A stylish cargo robot that does your heavy lifting.
From IEEE Spectrum:
Making a fully autonomous delivery robot (whether it flies or not) is a very hard problem. Your robot has to be prepared to operate all alone in unstructured environments, and it has to do so both reliably and efficiently. A new robot introduced this week by Piaggio Fast Forward, a division of Italian vehicle manufacturer Piaggio, is getting in on autonomous stuff-moving, but they’re taking a slightly different approach.
Rather than try to develop a fully autonomous delivery robot from scratch, PFF is instead starting with something simpler: a pleasingly roundish robot called Gita (“gee-tah”) that will follow you around, carrying 19 kilograms of tools, groceries, or whatever you want.
Will this device mean the end of awkward conversations?
No matter how debonair you are at your best, conversation can be awkward for anyone. That’s especially true for those who struggle to pick up on social cues. To help navigate those rocky exchanges, MIT CSAIL researchers have created a wearable system that can tell whether the person you’re talking to is happy or sad. It’s a start.
The device takes an existing research-grade wearable—Samsung’s Simband smartwatch, which can measure movement, heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow, and skin temperature—and pairs it with audio capture that can pick up signals like tone, pitch, energy, and word choice, and provide a transcript of the text. By weighing all of the incoming signals, algorithms can classify each five-second installment of conversation as either “positive” or “negative.”
“You have a GPS in your pocket, it’s very complicated technology,” says study co-author Tuka Alhanai. “But we don’t have a GPS for social interactions.”
A walking robot that could make deliveries to your door
From Digital Trends:
Agility Robotics, a startup spun off from the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, has introduced its first robot — and her name is Cassie.
Built with a 16-month, $1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cassie boasts hip joints with 3 degrees of freedom — much like that of a human. She can move her legs forward, backward, side to side, rotate them both at the same time, and even work efficiently in snow and rain.
The result is a highly energy-efficient robust walking machine that could have a broad range of applications, from search and rescue missions to home deliveries.
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