the Oxford University researchers hypothesize. Ten of those have a likelihood of greater than 85 percent, including customer service representatives, which are considered 99 percent likely to be handed off to some kind of androids.”

Full article HERE.

BattleBots makes its glorious return


BattleBots returned to television on Sunday, and it was, in a word, amazing.

“Thirteen years after the original series went off the air, the debut episode of ABC’s BattleBots reboot aired Sunday night, and it was fantastic. The opening episode scored a 1.9 Nielsen rating (beating the U.S. Open’s 1.7) and was filled with fire, flying pieces of metal and endless robot carnage.”

If you missed the show Sunday, let me remind you to go set the DVR now.

USAToday article HERE.

How to stop a robot that is chasing you ( if you live in Movie land )


Are the machines after you?

jBMqOcG - Imgur

Here are 17 surefire ways to stop them, according to MTV. Not sure how well these methods will work in the real world, but it may be entertaining for fans of the iconic “machine vs. man” movies.

Parental warning: Number 9 looks pretty brutal. (When Ash lost his head in “Alien.”)

Number 11 looks like a picture from the 2015 Darpa Robotics Challenge, but is actually Johnny 5 from “Short Circuit”


Click here for “Being Chased By Robots? Here Are 17 Surefire Ways To Get Rid Of Them”

Q: What will outlast even the cockroaches? A: Metal cockroaches


(Chen Li. Courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab, Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, and CiBER, UC Berkeley

Roboticists are endowing their creations with all sorts of new abilities by simply borrowing from nature.

“The first robot designed by this team of engineers was shaped like a cube,” says Chen Li, a mechanical engineer at the University of California-Berkeley and a co-author of the Bioinspiration & Biomimetics study that describes the machine. “This made the robot turn left or right when it touched obstacles and become stuck.”

But a thin, rounded exoskeletal shell — the current design — lets the robot roll and fit its thin body through small gaps, just like a cockroach.

Article, video HERE.

Dawn of the household android


The dawn of the household android is upon us. Aldebaran, French maker of the NAO and Pepper robots, already has another one in the works, named Romeo. The tallest of the three, at 140 cm (approx. 4.6 feet), Romeo is “intended to deepen research on assistance for the elderly and those who have lost autonomy. His height allows it to open doors, climb stairs, and even grab objects on a table.”


Pepper, NAO, and Romeo – image from this French website

As discussed Saturday, 1,000 Pepper units were available for purchase in Tokyo Saturday, and they sold out in one minute. More are on the way. Many companies will no doubt be rushing to be the dominant force in the domestic android market.

Tech blogs have been teasing us for years with the potential awesomeness for Virtual Reality headsets like the Oculus Rift. Now that the HTC Vive has announced a release date for this fall, Oculus and several other platforms are also announcing release dates suddenly. Perhaps the startlingly fast sellout of the Pepper units will likewise spur other robot makers to get a product on the market sooner than would otherwise have happened.


Aldebaran Robotics

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