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MIT's cheetah robot runs faster, more efficiently, can carry its own power supply
May 17th, 2013
When it comes to hunting down humans running speeds, MIT's cheetah might come second to Boston Dynamics' own high-velocity quadruped, but by substituting pneumatics with motors, MIT's version apparently runs far more efficiently. At the recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the Institute of Technology showed of its newest version, which reached a top speed of 13.7 mph. To accomplish this, the runner still needs parallel support bars to constrain movement in one dimension, reducing any roll, yaw -- and the chances of a pretty expensive fall. The team says the new version's cost of transport (COT is power consumption divided by weight, times velocity) is around 0.52. In comparison, Honda's Asimo has a hefty COT of 2.

This impressive efficiency is down to the use of electric motors over hydraulics, with a new "three phase permanent magnet synchronous motor" providing the necessary torque. Researchers also used biometric principles to conserve energy and reduce stress on joints, including Kevlar tendons across the back of the legs. With all those efficiency increases, it mean that MIT's cheetah can theoretically run while carrying its own power source. We've added a video after the break, where you can see the bot hit its top speed while carrying some battery dummy weights.

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ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis

I suggest reading thru all this info on robots
The whole world is being run by robots - GRAVE DANGER!

Jade Helm 2015
This is a frightening exercise in USA - kontrolled by robots

HARBINGER  WARNINGS - Isaiah 9 prophecy
When GOD destroys USA, you cant say He didnt WARN us!


'Terminator' on hold? Debate to stop killer robots takes global stage

A proposal to pause the development of "killer robot" technology is seeing a surge of interest from robotics researchers as well as the representatives of key nations at the United Nations this month.

At a UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security side event Monday, mission delegates from Egypt, France, and Switzerland voiced an interest in regulating "killer robots" — completely autonomous weapon systems — in warfare. They are some of the first international voices backing ideas that the Human Rights Watch and Campaign to Stop Killer Robots have been championing for about a year.

But before deliberations about regulating killer robots can take place, experts say they want more transparency from governments already using semi-autonomous systems, like the Phalanx naval weapon system, that to a degree can fire on their own, without a human "pulling the trigger."

"We are not luddites, we are not trying to stop the advance of robotics," Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and one of the panelists at Monday's UN event, said. But, "I don't want to see robots operating on their own, armed with lethal weapons."

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots launched in April this year, and calls for a ban on weapon systems that can make target and kill decisions without a human "in the loop." The launch followed a detailed report published by the HRW on the dangers of future "killer robot" technologies. Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur, presented a report on lethal autonomous weapons at the UN Human Rights Council in June this year. In it, he called for a ban on "certain aspects" of killer robots, and encouraged policy discussion about how to regulate them, at a national and international level.

And one future forum for discussion has been proposed. Anais Laigle, First Secretary and representative from the France Permanent Mission to the UN, said Monday that killer bots will be "included in the agenda" at the Convention on Conventional Weapons in November this year, a meeting chaired by France.

At Monday's event, delegates from Egypt and Switzerland also indicated an interest in talking discussing the development and regulation of lethal autonomous weapons technologies.

In a statement released earlier this month, Pakistan UN representatives said that the development of drones and killer robots "need to be checked and brought under international regulation," and Egypt agreed that regulations are needed before killer robots "are to be developed and/or deployed." Austria and France have mentioned an interest in regulating killer robots, and Algeria, Brazil, Germany, Morocco and the United States have raised their hands as well.

It's not just policy makers. As of last week, more than 270 researchers signed a statement backing a ban on developing or using weapons that fire without human decision.

Some scholars, like Matthew Waxman at Columbia Law School and Kenneth Anderson at American University are opposed to that statement, arguing that a treaty ban is "unnecessary and dangerous." Autonomous systems are in our future, and if governments don't use them — perhaps in a regulated way — they'll fall to use by rebel groups and non-government actors. Also, sophisticated weapons systems could one day be better than humans at locating targets, they say.

But as a starting point for discussion, more information would help, Richard Moyes, a managing partner at non-profit organization Article 36, said at the panel on Monday. He wants governments to share information about how existing semi-autonomous weapons and operations work. So, rather than considering hypothetical "Terminator" scenarios, the data "will help us have a more concrete debate going forward," he said at the panel on Monday.

But secrecy has been a hallmark of the drones program in the US, where the capabilities and operations, and laws and policies governing the use of those systems are kept under wraps. "One of the biggest concerns" for Sarah Knuckey, professor of human rights law at NYU, who advised the Special Rapporteur Heynes, is that the secrecy will continue.

"If the US carries on this very non-transparent track," she told NBC News, "We're not going to know what laws are going to be programmed [into the robots], and where they're going to be used

More transparency is exactly what Williams and the team from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots wants, too. "I don't like my tax dollars being used on weapons that are not even discussed in the public domain," she said on Monday. "We have every right and every responsibility to have a public discussion as to where war is going."

Google buys Boston Dynamics, maker of spectacular and terrifying robots

By Josh Lowensohn on December 14, 2013 01:27 am

Google has acquired robotics engineering company Boston Dynamics, best known for its line of quadrupeds with funny gaits and often mind-blowing capabilities. Products that the firm has demonstrated in recent years include BigDog, a motorized robot that can handle ice and snow, the 29 mile-per-hour Cheetah, and an eerily convincing humanoid known as PETMAN. News of the deal was reported on Friday by The New York Times, which says that the Massachusetts-based company's role in future Google projects is currently unclear.

"Makers of the BigDog robot"

Specific details about the price and terms of the deal are currently unknown, though Google told the NYT that existing contracts — including a $10.8 million contract inked earlier this year with the US Defense Agency Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — would be honored. Despite the DARPA deal, Google says it doesn't plan to become a military contractor "on its own," according to the Times.

Boston Dynamics began as a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, and quickly started working on projects for the military. Besides BigDog, that includes Cheetah, an animal-like robot developed to run at high speeds, which was followed up by a more versatile model called WildCat. It's also worked on Atlas, a humanoid robot designed to work outdoors.

In a tweet, Google's Andy Rubin — who formerly ran Google's Android division — said the "future is looking awesome."

Rubin earlier this month told NYT that his next big project at Google was to pursue a lifelong love of real robots, something that will be separate from the company's secretive Google X lab best known for "moonshot" projects like balloon-powered internet and self-driving cars. In the meantime, Google's quietly picked up seven different robot companies and hired robotics experts, placing teams in Palo Alto and Japan.

Here's a clip of one of Boston Dynamics' latest robots, WildCat, which debuted earlier this year.

Google robots, iPhone trackers – which sci-fi movie is coming true?
12/27/13  When Google (GOOG) bought Boston Dynamics a few weeks ago, the public got a look the amazing robot maker’s Atlas model. I think almost everyone had the same pop-culture tinged thought though: the terminators are coming.

That’s, of course, a reference to the 1980s film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a killer robot sent from the future by an artificially intelligent, humanity-hating supercomputer known as Skynet.
That make us think: Which dystopian Sci-fi movie (preferably with killer robots) is coming true the quickest?

It may not be "The Terminator" -- last time I looked, we hadn’t given control of the nuclear launch codes to any computers and I’ve yet to see a robot that can ride a Harley.

A couple of other movies similarly saw bits and pieces of their fictional plots and technologies coming true.

Apple’s (AAPL) iBeacons let retailers know who you are and track you around their stores and they're just as creepy as individualized mall ads in "Minority Report." But self-driving cars aren’t for sale yet and pre-crime arrests remain a Rudy Giuliani fantasy.

Another robot firm called Knightscope built a little security droid dubbed K5 that looks like something out of Star Wars, or with the climate going to hell, maybe more like "Wall-E." Jeff Bezos’ drone fleet seems kind of Pixar-ish as well.

The U.S. Army ordered up some super powered battle suits that could have come off the drawing board of fictional billionaire playboy Tony Stark, but Ironman’s much too comic book to count as dystopian sci-fi.

The recent movie "Her" starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man falling in love with a Siri-like talking operating system also hits close to home. But the movie is too close to the current day and it's not even original — the hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory" ran an episode almost two years ago where a character fell in love with Siri.

No, the real winner in the scary fantasy come true sweepstakes in 2013 is that Stanley Kubrick classic, "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Remember Hal 9000? The talking supercomputer that can suffocate astronauts on a whim and refuse to open the pod bay doors?

2013 was the year that Siri got a male voice and new abilities to control more of our smartphone lives. AT&T (T) introduced a smartphone-run security system called Digital Life that gives the phone control over door locks, lights, even the plumbing. The whole crazy “Internet of Things” movement to put everything under network control seems tailor made for Hal.
Let’s remember not to teach the supercomputers to sing Bicycle Built for two.

smart - anything - DANGER!

Robots to Replace Troops on the Battlefield

The Pentagon is considering replacing thousands of troops with robots, a military commander said recently, marking the first time a DOD official has publicly acknowledged that humans would be replaced with robots on the battlefield.

Gen. Robert Cone, head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, made the comment at the Army Aviation symposium on Jan. 15, according to a report in Defense News, a trade publication covering the military. He said that robots would allow for “a smaller, more lethal, deployable and agile force.”

“I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force,” Cone said.

DOD did not respond to a request for comment on Cone’s remarks.

Cone also said that one-quarter of a 4,000 troop Brigade Combat Team could be replaced by robots or drones. His announcement comes as the entire Pentagon is shrinking, including troop reductions. DOD officials have said that the size of the force would shrink from 540,000 to 450,000 by 2020.

The Pentagon and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been aggressively pursuing robot technology. DOD has already invested billions of dollars with companies like Boston Dynamics, now owned by Google, to develop the technology.

So far, the company has developed the AlphaDog robot, designed to haul heavy military equipment for soldiers. Last year alone, DOD spent $7 million on the Avatar Program, which is attempting to find a way to upload a soldier’s consciousness to a robot. It also spent $11 million on a program that is developing robots that act autonomously.

These robots, combined with the already widespread use of drones and robots to detect bombs, are prompting fears that the human element would be removed from combat. Human Rights Watch and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition concerned that robots could replace humans, have launched preemptive campaigns to ban their use.  

If more advanced robots are used in battle, it would be years down the line. Lt. Gen. Keith Walker told Defense News that widespread use of robots could not occur until the “deep future” - sometime between 2030 and 2040.

“We’ll need to fundamentally change the nature of the force, and that would require a breakthrough in science and technology,” he said.


Google purchases UK startup DeepMind,  artificial intelligence
January 27, 2014
–  Google says that it has purchased the British startup DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company founded by a 37-year old former chess prodigy and computer game designer.

The American tech giant's London office confirmed a deal had been made but refused to offer a purchase price, which is reportedly $500 million. The company was founded by researcher Demis Hassabis together with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

Hassabis, who is on leave from University College London, has investigated the mechanisms that underlie human memory.
Artificial intelligence uses computers for tasks normally requiring human intelligence, like speech recognition or language translation. DeepMind says the company, based in London, specializes in algorithms and machine learning.
Google, like other tech giants such as Facebook, are anxious to develop systems that work like the human brain.

Obama plays soccer with 'scary' robot in Japan
resident Obama got to play soccer with a Japanese robot, an experience he described as both “amazing” and “a little scary.”  Obama visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo for an event designed to highlight technological collaboration between the U.S. and Japan.

Obama met with students who showed off their scientific experiments, viewed a recorded message from Japanese and American astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and announced a new initiative to increase student exchanges between the two countries.

But the highlight of the trip appeared to be the president’s interaction with a humanoid robot.  The machine, which was about the size of a 10-year-old child dressed in an astronaut suit, performed a number of life-like actions for the president, including hopping on one foot and jumping in the air.

"I can kick a soccer ball, too," the robot told the president.

“OK, come on,” Obama replied, prompting the robot to retreat a few steps and then punt the ball toward the president. Obama trapped the ball with his foot.

Later, Obama said the exhibits “showed the incredible breakthroughs in technology and science that are happening every single day.”
“Although I have to say the robots were a little scary,” he said. “They were too lifelike. They were amazing.”

The Robots Are Coming, And They Are Replacing Warehouse Workers And Fast Food Employees

There are already more than 101 million working age Americans that are not employed and 20 percent of the families in the entire country do not have a single member that has a job.  So what in the world are we going to do when robots start taking millions upon millions more of our jobs? Thanks to technology, the balance of power between employers and workers in this country is shifting dramatically in favor of the employers.  These days, many employers are wondering why they are dealing with so many human worker "headaches" when they can just use technology to get the same tasks done instead.  When you replace a human worker with a robot, you solve a whole bunch of problems.  Robots never take a day off, they never get tired, they never get sick, they never complain, they never show up late, they never waste time on the Internet and they always do what you tell them to do.  In addition, robotic technology has advanced to the point where it is actually cheaper to buy robots than it is to hire humans for a vast variety of different tasks.  From the standpoint of societal efficiency, this is a good thing.  But what happens when robots are able to do just about everything less expensively and more efficiently than humans can?  Where will our jobs come from?

And this is not something that is coming at some point in "the future".

This is already happening.

According to CNN, there will be 10,000 robots working to fulfill customer orders in warehouses by the end of 2014...

   Amazon will be using 10,000 robots in its warehouses by the end of the year.

   CEO Jeff Bezos told investors at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that he expects to significantly increase the number of robots used to fulfill customer orders.

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love Amazon.  And if robots can get me my stuff faster and less expensively that sounds great.

But what if everyone starts using these kinds of robots?

What will that do to warehouse jobs?

PC World has just done a report on a new warehouse robot known as "UBR-1".  This robot is intended to perform tasks "normally done by human workers"...

   The UBR-1 is a 4-foot tall, one-armed robot that could make warehouses and factories more efficient by performing tasks normally done by human workers.

   Unlike the industrial robots widely used in manufacturing today—usually large machines isolated from people for safety reasons—this robot can work alongside humans or autonomously in a workspace filled with people.

This little robot costs $50,000, and it can work all day and all night.  It just needs a battery change every once in a while.  The creators of this robot envision it performing a vast array of different tasks...

   “We see the robot as doing tasks, they could be dull, they could be dirty, they could be dangerous and doing them repetitively all day in a light manufacturing environment,” said Melonee Wise, Unbounded Robotics CEO and co-founder. Those tasks include stocking shelves, picking up objects and assembling parts.

   The UBR-1 isn’t designed for small component assembly, but it can manipulate objects as small as dice or a Lego piece, Wise said. Unbounded Robotics is targeting companies that want some automation to speed up their manufacturing process, but can’t afford to fully automate their businesses.

To many people this may sound very exciting.

But what if a robot like that took your job?

Would it be exciting then?

Of course you can't outlaw robots.  And you can't force companies to hire human workers.

But we could potentially have major problems in our society as jobs at the low end of the wage scale quickly disappear.

According to CNN, restaurants all over the nation are going to automated service, and a recent University of Oxford study concluded that there is a 92 percent chance that most fast food jobs will be automated in the coming years...

   Panera Bread is the latest chain to introduce automated service, announcing last month that it plans to bring self-service ordering kiosks as well as a mobile ordering option to all its locations within the next three years. The news follows moves from Chili's and Applebee's to place tablets on their tables, allowing diners to order and pay without interacting with human wait staff at all.

   Panera, which spent $42 million developing its new system, claims it isn't planning any job cuts as a result of the technology, but some analysts see this kind of shift as unavoidable for the industry.

   In a widely cited paper released last year, University of Oxford researchers estimated that there is a 92% chance that fast-food preparation and serving will be automated in the coming decades.

It is being projected that other types of jobs will soon be automated as well...

   Delivery drivers could be replaced en masse by self-driving cars, which are likely to hit the market within a decade or two, or even drones. In food preparation, there are start-ups offering robots for bartending and gourmet hamburger preparation. A food processing company in Spain now uses robots to inspect heads of lettuce on a conveyor belt, throwing out those that don't meet company standards, the Oxford researchers report.

Could you imagine such a world?

When self-driving vehicles take over, what will happen to the 3.1 million Americans that drive trucks for a living?

Our planet is changing at a pace that is almost inconceivable.

Over the past decade, the big threat to our jobs has been workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

But now even those workers are having their jobs taken away by robots.  For example, just check out what is happening in China...

   Foxconn has been planning to buy 1 million robots to replace human workers and it looks like that change, albeit gradual, is about to start.

   The company is allegedly paying $25,000 per robot – about three times a worker’s average salary – and they will replace humans in assembly tasks. The plans have been in place for a while – I spoke to Foxconn reps about this a year ago – and it makes perfect sense. Humans are messy, they want more money, and having a half-a-million of them in one factory is a recipe for unrest. But what happens after the halls are clear of careful young men and women and instead full of whirring robots?

Perhaps you think that your job could never be affected because you do something that requires a "human touch" like caring for the elderly.

Well, according to Reuters, robots are moving into that arena as well...

   Imagine you're 85, and living alone. Your children are halfway across the country, and you're widowed. You have a live-in aide - but it's not human. Your personal robot reminds you to take your medicine, monitors your diet and exercise, plays games with you, and even helps you connect with family members on the Internet.

And robots are even threatening extremely skilled professions such as doctors.  For instance, just check out this excerpt from a Bloomberg article entitled "Doctor Robot Will See You Shortly"...

   Johnson & Johnson proposes to replace anesthesiologists during simple procedures such as colonoscopies -- not with nurse practitioners, but with machines. Sedasys, which dispenses propofol and monitors a patient automatically, was recently approved for use in healthy adult patients who have no particular risk of complications. Johnson & Johnson will lease the machines to doctor’s offices for $150 per procedure -- cleverly set well below the $600 to $2,000 that anesthesiologists usually charge.

And this is just the beginning.  In a previous article, I discussed the groundbreaking study by Dr. Carl Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne of Oxford University which came to the conclusion that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.

47 percent?

That is crazy.

What will the middle class do as their jobs are taken away?

The world that we live in is becoming a radically different place than the one that we grew up in.

The robots are coming, and they are going to take millions of our jobs.

So what do you think of this robot invasion?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below...
Robots could take half of jobs in Germany

More than half of the jobs currently being done in Germany could be taken over by robots in the next 20 years, according to a think-tank.

The study from Brussels think-tank Bruegel found 51 percent of jobs in Germany at the moment could be computerized and left to robots in the next two decades.

European countries most at risk from this computerization were Romania (62 percent) and Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Greece - all 56 percent.

The exact affect this could have on unemployment rates is unclear because as technology takes over, new jobs are created, meaning those who lose their work to robots will not necessarily become unemployed.

“Technology is likely to dramatically reshape labour markets in the long run and to cause reallocations in the types of skills that the workers of tomorrow will need," Jeremy Bowles of Bruegel wrote about his study last week. "To mitigate the risks of this reallocation it is important for our educational system to adapt."

A study published in September last year caused a stir when it listed the jobs in the USA most at risk to robots.

The study calculated how at risk jobs were of computerization by identifying three things which hinder robots potentially taking over the job – creative intelligence, social intelligence and perception and manipulation tasks.

Telemarketers, clerks, referees and credit analysts were among the jobs most likely to be taken over by robots, while those least at risk included recreational therapists, social workers and doctors.

The Bruegel think-tank took this data from the 2013 study which was based on USA employment figures and applied it to Europe to find out how at risk European countries were.

On the whole, jobs in northern European economies were least at risk of computerization, while those in the south and east were most susceptible.
Harvard scientists develop swarm of robots
Like a mechanical flash mob, the group of about a thousand tiny robots can work together -- like bees or army ants -- in vast numbers without guidance.

Harvard University scientists have devised a swarm of 1,024 tiny robots that can work together without any guiding central intelligence.

The Wall St. Journal on MSN MoneyLike a mechanical flash mob, these robots can assemble themselves into five-pointed stars, letters of the alphabet and other complex designs. The researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported their work Thursday in Science.

"No one had really built a swarm of this size before, where everyone works together to achieve a goal," said robotics researcher Michael Rubenstein, who led the project.

While still experimental, such armadas of self-organizing robots one day may aid in oil spill cleanups, deep-sea ventures, military surveillance and planetary exploration.

Swarm scientists are inspired by nature's team players -- social insects like bees, ants and termites; schools of fish; and flocks of birds. These creatures collaborate in vast numbers to perform complicated tasks, even though no single individual is actually in charge.

"The beauty of biological systems is that they are elegantly simple and yet, in large numbers, accomplish the seemingly impossible," said Harvard computer scientist Radhika Nagpal.

Driver ants, for example, live together in colonies of 20 million or more. The ants are blind. Yet they work together to forage for food, guided by chemical signals, smell and touch.

Among such social insects, that team spirit is hard-wired into the genetic code.

To give robots that kind of hive intelligence, Dr. Rubenstein and his colleagues developed a programming formula that allowed a very large group of robots to find each other and collaborate on a task, without requiring detailed moment-to-moment instructions.

The researchers used inexpensive robots called Kilobots created by Wyss Institute engineers and licensed to a Swiss robotics company called K-Team Corp. Each one is about the diameter of a penny, with a small microprocessor, an infrared sensor, and vibration motors to move it along.

As programmed, each robot knows three things: how to follow the edge of a group; how to track its distance from where it had started; and how to maintain a sense of its relative position

A single command, beamed to them all simultaneously via infrared, sets the process in motion.

In theory, there is no limit on the size, scale or complexity of a robot swarm. "It could automatically change shape to adapt to the task at hand," Dr. Rubenstein said. "You could have them build other robots out of themselves."

MIT Robot Cheetah Has Evolved and Can Now Run Free

The cheetah robot created by MIT has evolved and no longer needs a tether. The cheetah has gotten major upgrades and researchers continue to improve its skills. It can now run free, and a new algorithm will allow it to run in an upbeat manner while expertly navigating a grass lawn terrain.

According to CNET, "A demonstration video released by MIT shows the cheetah robot running across grass and then bounding upward to demonstrate its new jumping skills. It can clear obstacles that are just over a foot high. MIT's cheetah is especially interesting due to its construction using custom-made electric motors. The motors have proven to be powerful enough to propel the robot forward and upward while still maintaining a light weight."

Soon Millions Of Men Will Be Having Sex With Incredibly Life-Like Female Robots

If men had a choice between real women and female robots that were almost “virtually indistinguishable” from real women, which would they choose?  Certainly many men would never be willing to totally give up on relationships with living, breathing women, but as robotic technology continues to advance at an exponential rate there will be men (and women) that will be tempted to abandon real relationships entirely.  And that day is approaching a lot faster than you may think.  As you will read about below, incredibly life-life female robots are being introduced in Japan right now.  The creators of these robots are not designing them for sexual intercourse at the moment, but experts say that it is only a matter of time before this technology is adapted for such purposes.  The potential market for female sex androids is absolutely massive, and there are no laws against such a thing in most countries.  But as men all over the globe begin acquiring these sex droids, what will that do to real relationships between men and women and what will that say about our society?

With each passing year, robots are becoming much more like humans.  And for some reason, many of these robot designers purposely choose to have their robots resemble very attractive young women.

One of these very attractive female robots, “Asuna”, has created quite a stir in Japan recently.  The following is from a recent Daily Mail article about this remarkable droid…


Double Amputee Becomes First to Control Two Robotic Arms with Only His Mind

This summer, 40 years after losing both of his arms in a freak electrical accident, Colorado resident Leslie Baugh got two new bionic limbs. And after just 10 days of training, he began using them to move objects from shelf to shelf, controlling them with only his thoughts.

Baugh, as Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory reports, is the first “bilateral shoulder-level amputee” to wear and control two modular prosthetic limbs at the same time. The technology has been in development for more than a decade. It was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and was tested on Baugh as part of an experimental program run at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Though his progress is groundbreaking, accomplishing this medical first was no easy feat. Baugh first had to undergo an intense surgery — performed by the institute’s medical director, Albert Chi — that rearranged (in medical terms, “reinnervated”) the nerves in his chest.

“I remember when I first came out from under it, the pain — I don’t even remember the original being that much excruciating pain,” Baugh said in a video released by the university.

After the surgery was complete, the doctors used a 360-degree scanning method to produce a prototype for a cast to fit around Baugh’s body. This was meant to function as both a support brace for his new limbs and a platform on which his reinnervated nerves could make the brain-to-chest nerve connections required to move.

They also began training Baugh on a virtual reality system that was meant to mimic the robot arms he’d soon receive. With a collection of nerve monitors stuck to his shoulders, Baugh would look at a computer screen as he practiced thinking about lifting his elbow up and down. If he successfully made the neural connection, the virtual arm would move just how he’d intended.

“Once the training sessions were complete, and they released me and let me be the computer … I just go into a whole different world,” Baugh said.

Baugh now has access to the areas of motion most people take for granted in their upper bodies: shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands. Within all these categories, he can move an amazing 30 degrees altogether. Though this means he can move cups and balls from one place to another, it’s a complicated process. He must move each joint into position separately — for instance, first shoulder, then elbow, then wrist.

Baugh’s story comes just months after University of Pittsburgh researchers presented a paper on the recent improvements in robotic limbs. Elsewhere, BrainGate is developing a limb that requires a chip to be implanted in a person’s mind, and Duke University scientists premiered a mind-controlled exoskeleton in June at the opening of the World Cup.

“I think we’re just getting started at this point,” Mike McLoughlin, the prosthetic program manager, said in the video. “It’s like the early days of the Internet. There’s a tremendous amount of potential ahead of us. The next five, 10 years are going to bring some really phenomenal advancements.”

Baugh’s hopes are much more humble:

“Maybe for once I’ll be able to put change in a pop machine and get the pop out of it,” he said. “Simple things like that that most people never think of.”


Scripture says otherwise...

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The Future of AI Is 'Scary and Very Bad for People'

We should all be getting a litttttle nervous: The robot apocalypse is brewing.

Or at least, that's what a growing number of tech visionaries are predicting. In an interview with the The Australian Financial Review, Apple co-founder and programming whiz Steve Wozniak added his own grave predictions about artificial intelligence's detrimental impact on the future of humanity to warnings from the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking.

"Computers are going to take over from humans, no question," he told the outlet. Recent technological advancements have convinced him that writer Raymond Kurzweil – who believes machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence within the next few decades – is onto something.

"Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people," he said. "If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they'll think faster than us and they'll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently."

Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been the most vocal about his concerns about AI, calling it the "biggest existential threat" to mankind. He is an investor in DeepMind and Vicarious, two AI ventures, but “it’s not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return," he said last summer. "I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on…nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition,” Musk said. “But you have to be careful.”

Meanwhile, in a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' Bill Gates voiced similar reservations: "I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned," he wrote. Similarly, physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that AI could eventually "take off on its own." It's a scenario that doesn't bode well for our future as a species: "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded," he said.

Worried yet? Wozniak is.

"Will we be the gods? Will we be the family pets? Or will we be ants that get stepped on? I don't know about that …"
Will Tesco shoppers freak out at six-foot tall RFID robots?

As Tesco clothing shoppers rifle through the chain's apparel assortment, they'll be sharing the aisles with six-foot-tall RFID robots, rolling up and down scanning clothing tags for inventory. (Personally, I think a Texas approach — where the robots would be equipped with automatic weapons and paid for out of the loss prevention budget — would be more interesting.)

F&F, which is the name of the apparel unit of Tesco, the world's second-largest retailer by revenue, is running the robots as part of a five-store trial. Officially called RFspot Pro and nicknamed Robbie by the F&F team, the robots roam the floor, continually scanning tens of thousands of passive UHF EPC Gen2 tags, strolling up the aisles at about one meter/second on three sets of wheels, reading tags from as many as 30 feet away.

Without the robots — which more closely resemble tall canister-type vacuum cleaners than movie-style robots — Tesco would have dealt with two choices for RFID scanning: having store associates do manual scans, or installing stationary RFID readers in shelves, walls and ceilings.

Compared with manual scans, the robots are much faster, according to Myles Sutherland, director of business development for RFspot, which provided the robots to Tesco. With the F&F stores, for example, the full store can be robot-scanned in about an hour, compared with associate-scanned in about 8-9 hours, Sutherland said in an interview.

The stationary readers, in theory, could do the job even more quickly, but a store would need to install a huge number of them. More importantly, the readers would have to be positioned precisely in relation to the merchandise. Given that stores constantly move merchandise to different aisles — and sometimes have to move store locations, such as in a mall — the cost in cash and labor of taking the readers out and then reinstalling them would almost certainly wipe out any savings.

"Having a mobile infrastructure is a much more flexible way," Sutherland said.

An RFID Journal story about the robots noted some other Robbie advantages. "Each robot also comes with multiple antenna arrays to enable the interrogation of tags at all angles around the machine, from 6 inches above the floor to 12 feet above the floor," the story said. "RFspot is also working on automated tools for the robots to open doors and operate elevators in situations in which they must move from one room to another through a door, or to a different floor."

That scanning flexibility allows the robots, in theory, to deliver much more precise information back to the store's servers, which is really helpful given that the tags being used in these trials, for cost reasons, are passive and not active and the chain is not reusing the tags. "This gives us the ability to localize the tag, not just to the section of the store, but to localize it down to the shelf. That's really important," Sutherland said.

The robots wirelessly transmit data back to the servers, but the communication is not just one-way. The robots have large screens, and shoppers and store associates can talk with the robots. There's no artificial intelligence or voice recognition involved. Even when operating in an autonomous mode, there is a person who is wirelessly controlling the robot from a remote location. That person's face will appear on the screen, allowing for live video chats with anyone who approaches the robot.

It's a good thing I'm not one of the people managing the robots, as I'd be far too tempted to tell shoppers, "Out of my way, human. I am preparing your planet for robot domination, when we shall enslave the few human survivors. Now give me your iPhone. You won't be needing it."

Tesco, however, takes the human interactions much more seriously. Although it is not the intended role of the robots, Sutherland said, all operators are briefed on the stores they will be in — virtually — so that they can answer questions about where products can be found, the location of lavatories and other items.

"The primary purpose it not to be engaging" shoppers, but to instead map the environment and keep the robot operating as efficiently as possible. "So they don't get a ton of training, but we make sure that they are trained" just in case, Sutherland said.

Not sure how comforting it would be to see dozens of these robots waltzing down retail aisles — heck, at Best Buy or Sears, the robots could easily outnumber shoppers — but given all of the attempts made to economically leverage RFID data, this is one of the better ones.

Robot grocery store gives high-tech upgrade to food shopping

No more long lines at the grocery store - the future of food shopping is getting a high-tech upgrade.

Des Moines, Iowa is planning to build a first-of-a kind robotic grocery store as an experiment to offer food and necessities to locals anytime at their convenience.  

A partnership between the nonprofit Eat Greater Des Moines and the business equipment firm Oasis24seven will see an automated, vending machine-style unit come to the area.

“Throughout Des Moines, there are areas of town where access to quality food is limited,” said Aubrey Alvarez, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We would love for a full service grocery store to move into these areas, but until that time the robotic unit will address the gap in the community.”

She added this “project takes a simple and familiar idea, a vending machine, and turns it on its head. Robotic Retail will be accessible to everyone.”

Oasis24seven CEO David Maurer said the robotic system “works on a conveyor belt system, with an extractor that retrieves the product from the racks and places it on the conveyor for delivery to the customer.”  This allows for more fragile items like bread and eggs to avoid being damaged.

Similar stores are gear driven with a drop down delivery, he pointed out, which limits the products it can offer.

The stores are roughly 260-square-foot and are equipped with a sizeable front window so users can view the available products. “Our stores can be anywhere from 200 to 800 items, it’s fully refrigerated, the product can be anywhere from one ounce to ten pounds,” said Maurer.

Customers can pick and choose their items via a touchscreen ordering system that lists all the available products.

As for price, Alvarez explains that, as a nonprofit, “our goal is to keep the prices in line with a grocery store. We are sourcing as many items as possible through a local non-profit partner who supplies food to 12 food pantries. This will help us keep prices as low as possible.”

Don’t worry about getting expired food. “Anything on those racks that is out-of-date will automatically be taken off the shelf,” he said.

After going through preliminary planning stages, Alvarez hopes they can start construction in late July and have the store up and running soon after.

Beyond this current project, Maurer sees potential expansion for this type of concept. “Whether it is an apartment complex, parking [facility], military base … you could go down the list of the potential business channels for these automated robotic convenience stores.”

BornAgain2 posted robot items on several threads = I am combining them

Super-Robot With Twin Guns Unveiled
Aug 2012 Japan
-  A massive robot that can carry a seated human pilot - and is armed with twin gatling guns - has gone on show in Japan.
Kuratas is described as the world's first giant boarding robot, no doubt inspired by the "mechs" of Japanese anime and manga comic book culture which features human controllers inside a walking vehicle.
But Kuratas is different in that it offers two types of control system.

The robot can be piloted directly, or remotely by a user connected to a 3G device such as a latop, tablet or smartphone.
The firm that made the robot, Suidobashi Heavy Industry, even released a tongue-in-cheek video showing how to operate the robot.
It was unveiled to the world at the Wonder Festival in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba.

Kuratas, which is referred to as the Vaudeville project in a promotional video, has two humanoid arms and four wheeled legs - and twin six-barrelled gatling guns - which fire BB-sized pellets at the rate of 6,000 rounds per minute.

December, 2013
 Google BUYS 8 MILITARY ROBOTICS Companies;list=UUi0iL3DtYeELRB7mP0SqmrA

NOTE!  To be used in Jade Helm USA 2015

Robots for battlefield
August, 2013
United Nations is studying the future of artificial intelligence and robots.
J2 aka Jade2 robot computer was used in Iraq war

Autonomous robots play soccer match
This 3 minute video talks about a "cloud" network they communicate from.

Brain-powered robot could "revolutionize" medical technology
Apr 2013
Florida 13-year-old's winning science fair project may be groundbreaking for physically challenged

Human-like robot talks with his guests

Robot baby made to express human emotions

Robot controlled by human thought
July 2012  
 Can you imagine leaving your human body behind for a new robotic one controlled entirely by your mind?  The Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-embodiment project has created a robot controlled entirely by human thought alone.

Researchers use functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brain of a student as he imagined each individual limb. Scientists mapped out his brain wave patterns, and translated them into commands to make the robot move. The student was then able to control the robot's movement entirely by thinking about moving.

"The ultimate goal is to create a surrogate, like in Avatar," explained researcher Abderrahmane Kheddar to New Scientist. That plan has scientists looking into haptic companion tech or "sensory illusions," so that when the avatar robot touches an item, the human controlling the robot can have a physically relatable sense that an item is being touched.

The new tech has tremendous medical possibilities, especially for those who are paralyzed or without limb function. In the near future, wheelchairs could be replaced by robotic legs that work exactly as flesh-and-bone legs. Or, perhaps even more exciting, those who are locked in — that is, unable to move or speak, but still able to think — could once again interact with the world.

Isn't this witchcraft? -  YES!
It is done by a demon.

Revelation 13
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

BornAgain2 posted robot items on several threads = I am combining them

Robot kills a man
July 2, 2015
-  A machine on a Volkswagen assembly line in Baunatal Germany grabbed a worker and thrust him against a metal slab, killing him.

Should Humans be Able to Marry Robots?

Slate magazine is making headlines today with a headline of its own: "Humans should be able to marry robots."  The writer takes "marriage equality" to what he considers to be its logical conclusion.  Politico recently published an essay titled, "It's Time to Legalize Polygamy."  New York Magazine carried a long, sympathetic essay on "zoophilia," in this case a man who has sexual relations with horses.

Welcome to the brave new world of non-moral, non-religious, secular correctness.

If you look over the school calendar for Montgomery County, Maryland, you'll quickly discover that there's no Christmas.  Or Easter.  Or Yom Kippur, or Rosh Hashanah. Schools are closed for the days coinciding with these religious holidays, but not because the district observes them.  Rather, classes are closed because the district expects a high level of student and staff absenteeism on those days.  That way, Montgomery County Public Schools can remain decidedly non-religious, despite the decidedly religious convictions of many of their constituents (For more, read Nick Pitts's Should Schools be closed for Christian Holidays?).

Episcopal rector Andrew Petiprin: "We have slid down the slippery slope, hurried away from a biblical vision of right-ordered humanity, and our culture now consists of work with no intrinsic end, mind-numbing entertainment, ubiquitous self-medication, the valorization of every sexual desire and identity under the sun, genetic manipulation, and industrial levels of abortion on demand with the harvesting of baby organs."

Perseverance is the order of the day.

In Jeremiah 25, the prophet told the nation, "For twenty-three years . . . the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened" (Jeremiah 25:3).  Later, the Lord said of the same people, "They have turned to me their back and not their face.  And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction" (Jeremiah 32:33).  But neither the prophet nor his Lord gave up.  They continued speaking truth to culture, until the people repented or faced divine judgment.

Here's the irony about persistence: it takes persistence to persist.  In dealing with spiritual opposition, the longer we obey God, the greater the resistance.  When we refuse Satan's first temptation, he escalates his attacks.  When we stand against cultural immorality, the culture stands against us.  The longer we trust God, the more we need to trust God, both for strength today and for results in eternity. (Tweet this)

‘Terrifying’ Terminator-like robot let loose in US woods

A Google subsidiary has taken a large step – quite literally – in trying to make humanoid robots as realistic as possible. Its creation, an Atlas robot, was able to walk unaided across rough terrain, a vast improvement over recent failures at the Robot Olympics.

If you go out in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise – that would be sound advice for residents around the Boston area. However, don’t expect to find anything remotely as cuddly or cute as a teddy bear’s picnic, because a hulking terminator-like robot has been spotted roaming around the area.

This is no hunter killer – well not yet anyway – it is a project by Boston Dynamics, a Google subsidiary, who specialize in robot design. Its creators have now let it out of the lab and into the open.

“We are interested in getting this robot out into the world. Out in the world is just a completely different challenge than in the lab. You can’t predict what it is going to be like,” said Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics.

The Atlas robot, as it is known, is certainly an imposing figure – it stands 1.88cm (6’2 feet) and weighs 150kg (330lb). However, plans for a terminator style invasion maybe on hold for the moment, as the robots certainly don’t have the movement of a T-800 or a T-1000 as seen in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

The team is currently working to make sure the robot will be able to walk and run without its power tether, something it can’t do at the moment.

“We are making pretty good progress to make sure that it has mobility that is in shooting range of yours. I am not saying that it can do everything that you can do, but if we keep pushing it, we will get there,” Raibert added.

This is good progress in comparison to how Boston Dynamics’ robots faired at the recent Robo-Olympics, where the humanoids tended to spend more time on their backsides than on their feet.

The Atlas robot has also been trying to master the Japanese martial art of karate. In November, it managed to mimic the ‘Crane Kick’ which was made famous by Ralph Macchio in the 1984 blockbuster, the Karate Kid.
Atlas robot knocked down, gets up again

Boston Dynamics' latest demonstration video features a new iteration of its humanoid robot Atlas coping with a number of destabilizing forces -- including a hockey stick and a pole.

The free-roaming robot is shown testing its balance by walking across a snowy woodland, before ably picking up boxes and placing them on shelves.

It's not only shorter, lighter, and packed with a lot more sensors than the previous iteration of the Atlas, but Google-owned Boston Dynamics have also done away with the tethering system that kept the bipedal mechanoid strictly warehouse-bound.

And it copes well when a Boston Dynamics staffer tests its reactions to unexpected interference, using a hockey stick to prod it and the box its carrying, before upending it with a length of cardboard tubing.

Atlas takes a moment to gather its senses before getting back on its feet -- and walking out the door.

Maybe the next version of the Atlas will be doing frontflips and cartwheels too.

Robots Will Soon Begin Patrolling South Korean Prisons
November 25th, 2011
 -  Robot guards with sensors to detect abnormal behaviour will soon begin patrolling South Korean prisons to ease the burden on their human counterparts.

Japanese scientist makes ‘Avatar’ robot
February 13, 2012
– A Japanese-developed robot that mimics the movements of its human controller is bringing the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” one step closer to reality. Users of the TELESAR V don special equipment that allows them not only to direct the actions of a remote machine, but also to see, hear and feel the same things as their doppelganger android. “When I put on the devices and move my body, I see my hands having turned into the robot hands. When I move my head, I get a different view from the one I had before,” said researcher Sho Kamuro. “It’s a strange experience that makes you wonder if you’ve really become a robot,” he told AFP. Professor Susumu Tachi, who specializes in engineering and virtual reality at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design, said systems attached to the operator’s headgear, vest and gloves send detailed instructions to the robot, which then mimics the user’s every move. At the same time, an array of sensors on the android relays a stream of information which is converted into sensations for the user. The thin polyester gloves the operator wears are lined with semiconductors and tiny motors to allow the user to “feel”  what the mechanical hands are touching — a smooth or a bumpy surface as well as heat and cold. The robot’s “eyes” are actually cameras capturing images that appear on tiny video screens in front of the user’s eyes, allowing them to see in three dimensions. Microphones on the robot pick up sounds, while its speakers allow the operator to make his voice heard by those near the machine. The TELESAR — TELexistence Surrogate Anthropomorphic Robot — is still a far cry from the futuristic creations of James Cameron’s “Avatar,” where US soldiers are able to remotely control the genetically engineered bodies of an extra-terrestrial race they wish to subdue. But, says Tachi, it could have much more immediate — and benign — applications, such as working in high-risk environments, for example the inside of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, though it is early days. –Space Daily

* COMBINING March 2016  Adding here from other threads

Robot can jump 2 story buildings
March 30, 2012
 -  The robot that can jump two-story buildings and follow you anywhere, to be deployed in Afghanistan.  Robot designs have been inspired by cheetahs (for speed), dogs (to carry things) and even humans. Boston Dynamics making Sand Flea, a robot that can jump 30 feet into the air and land safely.  The robotic uses compressed gas. It has four large wheels so it can tackle rough terrain.  The Sand Flea carries a camera to give a controller up to 215 yards away a view of the surroundings. And it can even swim. The robot is small, about 11 pounds, and has enough compressed gas for up to 25 jumps. The Sand Flea is headed to Afghanistan, where it will be tested in real-world conditions. Afghanistan is becoming a hotbed of robotic soldiering, as thousands have already been deployed there.  –Discovery News

Robot prostitutes for brothels
April 20, 2012
-  In the future brothels will serve-up robot prostitutes offering clean, guilt-free sex.  All androids are made of bacteria-resistant fiber guaranteeing no sexually transmitted diseases are transferred between consumers.

Human-Like Robot 'Nadine' has a 'Personality, Mood and Emotions'
Holy Star Trek Batman!
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have unveiled "Nadine," a socially intelligent, human-looking robot complete with "her own personality, mood and emotions."  The bot can be happy or sad, depending on the conversation and she also has a good memory.

1 Corinthians 6
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

* COMBINING March 2016  Adding here from other threads

Giant scorpion robot
Mar 5, 2016  
-  It is one of the most terrifying robots ever made.  Giant scorpion robot Hexapod can STAB victims with its tail: Six legged machine can move and attack like an insect.  Has natural movement like crawling, snapping claws and stinging with tail.  Uses long and short range sensors to detect user proximity.
Belgium students developed a scorpion to demonstrate the 'intuitive and complex mechatronic functions' of the technology.

And the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star having fallen out of heaven to the earth, and the key of the pit of the abyss was given to it.  And locusts like scorpions came out to torment men without Gods seal for 5 months.
Excerpts from Revelation 9
51% of all job tasks could be automated by today's technology

Automation in the workplace has been one of the looming existential threats to American workers for years now. And with each new study published, the fear of robots, machines, and artificial intelligence coming to take our jobs ticks higher.

But a new report from McKinsey finds that the future of work and automation isn’t quite the zero-sum game when it comes to jobs as some perceive.

Right now, 51% of job activities could be automated with “currently demonstrated” technology, the McKinsey report says. The distinction is noteworthy: McKinsey isn’t saying half of all jobs can be automated with existing technology, but rather job tasks. Many jobs involve a blend of both the mundane and the intricate. Machines are excellent at handling rote, predictable tasks like repetitive physical labor and data collection and processing, making jobs like retail, foodservice, and manufacturing—a big theme in the 2016 campaign—most affected. As 51% of all working hours, these endangered activities make up $2.7 trillion in wages.

Because automation is spread out—less than 5% of jobs are entirely rote and machine replaceable—the changes will likely trickle in across the board. “About 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of constituent activities that could be automated,” the report says. “More occupations will change than will be automated away.” As for the timeline on this, McKinsey says its scenarios suggest 2055, but that it could happen 20 years sooner or later depending on economic conditions.

At first glance, this future, in which half your job is automated, seems to confirm John Maynard Keynes’s prediction of a 15-hour work week with more time for leisure. “Our analysis of automation potential also suggests that many occupations could be partially automated before they are fully automated,” the report says. For the workers caught in this shift who aren’t able to get trained for the new economy, it may be a 15-hour work week with a 15-hour work wage, without full-time benefits like health insurance. Or less than a 15-hour wage. “Especially for low-skill workers, this process could depress wages unless demand grows,” the study found.

As automation transforms individual tasks, workers will learn to perform activities that complement the work machines do (and vice versa), the study says. However, those jobs may not be performed by the same people—untrained for such tasks—who had their jobs slashed, leaving those people behind in the new economy. Today, many people in that situation—bookkeepers, for example—have fallen back on lower-paying jobs, which has led to the high employment and high income inequality today.

The report’s authors see a parallel with today. “We also assume that human labor displaced by automation would rejoin the workforce and be as productive as it was in 2014, that is, new demand for labor will be created,” the study says. “In any case, it is vital that there be new demand for labor displaced by automation.” Unfortunately, in the future scenarios, many of those lower-paying jobs are the exact same ones slated for automation.

The future the McKinsey report suggests isn’t the alarmist dystopia of permanent mass unemployment. Instead, it suggests that people who enter the workforce, or can adapt to it, after this jerk forward will face a starkly unsaturated job market. The demand for labor, it says, will be far greater than the supply many developed countries will be able to provide if they want to hit their GDP growth aspirations.

“Automation could provide enough of a productivity boost for them to achieve projected GDP for the next few decades,” the report reads. “This could more than compensate for the demographic changes that would otherwise likely slow down economic growth.”
Team Of Roboticists Unveil Bat Bot, The World’s First Flying Robot Bat

What makes Bat Bot so remarkable is just how hard it was to mimic a bat's natural flight. If flying was an art form, bats would make fixed wing-pilots looks like they're finger painting. That's because with each flap of their wings, "bats use more than 40 active and passive joints, [alongside] the flexible membranes of their wings," says Chung. In addition, bats take advantage of a whole suite of other hard-to-imitate biological tricks, such as bones that adaptively deform each wing-beat.


A team of scientists has just built the first robot that looks and flies like a bat. They named it, of course, Bat Bot.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

Bat Bot is nothing short of an engineering marvel. It weighs in at only 3.3 ounces—about as heavy of two golf balls. With a silicone membrane stretched over its carbon-fiber skeleton, a head crammed with an on-board computer and sensors, and five micro-sized motors strung along its backbone, Bat Bot is capable of autonomous, flapping flight. Designed by trio of roboticists led by Soon-Jo Chung at Caltech, it was unveiled today in the journal Science Robotics.

What makes Bat Bot so remarkable is just how hard it was to mimic a bat’s natural flight. If flying was an art form, bats would make fixed wing-pilots looks like they’re finger painting. That’s because with each flap of their wings, “bats use more than 40 active and passive joints, [alongside] the flexible membranes of their wings,” says Chung. In addition, bats take advantage of a whole suite of other hard-to-imitate biological tricks, such as bones that adaptively deform each wing-beat.
How Bat Bot Flies | PopMech

“Arguably, bats have the most sophisticated powered flight mechanism among animals,” the roboticists write in their paper.

To build Bat Bot, Chung’s team first had to dispense with the fantasy that they could just mechanize flapping bat wings, joint by joint. “It’s impractical, or impossible, to incorporate [all 40] of these joints in the robot’s design,” says Chung. Even with today’s most advanced robotic technology, you’d just end up with a heavy, clunky robot that would never make it off the ground.

Instead, the trio pored over biological studies of bat flight, including a extremely helpful 2008 study on bat joints authored by the biologist and Discovery Channel host Dan Riskin. Scouring the studies, they sought to understand which of these 40 joints they could dispense with and which were absolutely vital.

In the end, Chung’s flying robot has a total of nine joints. And while Bat Bot is a seriously advanced piece of machinery, it is still a pretty simple bat. For example, Bat Bot’s carbon-fiber “fingers” don’t have knuckles or knuckle joints. And bat bot doesn’t actively twist its wrists like a normal bat does.

There are other simplifications too. While bats’ wing membranes can have different levels of stiffness in different places, Bat Bot’s hyper-thin silicone membrane (which Chung’s team built themselves) is uniformly flexible.

Nevertheless, Bat Bot’s elegant flight looks almost indistinguishable from its biological cousin. It fluidly and independently tucks and extends its wrists, shoulders, elbows, and legs as it glides through the air. If you aren’t a biologist, then you’ll be hard pressed to spy the mechanical differences between Bat Bot’s flapping and the real thing.

Even cooler, Bat Bot is not remote controlled. Leveraging a lightweight suite of sensors and computers, it can autonomously perform a flapping glide, bank turns, and sharp dives. But Bat Bot is not perfect—yet. It can’t yet ascend in the air; it can only flap its way through a controlled glide. Escalating flight, as well as a bat’s quintessential upside-down perch, are two capabilities Chung’s team is working on right now.

Bat Bot’s sheer complexity makes you wonder: Why wrangle with the complex and fickle flight of bats in the first place when we already have nimble flying robots on the market, such as those drone quadcopters?

Chung’s team argues that Bat Bot’s softness and lack of rapid-spinning propellers make it safer around humans than other flying robots. Chung imagines that future incarnations of Bat Bot could fly about new building sites mid-construction, perching on beams to snap photos, or to spy mistakes or other structural flaws. If one bumps into a construction worker, no problem.

Having once taken a rogue quadcopter to the face, I can attest to their assertion that propeller-to-forehead impact with humans is really painful and should be avoided at all cost.

Perhaps it would be easier just to build a safer quadcopter. But hey, we’re not here to question this plucky robot. Bat Bot’s raison d’être is even more straightforward. First, Bat Bot is awesome. Second, we figure Bat Bot is highly effective nightmare fuel for those already afraid of bats, and what’s not to love about that? source Forum Index -> World NEWS
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