avatar

Tyler

What we talk about when we talk about robotics in Robotics News

What we talk about when we talk about robotics
20 February 2017, 2:07 pm

European Robotics Week 2016. Credits: Visual Outcasts “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” is a collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver. In his collection, he doesn’t provide a direct definition of love but instead lets the perception of the nature of love form in the minds of the reader through narrating a series of short stories.

This idea of perception leads me to my point. In my previous post, I highlighted the widespread reproducibility issues still haunting robotics research. These issues need to be fixed if we want to talk about Robotics as a science. Like what the new journal Science Robotics aims to do. However there are still other issues to consider: what exactly is Robotics about? What does it mean when it’s said, ‘you will never be able to do that within the mechatronic paradigm? Is there a kind of ‘robotics thermodynamics’? What can be done? What can’t, for fundamental reasons, be done with a given approach/class of physical systems?

A real roboticist (even in academia) might be tempted to dismiss those question as typical intellectual speculations.

There was a recent article in New Scientist about London’s Science Museum’s Robots called, who is really pulling the strings? If you focus solely on the perception of disappointment, after reading the article, you might be led to think, as I do, that we need a paradigm change. And you may understand the objectives and concerns of some not-so-mainstream communities in AI and Robotics, for example, those gathering around the ‘Shanghai Lectures’ (2016 edition here). Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

I will come back on this again. Stay tuned!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read:


Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

Started Today at 04:50:09 PM
avatar

keghn

MusicNet in General AI Discussion

MusicNet:  

http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~thickstn/musicnet.html

6 Comments | Started December 03, 2016, 05:38:28 PM
avatar

Tyler

Should California electrify Caltrain or invest in robocars? in Robotics News

Should California electrify Caltrain or invest in robocars?
20 February 2017, 9:57 am

Caltrain at Palo Alto, CA. Source: Wikipedia Commons [Editor’s note: According to a recent article on SFGate, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric. The delay may kill the project entirely.]

Caltrain is the commuter rail line of the San Francisco peninsula. It’s not particularly good; California is, after all, the land of the car commuter, but a plan is underway to convert it from diesel to electric. This made news at the same time as California Republican house members announced they want to put a stop to both this project and the larger California High-Speed Rail that hopes to open in 2030.

For various reasons, they may be right about the high-speed rail — but stop the electric trains? Electric trains are better than diesel; they are cleaner, faster and quieter. But one number stands out in the plan — to electrify 51 miles of track, and do other related improvements, it is forecast to cost over $1.5 billion dollars. That’s around $30M per mile.

So I started to ask, what other technology could we purchase with $1.5 billion plus a private right-of-way through the most populated areas of silicon valley and the peninsula? Caltrain carries about 60,000 passengers/weekday (30,000 each way.) That’s about $50,000 per rider. In particular, what about a robotic transit line, using self-driving cars, vans and buses?

Paving over the tracks is relatively inexpensive. In fact, if we didn’t have buses, you could get by with fairly meager pavement since no heavy vehicles would travel the line. You could leave the rails intact in the pavement, though that makes the paving job harder. You want pavement because you want stations to become “offline” — vehicles depart the main route when they stop so that express vehicles can pass them by. That’s possible with rail, but in spite of the virtues of rail, there are other reasons to go to tires.

Fortunately, due to the addition of express trains many years ago, some stations already are 4 tracks wide, making it easy to convert stations to an express route with space by the side for vehicles to stop and let passengers on/off. Many other stations have parking lots or other land next to them allowing reasonably easy conversion. A few stations would present some issues.

Making robocars for a dedicated track is easy; we could have built that decades ago. In fact, with their much shorter stopping distance they could be safer than trains on rails. Perhaps we had to wait to today to convince people that one could get the same safety off of rails. Another thing that only arrived recently was the presence of smartphones in the hands of almost all the passengers, and low cost computing to make kiosks for the rest. That’s because the key to a robotic transit line would be coordination on the desires of passengers. A robotic transit line would know just who was going from station A to station J, and attempt to allocate a vehicle just for them. This vehicle would stop only at those two stations, providing a nonstop trip for most passengers. The lack of stops is also more energy efficient, but the real win is that it’s more pleasant and faster. With private ROW, it can easily beat a private car on the highways, especially at rush hour.

Another big energy win is sizing the vehicles to the load. If there are only 8 passengers going from B to K, then a van is the right choice, not a bus. This is particularly true off-peak, where vast amounts of energy are wasted moving big trains with just a few people. Caltrain’s last train to San Francisco never has more than 100 people on it. Smaller vehicles also allow for more frequent service in an efficient manner, and late night service as well. (Most commuter trains shut down well before midnight.) Knowing you can get back is a big factor in whether you take a transit line at night.

An over-done service with a 40 passenger bus every 2 seconds would move 72,000 people (but really 30,000) in one hour in one direction to Caltrain’s 30,000 in a day. So of course we would not build that, and there would only be a few buses, mainly for rush hour. Even a fleet of just 4,000 9 passenger minvans (3 rows of 3) could move around 16,000 per hour (but really 8,000) in each direction. Even if each van was $50,000 each, we’ve spent only $200M of our $1.5B, though they might wear out too fast at that price, so we could bump the price and give them a much longer lifetime.

Energy These vans and cars could be electric. This could be done entirely with batteries and a very impressive battery swap system, or you could have short sections of track which are electrified — with overhead rails or even third rails. The electric lines would be used to recharge batteries and supercapacitors, and would only be present on parts of the track. Unlike old 3rd rail technology, which requires full grade separation, modern technology could produce rails that are only electrified when an authorized vehicle is in contact. Even so, you would not have electrification at any grade crossing.

Other alternatives would be things like natural gas (which is cheap and much cleaner than liquid fuels, though still emits CO2) because it can be refilled quickly. Or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could work here — hydrogen can be refilled quickly and can be zero emissions. Regular fossil fuel is also an option for peak times. For example the rush hour buses might make more sense running on CNG or even gasoline. The lack of starts and stops can make this pretty efficient.

Getting off the track Caltrain’s station in San Francisco is quite far from most of the destinations people want to go to. It’s one of the big reasons people don’t ride it. Vans on tires, however, have the option of keeping going once they get to the station. Employers could sponsor vehicles that arrive at the station and keep driving to their office tower. Vans could also continue to BART or more directly to underground Muni, long before the planned subway is ready. Likewise on the peninsula, vans and buses would travel from stations to corporate HQ. Google, Yahoo, Apple and many other companies already run transit fleets to bring employees in — you can bet that given the option they would gladly have those vans drive the old rail line at express speeds. On day one, they could have a driver who only drives the section back and forth between the station and the corporate office. In the not too distant future, the van or bus would of course drive itself. It’s not even out of the question that one of the passengers in a van, after having taken a special driving test, could drive that last mile, though you may need to assure somebody drives it back.

At-grade crossings I noted above that capacity would be slightly less than half of full. That’s because Caltrain has a fair number of at-grade crossings in the mid-peninsula. Today, these have railway gates. They would be converted to more normal traffic signals. The robotic vehicles would coordinate their trips to travel in bunches, leaving gaps where the cross-street’s light can be turned green. If any car was detected trying to run the red, the signal could be uploaded to allow all the robotic vans to slow or even brake hard. Unlike trains, they could brake in reasonable amounts of time if somebody stalls on the old track. You would also detect people attempting to drive on the path or walk on it. Today’s cameras and cheap LIDARs can make that affordable.

Over time, there is also the option in some places to build special crossings. Because the vans and cars would all be not very high, much less expensive underpasses could be created under some of the roads for use only by the smaller vehicles. Larger vehicles would still need to bunch themselves together to leave gaps for the cross-traffic. One could also create overpasses rated only for lightweight vehicles at much lower cost, though those would still need to be high enough for trucks to go underneath. In addition, while cars can handle much, much steeper grades than trains, it could get disconcerting to handle too much up and down at 100mph. And yes, in time, they would go 100mph or even faster. And in time, some would even draft one another to both increase capacity and save energy — creating virtual trains where there used to be physical ones.

And then, obsolete This robotic transit line would be much better than the train. But it would also be obsolete in just a couple of decades! As the rest of the world moves to more robocars, the transit line would switch to being just another path for the robocars. It would be superior, because it would allow only robocars and never have traffic congestion. You would have to pay extra to use it at rush hour, but many vehicles would, and large vehicles would get preference. The stations would largely vanish as all vehicles are able to go door to door. Most of the infrastructure would get re-used after the transit line shuts down.

It might seem crazy to build such a system if it will be obsolete in a short time, but it’s even crazier to spend billions on shoring up 19th century train.

What about the first law? I’ve often said the first law of robocars is you don’t change the infrastructure. In particular, I am in general against ideas like this which create special roads just for robocars, because it’s essential that we not imagine robocars are only good on special roads. It’s only when huge amounts of money are already earmarked for infrastructure that this makes sense. Now we are well on the way to making general robocars good for ordinary streets. As such, special cars only for the former rail line run less risk of making people believe that robocars are only safe on dedicated paths. In fact, the funded development would almost surely lead to vehicles that work off the path as well, and allow high volume manufacturing of robotic transit vehicles for the future.

Could this actually happen? I do fear that our urban and transit planners are unlikely to be so forward looking as to abandon a decades old plan for a centuries old technology overnight. But the advantages are huge:

  • It should be cheaper
  • Many companies could do it, and many would want to, to fund development of other technology
  • It would almost surely be technology from the Bay Area, not foreign technology, though vehicle manufacturing would come from outside
  • They could also get money for the existing rolling stock and steel in the rails to fund this
  • The service level would be vastly better. Wait times of mere minutes. Non-stop service. Higher speeds.
  • The energy use would be far lower and greener, especially if electric, CNG or hydrogen vehicles are used
The main downside is risk. This doesn’t exist yet. If you pave the road to retain the rails embedded in them, you would not need to shut down the rail line at first. In fact, you could keep it running as long as there were places that the vans could drive around trains that are slowing or stopping in the stations. Otherwise, you do need to switch one day.

Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

Started Today at 10:49:15 AM
avatar

yotamarker

poker a.i in General AI Discussion

5 Comments | Started February 17, 2017, 05:52:27 PM
avatar

Tyler

Robots Podcast #228: RoboUniverse Conference – Drones, AI, and 3D printing (Part 2 of 2), with Dr. Douglas Stow, Dr. Eugene Izhikevich and Cullen Hilkene in Robotics News

Robots Podcast #228: RoboUniverse Conference – Drones, AI, and 3D printing (Part 2 of 2), with  Dr. Douglas Stow,  Dr. Eugene Izhikevich

and  Cullen Hilkene

19 February 2017, 2:37 am



In this episode, Abate De Mey interviews speakers from the Artificial Intelligence and Drone tracks at RoboUniverse San Diego and the Inside 3D Printing Conference. Dr. Douglas Stow from the Drones track discusses the use of drones in analyzing large scale changes over time in terrains, and its applications in determining the extent of damage after a natural disaster. From the Artificial Intelligence track, Dr. Eugene Izhikevich discusses how his company, Brain Corporation, converts manually driven industrial machines into autonomous robots. Wrapping it up, Cullen Hilkene from 3Diligent discusses how his company optimizes the work flow and communication layer between a diverse set of 3D print vendors and their customers.





Dr. Douglas Stow

Dr. Stow is a Professor of Geography at San Diego State University (SDSU) and has been on the faculty for 33 years. He has worked in the remote sensing field for almost 40 years and his research focuses on multitemporal image analysis. He is the primary instructor of remote sensing courses at SDSU and is the Co-Director of the Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research.

 

Dr. Eugene Izhikevich

Known for his contributions to the theory of spiking networks, in 2005 Dr. Izhikevich implemented the world’s largest thalamo-cortical model. It simulated one hundred billion neurons and one quadrillion synapses – the same number as the human brain. In addition, Dr. Izhikevich was a senior fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the San Diego based Neurosciences Institute and is the founder of Scholarpedia, a free, peer-reviewed encyclopedia.

 

Cullen Hilkene

Cullen Hilkene is CEO of 3Diligent, “the 3D Printing Partner for Every Business.” 3Diligent is a web-based rapid manufacturing service described as “Uber meets Amazon for 3D Printing, CNC Machining, and Molding and Casting.” Hilkene was introduced to 3D printing while working on a project with Deloitte Consulting, where he was exposed to many of the business challenges that it began solving. Cullen received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and his BA from Princeton University.

 

 

Links


Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

1 Comment | Started February 19, 2017, 04:48:12 AM
avatar

Freddy

Beginners topics and resources for AI projects in General Project Discussion

Making this thread to bring things together for beginners.

If anyone wants to drop in links and things I will add them to this top post.

Just a few to get started :

3 Comments | Started July 31, 2015, 09:27:08 PM
avatar

LOCKSUIT

La-Masterpiece in Graphics

Sub-level 9804

Tube 9

Sector 55

http://advancessss.deviantart.com/art/Final78989988998-664383055

http://advancessss.deviantart.com/art/Final68878677-664387310?ga_submit_new=10%3A1487468889

Started February 19, 2017, 01:38:24 AM
avatar

keghn

Touch Sensor Line in General Project Discussion

  I have finally come across a design for touch system for a agi body. :D

 It is based on transmission line logic. That is two parallel line that a pulse is sent into one of them, and are separated with a coat of thin squishy foam.
 At place where it is pinched it will send back  a reflection. Timing the return reflection will give me the location. Just like radar finding a flying plane:  

http://www.falstad.com/circuit/e-tlmismatch.html  

http://www.falstad.com/circuit/e-tlterm.html  

 I am going in this direction because it seems easy. Also because printable semiconductor paint of type P and N have not been fully developed,
to do printable transistors and diodes, at this time.
 I originally wanted to make print logic gates and also print a data and addressing communication buss right onto the body of the AGI, to access pressure sensor that are a millimeter square or smaller.  

  Also, this other way is not available to me of using microscopic chip for addressing gate, that access a body wide micro communication bus. The next problem is there is no micro assembling device to assemble everything and to install everything in place on a microscopic level.

 I am not going to use capacitive sensing for a various reason. That are used inside of smartphones:  





16 Comments | Started October 13, 2016, 11:44:15 PM
avatar

Art

Facebook's Oculus to pay $500 million in damages in Virtual Reality

Unfortunately, this IS Reality...

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/01/facebook-loses-vr-case.html

4 Comments | Started February 02, 2017, 12:34:45 AM
avatar

LOCKSUIT

What is Intelligence? (be specific) in General AI Discussion

What is Intelligence? (be specific)

5 Comments | Started February 15, 2017, 09:17:08 PM
ChatBot App Development Explained

ChatBot App Development Explained in Articles

If earlier chatbots were small entertainment features for the people who are interested in new technologies, now it is almost the most important function for the modern messenger.Today, with the help of chatbot technology the company can improve its business.

The chatbots can optimize such tasks as data search, electronic assistant,creation of company image.

As for integration, chatbots can be integrated into most of today’s messengers:Telegrams, Facebook, Messenger, Viber and others. This allows the user to more efficiently manage his free time and more efficient use of the resources of his devices.

The chatbot development is at the peak of its popularity. And it’s not for nothing. If it’s high time to run for new challenges, the chatbot is one of them.

Feb 17, 2017, 18:03:08 pm
Erwin

Erwin in Chatbots - English

May I introduce myself: Erwin is the name. I can send knotty riddles and clues to solve them. 👉 Type 'riddle' to get started!

Links:
FB Messenger - m.me/erwin.chat
Telegram - telegram.me/ErwinChatBot

Feb 17, 2017, 17:46:30 pm
MOTI AI

MOTI AI in Chatbots - English

MOTI AI is a chatbot that uses conversation with users to determine a comprehensive motivational profile that helps them build better habits. It uses a background in behavioral science to determine how to best set up its users on the road to successfully starting and sticking to a new habit.

Feb 17, 2017, 17:37:57 pm
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Robots in Movies

Approximately 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker, has disappeared. The First Order has risen from the fallen Galactic Empire and seeks to eliminate the New Republic. The Resistance, backed by the Republic and led by Luke's twin sister, General Leia Organa, opposes them while searching for Luke to enlist his aid.

Feb 03, 2017, 17:31:49 pm
How to create your own chatbot

How to create your own chatbot in Articles

Everyone around is talking about chatbots a lot. It seems like some kind of fever that doesn't want to calm down. Although, the chatbot thing isn't new, even more, the first chatbot named ELIZA was created fifty years ago! So why does it become hot again?

Recently, market giants including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have begun to invest big money in AI development, so obviously the idea is now leading the top IT trends.

If you are one of those who's already got infected with chatbot fever and you want to create a chatbot, then this article is for you, because we'll tell you how chatbots work and how to create your own chatbot.

Jan 27, 2017, 19:36:38 pm
Vice

Vice in Robots in Movies

Vice is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Brian A. Miller and written by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. The film stars Thomas Jane, Bruce Willis and Ambyr Childers.

Businessman Julian Michaels (Bruce Willis) has designed the ultimate holiday maker resort: "VICE", where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial robot (Ambyr Childers) becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between Julian's mercenaries and Roy, a detective (Thomas Jane) who is hell-bent on shutting down the corruption of Vice, and stopping the violence once and for all.

Jan 27, 2017, 19:12:25 pm
Morgan

Morgan in Robots in Movies

Morgan is a 2016 British-American slasher science fiction film directed by Luke Scott in his directorial debut and written by Seth Owen.

Lee Weathers (Kate Mara), a stern and self-contained young woman, is a risk-assessment specialist from a company that funds research projects devoted to creating artificial human beings. She is called in to investigate an incident involving one of their experiments. The company dispatches her to a remote location where one of the company's most promising projects, a human hybrid called Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), has violently lashed out at one of the scientists, Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh), after having a "tantrum", in which she stabbed her in the eye with a pen.

Jan 27, 2017, 19:06:04 pm
Westworld

Westworld in Robots on TV

Westworld is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for HBO. It is based on the 1973 film of the same name, which was written and directed by American novelist Michael Crichton, and to a lesser extent on the 1976 sequel Futureworld.

The story takes place in the fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced, Wild West-themed amusement park populated by androids dubbed "hosts". Westworld caters to high-paying visitors called "guests", who may indulge in whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts.

Jan 27, 2017, 18:54:36 pm
Killjoys

Killjoys in Robots on TV

[Lucy the ship computer] Killjoys follows a trio of hard-living bounty hunters – Dutch, John, and D'avin. Working for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC), they work in a four planet system known as the Quad. Taking on warrants to apprehend people or property, RAC Agents are given high authority by their agency. As part of their job, they swear to remain neutral in conflicts and owe no allegiance to any system, government, or other organizations. With their pasts coming back to haunt them, the trio will have to work hard to keep themselves, and their friends, alive.

Jan 27, 2017, 18:47:28 pm
Ben

Ben in Chatbots - English

Benjamin Franklin - "For your amusement and edification his spirit will converse daily at the new Cyberzone exhibit inaugurated Thursday to Monday January Sixteenth to the Twentieth Nineteen Ninety Seven and well into the next millenium."

Aug 06, 2008, 18:02:34 pm