Computer games can pick up dyslexia in minority pupils in AI News

Computer games can pick up dyslexia in minority pupils
3 August 2015, 12:35 pm

While pupils from minority groups are over-represented in Norwegian special needs education, practically no children from these groups are diagnosed with dyslexia. As a consequence many miss out on important help. Researchersare studying whether a computer game can pick up dyslexia in pupils from minority groups.

Source: Artificial Intelligence News -- ScienceDaily

Started Today at 05:00:08 PM


Solar-powered flight for 81 hours: A new endurance world record in Robotics News

Solar-powered flight for 81 hours: A new endurance world record
31 July 2015, 2:51 pm

T=0 hours. AtlantikSolar team  hand launches AS-2 at 09:32 on July 14th, hoping to set new world records.T=0 hours. AtlantikSolar team hand launches the AS-2 at 09:32 on July 14th, hoping to set a new world record. Two weeks after demonstrating AtlantikSolar’s first 24-hour flight, the fixed-wing team of ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab has reached another milestone: 81.5 hours and 2316 km of continuous flight for its 6.8kg AtlantikSolar 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AS-2). This breaks the flight endurance world record in its class.

The AS-2’s fifth test flight:

  • sets a new world record for the longest ever demonstrated continuous flight of all aircrafts below 50kg total mass, and is also the longest-ever continuous flight of a low-altitude long-endurance (LALE) aircraft (the previous record being a 48-hour flight by the 13kg SoLong UAV ).
  • is the second-longest flight ever demonstrated by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (behind Airbus Space’s 53kg Zephyr 7)
  • is the third-longest flight ever demonstrated by a solar airplane (behind Airbus Space’s 53kg Zephyr 7 and the 2300kg Solar Impulse 2)
  • is the fifth-longest flight ever demonstrated by any aircraft (both manned and unmanned).
In addition, the flight is a first important milestone to verify the UAV’s ability to stay airborne for multiple days while providing telecommunication services in large-scale disaster-scenarios, or live-imagery during industrial sensing and inspection missions.

T=2 hours, shortly after launch. Weather conditions: occasional clouds, and strong winds up to 40km/h.T=2 hours, shortly after launch. Weather conditions: occasional clouds, and strong winds up to 40km/h. Flight Summary

The flight was performed at the Rafz, Switzerland, RC-model club airfield from July 14th-17th, of which the first three days provided sunny conditions. Take-off was performed via hand-launch at 09:32 on July 14th, and after 2316km and 81.5 hours – 4 days and 3 nights – of flight, the aircraft landed safely and with fully charged batteries at 18:56 on July 17th. The fully charged batteries would in theory have enabled to continue the flight through the night again. With the exception of take off, the aircraft was in fully-autonomous operation 98% of the time, and less than 2% in autopilot-assisted mode via its Pixhawk autopilot.

T=8 hours. Monitoring the aircraft and its energy generation and storage system. The batteries are fully charged.T=8 hours. Monitoring the aircraft and its energy generation and storage system. The batteries are fully charged. The long-endurance flight provided helpful insights on the flight performance: The average level-flight power consumption in calm conditions (e.g. during night) was shown to be between 35-46W. Maximum power input throuh the 88 SunPower E60 cells during the day was around 260W. With this performance data, the aircraft managed to fully charged its batteries (100% SoC) at around 13:05 local time, before the time of maximum solar radiation (solar noon, occurring around 13:30). After flying through each of the three nights, the aircraft on average reached a minimum state of charge of 35% at around 07:45 local time, showing sufficient energetic safety margins for worse environmental conditions (such as longer nights, cloud cover or winds).

The flight also subjected the aircraft to a wide range of environmental conditions. Among them were thermal updrafts during the first evening/night (causing a remaining state of charge of 40% ), and downdrafts during the second night (remaining state of charge 32%). The last hours of the flight were marked by upcoming thunderstorm clouds and the strongest winds – up to 60 km/h – the aircraft was ever subjected to. Although the ground station was partially damaged by the winds, the airplane could be landed safely in autopilot assisted mode once the winds had calmed down.

T=41 hours. Drawing circles into the night using the onboard position indicator lights.T=41 hours. Drawing circles in the night sky using the onboard position indicator lights. T=81 hours. Thunderstorm clouds and winds up to 60 km/h make landing the AS-2 challenging.T=81 hours. Thunderstorm clouds and winds up to 60 km/h make landing the AS-2 a challenge. T= 81.5 hours. Landing.T= 81.5 hours. Landing. T=81.5 hours. A happy AtlantikSolar team after a record flight.T=81.5 hours. A happy AtlantikSolar team after a record flight. Future work

Having demonstrated the multi-day endurance capability of the bare UAV platform, the AtlantikSolar UAV project will now focus on extended endurance flights with payloads including optical and infrared cameras, and atmospheric sensors. These payloads will also be carried during a long-endurance and long-distance mission of more than 12 hours and 400km that is planned for later this year in the Brazilian rain forest.

Further information

Detailed design and technical information on the UAV platform can be found in “Oettershagen P, Melzer A, Mantel T, Rudin K, Lotz R, Siebenmann D, Leutenegger S, Alexis K, Siegwart R (2015), A Solar-Powered Hand-Launchable UAV for Low-Altitude Multi-Day Continuous Flight. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)”


This research was funded through ETH Zurich’s internal resources, private supporters, and the European Union FP7 Search-And-Rescue research projects ICARUS and SHERPA . In addition, multiple project partners and collaborators have contributed towards making this important milestone possible, and we’d like to thank all of them for their various and ongoing support. Finally, we are grateful towards the Rafz model aeroplane club for providing the airfield and the Aero Club Asas da Planície (Portugal) for providing the backup airfield!

Pilots: Rainer Lotz, Adrian Eggenberger, Philipp Oettershagen, Bartosz Wawrzacz. Development and Operations Team (Autonomous Systems Lab): Philipp Oettershagen, Rainer Lotz, Amir Melzer, Thomas Mantel, Bartosz Wawrzacz, Konrad Rudin, Thomas Stastny, Raphael Schranz, Jan Steger, Lukas Wirth, Dieter Siebenmann, Dr. Stefan Leutenegger, Dr. Kostas Alexis, Prof. Dr. Roland Siegwart.

Source: Robohub

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Started Today at 05:00:07 PM


Friday Funny in General Chat

Share your jokes here to bring joy to the world  :)

770 Comments | Started February 13, 2009, 01:52:35 PM


AGI methods in General Project Discussion

Hi all

I just felt like to share this document with you:

Synth Preview (Artificial Intelligence Aspect)

I hope that Freddy isn't mad at me anymore.


56 Comments | Started June 13, 2014, 10:27:20 PM


Machine learning for sports & realtime predictions, w Microsoft Research’s Danny Tarlow in Robotics News

Machine learning for sports & realtime predictions, w Microsoft Research’s Danny Tarlow
31 July 2015, 2:05 pm

aerial_view_football_field_stadiumIn episode sixteen we chat with Danny Tarlow of Microsoft Research Cambridge (in the UK not MA). Danny (along with Chris Maddison and Tom Minka) won best paper at NIPS 2014 for his paper A* Sampling. We talk with him about his work in applying machine learning to sports and politics.

Plus we take a listener question on making real time predictions using machine learning, and we demystify backpropagation. You can use Torch, Theano or Autograd to explore backprop more.

Source: Robohub

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Started Today at 11:00:10 AM


Tell me how A.I. would be made, how does the child learn. It should be simple. in General AI Discussion

Tell me what you got. So far. Keep it simple & short - don't chat mumble it all.

20 Comments | Started August 02, 2015, 05:32:45 AM


Drone journalism innovator Dickens Olewe: Drone ban in Kenya hampers social good in Robotics News

Drone journalism innovator Dickens Olewe: Drone ban in Kenya hampers social good
31 July 2015, 1:51 pm

Drone journalism innovator  drone ban in Kenya hampers social good — Professional Society of Drone JournalistsIn late April, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the News Lab at Google, and Stanford University’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship Program produced the first ever conference dedicated to drone journalism, in the tech haven of Berkeley, California. The event drew academics, journalists, nonprofit leaders, researchers, lawyers, and key players in the Silicon Valley drone industry into a discussion about the challenges, successes, and future of drones in investigative reporting.

Dickens Olewe is 2015 JSK Fellow 2015 and founder African skyCAM. This interview was shot during the April 22 TechRaking conference: Elevating the News, hosted by the JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford, The Center for Investigative Reporting and the News Lab at Google.

There had been many conferences before that discussed small, remotely-piloted aircraft systems. And there have been several journalism conferences that have devoted a panel to drone journalism. But this event will probably be remembered as the first “get together” exclusively devoted to journalism and drones.

A YouTube playlist has a number of interviews from conference speakers, which gives a good sampling of the views and topics discussed during the panels. The JSK website also has a good wrap-up.

Dickens Olewe, the key organizer of this conference, has a lot of reason to be hopeful for the future of drone journalism. He was the 2015 JSK fellow, where he focused on best practices for responsible drone journalism, and is the founder of African skyCAM, Africa’s first drone journalism project. Formerly, he led the creation of a health data portal and other technologies at the Star newspaper in Nairobi. He also is a member of the Professional Society of Drone Journalists.

In a place where news crews had been risking equipment and lives attempting to cover floods, Olewe’s African skyCAM deployed drones to reduce the risk to reporters. Despite Olewe’s progress in the field, on January 15, the Kenyan government instituted a general ban on private drone use.

On africanskycam.com, Olewe discusses what Kenya, and the other countries of Africa, risk losing because of the drone ban:

“In the US the Federal Aviation Authority, which had been unwilling to engage industry players, has been forced to relent after a political and industry pressure. The US law, which had banned commercial operation while allowing hobbyists to fly, had forced companies to take their research outside the US. Emerging technology trend forecaster ABI Research recently published a report stating that by 2019 the small unmanned aerial vehicle commercial sector will have revenues exceeding $5.1 billion.

By restricting UAV use African countries not only exclude themselves from a rapidly growing industry, they also miss out on opportunities to harness the technology for social good. While I appreciate the valid concerns of the respective governments, the restrictive approach is counterproductive for this innovative technology, and prevents African countries from capitalising on the rapidly expanding commercial UAV market.It’s encouraging however that the Kenyan government is considering reviewing its restriction on civic uses cases but it’s crucially important that we encourage conversation not confrontation.”
— Dickens Olewe, African skyCAM

Source: Robohub

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Started Today at 05:00:22 AM


Robotics and Beyond: Machine Future in General Chat

The modern technology is, in a nutshell, aimed at making our lives easier. Creating machines to harvest crops, build cars, create other machines and even save lives – robotics is at the forefront of replacing human labor with machine. Can robotics truly change lives? Will cybernetics be the future of mankind? Will machines remain our slaves forever? Find out in our special series “Robotics and Beyond: Machine Future”.


2 Comments | Started August 01, 2015, 09:22:20 AM


Telcos vs. big data companies: Which sector will drive consumer robotics? in Robotics News

Telcos vs. big data companies: Which sector will drive consumer robotics?
30 July 2015, 9:57 pm


NTT’s recent entry into consumer robotics suggests that it’s not just about Google vs Amazon, or Softbank vs NTT anymore, but about telcos vs big data companies. With two major and distinct sectors now competing for market share in consumer robotics, will this impact the way the whole robotics industry evolves?

In the winter of 2013/14 major league US-based big data companies like Google, Apple and Amazon propelled robotics into mainstream news when they started buying and investing in robotics companies like Boston Dynamics, Kiva and Nest. The world was wondering: why do all these consumer-focused big data companies suddenly care so much about robots? Now it seems that the big data sector is not the only one with its eye on robotics. This spring Japanese telecommunications firm Softbank acquired Aldebaran’s Pepper robot, and just yesterday, the competing and much larger Japanese telco NTT announced it would be partnering with consumer robot manufacturer Vstock to offer its Sota robot to consumers on a subscription basis.

  Is this a signal that the telecommunication sector will become just as interested in robotics as big data companies are?

The two Japanese telcos will be leveraging their robotic acquisitions/partnerships to market their core business – communications services like networking, broadband and data delivery – to their massive existing consumer base. For telcos, this seems a logical extension of the cell phone business model: the device itself is a loss leader and the revenue earned is in the subscription fees. Softbank will be charging about $1600USD plus a $30USD subscription fee for the consumer model of Pepper, and  about $440USD/month for the recently announced enterprise model. NTT will be charging about $800USD with a monthly service fee of about $30USD for Sota.

These rates are far higher than a smartphone, and so it remains to be seen whether customers can see added value in the service over existing ones. Success may hinge on first developing niche markets, for example healthcare. Indeed NTT says it will roll out Sota as a companion robot in seniors homes next March, and Softbank’s first corporate customer is Nestle, who will be soon be launching Pepper as a marketing and service assistant in its Nescafe stores.

It remains to be seen whether, when, and how far telcos in other countries will latch on to the same trend. Softbank and NTT are located in Japan, whose population has a general love and affection for robots, and has traditionally had a strong consumer support for technology. The government of South Korea is active in marketing robotics to its people (they are even building a giant theme park dedicated to promoting robot tourism) and also seems like a good candidate. South Korea’s two top telcos, SK Telecom and KT, have both launched consumer robots. About taking Kibot into global markets, Seo Yu-Yeol, president in charge of KT’s Home Business Group has said:  “We continue to conduct market surveys on each country’s network infrastructure such as broadband and WiFi services.”

There are surely others.

But returning to the original question of telcos vs big data companies … is it a stretch to say this is a game changer? Compare the fledgling consumer robotics industry to the early auto industry, where the oil, gas and electricity sectors all fought for influence. The oil sector largely won out and we have the gasoline-powered car; and it’s no coincidence that Elon Musk is invested in both electric cars and solar power … Through the eyes of the energy producers, the car is just a delivery vehicle for energy consumption.

Or perhaps it’s not telcos vs big data companies at all, but rather telcos AND big data companies. As evidenced by the Uber and Airbnb, the continuum between carrier, medium, data and service is getting blurrier by the day.

Either way, with these sectors driving the next wave of the consumer robot economy, how will this shape how we use, interact with and consume robotics technology? To paraphrase Frank Tobe in his recent Robot Report newsletter, it could be that: “We are watching robotics turn from industry to ubiquity before our eyes.”

Following an in-depth discussion on the topic at Robohub’s editorial meeting today, it seems at this point there are many more questions than answers …

  • Is this even a game changer? or is it just hype?
  • Which sector – big data or telco – is better positioned to capitalize on consumer robotics? Or will these sectors work together in partnership?
  • Will we see a ‘dumbing down’ of social robotics systems as they become mass marketed consumer products? Or will the competition between telcos and big data inject energy and money into R&D ?
  • How will niche markets, such as healthcare or service industry, impact the development of social robotics?
  • Are there substantive differences between social robots vs. the other smart devices that telcos are currently using to deliver their services? Or in Noam Chomsky’s words: Is the medium the message?
  • How will all this impact robotics research and development? Will it benefit or harm the robotics community?
  • Will we see a regional consolidation of telco investment, for example in Japan? When will telcos from other countries jump into the market?
  • How does telco involvement impact privacy issues?
  • Will this help usher in robot-as-a-service (RaaS) as an accepted business model?
To explore these questions, and many others, Robohub will be renewing our focus series Big deals: What it means to have the giants investing in robotics (started back when the Googles and the Amazons were first getting into the fray) to explore how telcos might be changing the game.

Interested in joining the discussion? Leave a comment below or email us at info@robohub.org with your contribution ideas.

A special thanks to Robohub team members Andrea Keay (@robotlaunch), Sabine Hauert (@sabinehauert), Adriana Hamacher (@AdrianaHamacher), John Payne (@lacyiceplusheat) and Audrow Nash for their stimulating discussion and input. 


If you liked this article, you may also be interested in:

See all the latest robotics news on Robohub, or sign up for our weekly newsletter.



Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.

Started August 02, 2015, 11:00:01 PM


KillJoys in AI in Film and Literature.

My favorite character in the new TV series: Killjoys, may be their spaceship computer named Lucy, played by the voice of  Tamsen McDonough.

Lucy is the female, machine sounding, A.I. that runs on a mainframe computer aboard the spacecraft.  This makes for the perfect setting to keep the audience unaware of some amazing surprise A.I. plots in store!  Lucy is a well written A.I. character.

Now, no spoilers here, but watch Killsjoys when you have a chance.  Lucy may be my favorite, but the rest of Killjoys is really terrific as well.  As of this post, IMDb gives it a 70, Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 80 and TV.com an 83...

So these are pretty high ratings for good reason. Many would easily rate Killjoys a 90, and Tamsen McDonough a 100 with the script for Lucy being so entertaining.

Started August 02, 2015, 10:56:50 PM

YARP in Robotics

YARP is plumbing for robot software. It is a set of libraries, protocols, and tools to keep modules and devices cleanly decoupled. It is reluctant middleware, with no desire or expectation to be in control of your system. YARP is definitely not an operating system.

Jul 31, 2015, 16:23:49 pm

Kimbot in Chatbots - English

Kimbot uses simple text pattern matching to search its database of past conversations for the most reasonable response to a given query. It learns by associating questions it asks with the responses that are given to it.

Jul 08, 2015, 10:10:06 am
Telegram Bot Platform

Telegram Bot Platform in Chatbots - English

Telegram is about freedom and openness – our code is open for everyone, as is our API. Today we’re making another step towards openness by launching a Bot API and platform for third-party developers to create bots.

Bots are simply Telegram accounts operated by software – not people – and they'll often have AI features. They can do anything – teach, play, search, broadcast, remind, connect, integrate with other services, or even pass commands to the Internet of Things.

Jul 06, 2015, 18:13:45 pm
ConceptNet 5

ConceptNet 5 in Tools

ConceptNet is a semantic network containing lots of things computers should know about the world, especially when understanding text written by people.

It is built from nodes representing words or short phrases of natural language, and labelled relationships between them. (We call the nodes "concepts" for tradition, but they'd be better known as "terms".) These are the kinds of relationships computers need to know to search for information better, answer questions, and understand people's goals.

Jun 11, 2015, 07:34:13 am

Aurora in Robots in Movies

Aurora is a 2015 Swiss science fiction drama film directed by Robert Kouba, and starring Julian Schaffner and Jeannine Wacker. In 2020 a super-computer named Kronos commits genocide against humanity. In 2080, Andrew wanders a dystopian Earth controlled by machines. He meets a girl named Calia and they travel to a sanctuary named Aurora.

Jun 11, 2015, 07:20:48 am
Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys in Robots in Movies

In 2029, John Connor, leader of the human Resistance, leads the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John's fears of the unknown future begin to emerge when John is notified by his army unit, Tech-Com, that Skynet will attack him from two fronts, past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever.

On the verge of winning the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back through time to save his mother's life and ensure his own existence. However, Kyle finds the original past changed. In this timeline, a Terminator was sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor as a child and so the Resistance sent their own cyborg back in time to protect her. After the assassin killed her parents, the reprogrammed T-800 raised and trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject.

Now, faced with a new mission, Kyle, Sarah and the old ally Terminator, have to escape the T-800, the recent T-1000, and as well as a new and horrific enemy: John Connor himself, who has been converted into a nanotechnological human-cyborg hybrid, the T-3000, all sent by Skynet to kill them. With John Connor compromised, they must find another way to stop Judgment Day.

May 16, 2015, 17:28:56 pm
EVA Free - Voice Assistant

EVA Free - Voice Assistant in Assistants

If you are looking for an application that provides hands-free operation of your phone then EVA is right for you. If you are just looking for an electronic friend to chat with then please go with one of the assistants. On the other hand if you want a real virtual assistant that has extremely useful functions that will make your life easier.

Apr 22, 2015, 12:24:25 pm

Assistant in Assistants

Your Assistant uses natural language technology to answer questions, find information, launch apps, and connect you with various web services. Besides doing whatever you like, it can look whatever you like. Use avatar builder to choose any appearance for your Assistant.

Apr 20, 2015, 19:05:10 pm
Marketers Tricked SXSW Tinder Users With A Chatbot

Marketers Tricked SXSW Tinder Users With A Chatbot in Articles

A company promoting the movie Ex Machina created a fake account, Ava, with a photo of the star of the movie. Ava is an AI in the film and presumably she wants to get down.

Apr 11, 2015, 10:19:14 am
Atton Rand

Atton Rand in Chatbots - English

You: Who are you ?
Atton: I've been asking myself that question a lot since the end of the Mandalorian War.
You: what do you do ?
Atton: As of right now, I'm helping some friends of mine defeat the Sith.

Aug 06, 2008, 18:02:34 pm