Tag Archives: robots

Food delivery robots on the streets

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A technical advancement in the food service and delivery sector are food delivery robots. The employment of automated food delivery systems in urban areas across the globe is a fascinating and innovative trend. These robots are made to carry out autonomous food deliveries for clients, providing efficiency and convenience.

The goal of such an unusual transportation of food is to provide faster delivery and minimize risks when delivering orders: avoid traffic jams, accidents, errors, or simply guarantee suppliers to restaurants and stores.


Advertisement: Food delivery robots are a great way of marketing for a brand and they instantly attract the attention of clients. They ensure the arrival of new customers and many orders.

Contactless delivery: In situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery robots can help facilitate contactless deliveries, which may be more hygienic and reduce the risk of transmission.

Efficiency: Food delivery robots can operate autonomously and follow programmed routes, which can make the delivery process more efficient and reliable.

Environmental impact: Depending on their design and power source, these robots can be more environmentally friendly than traditional delivery vehicles, particularly if they are electric and produce fewer emissions.


Safety: Ensuring the safety of food delivery robots is crucial, both for pedestrians and the robots themselves. These robots should be equipped with sensors and software to avoid collisions and navigate urban environments safely.

Regulatory and legal issues: The deployment of autonomous robots on public roads and sidewalks may raise regulatory and legal challenges, including questions about liability in the event of accidents.

Employment implications: While robots can increase delivery efficiency, their introduction may have implications for human employment in the food delivery industry. It’s important to consider how automation impacts the job market.

Maintenance and repair: Like any machinery, food delivery robots require maintenance and repairs. Businesses that use these robots need to have systems in place to ensure their reliability.

Public acceptance: Public acceptance of food delivery robots may vary. Some people may welcome the convenience, while others may have concerns about their presence on sidewalks and streets.

In summary, food delivery robots offer potential benefits in terms of efficiency, convenience, and environmental impact, but they also raise safety, regulatory, employment, and public acceptance considerations. The successful deployment and adoption of these robots will depend on how well these challenges are addressed by businesses, policymakers, and the public.






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Robots from 2023

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Robots in our time are no longer considered something supernova and amazing. However, all the same, progress in their development is taking place, and quite large-scale. Previously. These were stupid machines that were controlled by people and had a very narrow range of capabilities.

Fortunately, or not, over the past 5-10 tears, the field of robotics has advanced a lot. And the company Nvidia has made a significant contribution to the development. At the International Consumer Electronics show this year, all the top robots had Nvidia brains. And all such robots are created for completely different areas of our lives.

For example, a baby stroller GluxKind “Ella” with artificial intelligence. It can rock the baby on its own, help with descents and ascents uphill, and has many sensors to monitor the environment. Such sensors allow the stroller to move independently, so if there is no child in the stroller, then you do not have to carry it, since it can follow you by itself, while avoiding obstacles. And of course, the stroller can be connected to the phone and tracked using GPS.

A delivery robot from Neubility was also introduced. This unmanned robot has joined the ranks of delivery robots. It was developed larger and more reliable than many of those that are already in the market. Since many delivery robots are hacked or used for other purposes. In theory, on-board cameras should record those who harm the robot, but it is unclear hoe long it will take until people leave it alone. So, the company is considering more secure options for the robot to work. For instance, golf courses, hospitals, resorts. In my opinion, it is really difficult to lead such delivery robots into real life due to the fact that there are a lot of external unpredictable factors. However, in hospitals and in some quite protected places, such innovations can be very useful.

Another interesting development was presented. Control tower for autonomous parking.

Seoul Robotics has taken a different path towards the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. Instead of developing and embedding the entire autonomous driving system, including sensors, into the vehicle, Seoul is turning to the surrounding infrastructure.

Seoul Robotics claims that its LV5 CTRL TWR helps provide information about the environment and selects the safest path for the vehicle. This approach can be much cheaper than introducing this technology into every car. It could also help provide fewer catastrophic problems and allow older cars to interact better with newer autonomous vehicles, while providing a viable low-cost upgrade for those who wanted the latest cars that are not currently autonomous to work as if they were.





An AI has passed a university law exam

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Artists, drivers, authors, voice actors, and plagiarists are just a few of the occupations that artificial intelligence is already fighting for. Less than a month after using AI to help a man fight a speeding ticket, an AI merely known as “Claude” completed a law and economics exam at George Mason University. Recently discovered AI, developed by the research company Anthropic, passed the exam with a “marginal pass.” The program was funded by accused crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried.

It is being positioned as a challenger to ChatGPT, which is the AI text generator from OpenAI that has swept the Internet. Claude is now in closed beta status in contrast to ChatGPT. Anthropic refers to Claude’s approach as “Constitutional AI,” which is intended to reply to adversarial questions. Other artificial intelligence programs are frequently rendered useless when faced with conflicting issues.

According to economics professor Alex Tabarrok, the exam was assessed anonymously. He also described Claude as “a competitor” and “an improvement” to OpenAI’s GPT. Tabarrok did point out that the response had certain flaws, including the fact that it was “mainly opinion,” and that a stronger response would have included more economic justification. 

Enterprise AI app developer Scale discovered that Claude is “more entertaining than ChatGPT”. “Its ability to write coherently about itself, its constraints, and its objectives seem to also allow it to more naturally answer inquiries on other subjects.”

To be fair, not everyone was as impressed with Claude’s achievements. The Financial Times published an article on Tabarrok’s conclusions and stated, “To be honest, this seems more like Claude merely consumed and puked up a McKinsey study.”

Of course, the fact that Claude only managed to receive a “marginal pass” shows that there is still a long way to go before artificial intelligence software can successfully replace attorneys. Until recently, people didn’t even believe that AI could replace lawyers until recently. So in the blink of an eye AI will be able to challenge the best lawyers.





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Reading Time: 3 minutes

OPPO posted on its YouTube channel a teaser dedicated to the new QRIC robo-dogs. This is an abbreviation for Quadrupedal Robotic with Intelligent Controller, which translates as “four-legged robot with an intelligent controller”. This companion robot is likely to compete with the Boston Dynamics Spot and Xiaomi CyberDog models.

The video is about a boy who plays with QRIC and builds a toy space rocket. The video demonstrates some of the capabilities of the robot, which acts as an electronic pet. Robodog is capable of:

  • walk
  • jump
  • tip over
  • carry items
  • recognize people using sensors placed in front of the case
  • act as a webcam for video calls. Also QRIC can be controlled by voice commands or from a smartphone app.

There are few such robots on the market today. The first competitor is the Xiaomi CyberDog robot dog, which was released in a limited edition of 1000 pieces at a price of $ 1,500. It is likely that the price of QRIC will be in the same range.
As for the Boston Dynamics Spot, it is difficult to call it a direct competitor, because it is much more technologically advanced, more expensive and has a completely different scope, although it can also be used as a very expensive toy.

The difference in these three robots is that the QRIC robot is presented as a toy and a home helper and companion for children and parents. If we talk about the Xiaomi robot, then we most likely will not see the difference with QRIC. So, the principle of operation of these robots is the same, they are able to control smart home devices, withstand a load of up to 3 kg, do various tricks and walk next to the owner. But if we rely on the video, then the difference lies in the fact that QRIC is still a family assistant who can be left with the child and who can connect the baby with the parents at any second. And Xiaomi presents their product as a replacement for a pet that can follow you, perform various commands and tricks. Rather, Xiaomi’s cyberdogs are more of a toy than QRICs.

And if we take Boston Dynamics, then it is very different from the previous two cyberdogs, in that it is designed to work, to help with hard and dangerous work. Itcan also play the role of a pet, but more expensive and not able to perform tricks of such a plan as Xiaomi or QRIC.

In fact, for some people, such robots may already be more useful than a live dog. Robots can be programmed to do anything. Protect the territory and report to the owner how things are, when he is on vacation, even in another country. Show everything in real time. The robot can carry the load.
However, in my opinion, robots will never replace dogs, no matter how functional they are or at least we can’t compare a dog that has feelings and a robot that just does a programmed tasks.


https://youtu.be/H1FgiAaA0Ck https://itc.ua/news/xiaomi-predstavila-chetveronogogo-robota-cyberdog-za-1540-on-mozhet-delat-salto-nazad-i-sledovat-za-hozyainom/ https://www.forbes.ru/newsroom/tehnologii/437091-xiaomi-pokazala-svoego-pervogo-robota-sobaku https://habr.com/ru/amp/post/521878/

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Will AI replace cooks and chefs?

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Yes, it’s not a sci-fi fantasy anymore: robots become waiters and cooks and gradually change the restaurant industry. Let’s look at some robots that are already used or will be used soon and figure out whether they can replace cooks and even chefs. 

What robots already exist? 

Former SpaceX engineers created robotic pizza trucks that autonomously cook pizza for under 5 minutes. Their company is called Stellar Pizza and has recently launched in LA. The order is made via the app. Then, the robot starts cooking, and the driver, the only worker in the truck, goes to the required location and gives the pizza to the customers. According to Benson Tsai, the CEO of Stellar Pizza, automation is secondary, and the main goal of the company is making food affordable. 

American fast food chains Wing Zone and White Castle partnered with Miso Robotics to deploy robot Flippy 2 to some of their locations. These robots are expected to do all the frying in the kitchen. The first version, Flippy, was used by White Castle but was unsuccessful and continued working only in one of the restaurants. Flippy 2, however, is an improved version, so the chains have high hopes for it. 

Chipotle worked with Miso Robotics as well. They have recently tested a robot called Chippy, which makes tortilla chips. It is possible that soon the organization will use Chippy more actively. 

FA-men restaurant from Japan uses robots to take orders and cook noodles. Moreover, machines consider the type of sauce, amount of spices, and toppings chosen by the customer. 

But what about more sophisticated and complicated dishes? Moley robotic kitchen can prepare a perfect steak, cauliflower risotto, Tom Yum Soup, and many other dishes. With the help of a touchscreen, you can choose a meal you like, and robotic hands will cook it for you.  Moley learned various recipes from chefs and can learn from the owner if they decide to cook something themselves. 

The kitchen costs from $135k to $338k (CEO Mark Oleynik stated that the prices will significantly decrease over time) and is intended for home use. From the videos of Moley cooking, it is noticeable that the robot is not very fast and is no match for professional cooks in terms of speed. But Moley kitchen shows that cooking restaurant-level dishes is possible for robots, and it is likely that it will be cooking dishes much faster in the future. 

Can reports replace chefs?

But what about chefs? Their job is not to merely cook but also to control all the processes in the kitchen, compose menus, play with flavors, and create new dishes. Robots certainly cannot manage these crucial tasks, can they? Well, technically, it is possible. 

The first part is easier. If all cooks are replaced with machines, there won’t be problems with assigning tasks and controlling the staff. It is most likely that a manager will be observing how well the robots perform and whether they function properly. 

Tasting dishes, experimenting with flavors, and creating new combinations of them can also be done by robots. Researchers from Cambridge University created a robot R2-D-Chew that can “taste” food, decide whether more or less salt, other ingredients, or cooking processes are needed. The robot was taught to cook omelets and assess the factors mentioned. The researchers believe tasting food will help robots cook better. 

Firmenich, a company producing plant-based meat, uses the AI robot Sam that helps human flavourists find the right flavors. BBC says: “Sam takes the knowledge of flavourists and generates new formulas in minutes.” Moreover, BBC mentioned that the robot has “a database of ingredients gathered over 60 years at the company” and is not biassed as some flavourists can be. 

If robots already know how to taste food and create new flavors, it is possible that in the future, when these skills are developed, robots will be able to compose their menus and make new dishes. 

Final thoughts

So far, there are no robots that could completely replace professional cooks, let alone chefs, and be fast enough and cost-effective. But knowing how fast technologies develop and that ten years ago, robot cooks and servers were a mere fantasy, we can assume that there will be enough restaurants with mostly robot staff in another ten or twenty years.

Some robotic restaurants, such as Pazzi Pizza, Spyce, Zume Pizza, and a few others, closed. Possible reasons are the high cost of maintenance of the robots and public distrust. People are still scared that robots will take their jobs, so they do not want to support such restaurants. And more importantly, we have the desire to eat food made with love and a “human touch,” which we expect from human cooks and most certainly can’t get from robots. It seems that robotic restaurants should focus more on marketing and brand to have more chances for success. For now, we can only wait and see how the restaurant industry will look in a decade or so. 












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Tesla’s new Optimus – will humanoids become an essential part of our households?

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In September 2021, Tesla announced that they are planning to build the company’s first humanoid robot and this September, on AI Day 2022 we could see the results coming to life. On the 20th of September 2022, Elon Musk presented the Optimus prototype – made of only Tesla-designed components.  

Before Optimus was presented, the company showed off a different robot, doing simple tasks like watering plants, carrying boxes, walking, and picking objects, however it was not clarified if the robot was moving on its own or was being operated remotely. It would be utterly impressive progress since last year, except the issue is that the humanoid prototype which Elon is planning to distribute is far behind the experimental robot they showcased, when it comes to abilities.  

The unveiled prototype is unable to even walk yet, however, Elon Musk declares that Optimus’s capabilities will be, ,,mind-blowing’’ in 5 to 10 years and aims to mass-produce them at a relatively low cost of less than 20 000$ to make the bots easily accessible to as many people as they can. 

All because Tesla wants to make these humanoids an essential part of peoples’ households, in aim to save them the time of doing mundane, everyday tasks. However a question arises – do people really need a humanoid to walk their dog and pick their groceries? And even if they do, why humanoids? It would be far easier to develop a household robot, that is not necessarily human-like shaped.  

Some sceptics also say that this is just another huge promise from Elon Musk, much like his autonomous cars. However considering Tesla’s recent focus on AI, it is probable that we will see a breakthrough in this technology in a couple of years.

Tesla is set to unveil its 'Optimus' humanoid robot this month. What should  we expect? | Euronews

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Meet Ameca – the human-like robot

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Ameca is a robot created by a British company – ENGINEERED ARTS. As you can see on the video above, it amazes with hyper-realistic facial expressions. It is being described as a world’s most advanced human shaped robot.


Will Jackson, founder of Engineered Arts, said that “the reason for making a robot that looks like a person is to interact with people”. Ameca has a grey coloured skin with deliberately gender and race neutral characteristic. Although it can perfectly mimic the human’s reactions and moves, it cannot walk yet. The engineers from the team say that this ability is currently under research and we can expect it very soon. Ameca has been designed as a robot platform—customers who buy it can add AI and other software to give the robot desired abilities, which I think might be very promising for example as a use in a metaverse. Just imagine taking your metaverse character into a real world or sending a robot to a meeting across the world.

photo: Engineered Arts website

Will Jackson spoke to the press recently, telling them that the abilities of Ameca and the company’s prior robots are the result of over 15 years’ worth of research and development. He also said that the goal of the company has remained the same – to develop robots that are able to interact in human-like ways, with humans. As for now, Ameca is available for purchase or event rental through Engineered Arts website.

video published by Engineered Arts on Vimeo


The appearance of the Ameca robot is based on 3D scans of real people. Thanks to that, they were able to imitate the human-like bone structure, skin surface and facial expression. Engineers also use high-precision sensors, cameras, depth sensors, LiDAR technology and microphones.




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Reading Time: 2 minutesOver past years, drones evolved from an underdeveloped dream to highly advanced tool that is widely available. As a result, many companies thought of different ways to implement drones to their businesses. The new idea brought by Amazon or UPS is being able to deliver goods using drone technology. Undoubtedly, this project seems to be a huge step forward of delivery service. Nonetheless, Nirupam Roy and Nakul Garg, a pair of engineers at the University of Maryland, are afraid that drone deliveries will be frequent target of vandalism. As we know, a well-aimed stone or tennis ball can easily take a drone down. Therefore, the men decided to build a lightweight self-defence mechanism which lets a drone get out of the way of missile.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg think that they can replace power-hungry radar antennae or spinning lidar units by harnesses sound waves and the Doppler effect. The pair plan to equip drones with diminutive loudspeakers which would broadcast an ultrasonic tone outward from the drone. Also, those tiny microphones would listen for reflection for incoming objects. All those actions would give a chance to recognise the incoming threat and thus permit the drone to get out of its way.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg called their new invention DopplerDodge drone defence system. To test it, they have been throwing objects of various sizes at it and found out that system detects objects from distances of up to four metres away. However, the two researchers will attempt to raise the detection range to 30 meters, what will make drones impossible to hit by any irritated neighbour.







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Scaled Robotics – an innovator in the construction industry

Reading Time: 3 minutesIt has been exactly a month since we knew the winner of the latest edition of TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019. Congratulations to the newest Startup Battlefield winner, Scaled Robotics, who designed a robot that can produce 3D progress maps of construction sites in minutes.

Scaled Robotics wins the Startup Battlefield
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/12/scaled-robotics-wins-startup-battlefield-at-disrupt-berlin-2019/


How does Scaled Robotics work?

The startup has created a robot that trundles autonomously around construction sites, using a 360-degree camera and custom lidar system to systematically document its surroundings. All this information goes into a software backend where the supervisors can check things like which pieces are in place on which floor, whether they have been placed within the required tolerances, or if there are safety issues like too much detritus on the ground in work areas. The data is assembled automatically but the robot can be either autonomous or manually controlled.


Why construction companies need Scaled Robotics?

Construction is one of the world’s largest but also most inefficient and wasteful industries. There are estimates that nearly 20% of every construction project is rework. The problem of waste and rework is so widespread that the industry on average operates on a 1-2% margin. The root of this problem stems from the fact that the construction industry is still relying on tools and processes developed over 100 years ago to tackle the problems of today. The robot can make its rounds faster than a couple of humans with measuring tapes and clipboards. Someone equipped with a stationary laser ranging device that they carry from room to room just works too slowly. Using outdated data is one of the main problems for developers. This is confirmed by the case that was carried out in one of the companies. One of the first times startup took data on a site, the client was completely convinced everything they’d done was perfect. Scaled Robotics put the data in front of them and they found out there was a structural wall just missing, and it had been missing for 4 weeks. Thanks to Scaled Robotics’ technology such situations do not take place.

Simultaneous location and ranging (SLAM) tech
Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/11/scaled-robotics-keeps-an-autonomous-eye-on-busy-construction-sites/


Technologies that support people’s work

There is no doubt that the entire competitive advantage of Scaled Robotics lies in innovative technology. An advantage of simultaneous location and ranging (SLAM) tech is that it measures from multiple points of view over time, building a highly accurate and rich model of the environment. Automated Construction Verification system with scans from traditional laser scanners, can verify the quality of the build providing high precision information to localize mistakes and prevent costly errors. What is more, Automated Progress Monitoring helps track the progress of the construction project and provides actionable information for site managers to prevent costly errors. By comparing this to a source CAD model of the building, it can paint a very precise picture of the progress being made. Scaled Robotics also built a special computer vision model that’s suited to the task of sorting obstructions from the constructions and identifying everything in between.

What Scaled Robotics did is that they rethought the entire construction process. Their mission is to modernize construction with Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, thereby creating a manufacturing process that is lean, efficient and cost-effective.

Does Scaled Robotics have a chance to revolutionize the construction industry on a global scale?



[1] https://www.scaledrobotics.com/

[2] https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/11/scaled-robotics-keeps-an-autonomous-eye-on-busy-construction-sites/

[3] https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/02/digitizing-construction-sites-with-scaled-robotics/

[4] https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/12/scaled-robotics-wins-startup-battlefield-at-disrupt-berlin-2019/

[5] https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/279687-25

[6] https://angel.co/company/scaled-robotics

[7] https://www.theburnin.com/startups/scaled-robotics-wins-techcrunch-disrupt-battlefield-3d-construction-site-progress-maps-2019-12/

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you’re familiar with sci-fi anthology series called Black Mirror, you might think of one of the episodes from the 5th season titled “Metalhead”. Apparently, it’s not a fiction anymore, it’s our today’s reality.

The robot dog named Spot is an invention that Boston Dynamics started first developing out of MIT. According to the state’s nonprofit branch called American Civil Libertie Union, these robots are now working with the Massachusetts State Police’s bomb squad.
The ACLU  accessed a memo of agreement document between the state and Boston Dynamics through a public records request.
The request letter that the organization wrote in the records is the following: “The ACLU is interested in this subject and seeks to learn more about how your agency uses or has contemplated using robotics.”.
The ACLU collected all the valuable information about the new partnership, including that Boston Dynamics leased the Spot robot dog to the police force for 90 days between August and November. Because there is no detailed information revealed for a public eye, we don’t know how they are exactly using these machines. The only information that a state police spokesman David Procopio provided about Spot is:  “for the purpose of evaluating the robot’s capabilities in law enforcement applications, particularly remote inspection of potentially dangerous environments.”.
Michael Perry, Boston Dynamics vice president of business development stated, that the company is aiming to make Spot useful for different areas like oil and gas companies, constructions or entertainment.
Perry said he anticipates, that the police is using Spot by sending it into areas that are too dangerous for human being.

The abovementioned robot dogs are constructed for a general-purpose. They have an open application programming interface, which means, a warehouse operator or in this case, a police department can customize them with their own software. From what we can read on the internet, State police claims they didn’t use that feature yet.
Even though, Perry claims the robot won’t be used in the way that would harm or intimidate people, the ACLU, as well as the internet community, are worried about the situation. Currently, the major issue is the lack of transparency in the overall robotics program.

There are various conspiracy theories made by netizens. They mostly predict worst-case scenarios.
The question is whether this invention is safe for the human race. But let’s face the truth. Everything could be dangerous if used in the wrong way. If people working on these machines will program the algorithm allowing them to shoot to people, they’ll follow the order.
Personally, I’m amazed and don’t really know which adjective to use other than “amazing” in this case. I applaud Boston Dynamics for creating the algorithms of their breathtaking machines.

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