The Promise—and Complications—of Domestic Robots

Every year, for just a few days in a major city, a small team of roboticists get to live the dream: ordering around their own personal robot butlers. In carefully-constructed replicas of a restaurant scene or a domestic setting, these robots perform any number of simple algorithmic tasks. “Get the can of beans from the […] […]

How Do We Teach Autonomous Cars To Drive Off the Beaten Path?

Autonomous vehicles can follow the general rules of American roads, recognizing traffic signals and lane markings, noticing crosswalks and other regular features of the streets. But they work only on well-marked roads that are carefully scanned and mapped in advance. Many paved roads, though, have faded paint, signs obscured behind trees and unusual intersections. In […] […]

Our Voting System Is Hackable. Here’s How to Secure It

The November 6, 2018 midterm elections are being widely regarded as a referendum on President Trump, but they will also serve another, less obvious purpose. The integrity of our election infrastructure is being tested. Key technological vulnerabilities remain. Although media coverage of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election has largely focused on the […] […]

Building a Moral Machine: Who Decides the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars?

You’re driving along the highway when, suddenly, a person darts out across the busy road. There’s speeding traffic all around you, and you have a split second to make the decision: do you swerve to avoid the person and risk causing an accident? Do you carry on and hope to miss them? Do you brake? […] […]

This Robotic Warehouse Fills Orders in Five Minutes, and Fits in City Centers

Shopping is becoming less and less of a consumer experience—or, for many, less of a chore—as the list of things that can be bought online and delivered to our homes grows to include, well, almost anything you can think of. An Israeli startup is working to make shopping and deliveries even faster and cheaper—and they’re […] […]

No Safety Driver Here—Volvo’s New Driverless Truck Cuts the Cab

Each time there’s a headline about driverless trucking technology, another piece is taken out of the old equation. First, an Uber/Otto truck’s safety driver went hands-off once the truck reached the highway (and said truck successfully delivered its valuable cargo of 50,000 beers). Then, Starsky Robotics announced its trucks would start making autonomous deliveries without […] […]

Majority of IMTS exhibitors use Universal Robots for collaborative robotics

The characteristic light-blue jointed collaborative robot arms from Universal Robots (UR) will be spotted hard at work throughout IMTS in Chicago from September 10-15. The numerous IMTS exhibits are a testament to the wide range of tasks and solutions now automated by UR. The cobots will handle vision-guided product inspection, ride on top of mobile…

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China Is Building a Fleet of Autonomous AI-Powered Submarines. Here Are the Details

A fleet of autonomous, AI-powered submarines is headed into hotly-contested Asian waterways. The vehicles will belong to the Chinese armed forces, and their mission capabilities are likely to raise concerned eyebrows in surrounding countries. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the submarines will be able to carry out “[…] a wide range of […] […]

In the Future, We’ll Know Everything—Thanks to This Tech

We’re rapidly approaching the era of abundant knowledge—a time when you can know anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want. An era of radical transparency. By 2020, it’s estimated we’ll have 50 billion connected devices, which will generate over 600 zettabytes of information. The global network of connectivity, drones, and satellites are not […] […]

Bot vs. Bot: Will the Internet Soon Be a Place Without Humans?

The internet, as it stands, is a global system of interconnected computer networks that allows humans to interact with each other, do business, gain knowledge, and be entertained. Google allowed us to find everything we need. Amazon allowed us to buy everything we need (or don’t need). Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  allow us to share […] […]