Today in news you can use: a brief guide to killing those quadrupedal robots that you’ve seen in countless viral videos, bounding across the landscape like nightmare spider-horses.
I’m not afraid of robots, not at least in the same way I fear humankind and its potential for administering pain and suffering. Even so, I understand the concern surrounding MSCHF’s latest bit of mischief: putting a paintball gun on the back of one of Boston Dynamic’s Spot quadruped robots.
I track Spot updates closely, and yet I missed this one. It wasn’t until I saw a Twitter post from my former PCMag colleague and current TechCrunch hardware editor Brian Heater that I learned about MSCHF’s audacious plan: attach a paintball gun to the back of Spot and let online…
The robot Digit stands approximately five feet, four inches high, with a metallic torso the teal color of a hospital worker’s scrubs. It can walk up and down staircases and around corners on two legs, and lift, carry, and stack boxes up to 40 pounds with arms whose hinges evoke the broad shoulders of a swimmer.
Agility Robotics, Digit’s manufacturer, shipped roughly 30 of these robots earlier this year to industrial and academic clients. …
Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics are probably the most famous and influential science fictional lines of tech policy ever written. The renowned writer speculated that as machines took on greater autonomy and a greater role in human life, we would need staunch regulations to ensure they could not put us in harm’s way. And those proposed laws hark back to 1942, when the first of Asimov’s Robot stories were published. Now, with A.I., software automation, and factory robotics ascendant, the dangers posed by machines and their makers are even more complex and urgent.
For the last decade, Amazon has been on an automation spree. The retail behemoth is mechanizing its warehouses, buying up robotics companies, and transforming its facilities into state-of-the-art, semi-automated distribution centers. The goal is clear enough: to move, sort, and ship products to customers as fast as inhumanly possible — to vastly improve operational efficiency. This is always the aim when companies adopt industrial automation, of course, but it comes with a downside: People tend to get worried about the robots.
Co-authored by Chris Chiang
In late August, more than 150,000 people tuned into a webcast to watch a live demonstration of the latest tech from brain-computer interface company Neuralink. The secretive startup, founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to use a tiny brain implant to merge humans with A.I.
Viewers were treated to one of the most fascinating and bizarre tech demos in recent memory, complete with neurosurgery robots, a live feed of spiking neurons in a living brain, and the delightful spectacle of a billionaire in a bespoke sport coat speaking furtively to a Tamworth pig while attempting to…
Welcome to General Intelligence, OneZero’s weekly dive into the A.I. news and research that matters.
War robots today take just too much darn time to control. I know it, you know it, and the U.S. Army knows it.
That’s why its research branch is cooking up a system that would allow soldiers to give orders to small robotic cars by speaking naturally, as opposed to using specific commands. The robots would be able to understand the soldiers’ intent and complete the given task, according to an Army press release. The system would be used for scouting out areas and search-and-rescue.
Clint Brauer’s farm outside of Cheney, Kansas, could be described as Old MacDonald’s Farm plus robots. Along with 5,500 square feet of vegetable-growing greenhouses, classes teaching local families to grow their food, a herd of 105 sheep, and Warren G—a banana-eating llama named after the rapper—is a fleet of ten, 140-pound, battery-operated robots.
Brauer, the co-founder of Greenfield Robotics, grew up a farm kid. He left for the big city tech and digital world, but eventually made his way back to the family farm. Now, it’s the R&D headquarters for the Greenfield Robotics team, plus a working farm.
Spot, Boston Dynamics’ robot dog, is still trying to work out some kinks, according to emails and reports reviewed by OneZero.
The documents, which were obtained through a public records request, outline the agreement between Boston Dynamics and the Massachusetts State Police’s bomb squad, which borrowed Spot for a 90-day trial that ran between August and November 2019. The lease contract was previously reported by local public radio station WBUR.
But OneZero also obtained 28 pages of emails in which the police and the company discuss Spot’s performance during a threat, as well as the robot’s difficulties walking on stairs…
The bad guys wanted to blow something up — but they forgot about the cyborg bugs.
Scientists funded by the United States Navy have revealed they have successfully augmented locusts and hijacked their ability to sense a wide range of chemical odors, including explosives.
According to a preprint research paper published on February 11 in BioRxiv, the insects have been used to detect gases released by substances like ammonium nitrate, commonly used by terrorist groups for bomb-making, and the military explosives TNT and RDX. …
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