Here we go, down the rabbit hole! New ROBOTS to patrol the oceans, or to be companions, or to fly around, or to design new experiments!

Jellyfish ROBOTS to patrol the oceans in stunning AI breakthrough
ROBOT jellyfish that can swim through areas narrower than their bodies are set to be thrust into the oceans.

By David Rivers / Published 18th September 2018

Tests of the cutting-edge multi-million-pound project, co-funded by the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office, included robots that can ‘read’ and climb stairs and miniature drones weighing less than a bar of soap which could soon come into service to rapidly assess hazardous scenes.

The aim of the ground-breaking research, named Project Minerva, is to reduce the risk to emergency services and front-line troops attending incidents or operations involving hazardous chemical or biological materials. The recent trials, which took place at Gloucestershire Fire Service College, saw concept drones and robots thrown into simulated contaminated scenarios in both UK homeland and battlefield environments. The technology was tested against the speed and accuracy of human response teams supported by specialist DSTL scientists, the military, police and fire services.

This Robot Helped Uncover the Flying Secrets of Fruit Flies
Flying can be complicated when you don’t have a rudder-like tail.

Sep 13, 2018

Guido de Croon, a co-author on the paper also at Delft, points out that the robots could be used to monitor actual fruit for ripeness—in effect, an artificial fruit fly intercepting real fruit flies before they can damage a crop.

“They can use an onboard camera to spot whether fruit is already ripe, or to see whether plants are under stress and need more water or nutrients,” de Croon says. “On the long term, they may even pollinate flowers.”

The bots also have a soft wing structure, making them safe to work around humans. But in order to bring the bots to the greenhouse, a few more things need to happen. de Croon says they need to be scaled down in size. This may involve wholesale redesigns of certain components that haven’t been miniaturized well before. “We will have to invent new mechanisms at a smaller scale, while hopefully still achieving the same agility as with the DelFly Nimble,” de Croon says.

The bots will also need to be smarter. The idea is that several of them at a time might monitor a greenhouse. They’ll need to navigate around each other, and maybe sometimes work in tandem. “We want to work towards a full navigation solution, so that the robot can explore even unknown areas and then come back to its starting position or charging station, without any human help,” de Croon says.

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This female CEO is trying to defeat loneliness — and robots are part of her plan
Lindsay Dodgson Sep. 16, 2018, 5:05 AM
Karen Dolva

Children are just one of the groups of people Karen Dolva is trying to help with her company No Isolation. People of all ages experience loneliness, from four year olds to the elderly in care homes, and there isn’t a single way to help everyone at once.

“To us early adults in our 20s, 30s, and 40s, everything out there is basically made for us,” Dolva told Business Insider.

“We started digging and we quite quickly found that’s not the case for everyone else. We have these huge groups that are falling behind and dropping off, and these kids were only a fraction of that. Hence the company name ‘No Isolation’ — we want to help everyone who is socially isolated or lonely, and bridge the gap.”

At No Isolation, Dolva and cofounders Marius Aabel and Matias Doyle are using technology to try and help people of all ages. Tech isn’t the problem, Dolva said. It’s definitely not to blame for why we are becoming more socially isolated than ever, as tech is only a tool.

“You wouldn’t blame your washing machine for making you socially isolated, and that’s a technology,” she said. “We want to prove that tech is just what you make it out to be.”

Gracelessly, tirelessly, the machine thrums on, carrying out test after test. The experiments are part of an ongoing project to determine the ideal chemical makeup for high-capacity electric car batteries. Soon, machines won’t just run the experiments—they’ll devise them, too.

Over the next few months, an artificial intelligence algorithm will gradually take over the planning of experiments based on the battery test runs. Once fully functioning, this robot graduate student will decide how to modify the concentrations of the ingredients it’s testing.

“It’s automating not only the manual part of doing the experiment but also the planning part,” says Brian Storey, the Toyota Research Institute scientist leading the project.

h/t Digital mix guy


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