Sharing Information About Corner Cases

The definition of what is good enough when it comes to new technology is still evolving. In safety-critical applications, as well as a number of other areas such as drones or domestic robots, people will need to watch over all machines very closely rather than the other way around. While these machines may serve a useful purpose, they also need to be monitored to ensure they don't go too far as... » read more

System Bits: May 31

In automaton we trust? It is widely believed that there are two kinds of robots: friendly and helpful; or sinister and deadly. But do humans place too much trust in robots? According to the work of Harvard University senior Serena Booth, a computer science concentrator at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the answer is as complex and multifaceted as robots themsel... » read more

What Will China Do Next?

China's attempts to buy up U.S. chip companies is undergoing more gyrations, this time spurred by the exchange rate set by the People's Bank of China and the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hikes. The central bank dropped the exchange rate of the yuan versus the dollar to its lowest rate since 2011, according to Bloomberg. The current rate is now 6.55 yuan per dollar, compared ... » read more

System Bits: May 24

Controlling autonomous vehicles in extreme conditions In an approach that could help make self-driving cars of the future safer under hazardous road conditions, a Georgia Institute of Technology research team devised a way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. According to the team comprised of researchers from Georgia Tech’s D... » read more

Robotics Update From The Playing Field

For those competitive folks out there – which is probably everyone – here is an update on the eSilicon-sponsored robot I spoke of last month. I’m happy to report that our team finished fourth in a field of 24. As of now, they have a good chance of making it to the state-level competition. On top of an already outstanding weekend, our team won the Industrial Safety Award last weekend as we... » read more

Robotics: Let The Games Begin

Right before the year-end holidays I posted a blog about a robot competition under Science Fair – Redefined. I am happy to report that the team we’re sponsoring – The Chargers – are putting the finishing touches on their robot entry to the competition. The games will begin soon. I continue to be amazed at the sophistication and complexity of this process, as I only have my high school s... » read more

Science Fair — Redefined

Being a geek at heart from an early age, I recall entering many science fair competitions while growing up in New York. Once, I made it to the citywide finals with a model of how chain reactions happen using ball bearings. My illustrious invention career also included a seismograph, an electric arc light and a working DC motor. None of those made the cut, but they were fun to build. I’m sure ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 25

Insect robots on the water Taking inspiration from water beetles and other swimming insects, academics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory have developed the "Row-bot," a robot that thrives in dirty water. The Row-bot mimics the way that one aquatic insect, the water boatman, moves and the way that it feeds on rich organic matter in the dirty water it swims in. The Row-bot project aims to ... » read more

New Robots For The IoT

Until recently, remote telepresence has largely been a fixed screen with a video link between participants, and mostly in business setting. But all of that is about to change once the [getkc id="76" comment="Internet of Things"]/Internet of Everything begins to take root. There is a plethora of development going on in mobile robotic telepresence (MRT). Companies such as iRobot, Cisco, Suitab... » read more

A Robot In Every Home

Bill Gates, in a 2006 Scientific American article, described his vision of the future as, "A robot in every home." It's difficult to project that far ahead with technology, though. Since then, wireless has come a long way. So have microelectronics—nearly 24 orders of magnitude if you use Moore's Law. So the robot conceived in 2006 is now more like a gaggle of Internet dust particles that r... » read more

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