Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Archive for March 22nd, 2012

Why Our Service Robots Needn’t Look Like Humans

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A must read article. Don’t miss it.

Updated March 22, 2012, 8:43 a.m. ET by Ben Rooney. The Wall Street Journal. Tech Europe

“Robots should be smaller, it should be helpful, it should be subordinate, it should be making sure that you are the master and not the robot,”. And above all it must not look too human. Our acceptance of robots increases as robots get more human-like but only up to a point. In a phrase first coined by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori, get too human and they fall into the “Uncanny Valley”, that point on a graph that plots acceptance against how human like a robot is where acceptance falls through the floor. “If it gets too human-like, people are very fearful”.

By far the most engaging robot on display at InnoRobo conference hold this week in Lion, France) looked nothing like a human and an awful lot like a baby seal. Called Paro, it is designed to help patients suffering from dementia.

In a video shown by the inventor, Takanori Shibata of the Intelligent System Research Institute of Japan’s AIST, U.S. President Barack Obama is shown interacting with a couple of robots. The first is a humanoid one and it is clear he doesn’t really know what to do. Then he meets Paro.

While talking to Mr. Shibata, who is holding the pup, Mr. Obama almost subconsciously reaches out to stroke it. When we do that with all our robots, then we will be living in the future.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304724404577295802833627644.html

European Commission – 80 billion euros fund for Robotics Research

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Very good news for the Robotics area.

by Staff Writers, Brussels, Belgium (SPX) Mar 15, 2012

THE European Robotics Forum, the largest Robot industry and academia gathering in the EU, was held this year at Odense, Denmark. Delegates heard a renewed commitment to Robotic R and D from the European Commission.

Khalil Rouhana, director for digital content and cognitive systems in DG INFSO in the European Commission, told the 350 delegates that Horizon 2020, a projected 80 euro billion research fund which is planned for the period from 2014 to 2020, will be one of the largest research and innovation budgets in the world.

Hospitals need robots

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Intelligent robots can be helping in hospitals and at home.

March 6th, 2012 – by Kent Bottles
IBM’s Watson is moving on from conquering “Jeopardy” to aiding health care providers by scanning the entire medical literature to help make diagnoses more accurate. A computer named Dr. Fill is even entered in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and expected to do well. Recent articles have speculated on what kind of physicians will soon be replaced by computer programs and robots, and artificial intelligence experts predict that medical diagnoses kiosks will soon be triaging patients in the third world.

Read the article: http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2012/03/06/p4009#more4009

Partnership between Texas Instruments and iRobot

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This is an important partnership. What still is missing is “intelligence” for the robots.

By Mar. 12, 2012, 8:29am PT

The chips that power today’s smartphones and tablets are expanding to robots as Texas Instruments and iRobot announced a new partnership on Monday. TI’s OMAP platform will be used by iRobot — maker of the Roomba and Scooba service robots — to help develop new robotic technologies.

The partnership is a fitting match. Between its home and government service robots, iRobot has sold more than 7.5 million units, helping to move the robotics market forward. Clearly, it’s a leader in this space. And Texas Instruments is no slouch in the chip department. The company’s OMAP platform powers a number of currently popular mobile devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola’s Droid Razr and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Read more: http://gigaom.com/2012/03/12/why-texas-instruments-and-irobot-are-working-together/