Learning through play: Omron shows off table tennis-playing robot

For some time, practitioners of mind sports have been grappling with artificial intelligence (AI). Computer brains have already beaten the best human players in chess and Go.

The picture is quite different for sports that require both mental and physical skills. Physical interaction with a human is an enormous challenge for developers of intelligent robots.

Omron, one of the world’s leading companies in industrial automation, has successfully taken on this challenge.

The company is currently in Hannover to show how the third generation of Forpheus, a table tennis robot, adds artificial intelligence to its core skills of sensor and control technology.  Continue reading Learning through play: Omron shows off table tennis-playing robot

‘Fifty per cent of S&P 500 firms could be replaced in 10 years’

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One of the world’s largest business consultancy firms says many of the largest companies we know today will probably be overtaken by new corporate giants within a decade. 

In a report into what’s being called the “fourth industrial revolution”, Deloitte says: “About 50 percent of S&P 500 firms will likely be replaced over the next 10 years due to new digital disruptors and inability of established firms to reinvent themselves.”

The consultancy adds: “How companies choose to evolve, explore new avenues for growth, and better engage their customers can make the difference between thriving and extinction.”  Continue reading ‘Fifty per cent of S&P 500 firms could be replaced in 10 years’

China tech leaders claim 90 per cent of jobs could be replaced by AI

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The human-robot joint press conference held by Cite

Tech leaders in China believe 90 per cent of jobs in some sectors of the economy could be replaced with artificial intelligence systems. 

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the China Information Technology Expo, the experts said AI will be the main theme of this year’s event.

Cite 2017 will be held from April 9 to 11, 2017. Organisers held a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada recently, at which they showcased the rising Chinese firms that will “lead the way” in the fields of AI, virtual reality and intelligent robots, the three themes that they expect will generate the most buzz at this year’s exhibition.  Continue reading China tech leaders claim 90 per cent of jobs could be replaced by AI

HIT Robot Group unveils intelligently-controlled automatic jade production line

hit robot polishing-for-each-product

HIT Robot Group, which claims to be China’s leading robotics developer and manufacturer, has launched a configurable and flexible automatic production line for high-precision jade processing.

This company says the intelligent production line exemplifies “a revolutionary transformation in design concept” from centralized control to enhanced decentralized control, which leads to scalable customization, greater flexibility for users, and therefore rapid response to market.

HRG says it has channelled its expertise in intelligent processing management into the new production line to achieve productivity and flexibility.  Continue reading HIT Robot Group unveils intelligently-controlled automatic jade production line

Lowe’s store bosses hire Fellow robot workers

LoweBot, a NAVii autonomous retail service robot by Fellow Robots

Lowe’s, the home improvement and hradware store chain, has hired a robot shop assistant it developed with Fellow Robots. The company says LoweBot will enhance the shopping experience for customers.

LoweBot was developed through a partnership between Fellow Robots and Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and the companies say it explores how intelligent help can meet the needs of customers and employees.

Lowe’s will introduce LoweBot in fall, later this year.

LoweBot is part of the Navii autonomous retail service robot series by Fellow Robots, and will be in 11 Lowe’s stores throughout the San Francisco Bay area.  Continue reading Lowe’s store bosses hire Fellow robot workers

Elsevier launches three publications about automotive engineering

Automotive engineering

Elsevier has published three new books in the area of automotive engineering. 

On-Road Intelligent Vehicles: Motion Planning for Intelligent Transportation Systems by Rahul Kala

Tribological Processes in the Valve Train Systems with Lightweight Valves: New Research and Modelling by Krzysztof Jan Siczek

Lean Combustion: Technology and Control, 2nd Edition edited by Derek Dunn-Rankin and Peter Therkelsen

Here, the publisher provides an overview of each.  Continue reading Elsevier launches three publications about automotive engineering

PcVue introduces mobile solution for intelligent buildings

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ARC Informatique takes PcVue into new market with mobile monitoring system for intelligent buildings 

PcVue Solutions are now entering an uncharted market to provide an innovative mobile offering for SCADA in intelligent buildings.

Proximity-based services enabled by micro-geolocation for Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) are growing quickly, says the company, and it apparently wants a share of the market.

PcVue is ARC Informatique’s core product, the company is an independent provider in HMI/SCADA software. It has been contributing to the evolution of the automation industry for 30 years by providing a flexible solution for supervising building management systems, industrial processes, utilities, and infrastructure.

Continue reading PcVue introduces mobile solution for intelligent buildings

NXP and eSSys to deliver intelligent transport systems for Korean government project

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NXP to supply RoadLink chipsets for secure vehicle-to-x communications in Korea’s next-generation intelligent transportation system project

NXP Semiconductors and eSSys will be technology partners in Korea’s next-generation Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System (C-ITS) project promoted by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

NXP will supply eSSys with its RoadLink V2X chipset, a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication and security solution which will be test-operated on an 87.8 km route between Sejong City (city of government offices) and Daejon. The year-long pilot operation started this month.

Currently, a variety of smart transport technologies are being installed on national highways, including the primary highway for access to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  Continue reading NXP and eSSys to deliver intelligent transport systems for Korean government project

Jebsen boasts of ‘remarkable achievements’ in China through partnership with F&P Personal Robotics

f&p personal robotics

Jebsen Industrial is hailing what it says are its “remarkable achiements” in China, partly as a result of its partnership with F&P Personal Robotics

Jebsen Group markets and distributes premium products and services across China. One of its business units is Jebsen Industrial, which provides automation services.

Officially called Automation & Services (A&S), the JI business unit is focused on manufacturing automation and intelligence services to provide “green, electronic, intelligent and smart solutions”.

A vital partnership is its F&P Personal Robotics in Switzerland, which is a pioneer in collaborative robots interacting with humans, and providing economic and customizable light weight robotic solutions.  Continue reading Jebsen boasts of ‘remarkable achievements’ in China through partnership with F&P Personal Robotics

Robocom launches voice solution for warehouse management

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Robocom Systems has released the newest version of R-Voice, which is now powered by the AccuSpeechMobile Intelligent Voice+ Automation Solution. 

The software enables warehouse management systems voice productivity.

Robocom and AccuSpeechMobile have completed an OEM agreement that enables the embedding of the mobile-intelligent AccuSpeechMobile solution into Robcom’s warehouse management system, providing its customers the most cost-effective voice solution on the market.  Continue reading Robocom launches voice solution for warehouse management

Autonomous vehicles ‘major attraction’ at CeMAT logistics fair

cemat 2016

Autonomous vehicles were a major attraction for visitors this year at the annual logistics trade fair, CeMAT

Deutsche Messe, which owns and organises CeMAT, says this year’s event was one of the biggest and most successful ever, and certainly the most innovative in the sense that there was a huge amount of interest in new technology such as autonomous vehicles.

The motto for this year’s CeMAT was “Smart Supply Chain Solutions”, and the fair organisers say there was a “substantial growth in the number of foreign visitors”.

From 31 May to 3 June, roughly 1,000 exhibiting companies from 44 countries (exhibitors from outside Germany: 55 percent) presented solutions for efficient and intelligent management of logistics chains.

During the four days of the show, visitors saw for themselves that the intelligent warehouse is already reality. Stephan Weil, Premier of Lower Saxony, opened the trade fair.  Continue reading Autonomous vehicles ‘major attraction’ at CeMAT logistics fair

O’Reilly says artificial intelligence is ‘going mainstream’

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Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media

Artificial intelligence has come out of the dark corners of science fiction and is ready to become ubiquitous in the real world, according to one of the most influential tech gurus of the internet era.

Writing on the company’s website, Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, say humanity is “at the beginning of an explosion of intelligent software” which could change everything.

O’Reilly says: “It’s easy to get excited about recent progress but much more difficult to understand what lies ahead. Researchers have built some excellent, but very specialized, systems. Still, we’re far from anything that looks like a general intelligence system.

“We have programs that can play Go, drive a car, chat, manage investments, and identify pictures; we don’t have programs that can do all of the thousands of things that humans do every day. Integrating many systems that can each do one very specific task is a challenging problem, if that’s even the right approach. What does the future hold, and how are we to get there?”  Continue reading O’Reilly says artificial intelligence is ‘going mainstream’

‘Smart manufacturing is all about an intelligent connected supply chain’

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Lars Mohr Jensen, product manager at GateHouse Logistics, looks into the challenges of  the next industrial revolution and the implications on the connected enterprise

As it stands, factories are dumb – or at least far less intelligent than current technology could actually make them. The current industrial production is inflexible and too expensive and a root cause is supply chain invisibility.

But that’s about to change thanks to Industry 4.0, an initiative with its roots in Germany that aims to bring about the fourth industrial revolution. It heralds the era where manufacturing becomes intelligent and every link in the supply chain talks to each other and is connected.

The smart factory concept means industrial or manufacturing processes will be organized in a smart way compared to tired, traditional methods. In opens the era of intelligent manufacturing where the entire production chain, including suppliers, logistics and product life cycle management are connected across frontiers.  Continue reading ‘Smart manufacturing is all about an intelligent connected supply chain’

CeMAT to be co-staged with Hannover Messe

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Another fine Messe: (from left to right) Dr Andreas Gruchow, Dr Christoph Beumer, and Sascha Schmel

CeMAT Update: In a further sign of the accelerating convergence of manufacturing and logistics sectors, the world’s two leading industry events are to be merged  

CeMAT, the world-leading trade fair for intralogistics and supply chain management, is to be co-located with Hannover Messe every two years, starting in 2018.

Featuring about 1,000 exhibitors from around the world, CeMAT is the international market flagship of a fast-growing industry which in 2015 produced €20 billion worth of equipment in Germany alone.

The main drivers of this growth are eCommerce and integrated production – two trends that are placing enormous pressure on intralogistics systems, forcing them to become more intelligent, networked, flexible, transparent, fast and efficient.  Continue reading CeMAT to be co-staged with Hannover Messe

Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai,
Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai, pictured in the Wall Street area of New York, US

Exclusive interview with Dennis Mortensen, founder and CEO of intelligent assistants technology developer x.ai 

Virtual assistants, or intelligent assistants, are multiplying by the day. Currently there are around a dozen really well-known ones, such as Siri and Cortana, and then there’s several dozen other reasonably well-known ones talking or otherwise communicating their way into the public consciousness.

These intelligent assistants can be placed in at least 10 different categories, such as text and chatbots, personal advisors, and employee assistants.

Of these, perhaps the most commercially profitable is the employee assistants category. And within this segment, the virtual assistance technology that arguably holds most promise is the one produced by x.ai – in part because among its investors is SoftBank, the Japanese communications giant behind Pepper, the cloud-connected humanoid robot which is claimed to be able to discern human emotions and communicate appropriately.  Continue reading Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work