Computer scientists have been working on teaching machines to do a wider range of tasks around the house. In a new paper spearheaded by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the University of Toronto, researchers demonstrate “VirtualHome,” a system that can simulate detailed household tasks and then have artificial “agents” execute them, opening up the possibility of one day teaching robots to do such tasks.Using Virtual Home, the MIT computer scientists have trained AI to do about 1,000 different tasks that one might expect a household robot assistant to be able to do. Robots trained in this way may oneday be a great help for the elderly or people who have trouble getting around, and perhaps even to the average person. But until they become useful, at least they’re entertaining to watch.
Hospitals around the world are constantly for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAI).
Saint Peter’s University Hospital has implemented a LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.
Their goal is to prevent infection & provide a clean, safe environment for their patients, families and employees. The latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAI’s caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.
The Xenex robot is a new technology that uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light that penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces without contact or chemicals.
The system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. Over 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S., Canada, Africa, Japan and Europe are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care facilities.
Starship Technologies announced the first two commercial partnerships for its ground-based delivery robots. DoorDash in Redwood City, California, and Postmates in Washington, DC. The commercial trials will see these services start making deliveries in the coming weeks using Starship’s six-wheeled robots within a four-mile-wide test area in each city.
The DoorDash trial will take place in Redwood City’s downtown business district, and Starship will run its Postmates pilot in the northwestern part of Washington, DC’s city limits.
Companies, like Amazon and Alphabet, have made a few airborne drone deliveries in the US thanks to early partnerships with businesses like 7-Eleven and Chipotle.
A robot named Kanae, who hails from Japan, can be programmed to speak any language (including sign language). She has two sisters: Chihira Aico, who assists shoppers at the Tokyo shopping center, and Chihira Junko, who offers help at an info desk at Tokyo’s Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall. Bots in tourism signal an industry shift—Hilton Hotels, for example, announced on March 9 it was teaming up with IBM for a concierge robot named Naofor a concierge robot named Nao, while the SkyMax Skytender started mixing martinis on airplanes back in 2012.
photo courtesy of Alexandre Dulaunoy
Dallas Police used a bomb disposal robot to kill a suspect after last night’s deadly shooting during a protest. In a press conference, Dallas police chief David Brown said that the robot was deployed after negotiations with the suspect failed. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” said Brown. “Other options would have exposed our officers to great danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb.”