Computer model of how bees view the world could be a breakthrough for robotics

sheffield uni Bee vision

Scientists at the University of Sheffield have created a computer model of how bees avoid hitting walls – which could lead to a breakthrough in the development of autonomous robots. 

Researchers from the Department of Computer Science built their computer model to look at how bees use vision to detect the movement of the world around them and avoid crashes.

Bees control their flight using the speed of motion – or optic flow – of the visual world around them, but it is not known how they do this. The only neural circuits so far found in the insect brain can tell the direction of motion, not the speed.

This study suggests how motion-direction detecting circuits could be wired together to also detect motion-speed, which is crucial for controlling bees’ flight.

“Honeybees are excellent navigators and explorers, using vision extensively in these tasks, despite having a brain of only one million neurons,” says Dr Alex Cope, lead researcher on the paper.  Continue reading Computer model of how bees view the world could be a breakthrough for robotics

Cisco Jasper publishes study on industrial internet of things

cisco jasper iiot study

Cisco Jasper has conducted a study based on usage data of more than 3,500 enterprise customers on its IoT service platform to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of IoT both before and after implementing an IoT service platform.

The company has released the results of its TCO for Industrial IoT report, focused specifically on the data from industrial enterprises using its platform.

Cisco Jasper’s blog post on the results says: “You can’t truly calculate ROI until you understand the comprehensive cost of ownership of delivering an IIoT service.”

Audi opens research facility to study bees with a robot

audi smart hobos robot bee research
The robot arm in the Smart Hobos high-tech beehive is fitted with state-of-the-art camera systems: 3D sensors as well as infrared and heat-sensitive cameras record the bees and their activities

Audi is using robots to help bees from going extinct 

Bees pollinate about 80 percent of our agricultural plants and wild vegetation, so life without bees is almost impossible.

Too little pollination would have severe consequences – both environmental and economic. With the worldwide unique “Smart Hobos” (HoneyBee Online Studies) project, the Audi Stiftung für Umwelt (Audi Environmental Foundation) and the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg are working to protect these vital and fascinating insects.

Audi today opened a research station at its production site in Münchsmünster. The first bees will soon move into their new home. Continue reading Audi opens research facility to study bees with a robot

Call centre jobs threatened by smart devices and machine learning, says Xerox

call centres
Call centres are under pressure from smart devices and machine learning

Customer care – from the traditional call center to webchat to social media options – is being transformed almost daily by machine learning and smarter technology, according to a survey of 6,000 consumers by Xerox. 

In its report, The State of Customer Service, Xerox concludes that customer care is getting more personal but the leading trends emerging in 2016 indicate that smart machines may be key in driving the pursuit of individualized service.

“It’s clear that the relationships between consumers and brands will change radically over the next five years,” said Tim Joyce, chief innovation officer, Xerox Customer Care. “Customers expect a high quality of service and technology is maturing to the point where brands can efficiently meet those needs.”

SquareTrade uses ‘killer robots’ to test new smartphones

SquareTrade Labs says it used ‘killer robots’ to test some of the latest smartphones on the market, namely the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and the iPhone 6s.

The gadget protection specialist says its tests show the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were water-resistant, but that the Apple iPhone 6s is “still sturdier when it comes to drops and tumbles”.

SquareTrade says its latest tests had the new generation of Samsung Galaxy phones square up against the company’s “arsenal of bots, including the new Deep Water Dunkbot and Tumblebot”. SquareTrade calls them “breakability tests”. Continue reading SquareTrade uses ‘killer robots’ to test new smartphones