Showing posts with label Robotics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robotics. Show all posts

August 17, 2019

Copy Any Key

Thought this was pretty cool in Safeway supermarket.

A automated key copy machine. 

You insert your key. 

And out pops a duplicate for you. 

Home, car, business, whatever.

What is happening to that guy who used to work the key copy machine at the local locksmith?

Who says automation and robotics isn't taking and going to take away jobs. 

I still remember that key machine--where the locksmith would put the key on one side and a blank on the other, and the machine would copy the surface grooves of one unto the other. 

Now even that is gone. 

I guess we're lucky still to have keys (for now).  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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July 18, 2019

Retro Cool Digital Watch

Wow, I love this retro digital Computron watch from Bulova. 

I remember when the first digital LED watches with the red numbers like this first came out in the 1970s. 

They were quite expensive then!

Part of the computer revolution. LOL

I remember my uncle had something like this and I thought how cool it was--no moving hands to read.

Also, has a little of that sci-fi Battlestar Galactica red (moving) light effect from the cybernetic enemy, Cylon visors. 

What's old is what's new.  ;-)
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July 17, 2019

Face Vase

Thought this was a pretty cool Face Vase. 

If you add a digital home assistant to this (like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant) and make the lips move on this vase, it would be quite the futuristic home assistant!

I don't think I'd feel comfortable living in my own house anymore. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 28, 2019

Robots In Rockville


Had some fun driving around this cool little Robot in Rockville Town Center.

I like to try out the latest gadgets. 

It's funny people's reactions when they see these. 

They're still not quite sure what to make of these. 

Robots on the street.

Drones overhead.

Submersibles in the water.

Soon they will all be autonomous, ubiquitous, and essential.

And people will be the side attraction. ;-)

(Source Video: Dossy Blumenthal)
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April 28, 2019

Rockville Science Fair - 30th Year!















(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2019

Gotta Love FANUC


I love FANUC industrial robots. 

They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 

They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.

Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from "cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs."  They also are in Tesla and Amazon...so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 

FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 

Their robots are made by...that's right other robots...80% is automated

These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 

This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 

But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 10, 2019

Hyundai's Great All-Terrain Concept Car


Very impressed with the Hyundai concept "Walking Car."

It can drive, walk, and climb. 

I heard that this thing can even climb over walls and jump over gaps!

(Ah, I'm not going to say anything about border security with this--let's just hope the bad guys don't get this). 

This is the closest that we've come to Hollywood's Transformers.

This is much more than a vehicle for search and rescue--this is ALL-TERRAIN!

Great job Hyundai--I'd love to test drive this beauty!  ;-)
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April 25, 2018

Obsolesce Of Nuclear Weapons


This is one incredible video. 

It shows the killing power of micro killer drones. 

With a host of cameras and other sensors including facial recognition and GPS, plus a small amount of explosives, these drones can target individuals or critical infrastructure and take them out!

The drones can work alone or in swarms to get into and kill or destroy anything. 

No VIP (very important person) or CIP (critical infrastructure protected) is safe. 

We can wipe out entire cities or the nuclear infrastructure of our enemies. 

Despite the warning about artificial intelligence at the end of this video, rest assured these killer microdrones are coming. 

Big is the new small, and small is the new big. 

In fact, big things come in small packages--exactly!  

Iran and North Korea are chasing obsolete technology to harm the U.S. and Israel, and within a short time, they will see the error of their malevolent ways 

G-d foretells us all in the Bible and like David and Goliath--a slingshot to the forehead and the fight with the evil is over. ;-)

(Thank you to Itzchak for sharing this video with me). 
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March 3, 2018

QC + AI = S


Quantum Computing (QC) + Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Singularity (S)

Quantum Computing - Computers using subatomic particles to superprocess atincredible speeds and with less energy--it's similar to massive parallel processing, but in the case of Qubits, they can store more than just 1s and 0s (bits--a binary state), but rather can be both o and 1 at the same time (a "superposition").  So for very large problems ("exponential scaling"), instead of processing (computing one step at a time), you can process all options simultaneously to find the very best ("optimized") solution by eliminating all options that don't fit the algorithm.

Artificial Intelligence - Computers simulate intelligence, using language, perceiving their environment, reasoning to draw conclusions, solving problems usually done by humans, being creative, and where they can actually learn and self-improve!

Singularity - A state of runaway hypergrowth from the attainment of computing superintelligence, where computers are able to autonomously build ever smarter and more powerful machines that surpass human understanding and control leading to unfathomable changes to human civilization. 

The Information Age is giving way to the Intelligence Age, and it is all ready to explode. 

We are getting to the point of no return...

(Source Photo: Screenshot from YouTube with attribution to the move, Lucy")
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September 28, 2017

No Smokestacks Here

So I heard something good about human capital that I wanted to share:

It goes like this:
"There are no smokestacks here, only people!"

We can't treat "human capital" in our organizations the way we treat industrial/capital assets in our factories. 

The industrial revolution--along with the sweatshops and smokestacks--have been overtaken by the service and information age.

G-d has blessed us with an abundance of wonderful material things that can now be largely produced by automation and robotization--letting us focus more than ever on developing our people, nurturing their ideas, and realizing their innovations. 

In our organizations, the human assembly line has given way to thinkers and innovators.

Sure, we have to build things and sustain ourselves, but the people behind the things are what counts and not just the things themselves. 

We've grown from heartless slave labor and sweatshops to emotionally intelligent, compassionate, and thriving humans beings in the workspace--or so we strive for it to be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 9, 2017

Drones Vs. Man

I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 

Look how close this machine is flying to his head!

Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.

Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone--presumably made and deployed by Iran!

I guess it's not proprietary technology anymore!

As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 

Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!

It's going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 

Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 

What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt "man of steel" (and they don't miss) against just regular everyday people.

Don't hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 26, 2017

Camera Of Life

So this open-door market has no workers there.

Someone comes in to stock the shelves periodically, and that's it!

It's completely automated of workers, and only has this automated kiosk for check-out. 

As you shop, there are cameras watching you, so you don't steal anything. 

Then you go to the checkout and like in other stores, you scan you items and pay with your credit card, but the difference is that it's without anyone else around at all.

Can you imagine someone would leave there business and there is no one watching you, except the cameras.

You're on your honor system. 

Just think how much money the owner saves by not having to stand there or hire someone to stand there all day. 

He can have 10 or 100 or 1,000 of these stores and no daily labor to pay for. 

Talk about people losing their jobs to automation and robotics!

So even if someone does steal 1 or 2 things, it's a minor loss to the owner compared to paying someone to stand there and check people out all day (salary, benefits, payroll taxes, workers comp insurance, and more). 

What if the camera isn't even real and it's just a dark cone, so you are just left to think that you're being surveilled...another savings for the owner. 

Now imagine if we all internalized this thought in life that we were under the watchful eye of our Maker, and everyone would do the right thing even when no one else was there watching. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 8, 2017

Robotics Help The Paralyzed Stand And Regain Mobility


Some of the best work being done in robots to help disabled people is from Dr. Amit Goffer of the Technion University in Israel. 

ReWalk is a robotic battery-powered exoskeleton with motorized legs and hips that enable paraplegics to walk, turn, and even climb and descend stairs again--and is FDA cleared as of 2014. 

And UPnRIDE is a wheeled auto-balancing robotic device that enables quadriplegics to stand and be mobile. 

The inventor, Dr. Goffer, is himself paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident 20-years ago.

This has inspired him to create these absolutely amazing robotic devices to assist all disabled people who are wheelchair bound. 

Approximately 1% of the people are wheelchair bound that's 70 million

And surely, many more especially in the developing world need wheelchairs and don't have them.

So these amazing robotic devices have the incredible capacity to help so many people stand and regain their mobility and dignity again. 

These are nothing short of miraculous and a new beginning for so many people suffering from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, palsy, strokes and more

Being able to stand again is not only psychology healthy and helpful for mobility, but it may aid in preventing secondary conditions that wheelchair-bound people can suffer, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, loss of lean mass and difficulty with bowel and urinary functions.

ReWalk has also received approval for coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those qualifying and with spinal cord injuries. 

Hopefully, this is just the beginning for helping people around the world. Mobility is life! ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to The Times of Israel)
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November 8, 2016

Hold On To Your Jobs

These statistics are dismal for manufacturing in the U.S. 

Today, public sector (government) employment is 22.2 million vs. just 12.2 million manufacturing jobs. 

In other words, there are 10 million or 80% more people employed by the government than making things in this country. 

This is the complete opposite from 1979 when government employed 16 million people and manufacturing had 19.6 million workers.

So just 37 years ago, manufacturing employment was 22% more than our public sector employment.

Manufacturing lost 37% of it jobs, while government grew 39%.

It hasn't been since 1989 that there was parity at 18 million between the two sectors. 

Lest you think that the loss in manufacturing jobs is due to automation and technology, the Economic Policy Institute states unequivocally:

"Trade, not productivity, is the culprit."

In the U.S. the annual trade deficit is over half a trillion dollars--we are hemorrhaging and no one has been even trying to stop the bleeding.  

If we send all our manufacturing prowess and capacity abroad eventually we are not only going to lose our capability to make things, our ingenuity to invent things, but our finances to pay for anything. 

Trade is a great thing when it is mutual and equal, not when it is one-sided and damaging to our economy and jobs. 

Bad political decisions mean a poorer future for our economy and our nation. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 12, 2016

Losing Patience With Tech Progress

We're so close yet so far...that's my feeling as I grow ever impatient with the pace of technological progress. 

We have cloud computing, but still everyone has their own private computing setups everywhere. 

We have mobile computing, but still can't get get reliable service in the Metro and all the other "dead zones."

We have social computing, but still people are so cliquey and nasty and troll and bully each other online and off. 

We have the Internet of Things, but still things don't really talk to each other regularly (except our smart meters).

We have robots, but still they're relegated to factory assembly lines. 

We have natural language processing, but still can't get a meaningful conversation going with Siri.

We have 3-D printing, but still can't get dinner or a pair of Nikes to appear from the Star Trek like "Replicator."

We have augmented and virtual reality headsets, but still can't go anywhere with them without getting motion sickness.

We have biometrics, but still have to sign the check.

We have driverless cars, but still there is a driver inside. 

We have networks of information, but still it's subject to hacking, malware, identity and data theft, and even big time EMP knockouts. 

We have immunotherapy, but still haven't beaten cancer. 


We have nanotechnology, but still we travel through life loaded down with material possessions.

We have food and biotechnology, but still one in eight people are going hungry. 

We have space shuttles and stations, but still can't get a colony going on Mars.

We have big data, but still information is corrupted by personal biases and politics. 

We have knowledge management, but still more than 780 million adults are illiterate. 

We have artificial intelligence, but still it's devoid of emotional intelligence. 

We have bigger, deadlier, and more sophisticated weapons systems and smart bombs to "protect us", but still are no closer to living in peace and brotherhood. 

All this technology and advancement is great, except that we're left hungrier than ever for the realization of the promised technology land, and are really only halfway there, maybe. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 17, 2016

Robots, They Are Coming

I was so excited by this photo in the Wall Street Journal today.

YuMi, an industrial robot by ABB, is adroitly writing Chinese calligraphy. 

If you look at the photo and think for a moment, the notion of the robot doing and the person watching is truly prophetic of how we are evolving technologically and as a species. 

Yumi is made by ABB, a leading robotics company headquartered in Switzerland, that on one hand has over 300,000 robots installed worldwide, but on the other hand needs only 4,600 employees in 53 countries to produce all these fantastic and productive droids.  

This robot is a work of not just incredible science and engineering, but of art and beauty. 

It's sleek black and white build with two incredibly agile arms and hands plus a viewing camera, enables it to do small parts assembly or even fine calligraphic work. 

YuMi stands for "You and Me" working together, collaboratively. 

While we surely will work together, the flip side is that with robotics, some people (who don't make the transition to STEM) may not be working much at all. 

But of course, the positive side is that we are looking at an incredible capacity to do more and better with less! 

Leaving the innovation to humans, and the assembly and service to the bots, the bar will be raised on everything--both good and bad.

We will build greater things, travel and explore further, and discover ever new depths of understanding and opportunities to exploit.

But we will also edge people out of work and comfort zones, and be able to engage in new forms of conflict and war that only the power and skill of (semi-) autonomous machines could inflict. 

The robots are here, however, they are coming in much greater numbers, capabilities, and impact then we can currently fully comprehend. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via WSJ)
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December 18, 2015

You're Getting Milked

If you have a pulse and have been to the stores or even shopping online lately (hey, it's the holidays so of course you have), you know that prices are on the rise.

And this is amazing, because--

Major factors point to pricing that should be driven down:

- Commodities--which are the basic raw materials from agriculture to oil and gas and metals and mining--are at a more than 16-year low!

- Manufacturing has moved to low cost sourcing countries (China, India, Vietnam, Africa, etc.)

- Technology continues to benefit us in terms of cost-efficiencies from the transformation to robotics and automation.

Yet, we keep on seeing prices move ever higher:

Just a few examples...

- "Housing market is on fire" with existing home prices exceeding the pre-recession peak!

- "Car prices at records highs - and rising"

- "Food prices are sky high"--it's not your imagination.

- Fashion "prices rising so fast"

- Health care spending is "again accelerating"

- "College costs are so high and rising."

Forget the B.S. of the basket of inflation stats your being feed...you know that your bills are going up, while your income is stagnant.

The real question is why is the middle class always getting milked--whose interest does it serve? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 13, 2015

Fantastic Drone Capabilities Coming


Exciting video by Futurism on what drones can and will do. 

Swarming.

Wall landings.

Acrobatics.

Drone on drone landings.

Playing catch.

Juggling.

Building a rope bridge. 

These little drones are so versatile and dexterous that perhaps what they can do is only limited by our imagination. 

Soon drones will do everything from caring for people's personal needs to building our cities, fighting diseases from within our very bodies, and conducting open warfare on the battlefield and behind enemy lines. 

Small and many is big and powerful! ;-)
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September 24, 2014

Dexterous Drones


Ok, after the da Vinci System that uses robotics to conduct surgeries this many not seem like such a feat, but think again.

While da Vinci is fully controlled by the surgeon, this Drone from Drexel University that can turn valves, or door knobs and other controls, is on the road to doing this autonomously. 

Think of robots that can manipulate the environment around them not on a stationary assembly line or doing repetitive tasks, but actually interacting real-time to open/close, turn things on/off, adjust control settings, pick things up/move them, eventually even sit at a computer or with other people--like you or I--and interface with them. 

Drones and robots will be doing a lot more than surveillance and assembly line work--with artifical intelligence and machine learning, they will be doing what we do--or close enough. ;-)
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September 17, 2014

Super Military Sentry


Awesome robotic sentry being deployed by South Korea along the DMZ.

Ubergizmo reports that the Samsung SGR-A1 costs just $200,000 and supports all weather detection, a 5.56 mm machine gun, grenade launcher, surface to air missiles, and has an illuminator, laser range finder, heat infrared and motion detection, and can track multiple targets. 

Moreover, the human operator remains safe at a remote command location, while this robot at the front line targets the enemy at over 2 miles away. 


I would think this needs to be augmented with a bunker, camouflage, and/or additional sophisticated anti-air defense system to protect these stationary devices or perhaps add some mobility to these. 

Can you think of other countries that could benefit in protecting their borders from terrorists and military incursions with such a robot? ;-)
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