Jibo – an Internet-connected AI in your home that can monitor you and your family 24/7


“Jibo – the world’s first family robot.” So goes the ad. Jibo is being funded on Indiegogo, so people do want it apparently. It should hit the market in 2016.

The family robot is an inevitability, just as much as the family computer was. And of course, people will want it to be able to, at the very least, do the things that Jibo does. Provide reminders, retrieve data from the Internet, take pictures, recognize speech, recognize faces, etc. So it’s not really Jibo’s fault, but there are some very unsettling possibilities inherent to a device with this combination of features.

I am probably not the only person who saw this:


and thought of this:


Which is not to imply that every system with facial recognition will be directly involved with the eventual (?) overthrow of humankind…


Robot Apes to colonize the moon?


DFKI’s iStruct is an ape-like robot that was developed with funding from the German Aerospace Center (Photo: DLR)

Charlie is part of the iStruct project, whose goal is to “develop a robotic system as well as biologically inspired structural components which, if applied on the robotic system, effectively improve the locomotion and mobility characteristics.”

Full article and additional video at Gizmag, HERE

Additional videos HERE

Bionic Ants and Butterflies


Festo has done it again. And again. Festo, makers of incredible robotic birds, penguins, jellyfish, manta rays, and others, have created BionicAnts and beautiful butterflies.


Full article and amazing video of butterflies at IEEESpectrum

Google To Build Robotic Surgery Assistance Platform

Google and Johnson & Johnson have announced a collaborative venture to develop an advanced, robot-assisted surgery platform.

“All of the language in the announcement of the partnership suggests that the companies will be using robotics to supplement, not replace human surgeons, at least in this stage of the partnership.”

Robot-assisted surgeries offer the following advantages:
Less invasive – instead of opening a person up big enough for human hands to work, the opening need be only large enough to allow robotic instruments in
Faster healing – because less damage is done, the healing time is faster
The doctor can be elsewhere – a doctor can operate the robot from anywhere in the world (Although hopefully from a place with a good Internet connection)

The DaVinci robot surgeon has been used in surgeries since at least as far back as 2010. This effort by Google and Johnson & Johnson should push the technology way beyond where it is in 2015.

Full article at TechCrunch

More Human Than Human


Well… not quite yet. Still within the Uncanny Valley. But getting closer and closer to being able to pass for human. Meet Han and Arthur (and soon: Eva.) “Creepy” is a way over-used term when it comes to realistic robots, but wow, these things are creepy!

Article and fascinating video HERE

“Robot Overlords” – a Very British Sci-Fi Film


“It’s already been described as ‘Transformers’ meets ‘Doctor Who’… ‘Robot Overlords’ looks at what might happen to humanity in the wake of a robotic invasion, and who will save the day when your usual sci-fi heroes are nowhere to be found. But I can’t help thinking it’s a lot more subtle than it sounds.”

Full article here: https://uk.yahoo.com/movies/robot-overlords-a-very-british-sci-fi-film-114587385664.html

DARPA’s new autonomous ghost ship, ACTUV

“How do you keep track of increasingly stealthy Russian, Chinese and Iranian submarines? If you’re the U.S. military, you build a robotic ghost ship to follow them around the high seas.”

Picture and full article at http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2015/03/militarys-robotic-ghost-ship-passes-critical-test/108352/

Another step closer to a robotic maid in every home – meet Robobarista

Baristas, beware. You may be the next lot in a long line of people replaced by robots.

“Robobarista can do more than make coffee, though. Apparently, it is trained to operate more than 116 household and kitchen appliances, including juice makers, lamps, a soda machine, and bathroom sinks. So what’s next? Robots with tactile functionality, and robots that understand trial and error.”

Article, videos HERE

The Exponential Increase of Robots Has Begun (and what it may mean for jobs)


Some experts are re-evaluating the notion that new tech creates new jobs as quickly as it displaces jobs already being done by humans.

“Economist Erik Brynjolfsson had long dismissed fears that automation would soon devour jobs that required the uniquely human skills of judgment and dexterity.
When Google Inc. announced in 2010 that a specially equipped fleet of driverless Toyota Prius cars had safely traveled more than 1,000 miles of U.S. roads, Mr. Brynjolfsson realized he might be wrong.”

Full article (and additional related infographics) at the Wall Street Journal HERE.

Seiko-Epson’s dual-armed, autonomous robot uses human tools, decides how to accomplish task


Epson’s new “Autonomous Dual-Armed Robot” is equipped with vision and force-sensing functions, and can autonomously execute tasks by recognizing objects, making decisions, and adjusting the amount of force applied, on the fly.


The autonomous dual-arm robot was developed not to be integrated into a system and anchored in place to perform tasks like an ordinary industrial robot but to independently perform simple tasks such as assembly and transport in place of human workers.

Some say that this kind of thing spells doom for humans, as exponential numbers of people lose their jobs to machines, as the machines get faster, lighter, cheaper, and are able to accomplish more tasks. Some say this is good for humans, because we will no longer have to do tedious, mind-numbing assembly-line type work, and will be freed up for more purposeful, perhaps more satisfying work. For better or worse, (most likely a pinch of better and worse,) Epson’s robot will likely accelerate the rate of human replacement considerably, when it hits the market later in 2015.

Full article HERE

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