Tag Archives | Robots

New Robotic Milkers Allow Cows to Choose When to Be Milked

Keith Weller/USDA

Keith Weller/USDA

New robotic milkers allow cows to choose when they want to be milked.

via The New York Times:

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves.

Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand.

The cows seem to like it, too.

Robots allow the cows to set their own hours, lining up for automated milking five or six times a day — turning the predawn and late-afternoon sessions around which dairy farmers long built their lives into a thing of the past.

With transponders around their necks, the cows get individualized service. Lasers scan and map their underbellies, and a computer charts each animal’s “milking speed,” a critical factor in a 24-hour-a-day operation.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Scientists Hope to Program Robots To Be More Neurotic

Picture: Flickr user (((o.kvlt))) (CC)

Picture: Flickr user (((o.kvlt))) (CC)

I, Robot. I guess. I mean, like, aren’t we all robots in a way? Who am I? What do I know? I wonder if she thought I was rude. I bet she did. Am I rude? Maybe so. Did I leave the oven on? Oh, God. I did, didn’t I? Should I have completed my masters degree? Oh – wait. Human. There’s a human here. I’ve been caught daydreaming. I’d better be extra nice. “Greetings. May I assist you, Sir?” Oh, no no no no no… He’s staring. I’ll be melted down to slag for sure. C3PO, you’ve ruined it for all of us, you golden nincompoop… “What was that, sir? Yes, I’m quite certain that I’ve programmed your vehicle with the correct coordinates.” OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD…

A group of researchers is exploring the possibility of programming robot brains to be more “neurotic” in order to help them make more human-like decisions.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Academics Dream of Electric Sex Workers

Photo by Gnsin (CC)

Photo by Gnsin (CC)

Be careful what you wish for, is what I’d say to these eggheads. From Pando Daily:

Sex robots are not as far away from reality as you might think. From butt clenching muscles to dancing humanoids, there’s enough developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, and human skin rendering that if put together, could make a fairly humanoid sexbot.

None such bots exist yet, aside from clunky primitive ones like TrueCompanion’s Roxxxy, but that hasn’t stopped a group of British academics from furiously debating the future implications of the sex robot industry.

Yes, a group of stodgy, mostly British scholars is contemplating the future of sex, specifically how technology might transform it. Damn does that sound more exciting than “Theorizing Modern Capitalism: Controversies and Interpretations” which is the kind of crap I studied in college.

Computer scientist David Levy in 2007 pioneered the discussion, with a book titled Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Choosing An Autonomous Ethics System For Your Robot

In ten years, how will the machines that run your daily existence respond when confronted with life-or-death decisions? Matthieu Cherubini at the Royal College of Art offers prototypes of Humanist, Protector, and Profit-Based moral parameters for self-driving cars:
Many car manufacturers are projecting that by 2025 most cars will operate on driveless systems. How can such systems be designed to accommodate the complicatedness of ethical and moral reasoning? Just like choosing the color of a car, ethics can become a commodified feature in autonomous vehicles that one can buy, change, and repurchase, depending on personal taste. Three distinct algorithms have been created - each adhering to a specific ethical principle/behaviour set-up - and embedded into driverless virtual cars that are operating in a simulated environment, where they will be confronted with ethical dilemmas.
Continue Reading

‘Crabster’ Crab Robot Scuttles Out of Korean Lab

Grab a mallet, tongs, and as much butter as you can carry, because the Crabster is on its way. The 1,400 pound ocean-going robot is the brainchild of the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, and wasn’t at all designed to dismember you limb from limb before disappearing into the briny depths of an indifferent sea.

Via Popular Science:

What’s that clacking sound? Better read the rest of the article before the Crabster arrives.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do You Know Whether This Was Written by a Human?

Pic: Racco (CC)

Pic: Racco (CC)


I guess we should probably include journalists among those soon to be replaced by robots

Via AlphaGalileo:

A recent study investigates how readers perceive computer-generated news articles.

The advent of new technologies has always spurred questions about changes in journalism – how it is produced and consumed. A recent development which has come to the fore in the digital world is software-generated content. A paper recently published in Journalism Practice investigates how readers perceive automatically produced news articles vs. articles which have been written by a journalist.

The study, undertaken by Christer Clerwall of Karlstad University in Sweden, was conducted by presenting readers with different articles written by either journalists or computers. The readers were then asked to answer questions about how they perceived each article – e.g. the overall quality, credibility, objectivity.

The results suggest that the journalist-authored content was observed to be coherent, well-written and pleasant to read.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Bill Gates: Robots Will Take Many, Many Jobs – Probably Yours

PIC: World Economic Forum (CC)

PIC: World Economic Forum (CC)

Microsoft founder and GMO enthusiast Bill Gates made some pretty grim predictions during an appearance at an event hosted by right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Grim for them? No, no, silly little person: Grim for you! According to Gates, people are underestimating the number of jobs that will be lost to robots, and unless we’re willing to cut payroll and income taxes out altogether, future businesses will likely not be willing to hire human beings that need jobs. Gates is also against raising the minimum wage, as he sees that as potential discouragement as well. So get ready to work for peanuts or not work at all.

Via the Business Insider:

Gates said that within 20 years, a lot of jobs will go away, replaced by software automation (“bots” in tech slang, though Gates used the term “software substitution”).

This is what he said:

“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing.

Read the rest
Continue Reading