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Robotics

The Changing Face of Robotics 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the why-did-you-program-me-to-feel-pain? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Using sensors to interface socially, the next generation of robots may not fit the classic idea of what a robot should be. Glen Martin writes: 'Equipped with two articulated arms, it can perform a multitude of tasks. It requires no application code to start up, and no expensive software to function. No specialists are required to program it; workers with minimal technical background can "teach" the robot right on the production line through a graphical user interface and arm manipulation.'"
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The Changing Face of Robotics

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  • Totally off-topic. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27, 2014 @07:45PM (#46086635)

    Cool. I love the idea of virtually zero employment thanks to ubiquitous robots.

    Wonder how that's going to work out...no workers means no one collects a paycheck. Only a few people will own all the resources. So what...the government gives the people a stipend? And we spend it on whatever the robots make? Or do we just cut out the middle man, hand the robots over to the people through government proxies, and make whatever we want?

    Man, I would say in the long run, capitalism doesn't have much of a future.

    • In the long run, we're all dead anyway.
    • time to cut full time down maybe 20-32 hours.

      Let's start with 32 hours / 4 days a week with an end to the salary no OT pay or maybe a high mini level of pay to have the no OT pay say 100K+ COL

      Also an high H-1B min wage say 125k+

      • time to cut full time down maybe 20-32 hours.

        Let's start with 32 hours / 4 days a week with an end to the salary no OT pay or maybe a high mini level of pay to have the no OT pay say 100K+ COL

        Also an high H-1B min wage say 125k+

        Obamacare defines full time as 30+ hours: http://news.investors.com/poli... [investors.com]

        So naturally all the places that would rather the government pay for healthcare cut their employees hours down to 29/week. Now they're complaining about not having enough qualified employees.....

        When was the last time you saw a Walmart with most of the shelves stocked and the registers open?

    • virtually zero employment

      Well, yes, but this has been going on for centuries: We have been automating areas in the work force that means less people employed doing brain numbingly boring tasks over and over and over again. Even Baxter will need human supervisors and teachers, so he it will automate away a few more jobs, but we still haven't gotten to the point where robots run the factories autonomously. The recent economic slumps have not been from technological progress either.

      As a geek, wanna-be maker, I've been trying to think

    • by worf_mo (193770)

      Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future [marshallbrain.com] (also available on the Kindle) explores two different possible outcomes in a world with ubiquitous robots. Quite an interesting read.

    • Well, what do you think the humans do in The Matrix [wikipedia.org]?

      There either partying, warring, or jacking in (aka the blue pill [wikipedia.org] or what Futurama calls it: surfing the Internet). Work? Don't see it.

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday January 27, 2014 @08:04PM (#46086787)

    Now Mr Robot, this is what I want you to do. When the boss comes by, I want you to lift up both arms like this, now extend your middle actuators and shout, "Blow it out your tailpipe!"

  • What the hell? Two arms and multiple functions? You call that a robot? Can a 10 year old whizz kid deep into pod race subculture build it in his bedroom from kits? Can it play co-pilot to a X-wing space fighter? No? Then it ain't no robot.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @12:00AM (#46088141) Homepage

    The 2012 interview [hizook.com] was more informative:

    " Indeed. We don't mean "common sense" from a Marvin Minsky-like strong AI perspective. Baxter's "execution" application consists of a series of behavior-based systems. During "training," the robot detects task-relevant features and uses it to build up the behavior based system.
    For example, let's say a user is training the robot for a pick and place task. During the "pick" phase, a user places the gripper above an object and closes the gripper. The force on the gripper is detected by the robot. Our "training" application detects this sequence as "the robot is grasping an object"... so during "execution", Baxter won't proceed unless it actually detects an object in the robots gripper. Thus, if the object fell out, it would stop (or do something else). This is different from how existing industrial robots work -- they'd just merrily continue the pick-and-place without the object.
    Collectively, these "behavior primitives" are assigned and composed, ie. "learned", during "training" by having non-technical users directly manipulate the robot rather than programming it (which is also possible for those inclined). This gives the robot an air of common sense."

    This is useful, but not that intelligent. Take a look at these PR videos [rethinkrobotics.com] to see what it can do. Basically, it can pack and unpack things, and move them from one place to another. It's not good enough to assemble much of anything. Plugging in connectors to assemble a phone? Not with this machine and software.

    • I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this. The brains behind Rethink Robotics is Rodney Brooks, a long-time professor and head of MIT's CSAIL. While not as much of a show pony as Kurzweil, he is still quite well known outside academic circles. He was also behind the robotic Roomba vacuum cleaners that are in many people's homes.

      While he is definitely a controversial theorist in AI/Robotics circles, no one denies his ability to get things done. His (and his student's) research has been used in a lot of the ad
    • It is clear the interviewed person has never programmed existing industrial robots.

      Thus, if the object fell out, it would stop (or do something else). This is different from how existing industrial robots work -- they'd just merrily continue the pick-and-place without the object.

      I have programmed industrial robots of different kinds for the last eight years, and I have not worked with - or even seen - a robot which does not detect when it drops something and reacts to it. Many existing robots can differentiate between different products by grasping them, and there are sensors which can identify products on sight or by size.

      Directly manipulating the robot to teach it has been attempted by ABB and othe

      • Mod up. The voice of experience.

        • Further, we have seen nothing about Baxter beyond fluffy PR. For example:
          • 1. How fast is it?
          • 2. How strong is it?
          • 3. How accurate/repeatable is it?
          • 4. What are the capabilities of its vision system?
  • Finally, a device to punch someone in the face over Internet. It couldn't have arrived sooner.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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