The Verge: Alphabet is putting its prototype robots to work cleaning up around Google’s offices

The Verge: Alphabet is putting its prototype robots to work cleaning up around Google’s offices. “What does Google’s parent company Alphabet want with robots? Well, it would like them to clean up around the office, for a start. The company announced today that its Everyday Robots Project — a team within its experimental X labs dedicated to creating ‘a general-purpose learning robot’ — has moved some of its prototype machines out of the lab and into Google’s Bay Area campuses to carry out some light custodial tasks.”

BBC: Nine Afghan girl robotics team members safe in Qatar

BBC: Nine Afghan girl robotics team members safe in Qatar. “After scrambling for days to bring them to safety, nine members of an Afghan all-girls robotics team have arrived in Qatar, the team’s parent organisation has confirmed.Their flight out of Afghanistan was organised by the Qatar government, which expedited visas and sent an aircraft.The team first made headlines in 2017 after winning a special award at an international robotics competition in the US.”

Analysis: Tesla’s humanoid robot might be Elon’s dumbest idea yet (The Next Web)

The Next Web: Analysis: Tesla’s humanoid robot might be Elon’s dumbest idea yet. “Everybody wants this to be real. Me, you, the entire writing staff of the Simpsons (wait for it, I’m sure it’s coming), even Tesla’s competitors. We all want Rosie the Robot to be real. But here’s the truth laid bare: this is a hustle. The Tesla Robot is Elon Musk at his PT Barnum-esque best. He’s promising everything you want and daring you to dream along side him while he picks your pocket.”

CNET: Elon Musk unveils Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot utilizing Tesla’s vehicle AI

CNET: Elon Musk unveils Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot utilizing Tesla’s vehicle AI. “Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday unveiled a humanoid robot called the Tesla Bot that runs on the same AI used by Tesla’s fleet of autonomous vehicles. A functioning version of the robot didn’t make an appearance during Musk’s reveal, though a slightly bizarre dance by a performer dressed like a Tesla Bot did.”

New York Times: Are You Ready for Sentient Disney Robots?

New York Times: Are You Ready for Sentient Disney Robots?. No. “There are animatronics at Disney World that have been doing the same herky-jerky thing on loop since Richard Nixon was president. In the meantime, the world’s children have become technophiles, raised on apps (three million in the Google store), the Roblox online gaming universe and augmented reality Snapchat filters. Cars are driving themselves, and SpaceX rockets are autonomously landing on drone ships How are the rudimentary animatronic birds in Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room supposed to compete? They dazzled in 1963. Today, some people fall asleep.”

CNET: Hospitalized young patients ‘run the bases’ at Dodger Stadium, via robots

CNET: Hospitalized young patients ‘run the bases’ at Dodger Stadium, via robots. “Young patients at a Los Angeles hospital got to run the bases at Dodger Stadium, virtually at least, thanks to telepresence robots that transported them from their beds onto the baseball field. With tablets in hand, 10 patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital moved the wheeled robots around the diamond, and even chatted with Los Angeles Dodgers players face to face.”

AFP: Google parent launches new ‘moonshot’ for robotics software

AFP: Google parent launches new ‘moonshot’ for robotics software. “Google’s parent Alphabet unveiled a new “moonshot” project to develop software for robotics which could be used in a wide range of industries. The new unit, dubbed Intrinsic, will ‘become an independent Alphabet company,’ and seek industrial partners to advance their work helping to make everything from solar panels to cars, the new unit’s chief, Wendy Tan-White, said in a blog post.”

NEXT Pittsburgh: Robotics Project traces the roots of today’s robots to CMU

NEXT Pittsburgh: Robotics Project traces the roots of today’s robots to CMU. “When the definitive history of the robotics revolution is written, researchers will have to contend with the massive amount of groundbreaking work done at Carnegie Mellon University. The Robotics Project at CMU will be ready for them. Launched this summer, the project is presenting its first online exhibit, Building the Robot Archive, which shows how a group of determined researchers started the world’s first academic robotics department in the 1970s, creating a legacy of cutting-edge robotics research that continues to this day and is transforming Pittsburgh into the robotics capital of the world.”

EurekAlert: KIMM develops all-round grippers for contact-free society

EurekAlert: KIMM develops all-round grippers for contact-free society. “The Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) successfully developed all-round gripper* technology, enabling robots to hold objects of various shapes and stiffnesses. With the new technology, a single gripper can be used to handle different objects such as screwdrivers, bulbs, and coffee pots, and even food with delicate surfaces such as tofu, strawberries, and raw chicken. It is expected to expand applications in contact-free services such as household chores, cooking, serving, packaging, and manufacturing.”

Caltech: Robotics Engineers Take on COVID-19

Caltech: Robotics Engineers Take on COVID-19. “When the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns brought an abrupt halt to their research this spring, robotics engineers at Caltech and the University of Michigan took tools that were originally created to help robots to walk and autonomous cars to drive safely and applied them to the development of an epidemiological methodology that accounts for human interventions (like mask mandates and stay-at-home orders).”

MIT Technology Review: It’s time to rethink the legal treatment of robots

MIT Technology Review: It’s time to rethink the legal treatment of robots. “A tax system informed by AI legal neutrality would not only improve commerce by eliminating inefficient subsidies for automation; it would help to ensure that the benefits of AI do not come at the expense of the most vulnerable, by leveling the playing field for human workers and ensuring adequate tax revenue. AI is likely to result in massive but poorly distributed financial gains, and this will both require and enable policymakers to rethink how they allocate resources and distribute wealth. They may realize we are not doing such a good job of that now.”