Scientific Data: A framework for FAIR robotic datasets . “The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), proposed in this manuscript, describes how, using the established approach in Earth Sciences, the data characterising marine robotic missions can be formatted and shared following the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. The manuscript is a step-by-step guide to render marine robotic telemetry FAIR and publishable. State-of-the-art protocols for metadata and data formatting are proposed, applied and integrated automatically using Jupyter Notebooks to maximise visibility and ease of use.”
Carnegie Mellon University: Parenting a 3-Year-Old Robot. “The way babies learn and explore their surroundings inspired researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Meta AI to develop a new way to teach robots how to simultaneously learn multiple skills and leverage them to tackle unseen, everyday tasks. The researchers set out to develop a robotic AI agent with manipulation abilities equivalent to a 3-year-old child. The team has announced RoboAgent, an artificial intelligence agent that leverages passive observations and active learning to enable a robot to acquire manipulation abilities on par with a toddler.”
Hackaday: Browser-Based Robot Dog Simulator In ~800 Lines Of Code. “[Sergii] has been learning about robot simulation and wrote up a basic simulator for a robodog platform: the Unitree A1. It only took about 800 lines of code to do so, which probably makes it a good place to start if one is headed in a similar direction.”
New York Times: Aided by A.I. Language Models, Google’s Robots Are Getting Smart. “Google has recently begun plugging state-of-the-art language models into its robots, giving them the equivalent of artificial brains. The secretive project has made the robots far smarter and given them new powers of understanding and problem-solving.” Powered by the knowledge of you and me and our intellectual output.
Stanford University: New model seeks to explain how humans interact socially with robots. “When people encounter social robots, they tend to treat them as both machine and character. A Stanford psychologist and his collaborator explain why in a much-discussed paper.”
Carnegie Mellon University: Robotics Project Releases Toolkit, Digital Robotics Archive. “The website, which is hosted on the open-source digital repository system Islandora, allows users to click through historic robotics artifacts in the collection, read about their history, learn about key researchers and watch videos of technology in action.”
MIT News: Open-source platform simulates wildlife for soft robotics designers. “Since the term ‘soft robotics’ was adopted in 2008, engineers in the field have been building diverse representations of flexible machines useful in exploration, locomotion, rehabilitation, and even space. One source of inspiration: the way animals move in the wild. A team of MIT researchers has taken this a step further, developing SoftZoo, a bio-inspired platform that enables engineers to study soft robot co-design.” I had never heard the term “soft robotics” before, so I used Wiki-Guided Google Search on it and was lead to this article from the Encyclopedia of Robotics. The article gets complicated but there’s plenty there for even a non-technical reader to learn.
Ars Technica: Google’s PaLM-E is a generalist robot brain that takes commands. “On Monday, a group of AI researchers from Google and the Technical University of Berlin unveiled PaLM-E, a multimodal embodied visual-language model (VLM) with 562 billion parameters that integrates vision and language for robotic control. They claim it is the largest VLM ever developed and that it can perform a variety of tasks without the need for retraining.”
University of Michigan: Robot: I’m sorry. Human: I don’t care anymore!. “Humans are less forgiving of robots after multiple mistakes—and the trust is difficult to get back, according to a new University of Michigan study.”
Clemson News: Clemson Libraries receives $1.2 million to develop free textbooks for advanced manufacturing classes
Clemson News: Clemson Libraries receives $1.2 million to develop free textbooks for advanced manufacturing classes . “The Collaborative Development of Robotics Education and Advanced Manufacturing Open Educational Resources (Co-DREAM OER) project received $760,000 last year to develop three openly licensed textbooks and other digital educational materials on robotics — one at the technical college level, one at the bachelor’s degree level and one at the graduate education level. The latest round of funding will allow for the development of six more textbooks in the areas of advanced manufacturing and mechatronics, subjects that were chosen because they support the growing advanced manufacturing industry in South Carolina and other parts of the country.”
Ars Technica: Chuck E. Cheese still uses floppy disks in 2023, but not for long. “On Sunday, a Chuck E. Cheese employee named Stewart Coonrod posted a TikTok video that documents the process of installing a new song-and-dance show on an old Chuck E. Cheese animatronics system—a process that involves a 3.5-inch floppy disk and two DVDs. Coonrod says it is the last update before his store undergoes a remodel that will remove the animatronics altogether.”
New York Times: ‘Consciousness’ in Robots Was Once Taboo. Now It’s the Last Word.. “Wading directly into these murky waters might seem fruitless to roboticists and computer scientists. But, as Antonio Chella, a roboticist at the University of Palermo in Italy, said, unless consciousness is accounted for, ‘it feels like something is missing’ in the function of intelligent machines.”
CNET: How Tesla, Google and Others Are Making Robots More Like Us. “Tesla is making AI-powered humanoid robots. Google wants to give its AI brain a bot body. Robotics are moving fast, and every day, droids are becoming more like us.”