This Robot Could Perform Your Colonoscopy In The Near Future

Increasing the roles played by robots in society can conjure various visions of both utopias and dystopias, depending on your level of comfort with and trust in technology.

Case in point: A team of scientists based at the University of Leeds in the UK has developed a semi-autonomous robotic system to perform one of the most intimate and dreaded routine medical procedures around: the colonoscopy.

“What we have developed is a system that is easier for doctors or nurses to operate and is less painful for patients,” explains Pietro Valdastri, a professor of robotics and autonomous systems overseeing the research. “It marks an important step in the move to make colonoscopy much more widely

Read More

How Amazon Is Disrupting Robot Intelligence

Bringing a new robot to market is exciting: new capability, new hardware, new services. The problem is when you get to software, where everything feels harder and takes longer than you think it should. Like Tesla’s full self-driving, which has all the hardware and intelligence it needs — with the possible exception of LIDAR — but is perpetually just … about … to … arrive … and even so, was recently savaged by Consumer Reports as buggy and ineffective.

Hardware is necessary, but software provides the animating intelligence that allows it to do useful, efficient, and safe work.

That’s why Nader Elm, CEO of autonomous drone company Exyn Technologies, compared robots today to the iPhone before the App Store: the hardware’s there, but the software layer is immature.

Amazon’s hard

Read More

Watch a Spot robot from Boston Dynamics explore an old mine

The ground is rocky and uneven. Old, rusted rails that used to carry loads of precious metals run the length of the path. Most wheeled robots would have trouble navigating this uneven surface, but it’s not a problem for Spot.

“This is one of the most advanced robots in the world.” Hao Zhang tells me. He’s a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and he’s brought his department’s new robotic dog from Boston Dynamics to the Edgar Mine outside of Denver for testing. The school is one of the first customers to buy a Spot robot since the four-legged machines went on sale this summer.

Spot robot in Edgar Mine

A handler guides Spot the robotic dog with a proprietary tablet controller.


Agata Bogucka

Much of Zhang’s work in robotics involves exploring ways robots can take over dangerous jobs from people, like searching for survivors in a collapsed mine or inspecting nuclear facilities

Read More

A tech expert’s guide to iRobot Roomba robot vacuums

Our editors independently selected these items because we think you will enjoy them and might like them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Loading...

Load Error

The name “Roomba” has almost become synonymous with robot vacuums — and iRobot’s automated house-cleaners are still the best in their class. With so many models to choose from, though — about a dozen, depending on how you keep count — it’s hard to know which Roomba is right for you. Looking at general best practices in choosing a robot vacuum and Roomba’s common properties can make it easier to figure out which one fits your space, needs and budget. Having been testing and writing about tech for more than a decade, I’ve used and played around with enough Roomba robot vacuums

Read More

AI researchers challenge a robot to ride a skateboard in simulation

AI researchers say they’ve created a framework for controlling four-legged robots that promises better energy efficiency and adaptability than more traditional model-based gait control of robotic legs. To demonstrate the robust nature of the framework that adjusts to conditions in real time, AI researchers made the system slip on frictionless surfaces to mimic a banana peel, ride a skateboard, and climb on a bridge while walking on a treadmill. An Nvidia spokesperson told VentureBeat that only the frictionless surface test was conducted in real life because of limits placed on office staff size due to COVID-19. The spokesperson said all other challenges took place in simulation. (Simulations are often used as training data for robotics systems before those systems are used in real life.)

“Our framework learns a controller that can adapt to challenging environmental changes on the fly, including novel scenarios not seen during training. The learned controller is

Read More

Softbank’s new food service robot Servi could replace waitstaff and food runners at restaurants



a woman sitting at a table with a plate of food: Softbank Servi. Reuters


© Reuters
Softbank Servi. Reuters

  • Japanese company Softbank debuted Servi, a new food service robot.
  • Softbank is the company behind humanoid robot Pepper and the owner of Boston Dynamics.
  • Servi has already worked at Denny’s and other restaurants amid Japan’s labor shortage.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Japanese tech giant Softbank is testing out a new food service robot in Japan, Reuters reported. Servi, the appropriately-named robot, has several tiers that can be used to deliver food to customers as an answer both to social distancing because of COVID-19 and Japan’s labor shortage.

Servi will act as a waiter, with the ability to carry food and drinks from the kitchen to tables. It will use 3D cameras and LIDAR technology to navigate around tables and customers, the same technology used by autonomous vehicles. It officially launches in Japan in January but has already been tested by some restaurants

Read More

Ocado accused of infringing robot technology patents

Ocado’s strategy of selling its grocery ecommerce knowhow worldwide is under threat after a Norwegian rival has claimed the company has copied its technology and infringed its patents.

AutoStore, a developer of warehouse automation systems, on Thursday filed legal claims in the UK and US courts alleging that the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) infringed several AutoStore patents.

OSP is the integrated hardware and software system that Ocado is busy marketing to food retailers around the world, and its prospects underpin the company’s £20bn market value.

Ocado shares were down 5 per cent in early afternoon trading. The claim does not stipulate an amount for damages but court documents state that it will be for more than £10m.

AutoStore said the design of the robots that pick grocery orders from within a “hive” warehouse, along with the lifting mechanism and the in-wheel motors, are covered by patents granted to it in

Read More

Curly the Curling Robot Can Beat the Pros at Their Own Game | Smart News

The sport of curling requires such precision and strategy that it’s sometimes referred to as “chess on ice.” Players push 40-pound stones across frozen sheets, rotating the stones just enough that they “curl,” and try to knock opposing teams’ stones out of central rings.

Subtle variables at play—tiny, ever-changing bumps in ice, the pressure exerted by one’s hand, the smoothness of the stone—all impact the outcome, so much that curling requires machine-like precision from its players.

So, it makes sense that an actual machine might have a shot at winning, if it could learn to strategize on its own. Enter Curly: a robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that recently competed against professional South Korean curling teams and won three out of four official matches.

Curly’s impressive feat is recounted in an article published this month in Science Robotics by researchers Seong-Whan Lee and Dong-Ok Won of Korea University and

Read More

SoftBank brings food service robot to labour-strapped Japan

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank’s robotics arm said on Monday it will bring a food service robot developed by California-based Bear Robotics to Japan as restaurants grapple with labour shortages and seek to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The robot named Servi, which has layers of trays and is equipped with 3D cameras and Lidar sensors for navigation, will launch in January, SoftBank Group Corp said.

Servi will cost 99,800 yen ($950) per month excluding tax on a three year plan.

The launch leverages SoftBank’s long experience in bringing overseas technology to Japan but reflects the shift away from CEO Masayoshi Son’s earlier focus on humanoid robots.

Servi has been tested by Japanese restaurant operators, including Seven & i Holdings at its Denny’s chain, as the sector grapples with an aging workforce and deepening labour shortages.

SoftBank’s humanoid Pepper robot became the face of the company

Read More

Ring Always Home Cam and Echo Show 10 may pave way for Amazon robot

  • Amazon launched two new smart home products that can move within the home: the Echo Show 10 and Ring Always Home Cam.
  • The Echo Show 10 can reorient its display, camera, and speakers to face the user’s direction, while the Ring Always Home Cam is a mini security drone that can fly around the home.
  • Both product could serve as a step toward Amazon’s broader ambitions to build an Alexa-enabled home robot, as reports from Business Insider and Bloomberg have indicated.
  • But the company will have to overcome serious privacy concerns along the way. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon’s presence in the home took a big leap forward this week, and not just because the online retail giant announced a completely redesigned Echo lineup and big updates to Alexa.

Amazon’s smart home devices, whether it be an Echo speaker, Eero mesh router, or Ring security camera, have

Read More