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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

‘Jackrabbot 2’ takes to the sidewalks to learn how humans navigate politely

Autonomous vehicles and robots have to know how to get from A to B without hitting obstacles or pedestrians — but how can they do so politely and without disturbing nearby humans? That’s what Stanford’s Jackrabbot project aims to learn, and now a redesigned robot will be cruising campus learning the subtleties of humans negotiating one another’s personal space.

“There are many behaviors that we humans subconsciously follow – when I’m walking through crowds, I maintain personal distance or, if I’m talking with you, someone wouldn’t go between us and interrupt,” said grad student Ashwini Pokle in a Stanford News release. “We’re working on these deep learning algorithms so that the robot can adapt these behaviors and be more polite to people.”

Of course there are practical applications pertaining to last mile problems and robotic delivery as well. What do you do if someone stops in front of you? What if there’s a group running up behind? Experience is the best teacher, as usual.

The first robot was put to work in 2016, and has been hard at work building a model of how humans (well, mostly undergrads) walk around safely, avoiding one another while taking efficient paths, and signal what they’re doing the whole time. But technology has advanced so quickly that a new iteration was called for.

The JackRabbot project team with JackRabbot 2 (from left to right): Patrick Goebel, Noriaki Hirose, Tin Tin Wisniewski, Amir Sadeghian, Alan Federman, Silivo Savarese, Roberto Martín-Martín, Pin Pin Tea-mangkornpan and Ashwini Pokle

The new robot has a vastly improved sensor suite compared to its predecessor: two Velodyne lidar units giving 360 degree coverage, plus a set of stereo cameras making up its neck that give it another depth-sensing 360 degree view. The cameras and sensors on its head can also be pointed wherever needed, of course, just like ours. All this imagery is collated by a pair of new GPUs in its base/body.

Amir Sadeghian, one of the researchers, said this makes Jackrabbot 2 “one of the most powerful robots of its size that has ever been built.”

This will allow the robot to sense human motion with a much greater degree of precision than before, and also operate more safely. It will also give the researchers a chance to see how the movement models created by the previous robot integrate with this new imagery.

The other major addition is a totally normal-looking arm that Jackrabbot 2 can use to gesture to others. After all, we do it, right? When it’s unclear who should enter a door first or what side of a path they should take, a wave of the hand is all it takes to clear things up. Usually. Hopefully this kinked little gripper accomplishes the same thing.

Jackrabbot 2 can zoom around for several hours at a time, Sadeghian said. “At this stage of the project for safety we have a human with a safety switch accompanying the robot, but the robot is able to navigate in a fully autonomous way.”

Having working knowledge of how people use the space around them and how to predict their movements will be useful to startups like Kiwi, Starship, and Marble. The first time a delivery robot smacks into someone’s legs is the last time they consider ordering something via one.


Source: TechCrunch

Google teams up with T-Mobile on more-accurate 911 location data – CNET

Enhanced location service runs on 99 percent of active Android phones.
Source: CNET

Here's where you can preorder the PlayStation Classic right now – CNET

Grab this throwback console while it lasts.
Source: CNET

Lime is pissed at San Francisco for denying it an e-scooter permit, claims ‘unlawful bias’

Lime is waging a war against the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA), claiming that the organization acted with “unlawful bias” and “sought to punish Lime” when it chose not to award the e-scooter and dockless bike startup a permit to operate in San Francisco last month.

Lime has sent an appeal to the SFMTA, requesting an “unbiased hearing officer” reevaluate its application to participate in the city’s 12-month pilot program for e-scooter providers. The SFMTA, however, says they are “confident” they picked the right companies in Scoot and Skip.

“After a thorough, fair and transparent review process, we are confident we selected the strongest applicants to participate in the one-year scooter pilot,” a spokesperson for SFMTA said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Scoot and Skip demonstrated the highest level of commitment to our city’s values of prioritizing public safety, promoting equity and ensuring accountability. Lime’s appeal will go to an independent hearing officer for further consideration.”

San Francisco’s permit process came as a result of Lime and its competitors, Bird and Spin, deploying their scooters without permission in the city this March. As part of a new city law, which went into effect in June, scooter startups are not able to operate in San Francisco without a permit.

Lyft, Skip, Spin, Lime, Scoot, ofo, Razor, CycleHop, USSCooter and Ridecell all applied for said permit in June.

Lime thinks the selection process was unfair and that because it deployed scooters in the city without asking permission — the Uber model of expansion — SFMTA intentionally rejected its application despite its qualifications.

“The SFMTA ignored the fact that Scoot’s price is twice that of other applicants, including Lime, and that Scoot declined to offer any discounted cash payment option to low-income users, as required by law,” Lime wrote in a statement today. “SFMTA inexplicably avoided inclusion of these factors as evaluation criteria and instead deemed Scoot “satisfactory” because they ‘agreed to comply.’”

When Lime learned of its rejection on Aug. 30, CEO Toby Sun said he was disappointed and planned to appeal the decision.

San Franciscans deserve an equitable and transparent process when it comes to transportation and mobility. Instead, the SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators that plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good … The SFMTA’s handling of the dockless bike and scooter share programs has lacked transparency from the beginning. We call on the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors to hold the SFMTA accountable for a flawed permitting process. As a San Francisco-based company, this is where we live and work. We want to serve this community.”

Though Lime wasn’t able to successfully sway San Francisco authorities, it was given permission to operate in Santa Monica last month alongside Bird, Lyft and JUMP Bikes.

E-scooters are expected to return to the streets of San Francisco on Oct. 15.


Source: TechCrunch

Winamp media player might be back from the dead, with Windows 10 support

Winamp might be back from the dead, and it’s bringing support for Microsoft Windows 10 with the first new software release since its acquisition by Radionomy in 2014. Fans of the media player will also enjoy new features and bug fixes.

The post Winamp media player might be back from the dead, with Windows 10 support appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Customer data is compromised as hackers crack Newegg’s security

Online electronics retailer Newegg has found themselves at the heart of an online security breach as the company’s payment system was breached, giving hackers of the notorious group, Magecart, potential access to confidential customer data, including credit card information.

The post Customer data is compromised as hackers crack Newegg’s security appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

El peligro de confundir los avances reales de la IA con la publicidad

La inteligencia artificial tiene un enorme potencial para transformar nuestras vidas, pero el bombo que hay en torno a ella es muy preocupante, según el experto de la Carnegie Mellon Zachary Lipton, quien critica que los legisladores no leen revistas científicas pero sí los titulares virales
Source: MIT

IKEA convierte el coche autónomo en tiendas, hospitales y oficinas

Cuando los vehículos sean realmente autónomos, podremos dedicar el tiempo del trayecto a otras actividades, y los establecimientos que conocemos, como tiendas y cafeterías, podrán desplazarse hacia nosotros. Estas son las siete propuestas del laboratorio de diseño del gigante sueco
Source: MIT

La sociedad debe empezar a adaptarse a vivir en un mundo más cálido

Por mucho que reduzcamos las emisiones de efecto invernadero, el planeta ya muestra síntomas de cambio climático. El experto en energía de la Universidad de Harvard, Daniel Schrag, cree que la arquitectura, la agricultura y el transporte deben prepararse para resistirlo
Source: MIT

An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good

Researchers from Georgia Tech have demonstrated how artificial intelligence can be used to create brand-new video games after being shown hours of classic 8-bit gaming action for inspiration.

The post An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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