Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Archive for the ‘human’ tag

World Economic Forum lists top 10 emerging technologies for 2012

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The World Economic Forum‘s (WEF’s) Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has compiled a list of the top 10 emerging technologies it believes will have the greatest impact on the state of the world in 2012, in order from lowest to highest in terms of the potential to provide solutions to global challenges.

1. Informatics for adding value to information
2. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering
3. Green Revolution 2.0 – technologies for increased food and biomass
4. Nanoscale design of materials
5. Systems biology and computational modelling/simulation of chemical and biological systems
6. Utilization of carbon dioxide as a resource
7. Wireless power
8. High energy density power systems
9. Personalized medicine, nutrition and disease prevention
10. Enhanced education technology

The greatest impact on the world is provided by processing the information available to humans. The quantity of information now available to individuals and organizations is unprecedented in human history, and the rate of information generation continues to grow exponentially. Yet, the sheer volume of information is in danger of creating more noise than value, and as a result limiting its effective use. Innovations in how information is organized, mined and processed hold the key to filtering out the noise and using the growing wealth of global information to address emerging challenges.

Artificial Intelligence and in particular Qualitative Models, which extract the most relevant information, are pieces of the solution. This is the key technology included in the “Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics” of Cognitive Robots, a very broad technology, which not only can be used for service robotics but for Internet application as well. The basics of our work are included in this book.

By February 15, 2012

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Microsoft’s new sensors: Humantenna and SoundWave

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After the Kinect sensor, Humantenna and SoundWave are two new sensors that Microsoft is working on together with the University of Washington in Seattle.

Humantenna uses the human body as an antenna to pick up the electromagnetic fields — generated by power lines and electrical appliances — found in indoor and outdoor spaces. Users wear a device that measures the signals picked up by the body and transmits them wirelessly to a computer. By studying how the signal changes as users move through the electromagnetic fields, the team was able to program the system to identify 12 gestures, such as a punching motion or a swipe of the hand, with more than 90 percent accuracy.

Humantenna requires users to wear a sensor. They are still working in its robustness.

SoundWave relies on an inaudible tone generated by a laptop’s loudspeaker. When a hand moves in front of the laptop, it changes the frequency of the tone, which the computer’s microphone picks up. By matching characteristic frequency changes with specific hand movements, SoundWave can detect certain gestures with an accuracy of 90 percent or more, even in noisy environments such as a cafeteria.

Human-[robot/computer/machine] interaction can get huge benefits from these two new sensors.

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How robots create jobs

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Service Robotics will ultimately create more highly skilled jobs – a good thing in an economy struggling to reinvent itself and a great way to spread the word that the ‘Service Robotics Revolution’ is here.

by Adil Shafi , President, ADVENOVATION, Inc.

Originally posted 04/04/2012 on Robotics Online

No army can stop an idea whose time has come ~ Victor Hugo

In 2011, the International Federation of Robotics commissioned a report on how robots create jobs. http://www.ifr.org/robots-create-jobs/. The findings report that, “One million industrial robots currently in operation have been directly responsible for the creation of close to three million jobs… A growth in robot use over the next five years will result in the creation of one million high quality jobs around the world.”

Further, the market research firm Metra Martech wrote, “In world terms three to five million jobs would not exist if automation and robotics had not been developed to enable cost effective production of millions of electronic products from Phones to PlayStations.” The report actually covers several markets in the automotive, electronics, food and beverage, plastics, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries and focuses on countries like Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea and USA. The complete report is available at ifr.org .

Read more: http://roboticsonline.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/how-robots-create-jobs/

Artificial Intelligence: time to “invest in soft-robotics”

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The increasingly popular field of soft robotics is set to have an enormous impact on the service and manufacturing industries. … The concept of ‘soft’ in robotics applies to multiple levels: literally soft to the touch – skin, tissue on body surface, muscles, tendons – soft as in natural movements in contrast to manufacturing robots or many walking robots, and soft as in safe interaction with humans. …

And there is no need to be concerned that automation will put people out of work – the reverse is true as jobs that would otherwise be outsourced to China can be protected. …  As John Dulchinos, the chief executive of Adept, the largest US-based manufacturer of industrial robots, argued in a recent interview, the US has lost several million jobs in manufacturing to China because they did not automate their production lines but outsourced them to cheap labor countries.  …  moving people from dull or unhealthy jobs to more interesting ones, according to Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou.

We expect soft robotics to have an enormous impact on the service robotics industry because we will share our living space with these machines, and we will closely interact and cooperate with them.

The European Commission is doing an outstanding job at supporting basic research and development in the area of robotics and related fields with the 7th framework programme, and in the future with Horizon 2020. Examples of soft robotics basic projects include ECHORD, the European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development, which has the aim of bringing industry and academia – basic research – together.

Cognitive Robots is leading one of the ECHORD research projects, C-Kompai. The objective of the project is to enhance the companion robot Kompai by Robosoft with the cognitive capabilities provided by the Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics of Cognitive Robots.

Read the full article by professor Rolf Pfeifer (11 April 2012) – deputy director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics and director of the artificial intelligence laboratory at the University of Zurich-: http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/1772/time-to-wake-up-and-invest-heavily-in-robotics-technology


Cognitive Robots is collaborating with Robosoft to enhance Kompai companion robot’s capabilities

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Our company Cognitive Robots in Spain, is collaborating with French company Robosoft to provide more intelligence to their Kompai companion robot for the elderly.

Since February 2011, Cognitive Robots and Robosoft have been working together to enhance the “intelligence” of the Kompai companion robotics platform.  The project is funded by the European Commission as part of a set of demonstrations, of the current capabilities of the robots (ECHORD Project called C-Kompai).

The Kompai’s capabilities prior to  incorporating our ‘ Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics’ into the platform is shown in the current GUI control panel.  The robot is controlled using a push button interface as well as voice commands.

The main functions that Robosoft asked Cognitive Robots to improve with the Cognitive Brain were:

  • Previously when a robot was purchased, the Robosoft technician needed to go to the elderly persons home and spend most of the day creating a map of the space that the robot would operate in.  Unfortunately, due to the maps limitations, the elderly couldn’t move any furniture around without the technician coming back again and remapping the environment.  This is a problem that remains in industrial applications as well.
  • Kompai had a limited perception of the plane provided by the laser sensor at a certain height. That was a big problem because any house could have plenty of obstacles that would remain unseen by Kompai.

Cognitive Robots proposed to include two new features:

  • The robot would vacuum the house.
  • To include a more dynamic and proactive behaviour by the robot, than merely waiting to be called to do something.

The Kompai’s capabilities after the Cognitive Brain is fully incorporated will be:

  • Automatic map creation.  Any furniture can be moved around without any technical assistance.
  • 3D obstacle detection using the Kinect sensor
  • ‘Autonomous vacuum cleaner’ capability
  • Proactive behaviour: Kompai will engage actions and interaction with the elderly.

These enhanced capabilities are summarized with the addition of the following three new buttons to the GUI control panel.

The scope of this particular project doesn’t go further, but we’re curious to learn your thoughts on how the behaviour of the Kompai could be further enhanced?

Comments are welcome to contribute to the development of the companion robots industry!

UCLA professor wins $250K computing prize for AI

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The technology which has been awarded is similar to the IP developed at Cognitive Robots.

NEW YORK — A University of California, Los Angeles professor is the winner of a $250,000 computing prize for his work in artificial intelligence.

Judea Pearl was named winner of the 2011 A.M. Turing Award on Thursday, one of the most prestigious honors in computing.

Pearl, 75, contributed to the field of artificial intelligence by developing mathematical formulas that factor in uncertainty. That allows computers to find connections between millions of pieces of data, even when the information is incomplete or vague. His work has made it possible for computers to think more like humans, as humans often have to make inferences in decision making.

The award, named after the British mathematician Alan Turing, is given annually by the Association for Computing Machinery. Intel (INTC) and Google (GOOG) provide funding.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20182769/ucla-professor-wins-250k-computing-prize-ai?source=email

The Service Robotics Revolution

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I have always thought that working at a repetitive task everyday simply for money should not be something that a person does. Life which is meant to be lived to its fullest, becomes an experience of surviving, not an expression of creativity, or fulfillment of every individual’s passion, full potential and purpose.

I have dedicated my entire professional life, almost 20 years of research, to developing a Cognitive Brain, which can be installed in almost any vehicle to transform it into an autonomous robot. One designed to serve individuals, commerce and industry in a variety of ways, without any human intervention. I clearly envisioned this future and had such passion that I created a whole research group to pursue that dream.

What does that future look like? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Teresa Escrig

March 14th, 2012 at 1:42 am