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1
Downloaded Unreal Engine 4.

Unity sucks. Not looking there.

UE4 has better physics.

UE4 has better render.

UE4 has BLUEPRINT blocks THIS IS LIKE EV3 THAT ROBOT I MADE JUST HAS MOST OF C++ FUNCTIONALITY NOW OOOHHHHHH MY GODDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!

HE'S USING IT! HE'S USING IT!!!!
http://advancessss.deviantart.com/art/5768787887-671325557?ga_submit_new=10%3A1490592637
2
Choreographing automated cars could save time, money and lives
15 March 2017, 2:00 pm



If you take humans out of the driving seat, could traffic jams, accidents and high fuel bills become a thing of the past? As cars become more automated and connected, attention is turning to how to best choreograph the interaction between the tens or hundreds of automated vehicles that will one day share the same segment of Europe’s road network.

It is one of the most keenly studied fields in transport – how to make sure that automated cars get to their destinations safely and efficiently. But the prospect of having a multitude of vehicles taking decisions while interacting on Europe’s roads is leading researchers to design new traffic management systems suitable for an era of connected transport.

The idea is to ensure that traffic flows as smoothly and efficiently as possible, potentially avoiding the jams and delays caused by human behaviour.

‘Travelling distances and time gaps between vehicles are crucial,’ said Professor Markos Papageorgiou, head of the Dynamic Systems & Simulation Laboratory at the Technical University of Crete, Greece. ‘It is also important to consider things such as how vehicles decide which lane to drive in.’

Prof. Papageorgiou’s TRAMAN21 project, funded by the EU’s European Research Council, is studying ways to manage the behaviour of individual vehicles, as well as highway control systems.

For example, the researchers have been looking at how adaptive cruise control (ACC) could improve traffic flows. ACC is a ‘smart’ system that speeds up and slows down a car as necessary to keep up with the one in front. Highway control systems using ACC to adjust time gaps between cars could help to reduce congestion.

‘It may be possible to have a traffic control system that looks at the traffic situation and recommends or even orders ACC cars to adopt a shorter time gap from the car in front,’ Prof. Papageorgiou said.

‘So during a peak period, or if you are near a bottleneck, the system could work out a gap that helps you avoid the congestion and gives higher flow and higher capacity at the time and place where this is needed.’

Variable speed limits

TRAMAN21, which runs to 2018, has been running tests on a highway near Melbourne, Australia, and is currently using variable speed limits to actively intervene in traffic to improve flows.

An active traffic management system of this kind could even help when only relatively few vehicles on the highway have sophisticated automation. But he believes that self-driving vehicle systems must be robust enough to be able to communicate with each other even when there are no overall traffic control systems.



‘Schools of fish and flocks of birds do not have central controls, and the individuals base their movement on the information from their own senses and the behaviour of their neighbours,’ Prof. Papageorgiou said.

‘In theory this could also work in traffic flow, but there is a lot of work to be done if this is to be perfected. Nature has had a long head-start.’

One way of managing traffic flow is platooning – a way to schedule trucks to meet up and drive in convoy on the highway. Magnus Adolfson from Swedish truckmaker Scania AB, who coordinated the EU-funded COMPANION project, says that platooning – which has already been demonstrated on Europe’s roads – can also reduce fuel costs and accidents.

The three-year project tested different combinations of distances between trucks, speeds and unexpected disruptions or stoppages.

Fuel savings

In tests with three-vehicle platoons, researchers achieved fuel savings of 5 %. And by keeping radio contact with each other, the trucks can also reduce the risk of accidents.

‘About 90 percent of road accidents are caused by driver error, and this system, particularly by taking speed out of the driver’s control, can make it safer than driving with an actual driver,’ Adolfson said.

The COMPANION project also showed the benefits of close communication between vehicles to reduce the likelihood of braking too hard and causing traffic jams further back.

‘There is enough evidence to show that using such a system can have a noticeable impact, so it would be good to get it into production as soon as possible,’ Adolfson said. The researchers have extended their collaboration to working with the Swedish authorities on possible implementation.

Rutger Beekelaar, a project manager at Dutch-based research organisation TNO, says that researchers need to demonstrate how automated cars can work safely together in order to increase their popularity.

‘Collaboration is essential to ensure vehicles can work together,’ he said. ‘We believe that in the near future, there will be more and more automation in traffic, in cars and trucks. But automated driving is not widely accepted yet.’

To tackle this, Beekelaar led a group of researchers in the EU-funded i-GAME project, which developed technology that uses wireless communication that contributes to managing and controlling automated vehicles.

They demonstrated these systems in highway conditions in the 2016 Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge in Helmond, in the Netherlands, which put groups of real vehicles through their paces to demonstrate cooperation, how they safely negotiated an intersection crossing, and merged with another column of traffic.

Beekelaar says that their technology is now being used in other European research projects, but that researchers, auto manufacturers, policymakers, and road authorities still need to work together to develop protocols, systems and standardisation, along with extra efforts to address cyber security, ethics and particularly the issue of public acceptance.

Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.
3
Robotics News / Three years on: An update from Leka, Robot Launch winner
« Last post by Tyler on March 26, 2017, 10:49:19 PM »
Three years on: An update from Leka, Robot Launch winner
15 March 2017, 10:00 am



Nearly three years ago, Leka won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Robot Launch competition for their robotic toy set on changing the way children with developmental disorders learn, play and progress. Leka will be the first interactive tool for children with developmental disorders that is available for direct purchase to the public. Designed for use in the home and not limited to a therapist’s office, Leka enables streamlined communication between therapists, parents and children easier, more efficient and more accessible through its monitoring platform. Leka’s co-founder and CEO, Ladislas de Toldi, writes about Leka’s progress since the Robot Launch competition and where the company is headed in the next year.

Since winning the Robot Launch competition in 2014, Leka has made immense progress and is well on it’s way to getting in the hands of exceptional children around the globe.

2016 was a big year for us; Leka was accepted into the 2016 class of the Sprint Accelerator Program, powered by Techstars, in Kansas City, MO. The whole team picked up and moved from Paris, France to the United States for a couple of months to work together as a team and create the best version of Leka possible.



Techstars was for us the opportunity to really test the US Special Education Market. We came to the program with two goals in mind: to build a strong community around our project in Kansas City and the area, and to launch our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

The program gave us an amazing support system to connect with people in the Autism community in the area and to push ourselves to build the best crowdfunding campaign targeting special education.

We’re incredibly humbled to say we succeeded in both: Kansas City is going to be our home base in the US, thanks to all the partnerships we now have with public schools and organizations.

Near the end of our accelerator program in May 2016, we launched our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for Leka’s development and manufacturing—and ended up raising more than 150 percent of our total fundraising goal. We had buyers from all over the world including the United States, France, Israel, Australia and Uganda! As of today, we have reached +$145k on Indiegogo with more than 300 units preordered.



In July, the entire Leka team moved back to Paris to finalize the hardware development of Leka and kick off the manufacturing process. Although the journey has been full of challenges, we are thrilled with the progress we have made on Leka and the impact it can make on the lives of children.

This past fall, we partnered with Bourgogne Service Electronics (BSE) for manufacturing. BSE is a French company and we’re working extremely close with them on Leka’s design. Two of our team members, Alex and Gareth, recently worked with BSE to finalize the design and create what we consider to be Leka’s heart—an electronic card. The card allows Leka’s lights, movements and LCD screen to come to life.



We were also able to integrate proximity sensors into Leka, so that it can know where children are touching it, and lead to better analytics and progress monitoring in the future.

We have had quite a few exciting opportunities in the past year at industry events as well! We attended the Techstars alumni conference FounderCon, in Cincinnati, OH, and CES Unveiled in Paris in the Fall. We then had the opportunity to present Leka in front of some amazing industry professionals at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live in Laguna Beach, CA. But most exciting was CES in Las Vegas this past January, and the announcements we made at the show.

At CES, we were finally able to unveil our newest industrial-grade prototypes with the autonomous features we’ve been working toward for the past three years. With Leka’s new fully integrated sensors, children can play with the robotic toy on their own, making it much more humanlike and interactive. These new features allow Leka to better help children understand social cues and improve their interpersonal skills.

At CES we also introduced Leka’s full motor integration, vibration and color capabilities, and the digital screen. Leka’s true emotions can finally show!

In the six months between our Indiegogo campaign, and CES Las Vegas, we were able to make immense improvements toward Leka, and pour our hearts into the product we believe will change lives for exception children and their families. We’re currently developing our next industrial prototype so we can make Leka even better, and we’re aiming to begin shipping in Fall 2017. We can’t wait to show you all the final product!

*All photos credit: Leka

About Leka

Leka is a robotic smart toy set on changing the way children with developmental disorders learn, play and progress. Available for direct purchase online through InDemand, Leka is an interactive tool designed to make communication between therapists, parents and children easier, more efficient and more accessible. Working with and adapting to each child’s own needs and abilities, Leka is able to provide vital feedback to parents and therapists on a child’s progress and growth.

Founded in France with more than two years in R&D, the company recently completed its tenure at the 2016 Sprint Accelerators Techstars program and is rapidly growing. Leka expects to begin shipping out units to Indiegogo backers in Fall 2017.

For more information, please visit http://leka.io.

If you liked this article, read more about Leka on Robohub here:

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.
4
Here's what I came up with from my above questions.

If I'm gonna pay someone 1,200 and up it already is at, then it better be the best physics this guy uses.

So, either Unreal Engine 4 or Source 2...and the modelling program as Blender. This covers those other needs/wants. Reason I HAD didn't want to switch is because Blender's render (Cycles). . .

I think I'm getting somewhere.....................

But what about unity physics vs unreal engine 4 physics?

Downloading both.
5
Robotics News / The Drone Center’s Weekly Roundup: 3/13/17
« Last post by Tyler on March 26, 2017, 04:49:50 PM »
The Drone Center’s Weekly Roundup: 3/13/17
14 March 2017, 1:43 pm

Norway has established a test site at Trondheim Fjord for unmanned and autonomous vessels like these concept container ships of the future. Credit: Kongsberg Seatex March 6, 2017 – March 12, 2017

News

Germany reportedly intends to acquire the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton high-altitude surveillance drone, according to a story in Sueddeutsche Zeitung. In 2013, Germany cancelled a similar program to acquire Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk, a surveillance drone on which the newer Triton is based, due to cost overruns. The Triton is a large, long-endurance system that was originally developed for maritime surveillance by the U.S. Navy. (Reuters)

The U.S. Army released a report outlining its strategy for obtaining and using unmanned ground vehicles. The Robotics and Autonomous Systems strategy outlines short, medium, and long-term goals for the service’s ground robot programs. The Army expects a range of advanced unmanned combat vehicles to be fielded in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. (IHS Jane’s 360)

The U.S. Air Force announced that there are officially more jobs available for MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots than for any manned aircraft pilot position. Following a number of surges in drone operations, the service had previously struggled to recruit and retain drone pilots. The Air Force is on track to have more than 1,000 Predator and Reaper pilots operating its fleet. (Military.com)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

At Shephard Media, Grant Turnbull writes that armed unmanned ground vehicles are continuing to proliferate.

At Wired, Paul Sarconi looks at how the introduction of cheap, consumer-oriented underwater drones could affect different industries.

At Recode, April Glaser looks at how a key part of the U.S. government’s drone regulations appears to be based on a computer simulation from 1968.

At FlightGlobal, Dominic Perry writes that France’s Dassault is not concerned that the U.K. decision to leave the E.U. will affect a plan to develop a combat drone with BAE Systems.

At Drone360, Kara Murphy profiles six women who are contributing to and influencing the world of drones.

At DroningON, Ash argues that the SelFly selfie drone KickStarter project may go the way of the failed Zano drone.

At the Los Angeles Times, Bryce Alderton looks at how cities in California are addressing the influx of drones with new regulations.

At CBS News, Larry Light looks at how Bill Gates has reignited a debate over taxes on companies that use robots.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Ng and Neil Jacobstein argue that artificial intelligence will bring about significant changes to commerce and society in the next 10 to 15 years.

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on seapower, panelists urged the U.S. Navy to develop and field unmanned boats and railguns. (USNI News)

The Economist looks at how aluminium batteries could provide underwater drones with increased range and endurance.

At Buzzfeed, Mike Giglio examines the different ways that ISIS uses drones to gain an advantage over Iraqi troops in Mosul.

At DefenseTech.org, Richard Sisk looks at how a U.S.-made vehicle-mounted signals “jammer” is helping Iraqi forces prevent ISIS drone attacks in Mosul.

In a Drone Radio Show podcast, Steven Flynn discusses why prioritizing drone operators who comply with federal regulations is important for the drone industry.

At ABC News, Andrew Greene examines how a push by the Australian military to acquire armed drones has reignited a debate over targeted killings.

At Smithsonian Air & Space, Tim Wright profiles the NASA High Altitude Shuttle System, a glider drone that is being used to test communications equipment for future space vehicles.

At NPR Marketplace, Douglas Starr discusses the urgency surrounding the push to develop counter-drone systems.

Know Your Drone

Researchers at Virginia Tech are flying drones into crash-test dummies to evaluate the potential harm that a drone could cause if it hits a human. (Bloomberg)

Meanwhile, researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are developing flexible multi-rotor drones that absorb the impact of a collision without breaking. (Gizmodo)

The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics is readying its Caihong solar-powered long-endurance drone for its maiden flight, which is scheduled for mid-year. (Eco-Business)

Meanwhile, the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation has announced that it is developing drones with stealth capabilities. (Voice of America)

During an exercise, defense firm Rafael successfully launched a missile from an Israeli Navy unmanned boat. (Times of Israel)

Technology firms Thales and Unifly unveiled the ECOsystem UTM, an air traffic management system for drones. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Norway’s government has approved a plan to establish a large test site for unmanned maritime vehicles at the Trondheim Fjord. (Phys.org)

Automaker Land Rover unveiled a search and rescue SUV equipped with a roof-mounted drone. (TechCrunch)

U.S. chipmaker NVIDIA has launched the Jetson TX2, an artificial intelligence platform that can be used in drones and robots. (Engadget)

Recent satellite images of Russia’s Gromov Flight Research Institute appear to show the country’s new Orion, a medium-altitude long-endurance military drone. (iHLS)

Technology firms Aveillant and DSNA Services are partnering to develop a counter-drone system. (AirTrafficManagement.net)

Aerospace firm Airbus has told reporters that it is serious about producing its Pop.Up passenger drone concept vehicle. (Wired)

Drones at Work

The Peruvian National Police are looking to deploy drones for counter-narcotics operations. (Business Insider)

The U.S. Air Force used a multi-rotor drone to conduct a maintenance inspection of a C-17 cargo plane. (U.S. Air Force)

India is reportedly looking to deploy U.S drones for surveillance operations along the Line of Control on the border with Pakistan. (Times of India)

The Fire Department of New York used its tethered multi-rotor drone for the first time during an apartment fire in the Bronx. (Crain’s New York)

The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad used an unmanned ground vehicle to inspect the interior of two homes that were damaged by a large sinkhole. (WXYZ)

A video posted to YouTube appears to show a woman in Washington State firing a gun at a drone that was flying over her property. (Huffington Post)

Meanwhile, a bill being debated in the Oklahoma State Legislature would remove civil liability for anybody who shoots a drone down over their private property. (Ars Technica)

In a promotional video, the company that makes Oreos into cups of milk. (YouTube)

The NYC Drone Film Festival will hold its third annual event this week. (YouTube)

An Arizona man who leads an anti-immigration vigilante group is using a drone to patrol the U.S border with Mexico in search of undocumented crossings. (Voice of America)

A man who attempted to use a drone to smuggle drugs into a Scottish prison has been sentenced to five years in prison. (BBC)

Industry Intel

The Turkish military has taken a delivery of six Bayraktar TB-2 military drones, two of which are armed, for air campaigns against ISIL and Turkish forces. (Defense News)

The U.S. Navy awarded Boeing Insitu a contract for RQ-21A Blackjack and ScanEagle drones. (FBO)

The U.S. Army awarded Riegl a $30,021 contract for LiDAR accessories for the Riegl RiCopter drone. (FBO)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems awarded Hughes Network Systems a contract for satellite communications for the U.K.’s Predator B drones. (Space News)

Schiebel awarded CarteNav Solutions a contact for its AIMS-ISR software for the S-100 Camcopter unmanned helicopters destined for the Royal Australian Navy. (Press Release)

Defence Research and Development Canada awarded Ontario Drive & Gear a $1 million contract for trials of the Atlas J8 unmanned ground vehicle. (Canadian Manufacturing)

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions reported a $5.6 million contract for aerial targeted drones for the U.S. government. (Shephard Media)

Deveron UAS will provide Thompsons, a subsidiary of Lansing Trade Group and The Andersons, with drone data for agricultural production through 2018. (Press Release)

Precision Vectors Aerial selected the Silent Falcon UAS for its beyond visual line-of-sight operations in Canada. (Shephard Media)

Rolls-Royce won a grant from Tekes, a Finnish government research funding agency, to continue developing remote and autonomous shipping technologies. (Shephard Media)

Israeli drone manufacturer BlueBird is submitting an updated MicroB UAV system for the Indian army small UAV competition. (FlightGlobal)

A Romanian court has suspended a planned acquisition of Aeronautics Defense Systems Orbiter 4 drones for the Romanian army. (FlightGlobal)

Deere & Co.—a.k.a. John Deere—announced that it will partner with Kespry, a drone startup, to market drones for the construction and forestry industries. (TechCrunch)

For updates, news, and commentary, follow us on Twitter. The Weekly Drone Roundup is a newsletter from the Center for the Study of the Drone. It covers news, commentary, analysis and technology from the drone world. You can subscribe to the Roundup here.

Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.
6
Korrelan come on you gotta know this... (maybe he wants to create AGI before I do hehe)

Long-term Engine needs/wants:

- Speed of the code/etc if big difference
- parallelism
- somatosensory pressure/temperature receptors and other functions/tools/operations
- physics

- renders the best, technically not needed, but seriously desired
- closer to Blender so I couldddd use it, not needed

I'm thinking about UE4. But that still needs a modelling program...

Any program should allow tones of processor/storage else be slow and freeze. I'll have enough storage and access/compute time otherwise bear the slowness or have to upgrade (unless they film it on their pc).
7
Robotics News / Intel to acquire Mobileye for $15.3 billion
« Last post by Tyler on March 26, 2017, 10:48:12 AM »
Intel to acquire Mobileye for $15.3 billion
14 March 2017, 1:35 pm

Source: Intel Intel announced plans to acquire Israel-based Mobileye, a developer of vision technology used in autonomous driving applications, for $15.3 billion. Mobileye share prices jumped from $47 to $61 (the tender offering price is $63.54) on the news, a 30% premium. The purchase marks the largest acquisition of an Israeli hi-tech company ever.

Source: Frost & Sullivan;VDS Automotive SYS Konferenz 2014/ This transaction jumpstarts Intel’s efforts to enter the emerging autonomous driving marketplace, an arena much different than Intel’s present business model. The process to design and bring a chip to market involves multiple levels of safety checks and approvals as well as incorporation into car company design plans – a process that often takes 4 to 5 years – which is why it makes sense to acquire a company already versed in those activities. As can be seen in the Frost & Sullivan chart on the right, we are presently producing cars with Level 2 and Level 3 automated systems. Intel wants to be a strategic partner going forward to fully automated and driverless Level 4 and Level 5 cars.

Mobileye is a pioneer in the development of vision systems for on-board Driving Assistance Systems; providing data for decision making applications such as Mobileye’s Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Headway Monitoring, High Beam Assist and more. Mobileye technology is already included in BMW 5-Series, 6-Series, 7-Series, Volvo S80, XC70 and V70 models, and Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and STS.

Last year, Intel reorganized and created a new Autonomous Driving Division which included strategic partnerships with, and investments in, Delphi, Mobileye and a bunch of smaller companies involved in the chipmaking and sensor process. Thus, with this acquisition, Intel gains the ability to offer automakers a larger package of all of the components they will need as vehicles become autonomous and perhaps gaining, as well, on their competitors in the field: NXP Semiconductors, Freescale Semiconductor, Cypress Semiconductor, and STMicroelectronics, the company that makes Mobileye’s chips.

Mobileye’s newest chip, the EyeQ4, designed for computer vision processing in ADAS applications, is a low-power supercomputer on a chip. The design features are described in this article by Imagination Technology.

Bottom line:
“They’re paying a huge premium in order to catch up, to get into the front of the line, rather than attempt to build from scratch,” said Mike Ramsey, an analyst with technology researcher Gartner in a BloombergTechnology article.


Source: Robohub

To visit any links mentioned please view the original article, the link is at the top of this post.
8
Robotics News / Developing ROS programs for the Sphero robot
« Last post by Tyler on March 26, 2017, 04:48:29 AM »
Developing ROS programs for the Sphero robot
13 March 2017, 3:30 pm



You probably know the Sphero robot. It is a small robot with the shape of a ball. In case that you have one, you must know that it is possible to control it using ROS, by installing in your computer the Sphero ROS packages developed by Melonee Wise and connecting to the robot using the bluetooth of the computer.

Now, you can use the ROS Development Studio to create ROS control programs for that robot, testing as you go by using the integrated simulation.

The ROS Development Studio (RDS) provides off-the-shelf a simulation of Sphero with a maze environment. The simulation provides the same interface as the ROS module created by Melonee, so you can test your develop and test the programs on the environment, and once working properly, transfer it to the real robot.

We created the simulation to teach ROS to the students of the Robot Ignite Academy. They have to learn ROS enough to make the Sphero get out of the maze by using odometry and IMU.



Using the simulation

To use the Sphero simulation on RDS go to rds.theconstructsim.com and sign in. If you select the Public simulations, you will quickly identify the Sphero simulation.

Press the red Play button. A new screen will appear giving you details about the simulation and asking you which launch file you want to launch. The main.launch selected by default is the correct one, so just press Run.

After a few seconds the simulation will appear together with the development environment for creating the programs for Sphero and testing them.

On the left hand side you have a notebook containing information about the robot and how to program it with ROS. This notebook contains just some examples, but it can be completed and/or modified at your will. As you can see it is an iPython notebook and follows its standard. So it is up to you to modify it, add new information or else. Remember that any change you do to the notebook will be saved in a simulation in your private area of RDS, so you can come back later and launch it with your modifications.



You must know that the code included in the notebook is directly executable by selecting the cell of the code (do a single click on it) and pressing the small play button at the top of the notebook. This means that, once you press that button, the code will be executed and start controlling the Sphero simulated robot for a few time-steps (remember to have the simulation activated (Play button of the simulation activated) to see the robot move).

On the center area, you can see the IDE. It is the development environment for developing the code. You can browse there all the packages related to the simulation or any other packages that you may create.

On the right hand side, you can see the simulation and beneath it, the shell. The simulation shows the Sphero robot as well as the environment of the maze. On the shell, you can issue commands in the computer that contains the simulation of the robot. For instance, you can use the shell to launch the keyboard controller and move the Sphero around. Try typing the following:

  • $ roslaunch sphero_gazebo keyboard_teleop.launch
Now you must be able to move the robot around the maze by pressing some keys of the keyboard (instructions provided on the screen).



You can also launch there Rviz, and then watch the robot, the frames and any other additional information you may want of the robot. Type the following:

  • $ rosrun rviz rviz
Then press the Screen red icon located at the bottom-left of the screen (named the graphical tools). A new tab should appear, showing how the Rviz is loading. After a while, you can configure the Rviz to show the information you desire.

There are many ways you can configure the screen to provide more focus to what interests you the most.

To end this post, I would like to indicate that you can download the simulation to your computer at any time, by doing right-click on the directories and selecting Download. You can also clone the The Construct simulations repository to download it (among other simulations available).

If you liked this tutorial, you may also enjoy these:

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.
9
Split-second decisions: Navigating the fine line between man and machine
13 March 2017, 1:45 pm

Level 3 automation, where the car handles all aspects of driving with the driver on standby, is being tested in Sweden. Image courtesy of Volvo cars Today’s self-driving car isn’t exactly autonomous – the driver has to be able to take over in a pinch, and therein lies the roadblock researchers are trying to overcome. Automated cars are hurtling towards us at breakneck speed, with all-electric Teslas already running limited autopilot systems on roads worldwide and Google trialling its own autonomous pod cars.

However, before we can reply to emails while being driven to work, we have to have a foolproof way to determine when drivers can safely take control and when it should be left to the car.

‘Even in a limited number of tests, we have found that humans are not always performing as required,’ explained Dr Riender Happee, from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who is coordinating the EU-funded HFAuto project to examine the problem and potential solutions.

‘We are close to concluding that the technology always has to be ready to resolve the situation if the driver doesn’t take back control.’

But in these car-to-human transitions, how can a computer decide whether it should hand back control?

‘Eye tracking can indicate driver state and attention,’ said Dr Happee. ‘We’re still to prove the practical usability, but if the car detects the driver is not in an adequate state, the car can stop in the safety lane instead of giving back control.’

Next level

It’s all a question of the level of automation. According to the scale of US-based standards organisation SAE International, Level 1 automation already exists in the form of automated braking and self-parking.

Level 4 & 5 automation, where you punch in the destination and sit back for a nap, is still on the horizon.

But we’ll soon reach Level 3 automation, where drivers can hand over control in situations like motorway driving and let their attention wander, as long as they can safely intervene when the car asks them to.

HFAuto’s 13 PhD students have been researching this human-machine transition challenge since 2013.

Backed with Marie Skłodowska-Curie action funding, the students have travelled Europe for secondments, to examine carmakers’ latest prototypes, and to carry out simulator and on-road tests of transition takeovers.

Alongside further trials of their transition interface, HFAuto partner Volvo has already started testing 100 highly automated Level 3 cars on Swedish public roads.

Another European research group is approaching the problem with a self-driving system that uses external sensors together with cameras inside the cab to monitor the driver’s attentiveness and actions.

Blink

‘Looking at what’s happening in the scene outside of the cars is nothing without the perspective of what’s happening inside the car,’ explained Dr Oihana Otaegui, head of the Vicomtech-IK4 applied research centre in San Sebastián, Spain.

She coordinates the work as part of the EU-funded VI-DAS project. The idea is to avoid high-risk transitions by monitoring factors like a driver’s gaze, blinking frequency and head pose — and combining this with real-time on-road factors to calculate how much time a driver needs to take the wheel.

Its self-driving system uses external cameras as affordable sensors, collecting data for the underlying artificial intelligence system, which tries to understand road situations like a human would.

VI-DAS is also studying real accidents to discern challenging situations where humans fail and using this to help train the system to detect and avoid such situations.

The group aims to have its first interface prototype working by September, with iterated prototypes appearing at the end of 2018 and 2019.

Dr Otaegui says the system could have potential security sector uses given its focus on creating artificial intelligence perception in any given environment, and hopes it could lead to fully automated driving.

‘It could even go down the path of Levels 4 and 5, depending on how well we can teach our system to react — and it will indeed be improving all the time we are working on this automation.’

The question of transitions is so important because it has an impact on liability – who is responsible in the case of an accident.

It’s clear that Level 2 drivers can be held liable if they cause a fender bender, while carmakers will take the rap once Level 4 is deployed. However, with Level 3 transitions, liability remains a burning question.

HFAuto’s Dr Happee believes the solution lies in specialist insurance options that will emerge.

‘Insurance solutions are expected (to emerge) where a car can be bought with risk insurance covering your own errors, and those which can be blamed on carmakers,’ he said.

Yet it goes further than that. Should a car choose to hit pedestrians in the road, or swerve into the path of an oncoming lorry, killing its occupants?

‘One thing coming out of our discussions is that no one would buy a car which will sacrifice its owner for the lives of others,’ said Dr Happee. ‘So it comes down to making these as safe as possible.’

The five levels of automation:

  • Driver Assistance: the car can either steer or regulate speed on its own.
  • Partial Automation: the vehicle can handle both steering and speed selection on its own in specific controlled situations, such as on a motorway.
  • Conditional Automation: the vehicle can be instructed to handle all aspects of driving, but the driver needs to be on standby to intervene if needed.
  • High Automation: the vehicle can be instructed to handle all aspects of driving, even if the driver is not available to intervene.
  • Level 5 – Full Automation: the vehicle handles all aspects of driving, all the time.

Source: Robohub

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10
AI News / Re: Most Human Like Android Built to Date
« Last post by 8pla.net on March 25, 2017, 10:24:26 PM »
Best Video at the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. (HRI 2017).



This video is entertaining, but it also presents a new algorithm for modeling topic with no need to understand what's being said in the conversation using matrices of co-occurrence frequency.
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