Robotic Assistance: The Diminishment of Human Job Fulfillment

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In the short term, many employers have complained of an inability to fill roles and retain workers, further accelerating robotic adoption. One aspect of the conversation that is oft neglected, however, is how human workers feel about their robotic colleagues. But could the technology also have a negative impact on worker morale? The institute reports a negative impact to worker-perceived meaningfulness and autonomy levels. As long as robots have a positive impact on a corporation’s bottom line, adoption will continue at a rapidly increasing clip.

Innovative Startup Serve Robotics, Supported by Uber and Nvidia, Makes $40M Debut on Public Markets

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Serve Robotics, the Uber and Nvidia-backed sidewalk robot delivery company, debuted publicly on the New York stock exchange Thursday, making it the latest startup to choose going public via a reverse merger as an alternative path to capital needed to fund growth. While Serve’s debut in the public markets comes from a reverse merger and not a SPAC, the two alternate paths to IPO are not too dissimilar. However, Serve Robotics said it’s expecting enormous growth fueled by money generated by going public. “I never thought that I would start a robotics company and then be in the ads business,” said a tired, but excited, Kashani in a phone interview minutes before the bell rang. Upon the closing of the merger, Uber held a 16.6% stake and Nvidia an 14.3% stake in Serve, according to regulatory filings.

“First Look: Boston Dynamics’ Newly Unveiled Atlas Robot Amazes Experts”

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This week Boston Dynamics retired its well-known Atlas robot that was powered by hydraulics. Then today it unveiled its new Atlas robot, which is powered by electricity. Its new Atlas robot is leaner, and appears to have improved range-of-motion. Size and ability to contort and maneuver are not cosmetic elements to a humanoid robot — they can unlock new use cases and possible work environments. Happily for those of us who want a domestic robot to handle household chores and hold our hands whilst we cry, there are other startups working on the humanoid robot project.

From Robotics Consuming Themselves to Revamping Heavy Industry: The Transformation of Found Energy

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The aluminum used to make the spacecraft held more than 10 times the energy of any cutting-edge battery. To release the energy embodied in refined aluminum, Godart had to figure out how to get past the metal’s defenses, so to speak. “One of the hardest elements of heavy industry to decarbonize is the heat,” Godart said. Aluminum is slightly heavier than diesel or bunker fuel, but its energy density could be game changing for those industries. One could imagine future ships powered by aluminum dropping their waste powder off at a smelter to be refueled for a return voyage.

European Automaker to Test Drive Sanctuary AI’s Humanoid Robot

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Sanctuary AI announced that it will be delivering its humanoid robot to a Magna manufacturing facility. As is often the nature of these deals, the parties have not disclosed how many of Sanctuary AI’s robots will be deployed. The news follows similar deals announced by Figure and Apptronik, which are piloting their own humanoid systems with BMW and Mercedes, respectively. For its part, Magna invested in Sanctuary AI back in 2021 — right around the time Elon Musk announced plans to build a humanoid robot to work in Tesla factories. The company would later dub the system “Optimus.” Vancouver-based Sanctuary unveiled its own system, Phoenix, back in May of last year.

‘Mice Cells’ Harvested Muscle Tissue Empower ‘Biohybrid’ Robotics Movement

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While these systems have soft forms, however, many of their components are still rigid like their more traditional counterparts. Researchers are working to bring flexible elements to create locomotion for these soft robots. Researchers at the school are using live muscle tissue in tandem with synthetic robot parts for a classification of robots known as “biohybrid.”MIT Professor of Engineering Ritu Raman confirmed the process with TechCrunch, noting, “We build the muscle tissues from mouse cells, and then we put the muscle tissues on our robot’s skeleton. Biological muscle tissue can be difficult to work with and generally unpredictable. The flexures still needed to be tweaked to the specifications of the robot, ultimately opting for structures with 1/100th the stiffness of the muscle tissue.

Transforming Robotics Focuses on Human-Centered Solutions Rather Than Humanoid Appearances

It is, after all, a lot easier to generate press for robots that look and move like humans. For a while now, Collaborative Robotics founder Brad Porter has eschewed robots that look like people. As the two-year-old startup’s name implies, Collaborative Robotics (Cobot for short) is interested in the ways in which humans and robots will collaborate, moving forward. When his run with the company ended in summer 2020, he was leading the retail giant’s industrial robotics team. AI will, naturally, be foundational to the company’s promise of “human problem solving,” while the move away from the humanoid form factor is a bid, in part, to reduce the cost of entry for deploying these systems.

Home robotics’ gain might benefit from Apple’s electric vehicle deficit

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With the Apple Car firmly in the rearview, the company is reportedly exploring yet another notoriously difficult path: home robots. In spite of those efforts, however, the company has fared best when it focused its resources back into its robot vacuum. The hockey puck design that’s prevalent across robot vacuums isn’t ideal for anything beyond the core functionality it’s built for. That’s likely a big part of the reason the company is selling it as a development platform. There’s nothing wrong with teleop in many scenarios, but it seems unlikely that people are going to flock to a home robot that’s being controlled by a human somewhere far away.

“Exploring Saturn’s Moons: NASA’s Serpentine Robot on a Mission to Uncover Extraterrestrial Life in Frigid Oceans”

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The latter has made snake robots a compelling addition to search-and-rescue teams, as the systems can squeeze into spots people and other robots can’t. That means a lot of ice, as NASA researchers are planning to send it to Saturn’s small, cold moon, Enceladus. Twenty-first-century flybys from Cassini have revealed a water-rich environment, making the ice-covered moon a potential candidate for life in our solar system. The eventual plan is to use the snake robot, Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS), to explore oceans beneath the moon’s crust and finally answer one of the universe’s big, open questions. In fact, CMU spinout HEBI Robotics designed the modules being used in this early version of the system.

Utilizing Advanced Linguistic Models for Autonomous Error Recovery in Home Robotics

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Even when some or all of those are addressed, there remains the question of what happens when a system makes an inevitable mistake. We can’t, however, expect consumers to learn to program or hire someone who can help any time an issue arrives. Thankfully, this is a great use case for LLMs (large language models) in the robotics space, as exemplified by new research from MIT. “LLMs have a way to tell you how to do each step of a task, in natural language. It’s a simple, repeatable task for humans, but for robots, it’s a combination of various small tasks.