June 2013

1 Jul


Education technology: Catching on at last

New technology is poised to disrupt America’s schools, and then the world’s

The Economist, Jun 29th 2013

In a small school on the South Side of Chicago, 40 children between the ages of five and six sit quietly learning in a classroom. In front of each of them is a computer running software called Reading Eggs. Some are reading a short story, others building sentences with words they are learning. The least advanced are capturing all the upper- and lower-case Bs that fly past in the sky. As they complete each task they move through a cartoon map that shows how far they have progressed in reading and writing. Along the way they collect eggs which they can use to buy objects in the game, such as items to furnish their avatar’s apartment. Now and then a child will be taken aside for scheduled reading periods with one of the two monitoring teachers. The director of North Kenwood-Oakland school says this sort of teaching, blending software with human intervention, helps her pupils learn faster. It also allows teachers at this school—which, like other charter schools, is publicly funded but has some freedom to teach as it likes—to spend more time teaching and less time marking written work and leading pupils through dull drills of words and numbers. On top of that the school gains an accurate, continuous record of each child’s performance through the data its various programs collect and analyse.


Drones for Christ

by David Swanson | July 2013

How Jerry Falwell’s Liberty U.—the world’s largest Christian university—became an evangelist for drone warfare. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Its publications carry the slogan “Training Champions for Christ since 1971.” Some of those champions are now being trained to pilot armed drones, and others to pilot more traditional aircraft, in U.S. wars. For Christ.


Industrial automation to grow this year

1 July, 2013 Kevin Gomez

The market for industrial automation equipment (IAE) is set to grow 6.2 percent this year to approximately US$170 billion, helped in part by the recovery of global manufacturing in the first quarter, according to a report entitled “The World Market for Industrial Automation Equipment” from IMS Research, now part of IHS. The more optimistic outlook for 2013 contrasts with the anemic market conditions of last year that had been aggravated by the interconnected nature of a globally linked space, said Jenalea Howell, research manager for the Industrial Automation service at IHS. “The interdependence of the world’s industrial markets came to the fore during 2012 and made its presence felt as weak demand in some regions hit the exports of others, causing revenue from industrial automation equipment (IAE) to grow only 3.7 percent,” noted Howell. In addition, overcapacity in several industrial markets, following two years of strong growth in China, led shipments to fall by more than two percent.


U.S. News: Companies Still Wary Despite Hefty Profits

Reddy, Sudeep. Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition [New York, N.Y] 27 June 2013

The U.S. economy has spent four years shaking off damage from a brutal recession. But American businesses still haven’t shed their caution. Despite stellar profits and lean payrolls, U.S. firms remain scarred by the deep downturn, surveys of businesses show. Their appetite for investing continues to be patchy and their hiring slow, a reflection of the global turbulence. As the U.S. recovery enters its fifth year, a new round of financial-market turmoil risks spurring another bout of anxiety across the business sector. Exports have already retrenched alongside rising uncertainty in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Recent signals that the Federal Reserve may start easing off the gas pedal threaten to raise more doubts about whether the economy is strong enough to accelerate on its own. The latest reading of the U.S. economy Wednesday underscored the choppy picture. Business investment rose at a scant 0.4% pace in the first quarter, one factor that kept growth in the overall economy at a relatively slow 1.8% annualized rate. Capital spending by business in the U.S. remains 4% below its prerecession level. Total output by manufacturers last month sat 5% below its 2007 average. A key measure of small-business sentiment trails its pre-2008 average, while a separate reading of confidence among big-company CEOs is hovering at middling levels as firms seek signs of stronger demand.


Honeywell’s System Sensor Plant Declares War on ‘Seven Deadly Wastes’

WSJ, June 30, 2013

The plant pumps out millions of devices a year, and its efficiency gains in recent years have been achieved with a workforce that has been cut in half over a decade–illustrating the shop-floor improvements that economists and academics have dubbed a U.S. manufacturing renaissance. System Sensor also highlights a decade of profit-margin improvements that have propelled Honeywell’s results above those of rivals, such as General Electric Co. Honeywell has doubled its profit since 2002 and increased sales 72%.


Trend towards Automation increases Demand for Industrial Robots

2012: Second Highest Number of Robots Sold / 2013: A High Level of Robot Sales Expected Again

Shanghai, 1st July 2013 – “2012 was quite satisfying for the global robot industry and robot sales reached the second highest level ever.” stated Dr. Shinsuke Sakakibara, IFR President, on Monday, 1st July 2013 at the CIROS in Shanghai.


First responder and military ground robots to grow at close to 20%

Posted 06/14/13 at 05:39 AM

… New $3,800 report by Wintergreen Research says that first responder and military ground robot marketplace will expand at close to 20% annually for the rest of the decade.
… Expected revenue in 2019 is $12 billion.
… Growth is based on the adoption of automated processes combining innovative software and robotic platforms in systems of engagement that have arms and sensors, tracks and wheels, motors, solid state batteries and leverage smart phones and mobile platforms.
… This report confirms Markets and Markets report which predicts a 17.4% CAGR over same period for service robotics.


Today in labor history: The term robot is first used

People’s World-Jun 25, 2013

On the June 25, 1921 premier, Czech author Karel Capek’s introduced the term robot in his science fiction play R.U.R. in which robots organize and rebel 




The Robots of War

06/25/13 — Here are just a few of the robots assigned to the U.S. Army’s last combat brigade in Afghanistan: Tractor-size robots that trawl ahead of foot patrols, probing for buried bombs. Smaller ‘bots that help blow up the uncovered incendiary devices. Unmanned aerial vehicles — from tiny, hand-thrown models to a high-endurance version the size of a Cessna. Silent robot sentries that watch over sleeping U.S. troops. The automaton warriors of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, deployed to volatile Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan since December represent the highs and lows of more than a decade of military robot development. Highs because…


CIA invests in robot writers | Mashable

June 5, 2013 by Hallie Siegel

The CIA’s venture capital wing, In-Q-Tel, has invested an unknown amount in a company called Narrative Science, which codes software capable of turning massive data sets into easy-to-read written prose … The agency collects mounds of raw data, and its researchers would most likely appreciate an automated hand in turning all those figures into readable, actionable reports for agents and higher-ups.


Israel is top global exporter of UAS

Posted 06/03/13 at 11:40 AM

Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting firm, reported that Israel’s UAS export revenue totaled $4.6 billion from 2005 to 2012. In terms of the number of systems sold, Israel is the world’s largest exporter of unmanned aircraft the study said.
… “UAS exports have accounted for nearly 10 percent of the country’s total defense export industry, and this is expected to increase” the report said. “Defense exports will increase steadily, as Israel continues aggressive marketing campaigns with countries in growing UAS markets, such as Africa, Asia/Pacific, and South America.”


Police Chief Wants Robot Drones To Patrol Over St. Louis

fox2now.com-Jun 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– The science-fiction movie “Robocop” was set in 2029. But the St. Louis Police Department’s request for robot drones to patrol the skies 


India Commits to Robotic Soldiers

06/12/13 — NEW DELHI: With futuristic warfare in mind, India is working to develop robotic soldiers as part of efforts to boost unmanned fighting capabilities, joining a select group of countries in this endeavour. Under the project being undertaken by DRDO, robots would be developed with very high level of intelligence to enable them to differentiate between a threat and a friend. These can then be deployed in difficult warfare zones, like the Line of Control (LoC), a step that would help avert the loss of human lives. “We are going to work for robotic soldiers. We are going to look for…


Segway-like robot helps fight fires with 3D, thermal imaging

News – Jun 05, 2013, 4:34 PM | By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore

Engineers at UC San Diego are testing small, mobile robotic vehicles that create virtual reality maps with temperature data that first responders can use in real time.


Look out below: The next ‘wave’ of autonomous robots (pictures)

Slideshow – Jun 29, 2013, 4:00 AM | By James Martin

Airborne drones might be all the rage, but technologists are creating a new generation of ocean-going robots.


Don’t try shaking this robot ape off your car

News – Jun 24, 2013, 11:25 AM | By Tim Hornyak

This cyber-simian from Germany’s DFKI keeps its balance even on a wobbly surface. How long before it starts to walk upright?


The democratization of the drone

News – Jun 22, 2013, 12:00 AM | By Seth Rosenblatt and Donald Bell

Homegrown electronics manufacturer Parallax is empowering a wave of DIY robotics, from flying quadcopters to programmable robots.


Does This Self-Burying Bot Mean We’re Close to Robo-Tremors?

Andrew Liszewski

We already have autonomous robots that can drive, fly, swim—even operate in space. And now, thanks to researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, we’ll soon be dealing with bots that can tackle the final frontier here on earth—or should we say inside earth—with a self-burrowing robot that works…


Robo Sally: The Best Bomb Disposal Bot Is Also the Most Human

Andrew Tarantola 6/04/13

Of the 25,000 Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions conducted by the US military in Iraq, only 30 have resulted in fatalities according to Army Col. K. Reinhard, commander of the joint EOD teams operating in the theater. That’s still 30 too many. And that’s why DARPA’s developed the most advanced EOD surrogate…


What Else Can We Do With Autonomous Military Vehicles?

Evan Ackerman | Posted 26 Jun 2013

Do you have a robot car yet? Me neither. The military, on the other hand, has a bunch of them. These UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) are mostly used for hauling gear, sort of like mules used to, back in the day. Lockheed Martin even had one called MULE. It was a nice idea, getting robots to do this, but it’s not simple and it’s not cheap, and the military has been cutting back. So, the companies involved have been trying to figure out what else they can do with their UGVs.




Behind the scenes at robotics maker Parallax (pictures)

Slideshow – Jun 22, 2013, 12:00 AM | By Seth Rosenblatt and Donald Bell

From flying drones that can lift 15 pounds to protoype cars with motion sensors: Join us on this tour of how robotics experts Parallax make their wonderful toys.


Ford Is Using Robots to Put Cars Through Its Toughest Tests

Ashley Feinberg 6/17/13

As much fun as test driving pre-production cars may seem, cruising around a course meant to see how hard a car can take a beating usually means a few hits to the human inside, as well. Not to mention the fact that human drivers are notoriously high maintenance—always wanting things like “food” and “sleep” and “legal…


Boeing’s Giant Robot Arms Are Spray-Painting Prodigies

Eric Limer 6/14/13

The Boeing 777 is a huge, hulking beast. And when you’re trying to churn out 100 of them every year, there’s only one way to pull it off: turn to the robots. These giant, spray-painting robot arms can coat one of the bird’s mammoth wings in mere minutes.


The End of Separation: Man and Robot as Collaborative Coworkers on the Factory Floor

by Tanya Anandan, Contributing Editor

Posted: 06/06/2013 A new realm of industrial robotics is upon us. Human-robot collaboration is here, on the manufacturing floor, viable and successful. …


Many U.S. Factories Make Do With Old Machinery

WSJ, 06/10/13 – Many manufacturers figure it makes more economic sense to refurbish old machinery at U.S. plants than to take a risk buying… “In manufacturing, people won’t spend money unless there’s a guaranteed return on investment,” says Craig Resnick, a vice president at ARC Advisory Group, a Dedham, Mass., consulting firm that specializes in industrial automation. Often, he says, it is difficult to know precisely how much will be gained by installing new equipment. And there is a nagging worry: What if the new stuff doesn’t work?




Let’s Hope All Bots Are as Gentle as This Tofu Handling Robot

Andrew Liszewski 6/20/13

Sci-fi movies and TV shows have given us a glimpse of the future where robots will eventually set their sights on eradicating humans. It’s just one possible outcome, though, and as this robot developed by Lands Work demonstrates, our inevitable artificial companions might actually be far gentler than we fear.


Flying Robots to Tend your Vineyard

11 Jun 2013

A recent UC Davis news release describes a remotely piloted helicopter (aka “drone”) that is being field tested in a Napa Valley vineyard. The researchers are using the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopter on the Oakville Experimental Vineyard. UC Davis worked with the FAA for five months in order to obtain a permit for the application of herbicide and pesticide sprays from a remotely piloted vehicle. The FAA requires 48 hour advance notice of each flight and the vehicle is limited to an altitude of 20 feet.

Teagasc Investigates Ireland’s Futuristic Cow Milking Systems

06/12/13 — With 10,000 commercial farms worldwide using automatic or robotic milking systems, these futuristic milking systems are set to grow exponentially in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated that up to 20 percent of cows in Europe will be milked automatically by 2020. With this is in mind, Teagasc…

Automation allowing mid-sized brewers to compete with industry

Calgary Herald-Jun 11, 2013

It was four years ago that management at Moosehead Breweries Ltd. decided to benchmark their performance with the rest of the industry. After visiting brewery operations throughout Europe and crunching some numbers, “We saw some significant gaps we needed to close,” says Wayne Arsenault, vice-president of operations. “One of the major ones was controls and automation.” Getting to an automated state is a matter of competitive survival for brewers of any size, Mr. Arsenault says. “Beer pricing is relatively stagnant, so clearly breweries need to do something to reduce costs. Larger competitors have already significantly reduced theirs. We had to react to keep up.” That reaction was a $21-million investment that would see Moosehead overhaul end-to-end production — from material handling and inspection to labelling and packing — at its Saint John, NB plant. Smaller organizations don’t have access to a ton of capital so we need to be very focused on high-value innovations that improve quality and reduce costs The productivity improvements have been substantial, Mr. Arsenault says. Consolidating two bottle lines to a single high-speed fully automated one, for example, reduced staff requirements by half, while generating the same output. The original seven labeling machines, which were individually manned, have been rolled into a single fully automated system with quality inspection capabilities that requires only a single person at the helm.  On the packing side, new boxboard and six-pack systems have led to a 70% reduction in assets without putting a dent in volumes.

Foxconn to speed up ‘robot army’ deployment; 20000 robots already

ITworld.com-by Michael Kan, June 26, 2013, 10:20 AM

Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group is on track with its goal to a create a “million robot army”, and already has 20,000 robotic machines in its factories, said the company’s CEO Terry Gou on Wednesday. Workers’ wages in China are rising, and so the company’s research in robots and automation has to catch up, Gou said, while speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Taipei. “We have over 1 million workers. In the future we will add 1 million robotic workers,” he said. “Our [human] workers will then become technicians and engineers.” Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and counts Apple, Microsoft and Sony as some of its clients. Many of its largest factories are in China, where the company employs 1.2 million people, but rising are threatening to reduce company profits. To offset labor costs and improve its manufacturing, Foxconn has already spent three years on developing robots, Gou said. These machines are specifically developed to assemble electronics such as mobile phones, but it will take some time for Foxconn to fully develop the technology, he added. “It’s a middle to long-term goal,” Gou said. But already 20,000 robot arms and robotic tools are in use at the company’s factories. Robotics have long been used to manufacture cars and large electronics. But currently, human workers are still the best choice to put together small consumer gadgets, many of which contain complicated wiring and small sockets that are best handled with human hands, according to experts. In addition, Foxconn’s CEO said the company is prepared to expand its manufacturing in the U.S., but the move will depend on “economic factors.” The company already has factories in Indianapolis and Houston, and employs thousands of workers in the country, according to Gou. Last December, Foxconn customer Apple said it would manufacture one of its Mac lines in the U.S. by the end of next year. Soon after, Foxconn said it was considering growing its existing manufacturing base in the country.

Dionysus’ robot to help winegrowers

13 June 2013

Farmers around the world will be able to improve their irrigation efficiency thanks to an autonomous vineyard robot developed at Harper Adams University. ‘Dionysus’ has been created to use thermal imaging sensors to detect moisture levels in grape vines. This data will then be used to inform farmers as to whether irrigation is required.”

Agricultural Drone Investing

By Jason Stutman, Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Although farms used to be small enough in size for human and ground-based surveillance, consolidation has led to massive fields that cannot be traversed by land in a timely manner. Instead, farmers now need to view their land from the sky. This point of view can be obtained with satellite imaging, planes, or helicopters. However, these methods provide low resolution images and are very expensive. Autonomous imaging drones offer a better service at a cheaper price, which is exactly why the AUVSI expects precision agriculture to see substantial growth in the next two decades.




iRobot Makes It Easier To Show Up To Work While At Home In Your PJs

Andrew Liszewski 6/10/13

Email, the internet, and a host of other advancements in office technology have finally made the dream of working from home a reality. But sometimes you just need to be in the office, and thanks to a collaboration between iRobot and Cisco, you still don’t need to change out of your pajamas to get chewed out by your…

This Trash-Sorting Robot Could Revolutionize Recycling

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan 6/07/13

We’ve seen a lot of frivolous applications for robotic arms: Artisanal cocktail making. Slow pit stops. Whatever’s going on here. Meanwhile, in Finland, a precociously-named company called ZenRobotics has figured out how use them to solve one of the biggest problems with recycling: automatic sorting.

Eldercare Robot Rolls into More Real Homes

06/12/13 — A safer and healthier old age – that is the aim of GiraffPlus, an international project led by researchers at Örebro University, Sweden. With a focus of developing sophisticated aids for the elderly in close collaboration with the intended users, the project is now about to test the new technology…

Clean Sweep: ZenRobotics’ Recycler Literally Takes Out the Trash

06/25/13 — When Jufo Peltomaa and Tuomas Lukka were figuring out what to do next after selling Hybrid Graphics to Nvidia seven years ago, they knew it had to involve one thing. Robots. “Our business plan was — let’s do something cool with robots!” Peltomaa said. The pair, plus their third co-founder Harri Volpola, are one of the most interesting entrepreneurial teams out of Finland today. Lukka is the country’s youngest ever Ph.D. after getting his degree in quantum chemistry at the age of 20 and Peltomaa is an early 1990s pop star from one of the country’s first rap groups, a past career he kind of wants to…

Hopefully Nobody Will ‘Fuhgeddaboudit’ the Gowanus: New Robot Unveiled to Clean Up Pollution

Jamie Epstein, June 06, 2013

The Gowanus canal, located within the greatest borough within New York city known as Brooklyn and bordering Red Hook and South Brooklyn on the west and Park Slope to the east, is only 1.8 miles long but it is highlighted for being one of the most polluted bodies of water in the entire country. As someone who lives close by this body of water, it is truly disgusting to see the amount of items that will float by you within a few minutes, not to mention that it is filled with lead, mercury and sewage. Needless to say, it has long been obvious to Brooklynites that something needs to be done to clean up this mess. And that is exactly the thought process behind a new remote-controlled robot that NYU Polytechnic has unleashed to collect key data in discover what is actually in the water besides the contaminants we already know about. You can’t fully cleanse something if you don’t exactly what lies beneath the surface, right? Coined the Brooklyn Atlantis, this robotic innovation can store important information in relation to temperature, salinity, oxygen, and even pH levels. Also, it powers multiple cameras that are located both above and below the water in order for help residents learn what is going on underwater.


Robot band performs with Japanese pop group in Tokyo

Telegraph.co.uk-Jun 24, 2013

Guitarist Mach, drummer Ashura, and keyboardist Cosmo are creations by Zima, a Japanese alcoholic beverage brand, as a part of a new advertising campaign.




Windward Announces Record Number of Automation Projects Since

PR Web (press release)-Jun 27, 2013

Windward IT Solutions’ solidified its proven cloud management expertise by announcing a record number of IT service automation projects year over year since 

The Future of Data Centers Lies on Automation

CloudTimes-Jun 17, 2013

ict strategy enterprise cloud 300×142 The Future of Data Centers Lies on Automation Cloud computing is the evolution and divergence of many seemingly 

Companies Step Up Automation of IT Operations

GlobeNewswire (press release)-Jun 25, 2013

NEW YORK, June 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Neebula Systems announced four recent customer implementations as more companies are investing in 




The automation of Texas Instruments’ distribution center in

Dallas Morning News (blog)-by Sheryl Jean-Jun 17, 2013

Earlier this month, I wrote about Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc.’s shift to an automated inventory management system at its product distribution center in 

Automation merger

Port Strategy-Jun 20, 2013

Two market leaders in optical character recognition (OCR) have merged their port automation solution businesses together to form a new company called 




Automation technology helping water conservation, efficiency efforts

Water World-Jun 20, 2013

LIBERTY LAKE, WA, and NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 20, 2013 — Water conservation and efficiency efforts in India are being addressed by advanced automation 


Automation Helps Optimize Enhanced Oil Recovery for Mature Fields

ARC Advisory Group-Jun 20, 2013

Most of the presentations highlighted the benefits and challenges of investing in automation and technology to increase productivity of new wells and develop 


Remotely controlled robot to be used in Kazakh Kashagan field

Trend.az, Kazakhstan, Astana, July 1 / Trend D. Mukhtarov /

SensaBot, the remotely controlled robot will be used at the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan, the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) international consortium developing the field, said today. ‘Taking into account the high pressure in the field, as well as the toxic nature of Kashagan fluids, the consortium is developing a SensaBot, designed under a special order at the National Robotics Centre in Pittsburgh (USA) in collaboration with Shell Global Solutions’, a statement said. At present, NCOC has concluded a contract with Nazarbayev University to lay the wireless network for the project’s implementation. According to the report, the development of a SensaBot, the first its kind in oil projects, took two and a half years. SensaBot has been designed for operations on the islands of the Kashagan project, with no permanent service and operational personnel. It ensures a more rapid and effective response to any emergency situations, as well as regular monitoring over the production activity, a statement said.




Productivity growth: the crucial link between investment and return

…headcount reduction, and doesn’t only come from new business models. Management mainstays to increase productivity- automation of routine work, controlled, hierarchical, decision making, reliance on “lean methods”, optimising function performance… By Paul Blase and John Sviokla, June 25, 2013


UK onshoring ‘minimal and restricted to smaller companies’

By Mark Wembridge and Andrew Bounds, June 2, 2013

When the main distributor of the $35 Raspberry Pi computer recently shifted its production back from China to Wales, proponents of Britain’s beleaguered manufacturers touted the move as a further step in the rebooting of the UK economy. The decision to shift production of the credit-card-sized microcomputer to Sony’s factory in the Welsh town of Pencoed was the latest British example of onshoring: whereby changing economic pressures encourage manufacturers to return their production facilities home.The trend of onshoring – also known as reshoring – has been especially pronounced in North America, where the shale gas revolution has driven down energy prices, while ballooning labour costs in Asia have made US manufacturing more cost effective. But amid hopes that the UK can replicate such a trend, examples such as the Raspberry Pi appear to be relatively scarce and economically meagre, which has led to questions being raised over the likely strength of any onshoring effect on Britain’s gross domestic product and jobs market. “Reshoring is real, but minimal in impact and meaningful more for small companies whose limited buying power makes China sourcing especially risky, or for large companies looking to diversify supply sources,” says a recent study by SCM World, the supply chain think-tank.




China Is Investing in Velodyne Automated Car Sensor Technology

06/24/13 – The head of Velodyne, which pioneered the use of high-definition laser sensors in driverless cars, says China is developing…


$201 million in venture funding in 2012; up from $194 in 2011

Posted 06/12/13 at 01:00 AM

… Roboticist and entrepreneur Travis Deyle keeps tract of venture funding during the year and has provided not just a list, but a profile of the companies receiving the money.
… Report doesn’t include big-buck acquisitions of Kiva for $775 million, Evolution Robotics for $74 million, Aldebaran for $100 million, and smaller than a million fundings.
2012 funding list.
2011 funding list.


Brainpower alone cannot save India’s growth model

June 12, 2013

For Infosys, a pioneer of India’s outsourcing revolution, the world used to be flat. Now it is looking more pear-shaped. It was Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder of Infosys, who first put the idea in Thomas Friedman’s head that the world was flattening. Mr Friedman, who was wowed by the oasis of calm and sophistication he found at the company’s shiny Bangalore campus, recalls Mr Nilekani telling him: “Tom, the playing field is being levelled.” Third, much existing work is being commoditised and automated. Rather than paying Indian engineers to watch lights blinking on and off and apply off-the-rack software patches, it is becoming cheaper to develop networks capable of fixing themselves. “Automation is a big threat to India’s model,” says Siddharth Pai of research group ISG.




Can Robots and Humans Be Friends?

WSJ 06/27/13 – Japan prides itself on robots with a human touch that people might look to as something more than just machines.


Global Future 2045 Conference Takes A Hard Look At Today

Posted 06/22/13 at 10:09 PM

… GF2045 host Dmitry Itskov said “We are really at the time when technology can affect human evolution. I want us to shape the future, bring it up for public discussion, and avoid any scenario that could damage it.”
… Ray Kurzweil said that 2045 would be a time when computers surpassed the human brain and that, with biotech and other prosthetics, our human bodies would be open to analysis, simulation and reprogramming and would defy death.
… James Martin said that serious crunches were coming, particularly in long-term thinking to ward off survival-of-the-fittest type changes. China and corporations have the discipline but the US and EU do not (and corporations have a different set of ethics).
… Other speakers included philosophers, ethicists, brain interface developers, AI theorists, and a very colorful panel of global interfaith/spirituality leaders, all discussing the progress of, and implications and consequences of brain mapping, avatars and other technological changes.


Robohub focus on frontier robotics: High risks, high rewards

by Hallie Siegel   |   June 27, 2013
Researchers and entrepreneurs are used to weighing the potential risks and rewards of any project they are thinking of putting time and money into. Potential financial investors — be they government policy advisors, members of grant committees, venture capitalists or angel investors — are no different. But in terms of viability, some projects, visionary and game-changing as they may be, are far from certain. Even if overwhelming technical hurdles are navigated successfully, there always remains the risk that the market will not be ready …


The race to build the first 3D-printed building

04 June 13 by Ian Steadman

Would you live in a house that came out of a printer? Would you prefer concrete, or plastic? Biodegradable, or weather resistant? Canal house or futuristic spider’s nest? These are the questions facing us as 3D printing colonises yet another field — architecture.

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