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OPLIN 4Cast #739: Robot overlords? Not yet, but robots continue to integrate into human society

Posted in 4cast, and robotics

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.”

This is a line used by many of the geek persuasion, any time that significant strides are made in robotics. While the statement is made in jest, it underlies an inherent understanding that robots will, in fact, be running the world some day. But “some day” always seems far off and not likely within our own lifetimes…and then we see the news, and we wonder if that day isn’t really all that far off.

  • Travelers at Philadelphia International Airport can now get food delivered – by a robot [Philadelphia Business Journal] “Gita pairs to, follows and reacts to its user’s actions without GPS, and functions both indoors and outdoors. Using computer sensor visitation, the robot takes in information in pedestrian-dense environments to effectively adapt to its surroundings in real time, according to Piaggio Fast Forward. The company’s overall vision is to help cities move toward sustainable mobility, where transportation becomes more active and less car-focused.”
  • Robots evolve to take on more complex tasks in bakeries [] ““Much of what drives the increasing use of robotics is the inability to find enough skilled people to staff bakery lines,” observed Craig Souser, president, JLS Automation. The current pandemic makes this situation even worse.”
  • FDA clears two surgical robots focused on imaging, spine [Becker’s Spine Review] “The company believes the Loop-X is the first fully robotic intraoperative imaging device on the market, while the Cirq robotic alignment module assists surgeons during spine procedures.”
  • Will robots make good friends? Scientists are already starting to find out [The Conversation] “My colleague and I identified some potential risks – like the abandonment of human friends for robotic ones – but we also found several scenarios where robotic companionship can constructively augment people’s lives, leading to friendships that are directly comparable to human-to-human relationships.”

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