Instead, worried at hurt feelings and a vague possibility of retribution, I apologised.Not my proudest moment, but I can still listen to it – my pathetic wheedling – because the robot recorded, saved and uploaded it to the cloud.Unlike rivals such as Apple s Siri, Microsoft s Cortana and Google Now, it is a physical presence: a 20cm-tall black cylinder, about the size of two Coke cans, which contains Wi-Fi, two speakers, seven microphones and connects to the cloud.When you say Alexa , the wake word , the cylinder top glows blue and speaks with a silky female voice.An Irish friend jokingly branded Alexa a partitionist bitch for saying Ireland had 26 counties the Republic, yes, but include Northern Ireland and it s 32 .Alexa, I said, I m sorry if I offended you.
It can dance, walk, play football and do kung-fu – but only when commanded via its companion app.UBTech Alpha 1 Pro – Design and FeaturesThe Alpha 1 Pro comes fully assembled and with minimal accessories in the box – just a mains charger and a Mini USB cable.Or perhaps the scheming love-child of Honda Asimo.Alpha s probably about as big as you re expecting – certainly as I was expecting.There s an awful lot of white plastic here, broken up only by the black plastic and silver metal of those 16 servos at all the joints.
And, as fans of the movie franchise know, these spoofs are of the affectionate variety, created out of reverence for the films rather than to mock them – most of the time, anyway.You could spend days trawling through the endless parade of spoof videos on YouTube, ranging from Robot Chicken to Family Guy to Community.If there was a prize for completeness of a parody, then without doubt the award would go to the Blue Harvest episode of Family Guy.In the episode the electricity goes out, so Peter retells his family the story of A New Hope, with the show's characters playing the leading roles – Chris is Luke, Peter is Han, Brian is Chewbacca – and Stewie is Vader, of course.Various episodes of The SimpsonsThe Simpsons first hit our screens four years after the release of Return of the Jedi, and by the time The Phantom Menace was released we were reaching the point where the show's decline began Simpsons nerds tend to agree it was around Season 12 .
Long known to be a bit of a cynic in regards to artificial intelligence, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to do what he does best and put his wealth to good use.Along with Y Combinator president Sam Altman, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Musk’s PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Musk hopes that this donation will to allow OpenAI to function freely without worrying about generating a financial return.In the company’s eyes, this fact alone is paramount to it prioritizing a “good outcome” over its own “self-interest.”“As a non-profit, our aim is to build value for everyone rather than shareholders,” OpenAI representatives said in a press release.“Researchers will be strongly encouraged to publish their work, whether as papers, blog posts, or code, and our patents (if any) will be shared with the world.We’ll freely collaborate with others across many institutions and expect to work with companies to research and deploy new technologies.”Despite the $1 billion pledge and celebrity affiliation, it isn’t completely obvious exactly how OpenAI intends to build value or collaborate outside of just plain research.“It’s hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it’s equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly.”In addition to the founders, OpenAI plans on initially functioning with nine world-class research engineers and scientists, headlined by research director and Google Brain Team alum Ilya Sutskever.
Google Home will be released later this yearGoogle has unveiled a voice-controlled, AI-powered robot assistant that can be ordered to turn the lights down, play music or order a taxi.Google Home, a pint-sized speaker and microphone combination, is designed to sit in a room and respond to its owner's every command, from answering questions to checking the weather.Google's Mario Queiroz unveils HomeThe device is similar to the Amazon Echo, which was released in the US in 2014.By always listening, Google Home can respond to any queries just by users saying "OK Google" and issuing a command, rather than having to type a phrase into a search engine or check emails to dig out flight details."Computing is evolving beyond phones, and people are using it in context across many scenarios, be it in their television, be it in their car, be it something they wear on their wrist or even something much more immersive," Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai said.Google, which unveiled Home at I/O, its annual developer conference, said it would be released later in the year.
Benjamin Stahl Photographer: Fredrik Karlsson Swedish industry has a good position when it comes to robotics. But it required a serious effort to retain the position, according to a new report. In 2015 there were 1.5 million industrial roots in use worldwide compared to one million in 2009, an increase of 50 percent in five years. The rapid development of sensors have influenced and robots have become smarter, smaller, easier to use - and yet cheaper. - But the development has not been driven by the traditional robot suppliers but rather by large companies like Google, Amazon and Apple actually been more interested in artificial intelligence, says Benjamin Stahl, research director at Blue institute with the recent report robots century. But now growing faster robot use in other countries - particularly in Asia.
Chinese home-appliance maker Midea Group 000333 -2.06 % announced Wednesday it plans to launch a takeover of Germany s Kuka AG KU2 28.84 % , in a deal that values the industrial robot maker at more than $5 billion, making it one of the largest unsolicited approaches of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer.Midea Group said it intends to increase the shares it owns in Kuka to more than 30%, which requires an offer for all issued shares in the Ausburg, Germany-based company.Morgan Stanley is providing Midea with a bridge loan to finance the deal, a spokeswoman for the Chinese company said.State-owned China Securities Finance Corp Ltd and private-equity firm CDH Investments are among Midea s minority shareholders.Closely held German engineering company Voith Group holds 25% in Kuka, with another 10% being held by German billionaire Friedhelm Loh via his holding company.On the bright side for Voith Group and Mr. Loh, stronger ties with Midea could help Kuka spur sales in China, which is the world s fastest-growing robotics market with an expected annual growth of 14% for the next few years, according to the Chinese company.
Image copyrightChina's biggest home appliances manufacturer Midea has made an unsolicited takeover bid for German industrial robot maker Kuka.Midea is offering 115 euros per share $130; £90 for a controlling stake in the firm, valuing it at more than $5bn.Engineering firm Voith Group and German billionaire Friedhelm Loh together own more than a third of Kuka.Midea's shares remain suspended in Shenzhen following the announcement on Wednesday.However, shares of Kuka surged by 13% in Frankfurt on Tuesday following media reports of Midea's impending bid.GE ended up selling the unit to Chinese rival Haier for $5.4bn in January.
Anne-Maj Eastern Roman Empire, president of Conveyor and Ruth Westberg, President of Concept. Photographer: Fredrik Karlsson During Elmia Automation presented a new standard solution for the industry; a cell that has been created to pick up and move things efficiently. In the latest standard solution they have used conveyors from the company Conveyor 22nd - We have put together various parts of a standard solution with very good noise level and price as possible, says Ruth Westberg, President of Concept. The so-called visionmataren contains two trappstegsmatare, two feeders and robot and camera from ABB. The idea is that the robot should pick up and put on the conveyors so that things moved and the feeder can service a larger robot cell.
View photosMoreCutepepperPepper, the so-called "emotional robot" that made its debut in Japan almost two years ago, is preparing to come state-side.Pepper is a four-foot tall, humanoid robot with a child-like upper body and a three-wheel base."This is the first opportunity for the Android community to get their hands on a SDK to help them program on this platform," said Steve Carlin, vice president of marketing and business development at Softbank Robotics America.Android has a huge development community, so bringing the relatively new robot platform to it makes sense."We want to incentivise them to come on and use their creativity to create solutions for how other people will be using Pepper, for business or personal use," said Carlin.Pepper's Android adoption could lead to integration with other Android devices and systems, including tablets, smartphones and smart home devices.
Photo: Mike Blake / Reuters Former Google-men are planning technique, which is already existing lorries could make a robot cars. Multi-technology company is developing a self-targeted to passenger cars, but the new Otto trying to get a slice of the US $ 700 billion worth of heavy transport sector. The group lead by Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron. Men went alphabete in January. The company's goal is to sell kits for existing vehicles can be equipped with an automatic technology. The company has not yet indicated when the product will be on sale.
Not that there s anything decidedly unsexy about a knotty metaphor Ha!According to AndroidAuthority.com, the site had built a bot that could spit out facts like a champ; but, no one enjoys chatting with a walking Dictionary, lest they hope to be proven wrong, and tactlessly.Hoping to make their bot a little more relatable to humans, Google began feeding it steamy romance passages, imbuing its database of facts with cheesy, raunchy flair.They hit a sweet spot between the labyrinthine, meandering sentences found in literary fiction, and the less elevated language used in kids books.The bot filled in the conversation with lines such as It was quiet for a moment and It was dark and cold, making the simulated exchange sound more like a brooding diary entry or punk song than a chat between acquaintances.Does this mean human writers are becoming endangered, soon to be replaced by an entity that s higher up in the job market food chain?
Machines, after all, can perform many manufacturing tasks more efficiently, effectively and consistently than humans, leading to increased output, better quality and less waste.SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images Of the more than 229,000 industrial robots sold in 2014 the most recent statistics available , more than 57,000 were sold to Chinese manufacturers, 29,300 to Japanese companies, 26,200 to companies in the U.S., 24,700 to South Koreans and more than 20,000 to German companies.The basic economic trade-off between the cost of labor and the cost of automation is the primary consideration.AP Photo/Kin Cheung Other countries that have been rapidly integrating robotics into manufacturing, but not quite as quickly, are Canada, China, Japan, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. China is an interesting case because it s automating rapidly despite the fact that Chinese wages are still comparatively low.Countries moving more slowly in the adoption of industrial robotics include Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico and Poland.German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with a robot at an industrial fair in 2006 alongside Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
photographer: Kuka Chinese household machine Midea want to take over the German giant robot Kuka, and pay well for the shares. Already the rumors of the offer on Tuesday, the price of KUKA shares at 84.41 euros. The Chinese now offer 115 euros per share, according to the German stock market analysts evaluates Kuka to 4.6 billion euros. Largest shareholder today Voith Group, which owns 25.1 percent of shares. Midea is in China, a famous manufacturer of household appliances like air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators. Earlier this year, Midea is the largest shareholder of Toshiba's consumer electronics department, a purchase worth around four billion.
Dealing with obstacles is an inevitable part of life, and it looks like robots may be surprisingly adept at applying creativity to the challenge.Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University developed software that not only helped a robot deal efficiently with clutter but also revealed considerable creativity in solving problems.In one case, the robot, officially named the Home Exploring Robot Butler, used the crook of its arm to cradle an object to be moved.That's great in relatively clutter-free locations like factory production lines, but not so much in homes -- or on distant planets.It can also be taught to pay attention to items that might be valuable or delicate.Currently, CMU's algorithm forges ahead full-bore with any plan it makes, but work is under way to help it make corrections along the way.
The idea for this tennis robot was born after years of table tennis matches against each other and when they began studying in different parts built one brother a prototype robot to practice in secret. A dozen prototypes later, has now launched Trainerbot on Kickstarter. The project is seeking 80,000 dollars and if you want one you have to donate at least $ 329 excluding shipping. With Trainerbot can, via an associated mobile app, create your own workouts so you can get better at the different tennis teams. You can set each on the table the ball will land, how fast it will go and whether there should be any spin on the ball. Bonus Cut below where people from Ars Technica and The Verge takes a closer look at this device.
Image copyright V Image caption The Elytra Filament Pavilion will be in the V's John Madejski Garden until 6 NovemberA robot has taken up residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum to construct a new installation at its London gardens.The futuristic structure will grow and change shape using data based on how visitors interact with it.Elytra's canopy is made up of 40 hexagonal cells - made from strips of carbon and glass fibre - which have been tightly wound into shape by the computer-controlled Kuka robot.On certain days, visitors to the V will be able to watch the robot create new cells that will be added to the canopy.As a result, the structure is remarkably lightweight.Each cell weighs 45kg and has a predicted lifespan of 50 years.
Even more remarkable, the robot seems to have tapped into this tender side all on its own.The robot, dubbed the Home Exploring Robot Butler HERB , uses a series of algorithms to solve problems and move objects around.But consider the fairly complex set of actions you re following when you do so.Your brain tells your arm to reach up and pull the fridge open.Then you navigate obstacles in the way some old pasta sauce, maybe, or a stick of butter , close your fingers around the drink, remove your arm while clasping it and push the refrigerator shut.We are also actively developing ... algorithms that simultaneously learn the rules of engagement as they solve problems.
Image Source: SITARaise your hand if you hate dealing with airports.As soon as you re done waiting in line to drop off your luggage, you re off to a second line to go through the security check and then a third line to wait to board the plane.Leo the robot might not fix all our problems at the airport, but it might help us avoid at least one of the lines we ve all grown to hate.DON T MISS: Bionic eye restores man s vision after being blind for 40 yearsCreated by airport technology company SITA, Leo is already deployed at the Geneva Airport in Switzerland.With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and departure time.Thanks to the sharing economy, living in five different cities in five years has never been more doable.
It s been long rumored that Google was looking to one up its own Messenger and Hangouts messaging apps.Allo has got cutesy little features like easy-to-use volume control to shout messages read as: make font bigger .But some of the woah future moments came with a demo of impressive image recognition built into the app.You can also message @google and launch all the powers of the Google search engine brain, powered by Google s own Knowledge Graph.You can also make this robot text messaging a group experience, and maybe the coolest feature, Allo has its own incognito mode, which end-to-end encrypts your messages.Seems Google is continuing its aggressive campaign to conquer your iPhone.