Government, Policy, Politics, and Law

May 2013

Intuitive Surgical Beats Claims of Negligent Training Practices

05/30/13 — Intuitive Surgical’s stock shot up 5 percent last Friday after a Washington State jury found that the company did not fail to properly train a doctor who used its robotic surgery system, handing the company a victory in the first of more than two dozen similar lawsuits to go to trial. Jurors deliberated for a day and a half before voting 10-2 that Intuitive Surgical was not liable in a $8 million lawsuit brought by the estate of Fred Taylor, lawyers for the parties said. Taylor was 67 years old when he underwent prostate surgery involving a da Vinci surgical system,…


Roadmap for Self-Driving Cars: Five Highlights

WSJ, 05/30/13

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday came out with a road map for navigating the future of self…


April 2013

Robo-cars face a new threat: Lawyers

Apr 09, 2013, 10:01 AM | By Declan McCullagh

Robot enthusiasts debate ways to protect self-driving cars and other autonomous machines from the looming existential threat of class action lawsuits.


Robots: Ethical, social and legal issues

by Robots Podcast, April 19, 2013

In this episode, Per talks to Pericle Salvini from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna about his work with social, ethical and legal issues in robotics. He tells us about the Robolaw project that will provide advice to the European Union when it creates laws concerning robotics. Finally, we discuss how you can contribute to this important work. Link to audio file (33:23)


Canadian ‘space robot‘ banknote puts UK to shame 1, 2013

Canada’s new $5 note features an astronaut, a view of Earth from space, and, yes, space robots. The UK’s new £5 note will feature… Sir Winston Churchill.



March 2013

Man Shoots Robot, Gets Charged with Vandalism

Evan Ackerman  /  Wed, March 06, 2013

The robotic victim was an Avatar from Robotex Robots aren’t people. This is why we get them to do all kinds of stuff that we’d rather not do, whether it’s dull, dirty, dangerous, or other sinister words that start with “d.” Robots don’t have parents, they don’t have feelings, they don’t experience pain, and they don’t hold it against you if you shoot them. So how much trouble can you get in for shooting them? Apparently, not much. At least in Ohio.


Bad laws would hurt good drones | CNN

By Ryan Calo, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Ryan Calo is a law professor at the University of Washington School of Law and an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. You can follow him on Twitter @rcalo.

(CNN)An Alitalia passenger jet pilot said he saw a drone over Brooklyn on Monday. Whether it’s true or not — the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating — we are going to be hearing more and more about drones in American skies. I predicted two things about drones in an online essay for Stanford Law Review in December 2011. Those predictions turned out to be true. But there was something I didn’t see coming.



February 2013

Automation Federation works with White House and US government

InTech-Feb 14, 2013

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA (14 February 2013) –Working with the Obama administration, the Automation Federation is helping to forge


Man Charged For Shooting Robot

Popular Science-20 hours ago

An Ohio man has been charged for shooting a robot. Michael Blevins was charged with vandalism of government property, after drunkenly firing at a police robot


Should we put robots on trial?

Boston Globe-Mar 1, 2013

But experts in artificial intelligence and the emerging field of robot ethics say that is likely to change. With the advent of technological marvels like the self-driving



December 2012

County upgrades to Accela Automation for land management

Tucson Citizen-Dec 21, 2012

Pima County announced that Accela Automation is its new enterprise software for service delivery to eight Public Works departments.



November 2012

Robots Reduce Cost of Science for USGS

Posted 7 Nov 2012

After a contentious election, the US Government will be returning to business as usual soon and one thing both sides agree on is that the cost of government needs to be reduced. A recent report by the US Geological Survey illustrates how robots are helping out with this problem. Airborne scientific observation missions can cost as much as $30,000 per hour. The USGS is replacing these expensive airborne data gathering missions with remotely piloted vehicles, or drones, which can complete an entire mission for $3,000. So far the USGS is using the Honeywell T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) and AeroVironment Raven RQ-11B. The Raven in particular has other advantages over manned missions besides cost. From the report:



September 2012

Labor Union Summit Focuses on Automation

MarineLink-Sep 17, 2012

Elsewhere, and in Australia, but also on the introduction of dock automation, MUA National Secretary Crumlin reported on the events leading up to Patrick



June 2012

Google says California legislators could drive away robotic cars

Jun 25, 2012, 5:33 PM | By Donna Tam

A Google rep tells an Assembly committee that if California passes a bill that removes the ability to have driverless cars eventually, the state is telling technology providers to take autonomous cars elsewhere.


Activists want stronger privacy protections for driverless cars

Jun 25, 2012, 2:00 PM | By Donna TamConsumer Watchdog says Google is going to go willy-nilly with data collection for autonomous vehicles, and the California bill shouldn’t get the green light without more restrictions.


 Jan.-April 2012

California’s autonomous car bill inches closer to reality

Apr 11, 2012, Liane Yvkoff

Autonomous car legislation SB 1298 passed the Senate Transportation Committee and is headed to the Senate Rules committee.


Energid Funded by the NSF to Cut Costs for Robotic Manufacturing

03/12/12 —   Energid Technologies Corporation received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under a two-year project to create robotic manipulation technology for cost-effective manufacturing. The work will make it easy for operators to achieve more with existing hardware capability. Many time-consuming tedious tasks, such as moving and modifying objects, combining…



June – Dec. 2011

National Robotics Initiative (NRI)

Posted 25 Jun 2011 at 18:33 UTC (updated 25 Jun 2011 at 23:46 UTC) by John_RobotsPodcast

During his speech at CMU, President Obama also alluded to the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), described in this NSF publication.


Obama Commanding Robot Revolution, Announces Major Robotics Initiative

Erico Guizzo  /  Fri, June 24, 2011

President Barack Obama loves robots. He’s invited bots to the White House and has even befriended a Japanese android. But now Obama has gone one step further: He’s decided to lead what may be a profound robotics revolution. In a visit today to Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center, Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a $500 million program to bring together industry, universities, and government to invest in emerging technologies that can improve manufacturing and create new businesses and jobs.


U.S. Senator Calls Robot Projects Wasteful. Robots Call Senator Wasteful

Erico Guizzo  /  Tue, June 14, 2011

A U.S. senator has cited three robotics projects as examples of “wasteful” research that lack useful applications and shouldn’t have received government funding. In a recent report, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma takes aim at the National Science Foundation, the premier source of funding for science and engineering in the United States, raising questions about the agency’s management and priorities. In one section of the report, Coburn criticizes the NSF for squandering “millions of dollars on wasteful projects,” including three that involve robots. “A dollar lost to mismanagement, fraud, inefficiency, or a dumb project is a dollar that could have advanced scientific discovery,” the report says. Coburn didn’t give the roboticists a chance to respond, so I reached out to the three groups—from the University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; and Rowan University, in Glassboro, N.J.—to hear their side.


Regulation, automation, and cloud computing

An interesting debate recently between groups calling for regulation of the cloud and those opposed to it, highlights an interesting problem with big repercussions: how do we safely regulate a complex automated system?

News – Aug 01, 2011, 9:20 AM | By James Urquhart


Obama pledges $70 million for robotics R&D

The National Robotics Initiative will foster “co-robots” to work with people in locales ranging from hospitals to battlefields.

News – Jun 24, 2011, 9:11 AM | By Tim Hornyak


Humanoid plant workers wow crowds at iRex

At the 2011 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, power-lifting bots mix it up with the latest humanoids.

News – Nov 09, 2011, 10:49 PM | By Tim Hornyak

Feb. – May 2011

How China Plans To Send Robots To the Moon

Evan Ackerman  /  Mon, May 09, 2011

Despite the fact that the moon is so close (cosmically speaking), we haven’t really interacted much with the lunar surface since the late ’70s. We’ve taken pictures of it and crashed the occasional spacecraft into it, but in general the moon has been bypassed for sexier planets like Mars.


Nevada Bill Would Provide Tentative Roadmap for Autonomous Vehicles

Evan Ackerman  /  Fri, April 29, 2011

Right now, we have cars that that will automatically keep you in your lane while adjusting your speed so that you don’t run into anyone in front of you. You can go out and buy one. It’s not just that the technology exists to allow our cars to do our driving for us, at least on highways… The technology is in some consumer cars already. So why aren’t cars driving us around yet? A big (possibly the biggest) issue is legal: there’s simply no precedent that’s been established for, and let’s be blunt, who gets to sue who when something goes wrong. And something will, at some point, inevitably go wrong, and when it does, what happens next could decide the how the next decade of autonomous vehicles plays out.



January 2011

Automation Touted As Way To Help Fix Immigration System

National Journal – Aliya Sternstein – ‎Jan 13, 2011‎ reports that the government can fix the immigration system without legislation, by automating visa processing and by …


Barcelona Seeks Technologies for Automation of Urban Services

TMC Net – Calvin Azuri – ‎Jan 24, 2011‎

The city of Barcelona invites international solutions providers and research centers who can materialize its automation goals through sensors and other …


The Killer Robot Caucus

01/25/11 WSJ Washington Wire

Members of Congress love their drones, but they want to give all robots their due. So the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Caucus…



December 2010

Section 179: Take Advantage of Tax Deduction in 2010, December 07, 2010

Considering purchasing robots, workcells, or other robotic equipment soon? Why not make this capital investment now, before the end of the year. This way you can take advantage of Section 179 tax incentives. 



November 2010

NASA plans to put a robot on the moon

Economic Times – ‎Nov 3, 2010‎

LONDON: NASA is contemplating sending a robot to the moon in just 1000 days — for just a fraction of the cost of sending a human. Engineers at the US space



September 2010

HONEYWELL Opens Automation College In Russia

Oil and Gas Industry Latest News – ‎Sep 15, 2010‎

Honeywell has opened a department in the Moscow College of Automation which will give Russian specialists the opportunity to perfect their skills.


Newsweek: GOP would produce fewer jobs, bigger deficit

Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) – ‎Aug 30, 2010‎

It is not the GOP that would produce fewer jobs, it is automation. Accelerating computer technology is the primary cause of the current global economic …


The Generation That Can’t Move On Up


Most people assume that working-class members of the baby-boomer generation have been hurt the most by the outsourcing and automation in which millions of factory jobs moved overseas or disappeared into computer chips, a shift recently compounded by recession. But actually it may be their children’s generation. Not only are many members of the younger working class unprepared for the contemporary job market. New research we have done shows their striking inability to fit the middle-class ideal in family and religious life. It’s a worrisome development for their lifestyle and our culture. These are the people we used to call “blue collar,” although you can no longer tell a person’s social class by the color of his shirt. If we can speak of a working class at all, education is now the best way to define them. Think of people with high school degrees but not four-year college degrees. They make up slightly more than half of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 44; old enough to have completed their schooling but young enough to be still having children, and 79% of them are white. Because they don’t have the educational credentials to get most middle-class professional and managerial jobs, their earnings have sunk toward the wages of the working poor.The grim employment picture is familiar, but what’s less widely known is that they are losing not only jobs but also their connections to basic social institutions such as marriage and religion. They’re becoming socially disengaged, floating away from the college-educated middle class.


Automating sewage treatment processes

World Pumps – ‎Sep 10, 2010‎

The main improvements involved the automation of the treatment processes to enable increased efficiency and reduced energy consumption.



August 2010

Azerbaijani IT company starts implementing project on automation of state tax …

Trend News Agency (subscription) – ‎Aug 26, 2010‎

Azerbaijani SINAM IT Company started implementing the project of automation of the State Tax Service of Kyrgyzstan, SINAM director for business development


Automation is key to credible elections in 2011 , SALISU

Jul 20, 2010, Vanguard, Nigeria

While the debate on electoral reforms is going in the national assembly, how best to  realize  a stable democratic political system in Nigeria through IT tools and strategies has continued to be a major concern of stakeholders in the Nigerian IT industry, especially the Nigerian Computer Society. For many observers, electoral reform is not feasible without deployment of robust IT infrastructure. Less than one week ahead  of the 2010 NCS Annual General Meeting slated for next week in Asaba, Delta, Mr Afolabi Salisu, Chairman, Conference Committee of the conference who is also the Managing Director of Simplex Automation Systems LTD spoke to CyberLIFE’s Emeka Aginam  on a number of issues including  stable political system in Nigeria with the deployment of technology, how INEC can face the challenges ahead of 2011 elections, among others.



July 2010

Report on poll fraud: plug gaps, or nix automation

Business Mirror – Fernan Marasigan – Jun 27, 2010

SPORADIC cheating in the country’s first automated general elections last month appears to be confined to local races, the chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms has concluded. But these, taken with the “fitful credibility” with which technical provider Smartmatic-TIM explained crucial date-and-time stamp issues in the vote-counting machine, and the Commission on Elections’ move to discard certain security features, made it necessary to revisit the country’s experiment with automation—and perhaps even set it aside for the next elections if the loopholes of the May 10 exercise are not plugged. Locsin said, “The further danger is that these admittedly sporadic automated or automation-related anomalies could be perpetrated and institutionalized …