WinSystems launches new single-board computer for industrial applications

WinSystems, a provider of industrial embedded solutions, has launched a new single-board computer.

The company says the new PPM-C412 series is designed for demanding environments and applications, and offers a broad spectrum of I/O features and the ability to expand functionality in a densely populated, standalone SBC solution.

The new computer is also PC/104-Plus-compatible, and delivers greater performance and a clear upgrade path for current PPM-LX800 users while providing full ISA-compatible PC/104-Plus expansion, says WinSystems.  Continue reading WinSystems launches new single-board computer for industrial applications

Connecting the dots of quantum computing

ibm 4-qubit square circuit
Layout of IBM’s four superconducting quantum bit device announced in 2015. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. (Credit: IBM Research)

By Sachin Garg, associate director, electronics and semiconductors practice, MarketsandMarkets Research

Binary computers helped us to get connected with an entirely new realm of opportunities and possibilities. It took a lot of effort and time to build a computer which can execute multiple tasks and handle massive calculations at the same time.

But despite many innovations and developments, the computing systems currently available are not fast enough in handling complex problems and calculations.

To address this problem, various tech companies and organisations have been developing computing systems which can use quantum concepts to execute complex tasks and solve any problems.  Continue reading Connecting the dots of quantum computing

Atos launches quantum computer emulator and associated programming language

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Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, alongside the company’s new Quantum Learning Machine, a quantum computer simulator built using Intel chips.

By Abdul Montaqim

A company called Atos has built and released what it claims is the world’s first commercially available quantum computer emulator.

In terms of hardware, it uses Intel chips and what might be considered classical computing technology.

But it’s programmed to simulate a quantum computer. Atos has named it the Quantum Learning Machine, and has even invented a new language for programming it.  Continue reading Atos launches quantum computer emulator and associated programming language

Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

dirk hoheisel
Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch board member responsible for mobility solutions, making his presentation

The demand for advanced driver assistance systems is surging, according to Bosch, which says it pocketed almost $4 billion last year from supplying the technology. 

The company is developing a range of hardware and software solutions for what it calls automated driving, and one of them is an onboard artificial intelligence-driven computer, which will go into production within the next few years.

ADAS is often seen as autonomous – or driverless – car technology, except it’s integrated into cars already being purchased in large numbers today.  Continue reading Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

The machine and AI: What’s in our future?

arnold schwarzenegger
Eat, drink and take regular exercise if you want to live

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete industrial automation parts supplier, EU Automation discusses how recent developments in machine learning are influencing industry

In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing developed a way of testing a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour, equivalent to humans.

Since the Turing Test was first used, the world has become fixated on the possibility that, one day, a computer could function like a human being.

Machine learning is a concept that has been around for many decades. In machine learning, the computer doesn’t rely on rule-based programming, rather the algorithms can adapt and learn from the data.  Continue reading The machine and AI: What’s in our future?

Growing pains at ADL as it launches ‘industry’s smallest’ Intel-based embedded PC

adl embedded systems

Exclusive interview with JC Ramirez, director of engineering, ADL Embedded Solutions

If there’s one problem most companies would be happy to have is the one related to having too many orders to deal with. 

This is the situation ADL Embedded Solutions finds itself in, according to JC Ramirez, the company’s director of engineering and product manager.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Ramirez says the company is experiencing “serious growing pains”, especially in Germany, where there is “too much work” going on.

ADL has generally been highly regarded and known as a “board company”, specialising in supplying technology for military and defence applications.

But the company has been going higher, into the upper levels of integration with its products in the past few years.  Continue reading Growing pains at ADL as it launches ‘industry’s smallest’ Intel-based embedded PC

Tiny chip capable of running deep neural networks could accelerate robotics development

movidius

One of the challenges in robotics development is the fact that the computer processing required is just massive, often too much for a complex machine to handle onboard without packing very large pieces of hardware. 

One way around it has been to connect the robots up to cloud computing systems which run such things as neural networks and can remotely process data – but this is inefficient and slow.

Even if takes a few seconds to process massive quantities of data, those seconds are just too much time wasted for a machine such, for example, an autonomous car on the move – these things need to be instantaneous.  Continue reading Tiny chip capable of running deep neural networks could accelerate robotics development

Boeing completes prototype parts for 777X wing at new billion-dollar advanced manufacturing facility

boeing 777x

Boeing says it has completed prototype parts for the wing of its new 777X Dreamliner aircraft

The company is using advanced manufacturing methods, including additive or 3D printing, in the construction of the passenger plane at its new $1 billion Everett, Washington facility.

When completed, the wing for the 777X will be the largest wing Boeing has ever built.  Continue reading Boeing completes prototype parts for 777X wing at new billion-dollar advanced manufacturing facility

Bright Box launches self-driving car platform trained with extreme driving in computer games

Bright Box, a specialist provider of connected car solutions, says its new self-driving car system has been trained using a neural network, deep learning and extreme racing computer games, in particular GTA 5. 

Bright Box, a European company, says its software is the basis for connected-vehicle applications used by the Nissan Smart Car app in Middle East, and KIA Remoto app.

Bright Box says its autonomous car solution also uses data from real-life examples.  Continue reading Bright Box launches self-driving car platform trained with extreme driving in computer games

Dassault Systèmes to acquire CST

Dassault Systèmes has entered into an agreement to acquire Computer Simulation Technology, a provider of electromagnetic and electronics simulation, for approximately €220 million. 

With the acquisition of CST, based near Frankfurt, Germany, Dassault Systèmes will complement its industry solution experiences for realistic multiphysics simulation on the 3DExperience platform with full spectrum electromagnetic simulation.

CST’s Studio Suite software is used by designers and engineers at more than 2,000 leading companies in the high-tech, transportation and mobility, aerospace and defense, and energy industries to evaluate all types of electromagnetic effects during every stage of electronic system design processes.  Continue reading Dassault Systèmes to acquire CST

Robots will become ‘electronic persons’ under European Union plan

i robot film still

The European Union is considering giving robots human rights under a plan to classify them as “electronic persons” and making their owners liable to pay taxes on their behalf, according to Reuters

What’s been called a “robot revolution” in recent years has led to millions of robots of all types being built and utilised in almost every area of society – from robotic arms in the manufacturing industry, through autonomous vehicles in transportation, to domestic or service robots in commercial buildings and in the home.

No one knows exactly what the robot population on Earth is, but it’s likely to overtake segments of the human population in some countries within a decade or two. Moreover, a very large proportion of future robots are likely to be humanoids.

This massive growth of robotics and autonomous technologies has led the European Parliament’s committee on legal affairs to draft a resolution saying “that at least the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons with specific rights and obligations”. Continue reading Robots will become ‘electronic persons’ under European Union plan

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

Humanity’s loss at the hands of artificial intelligence is no big deal, says top robotics expert

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Intel robot playing chess. Picture courtesy Jiuguang Wang

The current struggles human player Lee Seedol is facing while playing the ancient Chinese board game Go against an artificially intelligent machine learning program is being watched with interest by the world’s media as well as computer scientists everywhere, probably.

One of those computer scientists, however, says he’s not that bothered. Professor Alois Knoll, co-ordinator of the European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development (Echord), says Google DeepMind AlphaGo is essentially just a software program inside a computer, which is much easier to develop than a mechatronics system.

“A machine or helper that can only help you play Go probably not something on which you’d spend much money,” says Knoll, who is one of the key scientists involved in the $1.5 billion-dollar Human Brain Project.  Continue reading Humanity’s loss at the hands of artificial intelligence is no big deal, says top robotics expert

Unknown South Korean man saves face against faceless computer with a win in ancient board game nobody understands

lee seedol
Lee Seedol, in happier times

A previously unknown man from South Korea has been beaten by Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo artificially intelligent computer at Go, an ancient Chinese board game that looks like a mix of checkers and solitaire. 

Apparently the very idea that a computer can beat a human at Go means artificial intelligence can now be called upon to solve all of the world’s problems, humanity’s eternal wars and other foibles being a mere waystation en route.

The South Korean man at the centre of this humbling of humankind is Lee Seedol, who did manage to get one back for spontaneously occurring biological entities against his inhuman adversary, and regained some of his reputation as a grand master at the game.

But as far as most observers are concerned, the overall result of the contest was conclusive proof that resistance is futile, and so is rage, against the machines.

 

Billion dollar brain: Exclusive interview with Professor Alois Knoll

Professor Alois Knoll
Professor Alois Knoll, chair of real-time systems and robotics, stands between two tendon driven robots developed as part of the EU project Eccerobot at the Technical University in Munich, Germany. Knoll coordinates the neuro-robotics division of the EU Human Brain Project. Photo: Frank Leonhardt

Professor Alois Knoll, co-ordinator of the European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development (Echord), and one of the key scientists involved in the $1.5 billion-dollar Human Brain Project, speaks exclusively to Robotics and Automation News

It’s not every day you learn a new word you like. From my point of view, having been in journalism longer than I’d like to recall, it’s an interesting experience to be reminded of an extract from a biography of Dr Samuel Johnson, “father of the English dictionary”, written by James Boswell in 1791, which I read in my teens.

Nothing specific from what I read applies here, but I’ll paraphrase a quote from Johnson which I think may be most appropriate. “A writer only begins an article. A reader finishes it.”  Continue reading Billion dollar brain: Exclusive interview with Professor Alois Knoll