October 25, 2013
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has given $7 million to the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute (CMRI) “to develop robots that can work with humans to extend and augment human skills.”
Matt Mason, director of the CMRI said: “The great promise of robots is to extend human skills and enhance human lives. The National Robotics Initiative (NRI) is helping researchers here at Carnegie Mellon and across the country make that promise a reality.”
The NRI was developed to “accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people.”
The purpose of this initiative is to bring to life “the realization of such co-robots acting in direct support of and in a symbiotic relationship with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).”
Sanjiv Singh heads the NRI and leads the path toward creating “an autonomous robotic inspection assistant. The goal is to improve the assessment of aging bridges and other critical infrastructure by combining human judgment with machine intelligence.”
Singh said : “Current inspection methods for bridges, dams and other infrastructure often require expensive, specialized equipment and are potentially dangerous for inspectors who must reach difficult-to-access areas. This project will use small, low-flying robots, coupled with 3D imaging and advanced planning, modeling and analysis, to provide safe, efficient and high-precision assessment of critical infrastructure.”
Earlier this year, the Artificial Intelligence Lab (AIL) unveiled Roboy .
Roboy is modeled after the anatomy of a 2 – 3 year old child and uses artificial “tendons” to move about.
Advancements in synthetic skin for prosthetics have given way to the same technology being utilized for AI. Experiments in “epidermal electronics” have produced a skin-like creation that is self-healing.
Zhenan Bao, chemical engineer at Stanford University has developed a polymer that incorporates nickel atoms that allows electrons to “jump” between the mental atoms. The polymer is sensitive to pressure and tension. The jumping produces the sensation of feeling. And when the “skin” is cut, it regenerates and retains 98% of its original conductivity.
Pfeifer believes that “next-generation robots” will have “a high behavioral diversity” as inspired by biology and be similar to humans.
Science fiction is becoming a reality with the introduction of service robots that is expected to “influence human-robot interaction”. These robots will be autonomous, mobile and perform functions humans may not want to do in the future.
In the wake of Sandy, the Pentagon has requested that a team of “rescue robots” be engineered in time for the next “natural disaster”. The new DARPA Robotics Challenge is putting out the call for a synthetic force that can be designed for autonomous thought; yet mitigate the risk to human life when preforming a rescue mission.
Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University warns that globalist think-tanks and the rise of the military industrial complex will culminate in the creation of synthetic armies that could turn on their creators should they be equipped with autonomous thought programing. Sharkey explains: “With the current prices of robot construction falling dramatically and the availability of ready-made components for the amateur market, it wouldn’t require a lot of skill to make autonomous robot weapons.”
Bill Gates has contributed to the concept that there should be “a robot in every home.” Citing the 2004 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge, Gates supports the robotic industry to bring AI devices to the forefront of future consumerism.