Robotics

Creating a Drone ‘No Fly’ Zone Over Your House

Posted In Fun, Living in Tech
shutterstock_Piotr Debowski
Have you ever wondered whether a drone will crash-land into your house? Does the idea of unmanned aerial vehicles buzzing over your yard make you nervous? NoFlyZone wants to calm those fears by creating an online database of addresses that drones are forbidden to fly over. “Private property location information will be included in NoFlyZone’s comprehensive airspace database provided to participating drone companies,” reads the explanatory text on the initiative’s website. “This database includes civil and military airspace, airports, hospitals,… continue…

The Rise of the Robot Journalists

Posted In Artificial Intel.
shutterstock_josefkubes
In mid-2014, Elon University and the Pew Internet Project released a survey of tech experts, who suggested pretty much en masse that robots will eventually take over many of the jobs currently performed by human beings, including factory work and many driving tasks. You can add “journalism” to that list, with some caveats. The Associated Press now relies on automated software from Automated Insights to generate thousands of articles per quarter, all of them focused on companies’ quarterly earnings reports.… continue…

Bill Gates Talks Regrets, Current Microsoft Project

Posted In Fun
Bill Gates
Earlier this week, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took to Reddit for his third Ask Me Anything (AMA) with the site’s readers. As befitting one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists, he offered a hopeful vision of humanity’s future, while hinting at some projects he’s currently developing for Microsoft, where he still serves as an advisor. For Microsoft Windows-related jobs, click here. “There will be more progress in the next 30 years than ever,” he told the audience. “Even in the… continue…

When Your Shopping Bot Becomes a Lawbreaker

Posted In Living in Tech
!mediengruppebitnik/!mediengruppebitnik
Who’s responsible when a bot breaks the law? A collective of Swiss artists faced that very question when they coded the Random Darknet Shopper, an online shopping bot, to purchase random items from a marketplace located on the Deep Web, an area of the World Wide Web not indexed by search engines. While many of the 16,000 items for sale on this marketplace are legal, quite a few are not; and when the bot purchased a handful of illegal pills… continue…

Will Robots and Automation Doom Some IT Jobs?

Posted In Looking in Tech
shutterstock_maxuser
For decades, at least some economists made the assumption that, for every job lost to a robot or automated process, the evolving economy would add at least a few more. If a robot took your job building widgets, the idea went, you could still get a job (with sufficient retraining) fixing the widget-building robot. But according to The New York Times, there’s an emerging view that automation is weighing down on employment. “This is the biggest challenge of our society… continue…

Future Tech: A Drone Built From Fungus

Posted In Living in Tech
Bio-Drone
When you think “drone,” the first image that pops to mind is probably a metal-and-polymer aircraft, like the ones Amazon plans on using to deliver packages to people. But what if manufacturers could build drones out of something other than metal? What if you could construct an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) out of biological material, specifically a lightweight-but-strong one known as mycelium? The vegetative part of a fungus, mycelium is already under consideration as a building material; the MoMA PS1… continue…

Amazon Hiring Drone Pilots

Posted In Living in Tech
Amazon Drones
If you’re an aerospace engineer with experience in drones, Amazon might have a job for you. According to a handful of recent job postings, the company’s Amazon Prime Air Team wants “flight operations and certification personnel for flight testing our UAS technologies,” including flight operations engineers and senior technical program managers. Click here to find drone-related jobs. For flight operations engineers, desired qualifications include more than five years of lead flight experience, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering or a… continue…

Watch This Robot Kick Like the ‘Karate Kid’

Posted In Living in Tech
Google Boston Dynamics
Robots: They roll, crawl, walk, and even gallop. But now a Google-built machine has taken the evolution of mechanical movement to the next glorious stage. In the above video, the humanoid Atlas robot (created by Google subsidiary Boston Dynamics) not only balances one-legged on a short pillar of cinder blocks, it also imitates Ralph Macchio’s iconic “crane” pose from the 1984 hit The Karate Kid. Humanity, rejoice! Our robots can now perform selected bits from 80’s movies, for our amusement,… continue…

Meet the Robot Tasked With Tasting Thai Food

Posted In Living in Tech
Piti Thai Shutterstock
Thailand’s government cares about the quality of the country’s restaurants. It cares so much, in fact, that it’s building a robot capable of sampling Thai cuisine and judging it against a government-mandated standard. In an episode of bureaucratic nomenclature that seems right out of a George Orwell novel—if Orwell had become a celebrity chef instead of a writer of political parables—the Thai government has named the group tasked with designing the robot the “Thai Delicious Committee.” According to The New… continue…

You’ve Seen Drones Fly. Now Watch Them Dance.

Posted In Living in Tech
Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 3.32.58 PM
Drones serve a lot of uses these days. The U.S. military relies on flying ones for battlefield activities; hobbyists around the world also send machines skyward, sometimes to take a look at things like Apple’s $5 billion “spaceship” headquarters under construction in northern California. Rolling drones clean our houses and chase our pets around (the latter for fun, of course). Click here for drone-related jobs. But we’re betting you’ve never seen drones dance. Fortunately, Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and… continue…