Via Yahoo News:
A German factory operated largely by robots will make its first 500 pairs of running shoes for Adidas early next year as the sportswear company seeks to cut labor costs and speed up delivery to fashion-conscious consumers.
Founded by German cobbler Adi Dassler in 1949, Adidas has shifted most of its production from Europe to Asia and now relies on more than 1 million workers in contract factories, particularly in China and Vietnam.
The new “Speedfactory” in the southern town of Ansbach near its Bavarian headquarters will start production in the first half of 2016 of a robot-made running shoe that combines a machine-knitted upper and springy “Boost” sole made from a bubble-filled polyurethane foam developed by BASF.
Via the United States Marines:
Employees of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Boston Dynamics trained Marines from the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab how to operate “Spot,” a quadruped prototype robot, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Sept. 16, 2015.
Spot is a 160-pound, electrically powered, hydraulically actuated robot designed by Boston Dynamics.
“We want to continue to experiment with quadruped technology and find ways that this can be employed to enhance the Marine Corps warfighting capabilties,” said Capt. James Pineiro, the branch head for Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
NASA announced today that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of two university research groups nationwide that will receive a 6-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot to test and develop for future space missions to Mars and beyond.
A group led by CSAIL principal investigator Russ Tedrake will develop algorithms for the robot, known as “Valkyrie” or “R5,” as part of NASA’s upcoming Space Robotics Challenge, which aims to create more dexterous autonomous robots that can help or even take the place of humans “extreme space” missions.
Via Popular Science:
Bonirob, developed by Bosch’s Deepfield Robotics, is billed to eliminate some of the most tedious tasks in modern farming, plant breeding, and weeding. The autonomous robot is built to be a mobile plant lab, able to decide which strains of plant are most apt to survive insects and viruses and how much fertilizer they would need, and then smash any weeds with a ramming rod.
How does it know? Bonirob employs a type of machine learning (a stab at artificial intelligence) called decision tree learning. Researchers show Bonirob lots of pictures of healthy leaves that are tagged to be good, and pictures of weeds that are tagged to be bad, and the machine makes a series of choices based on observed in new data to judge whether a plant in the field is good or bad. Those algorithms are tweaked as the machine collects its own new images.
A robotic salamander that can replicate the amphibian’s movement to an unprecedented degree of accuracy has been built by robotic engineers in Switzerland. Called Pleurobot, it can reproduce the many postures and positions of a real salamander, and can even swim underwater. Researchers hope it will give neuroscientists an important new tool for further understanding the way the nervous system co-ordinates movement in vertebrates.
Simbe Robotics, based in San Francisco, announced its first product, a 30-pound robot called Tally that can move up and down a store’s aisles checking inventory. The robot determines what products need restocking and send reports to workers who can add more stock. Tally also is set up to work during normal store hours, alongside employees and customers.
Rather than cooking like a machine, the system works by first recording human actions in 3D and then converting these into highly precise movements. The prototype was trained by chef Tim Anderson, who spent time whipping up original dishes in a motion-capture studio. During a demonstration, Anderson had the robot make a crab bisque, but he told BBC News it can do anything from a bit of prep to completing an entire dish.
According to Moley’s website, the firm hopes to bring a consumer version to market by 2017 that will feature several additions, including a library of thousands of recipes, a dishwasher and a refrigerator. This means you not only won’t have to cook or prep for yourself if you can’t be bothered, but you don’t even need to wash up afterward. Marvelous. You will even be able to control it remotely using an app, which means you could order your dish to be ready for when you get home.
Early next year, DARPA will begin testing a 132-foot unmanned submarine-hunting ocean drone in San Diego. Slapped with the cumbersome title of Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV), it’s designed to do exactly that: track stealth submarines from the surface, quietly and autonomously.
Via the Telegraph:
The Starship robot has been developed by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. It drives on pavements at an average speed of 4mph, and uses proprietary mapping and navigation technology to avoid crashing into obstacles.
Starship is currently testing and demonstrating prototypes of the robot, and plans to launch pilot services in the UK in 2016. Mr Heinla said the robots are primarily intended for use in suburban areas. One of the first pilot areas will be Greenwich in East London.
Each robot can carry the equivalent of two grocery bags (20lbs). They will operate out of hubs – shipping containers that are specially built or co-located within grocery stores or warehouses. The robots will return to their hubs between deliveries to recharge and be cleaned if necessary.
Via The Mary Sue:
Yamaha’s engineers are working to ensure that, soon, Motobot will be able to ride a fully un-modified motorcycle at 200 km/h (124 mph) around a track with extremely precise control. The goal of this, outside of a feeble attempt at creating the only motorcycle gang to rival the awesomeness/terror of Chris Pratt’s raptors, is to eventually use the data involved in making Motobot work to create improved safety systems for human motorcycle riders.