In The News This Week

In The News This Week

The News This Week is a page that I keep up to date with anything new that I pickup online or offline that has to do with the robotic world that we are now entering very rapidly. Other pages of this website reviews a number robots that we are using on a daily basis in order to help make our lives easier; or as hobby, sport, or for professional purposes.

If you would like to share your experience with any kind of robots you are using, or simply comment or ask questions, please feel free to do so at the bottom of any page or article.

Thanks for visiting.


My latest article of “In The News This Week” starts from here. For older posts, please scroll down the page and enjoy your reading…

“Payday For Metal Detectorists as Average Treasure Find Now Worth £2,671”

detectorist find

I came across this article on The Telegraph and thought that perhaps some of my detectorists might be interested in reading …

They may be stereotyped as amateur hobbyists, spending their evenings traipsing through fields for the love of the search.

But the life of a metal detectorist can very well pay off, it seems.

The average treasure find reported to the authorities and valued last year made £2,671, it has emerged, a total value of £643,683 across 241 items. [continue here …]

 Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent – The Telegraph

Google given green light for drone delivery service, now in US too

Wing to deliver groceries by drone …

After being given the go-ahead to run a drone delivery service in Australia, Google has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch the service in the US too.

The company, or rather its sister-firm Wing, has been granted the same certifications as smaller airlines to operate in the country.

This will result in its first drone delivery routes being opened in rural communities in Virginia in the next few months.

Courtesy of Pocket-lint:

In The News This Week: Norway – Persian coins discovered by detectors on Karmøy

In The News This Week: February 19, 2017 metal seekers from Rygene Detektorklubb found the Persian coins at Hemnes in Karmøy. From left: Øyvind Hetland, John Kvanli, Bjørn Tjelta and Roger Torgersen.

SILVER TAX: February 19, 2017 metal seekers from Rygene Detektorklubb found the Persian coins at Hemnes in Karmøy. From left: Øyvind Hetland, John Kvanli, Bjørn Tjelta and Roger Torgersen.

The treasure was found in the farm of Hemnes on February 19, 2017. But the site, in the west of Karmøy, county of Rogaland, was kept secret for a long time because professional archaeologists had to first excavate the area.

We found Persian silver coins that have remained underground for over a thousand years. It was great,” said detectorist Øyvind Hetland.

According to Hetland, they are unlikely to supersede such a discovery. Detectorists have indeed uncovered 16 fragments of Persian silver coins, minted in Tehran and Baghdad for the caliphate between the 8th and 10th centuries.

The same amateur archaeologists also made several other discoveries on the spot; all indicating that it was a place of commerce until the 16th century.

Amateur archaeologists change history

Professor Svein Harald Gullbekk, a prominent Norwegian specialist in coins at the Museum of History in Oslo, recognizes that the discovery is special:

Previously, we were able to take up a commercial activity, the production and sale of Viking products, at three places: Skiringssal associated with Kaupang, Heimdalsjordet in Vestfold, as well as Rygge in Østfold. With the discovery of Karmøy, we begin to really get a glimpse of the use of currency and trade during a training period of Norwegian History.

Gullbekk thinks that detectorists in Norway have made so many discoveries in recent years that they change the perception of Norwegian history on essential points. While archaeological excavations are often going on in the context of road projects and urban development, amateurs are free to conduct their research elsewhere, and most often in wild places.

More and more discoveries

Interest in metal detection has literally exploded in recent years, with clubs being created across the country. Hundreds of detectorists therefore contribute to the discovery of cultural treasures that supply museums like never before.

In Rogaland, the detectorists alone delivered 138 discoveries in 2017, ten times more than 10 years ago. Whereas the phenomenon concerned only 5 to 10 discoveries in a year in the past. It now reaches an average of 50 to 100 discoveries per year. Nationally, this means well over a thousand discoveries a year from amateurs.

Detectorists and “black sheep”

However, the development of this activity is controversial. Many archaeologists fear that amateurs may destroy important cultural treasures. Also, not everyone is always law-abiding. Detectorists in Rogaland discovered that the memory card from a surveillance camera on Hemnes farmland was stolen.

There are black sheep there, but it’s a work of patience. After all, we usually find trash,” says Hetland. According to him, there are many people who have bought equipment but are not using it. “As long as we follow the law, what we do is a good thing.”

What the law says in Norway

In Norway, the law prohibits the detection of metals on sites that have already been the subject of official excavations; and therefore automatically protected. The prohibition also applies on a 5 meter around the monuments. The tombs and objects dating from before 1537, coins dating from before 1650, as well as Sami objects and tombs over 100 years old, are the property of the State and the discoveries must be reported to it.

The ministry’s directives in 2017 indicate, among other things, that the detectorists must obtain the permission of the landowners, not to dig in the nature deeper than a plow, to immediately report the discovery and not to seek to clean it or to move it.

Source: (translation and rewriting by the author)

In The News This Week: Microsoft and Danone Team Up for AI Factory Start-up Acceleration Program

In The News This Week
Soybeans harvest

Dedicated to the acceleration of start-ups specializing in artificial intelligence technologies, the AI ​​Factory program launched the recruitment of the next promotion on January 6. The young shoots of this third edition, called AI Factory For AgriFood, will be jointly supported by Microsoft and Danone for a period of 3 months.

AI Factory, Microsoft’s support program for start-ups specializing in artificial intelligence, launched its call for applications on January 6. The start-ups of the third class, called AI Factory For AgriFood, will be supported for the occasion by the IT company but also by Danone.

As part of the vision of “One Planet, One Health” claimed by the industrial group, they will benefit from access to “real cases under demanding conditions of quality and performance,” the statement said. “Artificial intelligence can contribute to the food revolution by improving our agricultural systems and our food value chains,” added Cécile Cabanis, head of strategy at Danone, among others.

For its part, Microsoft will provide personalized support through its technological skills and the services of the Azure platform, but also its sales network. The National Research Institute for Digital Sciences (Inria), France Digitale, Fabernovel, EIT Food and Seventure Partners are also teaming up alongside the two partners. They will intervene during the different phases of the program, from the sourcing of start-ups to the selection process through coaching sessions.

Already Marketed Solutions

This third edition intends to encourage more specifically projects “at the service of regenerative agriculture (soil health, animal welfare, support for farmers), sustainable food, waste reduction and optimization of chains supply, “said the statement. It aims to accelerate the digital transformation of the agrifood sector and in parallel, to support young companies to pursue their development in artificial intelligence and cloud computing … and to identify the real nuggets.

The program is also organized around other major economic and societal issues such as health, environment / energy, transport and financial services. For each sector, it was designed to be “a co-innovation laboratory that links start-ups, the world of research and the various players in the sector”.

The young shoots, who have until February 6 to apply, must have developed and marketed a solution dedicated to the food industry based on an artificial intelligence technology, and intended for professionals in the food industry. They must also have already raised funds since their creation. 6 start-ups, whose names will be announced on March 5, will be selected.

In The News This Week: Mit Creates Navigation System to Help Delivery Robots Find Front Doors Better

In The News This Week: Mit Creates Navigation System to Help Delivery Robots Find Front Doors Better
Your delivery Madam!

A team of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) engineers is developing a new navigation system that makes it easier for autonomous delivery robots to find the front door corresponding to their destination.

Many companies and start-ups see the future with autonomous delivery services. However, these last-kilometer delivery robots are still far from complete and must meet a major challenge: to orient themselves to the front door of a residence.

A team of engineers from MIT published an article on Monday November 4, 2019 in which they explain developing a new navigation system designed precisely to solve this problem.

The Robot Is Located with Clues

These engineers started from the observation that it seems impossible to precisely map all the neighborhoods in which a home delivery service would operate, whether for practical reasons or problems linked to security and respect for privacy.

From there, they looked for a navigation method that did not require having to map an area in advance. Their approach is based on clues scattered around the robot’s environment, which it is trained to identify before planning its journey.

For example, a robot having to deliver a package in front of a front door can find an alley from the road, which it can recognize and identify as being able to allow it to cross a sidewalk and then reach its goal.

With this technique, we hope to be able to place a robot at the end of an aisle and that it can find the front door itself“, announces in a press release Michael Everett, a graduate student of the Department of mechanical engineering of MIT.

Robot Qualifies Objects Semantically

For several years, researchers have been trying to introduce a natural and semantic language into robotic systems. The goal is to train them to recognize and label objects so that he can visualize a door as a door and not just as a large solid rectangle, says the MIT team.

The engineers therefore used a computer vision system of the SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) type. The robot, while it is in motion, can constitute a map of its environment by semantically qualifying the objects which are surround it.

Then, the engineers explain that they have developed a new algorithm making it possible to transform this semantic map into a second map representing the probability that a given place is close to the objective as a function of the color assigned to it.

The idea here is to “take an image that looks like a map of the world and transform it into another image that looks like a colorful map of the world depending on the distance of the different objects from the goal,” explains Michael Everett.

The team of engineers ensures that this allows the robot to find its way faster, but above all to give it an idea of ​​the world around it.

In The News This Week: The First House Built … by a ROBOT !

In The News This Week
Image courtesy of Le

A house of 95 m2 / 1,022 sq ft has already been built thanks to this new technique.

On the slab of freshly poured concrete, a robot moves on its wheels and makes work tirelessly with his articulated arm. He draws expansive foam cords one above the other to form a shuttering in which he then pour the concrete. This is how he manages to build perfectly insulated walls on each side at a bewildering speed. “It’s been an hour and a half since the work began and the walls are already over 80 cm / 31 in. high,” was saying Francky Trichet, deputy mayor of Nantes (France) in charge of the robotics. It is not a prototype, he pointed out, but a place that is meant to be useful. “

The 95 m2 / 1,022 sq ft house was finished by the end of that week and ready for the coming Christmas once the finishing work was completed. After being opened to the public, this T 5 will then be inhabited, a year later, by “traditional” tenants on the Nantes Métropole Habitat waiting list. “This house, which is already certified, says Benoit Furet, teacher-researcher at the University of Nantes at the heart of this project is called Yhnova. It is structurally compliant and meets standards. “

The robot follows perfectly the curved lines imagined by the architect to conform to the terrain. Not a tree has been cut so that it can be built. “Today, we see the expansive foam that serves as a frame, but tomorrow, once the house is finished and coated, we will not see how it was built,” assures Benoit Furet.

In The News This Week: CES 2018: at the airport or supermarket, new “jobs” for robots

LG Electronics presents at CES three robots capable of referring lost passengers in an airport, helping them with shopping or carrying their bags.

An old dream of science fiction, which is finally becoming reality … The robots are more and more powerful and will soon simplify our lives! LG Electronics took advantage of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas to present three robots designed to meet specific uses. Already being tested in some public places, they should be brought to “socialize” in the years to come.

The three models presented by LG Electronics are mounted on wheels and therefore able to move on their own. In the shape of a small round barrel, about a meter (3.3 ft) high and with their video screen on the side, they display eyes to have a more personal and endearing side. Among their uses, the first would have its place in the lobby of a hotel. It would indeed be enough to put your suitcase on the robot, which has a specific space, so that it accompanies you in your room. A good way to no longer carry your suitcase.

First tests already in progress

The second model will be in use in a supermarket. Ended are the good old scrap cart, very heavy to push. “The idea is that when you get into a supermarket, it starts to follow you, and as you put your purchases inside, it scans the bar-codes. it follows you autonomously and at the end, it will also allow you to make the payment “, explains the marketing director of LG Electronics. It will not be necessary for you to put your shopping on the conveyor belt when arriving at the checkout, as all items have been scanned along the way.

Finally, the last “job” reserved to such robot, it’s a mix between a receptionist and a cleaner. Already tested at the airport in Seoul, South Korea, these robots guide passengers and do the housework. Those who cannot find their way in the airport may for example ask them their way and the robot can accompany them to, for example, their boarding gate.

In The News This Week: Santa Claus caught red handed

Top Ten Robots / In The News This Week:

You might recall this incident dating back to the end of last year. It happened in California: a young man who wanted to burglarize offices was stuck in the fireplace and had to call for help. Once saved, he was arrested by the police.

On Wednesday, December 13, the Citrus Heights Police Department received an unusual call from a youth who was stuck in the chimney of a building in Greenback Lane, the department said in a statement.

The police, assisted by a team of rescue workers, quickly arrived at the scene and managed to save this unlucky “Santa Claus”. According to them, this is a 32-year-old resident of Rocklin, a certain Jesse Berube.

The police later learned that the young man was planning to rob the offices on the other side of the chimney, but in all likelihood underestimated the “dimensions” of his body. It should be noted that “Santa Claus” was not injured during the operation and was arrested for burglary.

It appeared that this particular home was fitted with doors and windows burglar alarm systems, but not with motion detectors and cameras. Should the burglar had to succeed going down the chimney, he could have been totally free to carry on with his plan, switch off the alarm and go away without anybody noticing anything till the next morning. By then, Jesse Berube would have had the time to get back on his sleigh with his loot and vanish into thin air.

In The News This Week: Digital retail solutions: The 10 trends that will mark 2018

In The News This Week:: Digital retail solutions

The year 2017 was particularly turbulent for the traditional retail players. Shocked by the growing appetite of Amazon and Alibaba and the birth of new brands that can directly address consumers, conventional retailers react. They form partnerships with start-ups, invest in technology and logistics and review their organization.

In this update of “In The News This Week” we have reviewed what technologies and new strategies will mark, if not upset, the retail market in 2018?

1. Hyperpersonalization through artificial intelligence

The use of machine learning algorithms will become more widespread in retail. The algorithms of artificial intelligence and in particular deep learning will allow retailers to better know their customers. Therefore propose them with the most relevant offers possible, both in terms of the message, the product.

An American venture capitalist estimated that within two to three years, there would be no more AI companies; as today there is no longer a mobile business. layer of machine learning and big data.

2. The GDPR as authority

Who says artificial intelligence, says data processing. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. According to Yannick Franc, retailers and e-retailers can turn this constraint into strength.

“There is a real issue of transparency on the GDPR, it is necessary to be able to explain why, as a retailer, I collect this information, what I will do with it. It is necessary to prove the interest of these data, to give them meaning and explain the benefits to consumers”, said Yannick Frank.

3. The Emergence of conversational trade

“Voice trading will be one of the big issues for 2018”, says Yannick Frank. This trend will be pushed by the advent of voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, but mobile voice searches will also count. Some French brands have already taken over the subject, as is the case of Monoprix who has launched an application on Google Home allowing customers to dictate their shopping list.

According to Xavier Faure, the development of the vocal trade raises the question of control of the interface. “Whoever controls the interface, will control the trade”, he says. According to him, these new interfaces should be more essential in basic purchases, such as the renewal of toothpaste or dish washing products for example. “And from the moment the customer interacts with you, it is you who control the act of purchase, he (the customer) no longer chooses”, he predicts.

4. A more restricted choice

In general, there is a reduction in the supply of products. This trend is supported by the DNVB (Digital native vertical brands). “Increasing choice is not necessarily synonymous with increasing value for the user, it can also be a source of stress”. It’s not impossible that this movement leads to a sort of dichotomy such as there are products where we need a certain choice and the other where a good product at the right price is enough, but the boundary will not be in the same place for all consumers”, says Xavier Faure.

5. “Invisible” payments

In The News This Week:: Digital retail solutions

“It’s a more classic subject, but the payment issue is a sea snake. Mobile payment is widely on the rise in China, there is no reason that it does not develop in the rest of the world. The more the offer will be important, the more the use will become commonplace”, predicts Yannick Frank.

“There are a lot of physical stores that have realized that the payment experience was terrible in stores and that it was no longer possible to require customers to wait 15 minutes to pay. Many startups and distributors are working on these issues today”.says Xavier Faure. This is the case for example Monoprix in France with its application Monop’Easy or Auchan, which collaborates with the startup Lille Keyneosoft on this topic.

6. Premium delivery

Offers around delivery are expected to move upmarket in the coming months. This trend is observed for example in Zalando. In Belgium, the e-merchant tests the delivery where the customer is: at the exit of schools for example. In Paris and the suburbs, Zalando has formed a partnership with the startup Stuart for the management of returns. It is a courier who moves to the customer’s home to pick up the parcel to return to an established 15-minute window. And when the pure players innovate on these subjects, it quickly becomes new standards.

7. Robotisation of warehouses

To cope with the increase in their e-commerce activity and meet the increasingly demanding expectations of consumers, retailers and e-merchants are investing in logistics. To increase productivity, more and more people are choosing robotics.

This is the case, for example, Bordeaux (France) Cdiscount who has deployed a small fleet of “bluffing robots” through a partnership with Exotec Solutions. For its part, the Casino Group (which depends on Cdiscount) will use the logistics platform and proprietary software of the British Ocado, king of automation in e-commerce food. As part of this merger, a warehouse of last generation should start operating in the Paris region within two years. Monoprix will be the first brand of the French group to rely on these breakthrough technologies to improve its e-commerce business.

8. The increased reality and virtual “useful”

Ikea, Amazon, and also La Redoute,  more and more retailers have launched augmented reality applications to allow users to visualize how a piece of furniture would look like in their interior. Thanks to the technological advances made by Apple and Google (many mobile applications are based on Apple’s ARkit, the augmented reality platform), these solutions are becoming both practical and relevant. On the virtual reality side, while many initiatives in the retail sector are still a simple Wow effect, others bring real added value. This is the case of Decathlon’s VR experience to allow customers to access a wider range of tents in a small space. These few good examples should show the way for the present year.

9. The art of story telling

In The News This Week:: Digital retail solutions

Content has become a key element in brand strategy, which now has the ability to reach consumers directly. However, the latter must not content themselves with producing content, but articulate it around a structured editorial line. You have to have a real management of the content, otherwise you can have conflicting messages. The development of video is a real lever for brands provided they do not do anything senseless. It must establish editorial standards to the image of the organization.  And, as more and more distributors work with agencies on content production, some would consider internalizing these resources. For this to make sense, it must be worn by the Comex so that there is a real consistency.

10. Multiplication of acquisitions and partnerships

The year 2017 was marked by a number of acquisitions (including the surprise takeover of Whole Foods by Amazon). This convergence of physics and online will continue in 2018 in the form of acquisitions or partnerships in the image of the strategic alliance between Alibaba and Auchan in China.

The classic retailers make technological acquisitions but it is not only that when Walmart buys a Bonobo is not for a technology but to immerse oneself in its culture. This type of operation will continue in Europe because many groups are in uncomfortable situations. Will all these acquisitions be virtuous?

In The News This Week: Paris: Opening the first place of pleasure with sex dolls

After Spain, Germany or Britain, France welcomes a “place of pleasure” with sex dolls. Named XDolls, the Parisian establishment offers its customers, for 89 € / 100 $ per hour, to spend a moment “very pleasant” with a silicone creature with exaggerated curves. “You could compare it to sex toys for men,” says Joaquim Lousquy, importer of the concept in France.

Note: The below video contains sexual themes!

But women are also welcome in the clientele, as well as adventurous couples, he says. In a second step, the brand will set up a sales platform. The open space in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, whose exact address is communicated to customers only, will then allow interested to “test before buying” …

In The News This Week: 2018 Winter Olympics: At the opening ceremony, drones broke a record

OLYMPIC GAMES – If you watched the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics, you probably saw this snowboarder turn into an Olympic ring (see video below). This luminous ballet was made by drones, and a world record was even beaten on this occasion: that of the greatest number of drones flying at the same time. The American company Intel, which organized this show, broke its own record, which was 500 drones in November 2016. The machines had also accompanied Lady Gaga during the prestigious half-time Super Bowl 2017.

If the show went off without a hitch, it’s also because the performance was recorded in December 2017, for insurance issues. Because the “Shooting Star” drones used by Intel, are very light, 225 grams and hardly support extreme weather conditions, such as cold weather. 300 drones nevertheless provided the show on site.

And we should find them throughout the Olympics, since the night medal ceremonies will each have their own light show (depending on weather conditions). Drones will also be in use … to play security guards in the air. They will carry nets to capture potentially suspicious flying machines.

In The News This Week: But who really is Sophia, the robot with the Saudi nationality?

In The News This Week:: Sophia the robot
Sophia speaking at the AI for GOOD Global Summit, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva in June 2017

In October of 2016, she spoke in front of the UN and in April 2017, she was a guest in a famous American talk show …

I recently learned, thanks to one of my regular readers,  that she became a Saudi citizen. In fact, that does not mean much: it is mostly a big operation of Saudi Arabia to showcase a major conference on new technologies.

And besides, this operation, many found it to be a bad taste. The fact is that Sophia has the appearance of a woman; and it is a little bit of task to grant a robot rights that do not have Saudi women.

Sophia is a human-sized robot, who looks like Audrey Hepburn

She is not able to move, only her head and arms move.

But it is especially her face that is impressive: it is very beautiful and very expressive. She can simulate joy, sadness, anger … (read more about Sophia the robot on Wikipedia.)

And she has a small peculiarity: the back of her skull is transparent, which allows to glimpse the electronics and mechanics of the robot. That’s for the physical side, pretty successful. But Sophia is also able to speak and answer to questions.

And that’s how she became famous last year, with a shattering outburst on the extermination of the human species.

The myth Terminator was immediately revived, everyone relayed, terrified, this sequence: A robot who wants to harm us! They thought that they had to deal with a super-intelligent threat … when in fact it was just a silly robot who did not understand the questions they asked her, and who responded off topic, using automated formulas.

The artificial intelligence of Sophia is not more developed than that of Siri

In The News This Week:: A close-up of Musk's face while giving a speech
Elon Musk

But like Apple’s AI, she responds wrong. And in general, her best answers are completely scripted; that is, they were written in advance. For example, when she was asked again, later, the question of the danger of artificial intelligence, this time her response was quite different. She refers to Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla who regularly denounces the dangers of artificial intelligence.

And this wink, this touch of humor, it is not Sophia who invented it, it was pre-written, and it’s largely a show. And if it works as well, it’s because unlike Siri, Sophia has a body, and that’s what makes the effect so much, and makes it so impressive.

Click here to learn more about robots and artificial intelligence (AI).

In The News This Week: Vahana, the flying taxi of Airbus, made its first flight

Vahana, the vertical takeoff and landing electric aircraft on which Airbus works, has completed its first fully independent test flight. It lasted only 53 seconds. So, is this flying taxi really ready to revolutionize the urban transport of the future?

It was finally with a little delay on the initial plan that the Airbus Vahna freestyle taxi made its first flight. A3, the subsidiary of the aircraft manufacturer who is working on this single-seat electric take-off and landing aircraft (Adav) concept, has just announced that it has made its first 100% autonomous test flight on 31 January. The prototype, dubbed Alpha One, was supposed to be tested by the end of 2017.

However, we are still far from the flying taxi that will revolutionize the urban transport of the future. Indeed, the flight lasted only 53 short seconds and was summarized in a vertical takeoff up to five meters / 16.4 feet high. The craft flew a second time the next day, presumably under the same conditions. That said, Airbus initiated this project only two years ago. Having a working prototype in such a short time is already a good performance.

The Airbus Flying Taxi is 6.2 meters / 20.3 feet wide

We know a little more about the configuration of this Adav (French acronym for VTOL – Vertical Take-off and Landing Aircraft). It measures 6.2 meters wingspan for 5.7 meters long, 2.8 meters high; and its take-off weight is 745 kg / 1,642.44 lbs. A3 also announced the selection of a new supplier for Vahana’s electric motors, named MAGicALL.

The Vahana project team will continue the development with, as the next key step, in-flight testing of the tilting engine transition process from vertical to horizontal flight.

In The News This Week: The Atlas robot is apparently training for the Olympics

A walking robot, even if it has become common, it is still impressive. But what about the one who can do back flips? That would become almost disturbing …

This week, the American robotics company Boston Dynamics released a video of their latest humanoid robot Atlas that can not only jump and turn on itself, but also make a full backward flip before landing. Like a gymnast… it’s both impressive and disconcerting! Watch this…

Boston Dynamics is quite occupied in recent times. As early on in the week, they delivered a video of the newest simplified version of her SpotMini quadruped robot, below, so graceful that it appears to be close to alive…

Today, the company shows the newest edition of its range of Atlas robots, lively enough to execute gymnastics.

In recent times, the Atlas robot, improved with the assistance of DARPA and presented at the DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015. Impressed spectators only because it could walk and climb stairs without a hitch or crush on the ground with each step. Then he started swinging on one leg, tidying up his room, then strutting outside on his own.

In addition, the robot has become smoother and more solid thanks to newer dynamic energies and inner sensors. He has also cultivated an extraordinary sense of stability; and can even get back on his feet when a live colleague tries to overthrow him. But as impressive as it may sound, this robot remains quite down to earth. Not really surpassing its competitors and being quite limited in a sustained race.

Now the Atlas is making movements that suggest he is training for the Olympics.

As usual, the Boston Dynamics company does not reveal much else about this latest robot. But it seems that the capabilities of the robot Atlas are developing rapidly.

In The News This Week: Has the time for robots come?

They are part of our daily lives. They are able to analyze our actions and / or interact with us. From industrial robotics to domestic robots, to our research on the internet, from our computer or smartphone. New technologies are as dreamy as they are scary.

In The News This Week:: Top ten robots

Many robots are part of our daily lives. They are like companions without which our social actions would be quite different. From the robot cleaner of your pool, to your surveillance system, to your household vacuum cleaner, to your child’s toy robot, as well as to your computer, smartphone, GPS devices on your car, drones, etc.

The robot has also invested in the medical field in which it has made considerable progress; the field of transport also and many others.

Also, artificial intelligence drives computer programs that can retain; harvest some of our data as we indicate when we do a search on the internet.

  • What place do they take in society?
  • Does artificial intelligence have risks?
  • Should we question the protection of our privacy even though these robots can receive and reuse our own data?
  • What about their place in the world of work?

New technologies make you dream but can just as easily be scary in all areas. What are your thoughts on the subject? Please share with us your feelings and perhaps, experience with robots. You will find the comments’ section at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading!

 In The News This Week: A cute little robot delivers their shopping to Washington residents

The Starship Technologies Delivery Robot

When Washington residents see a little robot roaming the sidewalks of their city, they all ask the same question: “Can that bring me beer? “

In The News This Week:: Top ten robots

Well, yeah ! Or even food products of all kinds, or half a dozen burgers and McCain fries. In fact, the next time you place an order on the “Postmates” site, it will be possible for a robot and its user to appear on your doorstep. It’s as if they were visitors of the future having traveled through time to accomplish an important mission: bring you a Big Mac!

They are the product of Starship Technologies; an Estonian robotics company that has been testing its robots couriers in the US for a while now. The volume of an air conditioner on wheels, they hold the aesthetics and design of a Smartphone, the rough appearance of an off road van and the fun charm of the Star Wars droid BB-8.

It has that sort of cute allure says Nick Handrick, operations manager for Starship’s DC department. The firm’s designers aimed to produce a robot with which people would be really comfortable; just as they do, also with their children or even their vehicles.

Part of the design focuses on creating a nice object

They have not yet named the robot, they call it for now “the delivery robot Starship“.

These robots are driven autonomously, guided by nine cameras and many sensors. They only move on pavements; with the authorization of the Washington District Customs Council; and is able to attain a maximum speed of 4 miles (6.4 km) an hour.

They can identify obstacles up to 10 yards (9 meters) ahead. And they monitor, record, and map the terrain around them. Finally, for those who are concerned about privacy, the company Starship says that robots’ cameras blur the faces of people delivered in the captured data.

When will you see this cute delivery robot on the streets of your city or town?

In The News This Week: New world – The house of the future is unveiled at IFA Berlin

Many of the innovations presented at the Berlin Electronics Show in Germany focus on the digital home of the future.

What will the digital home of the future look like? At the big electronics fair in Berlin, technological innovations are competing with futuristic concepts.

A robot refrigerator

The house of the future will be even more digital and connected with robots. But not necessarily those we imagine. Do you dream of the butler robot that would bring you to drink or food to your couch?

Unfortunately, humanoid robots do not exist yet (and it is not for tomorrow), we must invent something else. For example, the manufacturer Panasonic has the idea to reverse the proposal by offering a refrigerator that is itself a robot. It is a small device mounted on wheels and motorized which when you call it moves and comes to you. It was enough to think about it. Problem: this is still a concept, at best a simple animated model.

For wine, the connected cellar and the “smart” ice bucket

In The News This Week:: Top ten robots
You’ve been served Sir!

Another futuristic idea: a cellar whose door is actually a transparent video touch screen. Simply slide your fingers over it to reveal information such as indoor temperature, bottle names and tasting tips.

That’s not all. Still about the wine, here is the connected ice bucket. As soon as you slide a bottle inside, the device analyzes it, reading the bar code, and indicates if it’s the right time to drink it; which meals it can accompany and the device also indicates if the wine is at a good temperature for you to enjoy.

Finished, the chore of the laundry?

Panasonic, again, also presents a vision of an ideal world where it would be enough to stick your dirty clothes in a drawer to find it, a few times later, washed ironed and folded. Unfortunately, this miracle device does not exist yet. Again, this is just a concept. This is also IFA Berlin, to have us to dream about the equipment of the future.

A housekeeper named Google Assistant

Always on the topic of the connected home, Google Assistant is omnipresent at IFA. We will find the artificial intelligence of Google in all kinds of connected speakers, on different brands, which will come out in the coming months. In the future, Google’s voice command should also be present in home appliances, such as refrigerators, ovens and washing machines.

Ready for your favorite robot?

In The News This Week: Archaeology and metal detectors

A man aged 78 is at the origin of an extraordinary find. A hundred Roman pieces dating from the third century laid under the field of a farmer in Côtes d’Armor (Brittany, France). A rare currency which discovery has been kept secret for five years.

It was 1700 years that they were laid under this Breton field.  A hundred Roman coins make part of the discovery.

The finder of this treasure?

A septuagenarian passionate of archaeology has been surveying the region for years with his metal detector. “I had been doing detection for 30 years, I had never seen that before. A real stroke of luck”, he explains to the journalists.

Discoveries «on a whim»

Falling on such a large number of rare coins dating from the third century, is indeed a nice surprise. The Breton says he was on the site on “a whim”. This field of Plouagat, in the Côtes d’Armor, 25 km from Saint-Brieuc, is next to an old Roman road. A vestige that got me thinking, explained this Armorican Indiana Jones. “I knew there were tiles there”, he recalls. The tiles in question covered the Gallo-Roman houses of the time.

The discovery

In The News This Week:: A discovery
Front and reverse of coins with the effigy of the second Roman emperor Tiberius and his mother. The coins discovered in Brittany are dated from the reign of the Emperor Gallien (253-268) and Claude II (268-270), Rue des Archives / © Granger NYC / Rue des Archives

When he dug up the coins back in 2012, the amateur archaeologist immediately realizes the importance of his discovery. On the front and the reverse of the pieces, he discerns the faces of Roman rulers, intact. He immediately calls for the owner of the land and the archaeologists of Inrap (National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research). The few people gathered at that time, reach an agreement.

A treasure is kept secret for five years

No one else will be aware of this treasure until it has been clearly identified. For three long years, each piece is studied in a laboratory. It is now clear that several lots make up this extraordinary discovery.

Some pieces correspond to the reign of the emperor Gallien (253-268) and Claude II (268-270); others are struck with the effigy of usurpers then at the head of Gaul. The numismatic study thus confirms that there existed at that time, rivalries between the imperial power and a local power that sought to assert itself by minting its own currency.

The Breton equipped with his metal detector has kept some of the pieces. And seems to want to remain anonymous. The rest came back to the owner of the field and to the Department of Cultural Affairs. Recently some have been put on sale in an auction catalog. They cost between 80 and 400 euros per unit (about US$100 and US$500).

Not a bad catch!

In The News This Week: A drone in Australia saves two swimmers from drowning

Both teenagers received a lifesaver dropped by the craft in minutes. A world first!

They deliver pizzas or medicines, monitor networks or map fields and … drop a life jacket or spot sharks. An aquatic rescue drone went into action Thursday in Australia off the coast in New South Wales.

According to ABC News, two teenagers were rescued by a drone after being dragged to about half a mile from the beach and put in distress in the water by a surge of nearly 10 feet.

It was a beach goer who alerted the lifeguards, who notified the pilot of the drone.

A country at the forefront of this sort of rescue

“I was able to get it off the ground; fly and drop the life-saving equipment within one to two minutes,” said Jai Sheridan. “It usually takes a few minutes longer for rescuers to reach people in difficulty.”

The island-continent is one of the leaders of drone experimentation in the field of aquatic rescue. Several dozen gears are currently being on test on various beaches in the country, in the middle of the austral summer.

These drones are also under test to spot sharks approaching the coast. They use the most advanced technologies to pinpoint various objects off the coast: thousands of images, artificial intelligence and algorithm.

The software is capable of identifying the various residents of the sea; for example sharks, which it recognizes with a 90% success rate, as opposed to 16% with the naked eye.

More about drones here: Best Drone Ratings

In The News This Week: First US delivery for Amazon drones

Amazon has successfully delivered its first UAV delivery to the United States. The distribution giant realized this feat at the MARS conference held a few days ago in California.

In The News This Week: Parcel delivery by drone

For this American premiere, Amazon played the ease. It involved delivering sunscreen to conference attendees, located near an Amazon warehouse. The flight took place in a controlled air zone, in this case that of the Palm Springs International Airport. Successful Mission for Prime Air Technology!

This successful delivery demonstrates that it is possible to use drones to route products. Admittedly, this first took place in a secure environment; and US legislation must still adapt to open its airspace to these flying devices.

Beyond experiments

Last December, Amazon made a similar demonstration in the UK, where regulations are easier for this type of delivery. There is still a lot of work, of course. But this technology is interesting beyond Amazon. UPS, Google and others want to get on it even if in practice, everyone cannot benefit from delivery by drone.

First of all, the recipient must be located in a perimeter where drones can deliver in less than 30 minutes. And own a garden so that the aircraft can land and leave. In urban areas, it is therefore excluded unless we create dedicated “aerodrones” …

We are still far from it, but watch this for a minute…

Before the delivery of parcels becomes something common in our daily life, you can purchase a drone for your own entertainment. Make sure that you adhere to certain rules and regulations. I have reviewed a few among the best on the market today. Just visit my Best Drone Ratings page and select the one that best fits your needs.

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John - In The News This Week

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