COVID-19 pandemic could usher in a ‘New Digital Age,’ study claims

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The study suggests that COVID-19 can be used as a chance to rebuild the nation, by making Israel the starting point for solutions its own society needs, and then for the planet.

Israel should focus on its unique strengths in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Autonomous Technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to be ahead of the new digital age being ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, a study by Start-Up Nation Central claimed on Monday.

Since the novel coronavirus has disrupted existing supply chains and industries, the report argues that Israeli talents could promote innovative solutions. AR means could be used to take over some aspects of customer service and manufacturing. As more and more people are expected to work and purchase goods and services from home, cyber security demands are expected to grow.

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This tiny robot tank could one day help doctors explore your intestine

With a bulky, armored appearance, heavy duty treads for gripping, and a claw arm on the front, the Endoculus robot vehicle looks like it belongs on the battlefield. In fact, it’s just 3 cm wide, 2.3 cm tall, and designed for an entirely different kind of inhospitable environment: Your intestine.

“[This] robotic capsule endoscope, Endoculus, is a tethered robot designed for colonoscopy applications,” Mark Rentschler, a mechanical engineering professor in the Advanced Medical Technologies Laboratory at the University of Colorado, told Digital Trends. “The goals are twofold: design a platform for a robot endoscope in the gastrointestinal tract, and enable autonomous capabilities to assist physicians with disease diagnosis and treatment during these procedures.”

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New autonomous sustainable robots could mine the deep sea

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Pliant Energy Systems says its C-Ray robot could be used as a less invasive ocean mining tool.

Mining companies are ready to tackle two new frontiers like never before: space and the deep sea.

The deep ocean is a place that’s not only rich in sea life, vast swathes of it are also abundant in metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt, zinc, which are essential to making smartphones, electric vehicles, and solar panel parts.

The problem is that marine scientists and environmentalists strongly oppose the invasive methods proposed by these mining companies as they might irreversibly damage fragile ecosystems. Renewable energy firm Pliant Energy Systems thinks it has the solution to this problem.

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TrueLimb robotic arms look real and cost less than traditional prosthetics

Each arm from Unlimited Tomorrow is custom 3D-printed for a perfect match.

Easton LaChappelle was 14 years old when he designed and built his first robotic arm. Ten years later, he’s now the CEO of his own company, looking to upend the prosthetics industry.

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Army of a million microscopic robots created to explore on tiny scale

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Artist’s rendition of an array of microscopic robots

 A troop of a million walking robots could enable scientific exploration at a microscopic level.

Researchers have developed microscopic robots before, but they weren’t able to move by themselves, says Marc Miskin at the University of Pennsylvania. That is partly because of a lack of micrometre-scale actuators – components required for movement, such as the bending of a robot’s legs.

Miskin and his colleagues overcame this by developing a new type of actuator made of an extremely thin layer of platinum. Each robot uses four of these tiny actuators as legs, connected to solar cells on its back that enable the legs to bend in response to laser light and propel their square metallic bodies forwards.

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RoBeetle is a tiny robot that uses methanol for fuel

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RoBeetle is a tiny robot that uses methanol for fuel

One of the biggest challenges facing researchers who are working on small robots is how to power them. The problem is that most batteries add significantly to the weight and take up lots of space inside small robots, making them impractical. Scientists have come up with a robot called the RoBeetle that doesn’t use a battery, instead relying on liquid methanol for power.

The body of the RoBeetle is a fuel tank filled with methanol. It has four legs with the rear legs fixed and the front legs attached to a transmission. The transmission is connected to a leaf spring-tensioned in a way that pulls the legs backwards. Its design allows the robot to stand upright when still.

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Japanese robot to clock in at a convenience store in test of retail automation

TOKYO (Reuters) – In August, a robot vaguely resembling a kangaroo will begin stacking sandwiches, drinks and ready meals on shelves at a Japanese convenience store in a test its maker, Telexistence, hopes will help trigger a wave of retail automation.

Following that trial, store operator FamilyMart says it plans to use robot workers at 20 stores around Tokyo by 2022. At first, people will operate them remotely – until the machines’ artificial intelligence (AI) can learn to mimic human movements. Rival convenience store chain Lawson is deploying its first robot in September, according to Telexistence.

“It advances the scope and scale of human existence,” the robot maker’s chief executive, Jin Tomioka, said as he explained how its technology lets people sense and experience places other than where they are.

The idea, dubbed telexistence, was first proposed by the start up’s co-founder, University of Tokyo professor Susumu Tachi, four decades ago.

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Restaurants are in need of a helping hand. Miso Robotics is offering one. Literally

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Flippy the robot flips cooks burgers to perfection.

Dining out looks pretty different these days. It’s natural to pine for the past, but many quick service restauranteurs are also looking ahead to a future where automation will be the key to drastically increasing their notoriously thin margins and allowing their workers to shine in the tasks no machine can do.

Robots in the workplace can get a bad rap—most people aren’t trying to get replaced by one. But the smartest and most innovative robotic companies aren’t designing teams of droids that send people packing. Instead, they’re crafting intelligent machines that work alongside workers, increasing efficiency and profits in the process.

Take Flippy, the arm-like robotic kitchen assistant from Miso Robotics. As its name implies, the robot flips burgers, cooking them to perfection. Miso Robotics has already raised over $2mm in their investment campaign on SeedInvest, which is still open to investors. The company also recently unveiled Flippy’s newer, more versatile cousin, Robot on a Rail (ROAR). Suspended from an overhead railing rather than standing on the floor, the machine can perform tasks like frying onion rings and preparing chicken tenders. When the orders are ready, it lets its co-workers know, and can clean up after itself by doing dirty and time-consuming jobs like scraping down grills.

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An artificial skin made with graphene could revolutionize robotic surgery

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Computer and Robot Assisted Surgery is an area receiving broad attention worldwide because of its strong potential to advance new levels of healthcare. In Europe, the robotics and cognitive science communities have been independently pursuing research in this field, making significant, but fragmented contributions. Furthermore, strong surgical instrument manufacturers are now present in Europe.

Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, meaning that instead of operating on patients through large incisions, doctors use miniaturized surgical instruments, helped by a camera on a console located in the operating room. In the past two decades, a growing number of complex urological, gynecological, cardiothoracic and general surgical procedures are being performed at an increasing number of worldwide hospitals. The benefits for the patient are fewer traumas on the body, minimal scarring and faster recovery time than traditional procedures. And it is a safe and controlled environment as humans are always guiding the surgical robots and specifying what actions they take.

The high cost of surgical robots has been a barrier, but the global market for surgical robots is experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 10.4%, from $3.9 billion in 2018 to $6.5 billion by 2023, according to Markets and Markets.

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Dog-like robots now on sale for $75,000, with conditions

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FILE – In this May 24, 2018, file photo, a Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot walks through a conference room during a robotics summit in Boston. Boston Dynamics on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each. The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and open doors. But people who buy them online must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons, among other conditions.

You can now buy one of those unnerving animal-like robots you might have seen on YouTube — so long as you don’t plan to use it to harm or intimidate anyone.

Boston Dynamics on Tuesday started selling its four-legged Spot robots online for just under $75,000 each.

The agile robots can walk, climb stairs and observe their surroundings with cameras and other sensors. But people who buy them online must agree not to arm them or intentionally use them as weapons, among other conditions.

“The key goal for us is to make sure people trust robots,” Michael Perry, the company’s vice president for business development, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Somebody wanted to use Spot for a haunted house and we said no to that. It frames the robot in a negative context.”

The terms and conditions state that “Spot is an amazing robot, but is not certified safe for in-home use or intended for use near children or others who may not appreciate the hazards associated with its operation.”

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Robots will take 50 million jobs in the next decade. These are the skills you’ll need to stay employed

A new report finds that automation will take over a significant part of work activities in Europe by 2030.

 In the next 10 years, robots will take over 50 million jobs.

More than 90 million workers across Europe (about 40% of the total workforce) will have to develop significant new skills within their current roles in the next ten years, as automation puts 51 million jobs at risk, warns a new report from analyst firm McKinsey.

And almost all of today’s European workers will face some degree of change as their jobs evolve because of technology. But although the statistics seemingly feed into a common fear of robots taking over our jobs, quick conclusions needn’t be drawn: the research also shows that employment growth in other sectors will largely compensate for overall job loss.

So much, in fact, that Europe might find itself short of up to six million workers by 2030. As new opportunities emerge in fields like technology, for example, McKinsey anticipates that finding sufficient workers with the required skills to fill the jobs that are being created on the continent will be challenging.

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This wearable robotic arm can hold tools, pick fruit, and punch through walls

Doc Ock, is that you?

We’ve always had a soft spot for supernumerary robotic limbs here at The Verge, but this latest example of the genre is one of the most impressive we’ve seen to date. Designed by researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, it’s a hydraulic arm that sits on the wearer’s hip and uses a three-fingered manipulator to carry out a range of tasks.

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