Chuck Berry is a Poem (by Cornelius Eady)

Chuck Berry

by Cornelius Eady

Hamburger wizard,

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Loose-limbed instigator,

V-8 engine, purring for a storm

The evidence of a tight skirt, viewed from

the window of a moving city bus,

Yelling her name, a spell, into the glass.

The amazing leap, from nobody to stockholder,

(Look, Ma, no hands), piped through a hot amp.

Figure skater on the rim of the invisible class wall,

The strength of the dreamer who wakes up, and it’s

Monday, a week of work, but gets out of bed

The unsung desire of the check-out clerk

The shops of the sleepy backwater town,

waiting for the kid to make good,

to chauffer home

The twang of the New Jersey turnpike

in the wee, wee hours.

The myth of the lover as he passes, blameless

through the walls.

The fury hidden in the word almost.

The fury hidden in the word please.

The dream of one’s name in lights,

Of sending the posse on the wrong trail,

Shaking the wounded Indian’s hand, a brother.

The pulse of a crowd, knowing that the police

Have pushed in the door, dancing regardless

The frenzy of the word go.

The frenzy of the word go.

The frenzy of the word go.

The spark between the thought of the kiss

and receiving the kiss,

The tension in these words:

You Can’t Dance.

The amazing duck walk

The understanding that all it’s going to take

is one fast song.

The triumph in these words:

Bye-bye New Jersey, as if rising

from a shallow grave.

The soda-jerk who plots doo-wop songs,

The well-intentioned Business School student

who does what she’s told, suspects

they’re keeping it hid.

Mr. Rock-n-Roll-jump-over

(or get left behind),

Mr. Taxes? Who, me? Money beat,

Money beat, you can’t catch me,

(but they do),

A perpetual well of quarters in the pocket.

The incalculable hit of energy in the voice

of a 16 year-old as her favorite band

hits the stage,

And 10,000 pair of eyes look for what they’re after:

Cornelius Eady

Cornelius Eady

More.

And 10,000 voices roar for it:

More.

And a multitude you wouldn’t care to count

surrounds the joint, waits for their opportunity

to break in.

[Cornelius Eady teaches at the University of Missouri]

Punxatawney Phil Talks to Me on Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil Talks to Me on Groundhog Day

                                                  by Lew Rosenbaum

Every year the “Inner Circle” pushes me

Out of my comfortable lair

So they can laugh when I scamper back into my home

The "Inner Circle" extracts a prediction from Punxatawney Phil

The “Inner Circle” extracts a prediction from Punxsutawney Phil

At the sight of my own shadow.

I’m sick of it.

I’m tired of being their plaything, their

Object.

Sure they feed me crumbs all through the year,

Just so they can watch this annual charade.

They make millions of dollars on

Punxsutawney Phil dolls.

It’s the one day of the year that meteorologists

Take the day off, leave the predictions to me.

If I  run from my shadow (again!),

It’s six more weeks of winter.

It’s the six more weeks of winter for all of us,

Six more weeks of scarcity.

The six more weeks that stretch

Through the entire year.

Think about it. Being scared of our shadows

Is the human condition, not only groundhog

Existentialism.

Whose shadow is that really? For the groundhog

It could be a hawk, eagle, or fox. For humans?

President, General, Mayor, cop, boss.

I’m sick of it. You should be too.

Groundhogs are going on strike.

We’re ready for roots, berries and grubs without threats.

What kind of world are you ready to make?

From Wikipedia: Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby is a groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. On February 2 (Groundhog Day) of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the legendary groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler’s Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter-like weather. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an “early spring.”[1] The date of Phil’s prognostication is known as Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada, and has been celebrated since 1887.

A select group, called the Inner Circle, takes care of Phil year-round and also plans the annual ceremony. Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle are recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos.

Never Let A Good Crisis Go to Waste

From 1945 to 1953, “This Is Your FBI” ran as a weekly radio program.  The old-time radio website explains the show in this way: “These were fact-based dramas that told the story of FBI cases from the agent’s point of view. Producer/director Jerry Devine had previous thradio experience on the show Mr. District Attorney, which was a solid and responsible pro-law enforcement radio drama.”  So much “from the agent’s point of view”; so “solid and responsible pro-law-enforcement” that J. Edgar Hoover worked with the producer to make it more authentic.  At the end of each show, as I remember from listening to it as a child, an actor performing the role of Hoover would explain how the country was infiltrated by bad guys.  He would tell us that we children should keep our ears attuned and our eyes open for the evil and the peril of communism.  He instructed us not to try to intervene; he especially warned us about our parents and family, and that we should recognize that the importance of protecting the country was greater than any allegiance we owed to family and friends.  In short, we should turn in our commie parents.  (As an impressionable child, I was quite stricken by these instructions.  I don’t remember having any indication, or recognizing any indication, that my parents were engaged in subversive activity. Nevertheless, I cautiously warned my mother not to tell me if she WERE involved in communist activity, because if I knew I would be duty bound to . . .well you get the picture).

Again: don’t DO anything.  Report the matter so that the FBI can intervene.  Don’t tell the subversives that you are watching and what you are doing.th-2

It is with that sort of terror that I heard the statements coming from the mouths of New York policemen and politicians and echoed by other irresponsible folk around the country.  Politicians thrive on the maxim: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Cases in point: George Bush following 9/11/2001 on a world stage; the privatization of the New Orleans public schools after Katrina. And now the police union, George Pataki, Rudy Giulani and others in New York have blamed protesters for the assassination of 2 police officers. But they have gone further to enlist the aid of the general populace in identifying anyone who might write on a blog, or social media, anything that might be interpreted as threatening to the police.

A span of 60 plus years intervenes between then and now. A lot of reading, gathering knowledge and experience, and documents showing that the list of “subversive” organizations and individuals investigated by the FBI and held on Richard Nixon’s list stretch the length of a football field.  Now my stomach churns and old memories revive and this time I am on the side that I expect would be reported, not for threatening anyone, but for simply being supportive of and associated with those justly protesting the police, who act as a special body of armed (mostly) men standing above society.  For writing this blog post. Yes.

Events are moving quickly, and every effort is being made to line up as many people as possible to support an assault on protest, crush dissent rapidly.  From the emergency managers supplanting democracy in Michigan (a surprising number of people have been

Benton Harbor, Michigan activist Rev. Edward Pinkney

Benton Harbor, Michigan activist Rev. Edward Pinkney

won to the side of hoping these managers will solve the problems of the cities ruined by capitalism), to the arrest, conviction and sentencing of Reverend Edward Pinkney for up to 10 years in prison for attempting to defend Benton Harbor from corporate takeover to the escalating numbers of police killings around the country, the Dred Scott decision seems to have been updated: poor people in America have no rights that capitalism is bound to respect; and to execute its will, capitalism is preparing a full blown fascist assault on our rights.

The point though is that capitalism has no choice if it wants to save its control of private property. Democracy, limited as it may be, is the treasured disguise of capitalism. Once the emperor has no clothes, force is it’s only option, the option of weakness.  It has seized the tactical offensive, because strategically it is on the defensive.  How else can it control the 80% of the American population that is flirting with poverty, or the 15% of the American population that is already in poverty? That is what unites the American people. Centuries of ideological schisms, underpinned by material differences, are melting into air — if we can seize on our common economic interests, our battle for survival. If we can turn our defensive posture into a fight forward, toward the new cooperative world that is possible.  A new cooperative world is necessary, and the future is up to us.

Repatriation of the Cuba Five Brings Back Memories

Cuban guerrilleros

Cuban guerrilleros including Fidel and Raul.

Forty years ago I lay face down on the cement floor of a building, as a group of people with faces covered spread kerosene around, lit the flammable liquid, watched the flames ignite the wooden walls, and announce as they ran out of the building, “Death to Fidel Castro!” I almost died that day. Along with the few others in the center named “The Haymarket” on Hoover Street, I scrambled out the back door and over the chain link fence to the back alley, then out to Hoover St. to watch while our gathering place burned to the ground.

I’ve  just spent the past couple of hours trying to resurrect some hidden history of Los Angeles. I failed.  I have to rely on my memory.  The memory of the rampage of Cuban exile terrorists in Los Angeles, people who were well known to the police but never brought to trial.  There is a note, barely a mention, that fires closed the Ash Grove, Los Angeles’ influential folk music club, twice.  It was rebuilt twice before a third fire forced it out of existence 1n 1973.  Almost as an aside, as if to discount the reality, the report says that some attributed the fires to political arson.

I can’t say that I spent a lot of time at the Ash Grove.  Not having disposable income had something to do with it.  Nevertheless, one of my best times was spent ushering in the New Year listening to Barbara Dane and Jack Elliott lead the drunken revelry of a packed house with their anti-war and pro-labor songs, to launch the struggles of the next year.  This had to be 1967, when I was still in medical school.  Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and the magic fingers of Lightnin’ Hopkins introduced me to live blues at the Ash Grove. Oh yes, and panel discussions and films about Cuba and the Cuban revolution.

Three years later I had left medical school and was two years into work as a social worker, active in a caucus of union workers we called Social Welfare Workers Movement (SWWM, pronounced SWIM).  We had a newsletter that I edited.  The Haymarket had a selectric typewriter, the kind that had balls with different fonts.  The collective that ran the Haymarket would generously let groups like ours use their facilities to do our work.  On the first floor, the one with the cement floor, was a coffee, pastry and sandwich bar and a riser that acted as a stage for events, with chairs arranged for people to see and hear.  The place was home to a variety of “movement” groups who often used their stage for opportunities for discussion and debate.  One subject of such discussion was the Cuban revolution, now 12 years old.  I had been to Cuba myself over the December/January period 1968-9. I was fiercely partisan in favor of the revolution: how could a country as wealthy as the US be unwilling  to enact the kind of health care system that had already given underdeveloped Cuba recognition around the world?

I think that we were all aware of threats to burn or bomb The Haymarket.  I think we knew that “security” measures were in place.  But that night, sitting at the long improvised desk on the second floor, typing the copy for the SWWM newsletter, I was absorbed in my work.  I think others had come with me that night to do the work, but I think the others of my group had left. I could be wrong, it’s so many years ago.  But what happened next is indelibly etched into my memory.

A commotion, perhaps some shouts from the first floor, and Roger is running up the stairs, behind me as I barely look up, and he rushes into the back room, followed by two men with bandanas over the bottoms of their faces, and the three of them emerge, one of them wresting a shotgun from Roger’s hands and forcing him toward the stairway down.  The other, waving some weapon, perhaps a pistol, orders me (us?) down the stairs and orders us to lie face down on the cement floor, to stay still, and we hear the sound of liquid sloshing and the unmistakeable aroma of a flammable solvent and we realize what is going on. When the salute to the death of Fidel is followed by shuffling feet out the door, it didn’t take more than a second or two for us to realize what we needed to do, someone called out to head to the back. And I’d say the rest is history, except . . . it’s not. It’s a lacuna.

And it’s all brought into focus now as five Cubans, held as prisoners in the U.S., have been repatriated to Cuba;  Cubans who infiltrated the Miami terrorist cells in order to report on activities and gather evidence for the Cuban government.  Evidence of their terrorist activity in the U.S. under the sponsorship or (at least) quiet tolerance of the U.S. government, despite violation of U.S. law.

Here is the link to an interview with René Gonzalez, the first of the repatriated Cubans.  As we consider the issues around which organizing is taking place now, we need to recognize that this is a different time than 40 years ago, when our history was erased. Social media can spread information about the demonstrations and rebellions that follow police brutality and murders. And then what?  The stakes in a contracting economy are greater than they were in the expanding capitalism of the late sixties. I’m glad the Cuban 5 have been repatriated. The American State, however, is even more dangerous than it was then, and that requires the utmost in consciousness, study and organization.

Automation and Robotics News – April-Sept. 2014 published by Tony Zaragoza

Automation and Robotics News – April-Sept. 2014
Check the website http://blogs.evergreen.edu/arnews/ for the archive of ARNEWS
June 1, 2014

China becomes largest buyer of industrial robots

…Fanuc and Germany’s Kuka, have been pouring resources into the Chinese market to capitalise on the country’s rapid

Farm labor still being done by workers . . .

Farm labor still being done by workers . . .

automation. In 2011, Foxconn, the Shenzhen-based assembler for Apple, vowed to build a “million robot army” over three years…By Tanya Powley in London

June 1, 2014

South Korean robots lead the world

How many will be replaced by the Deere driverless tractor?

How many will be replaced by the Deere driverless tractor?

…says Hur Yeon-ho, head of factory automation for LG Display. “There’s no way that…and 273 respectively. The increasing automation of South Korean factories – as well…strong labour unions, the level of automation in the South Korean plants appears much…By Simon Mundy in Paju, South Kor

Robotics Company Prepares to Take Responsibility For Displaced Workers

Momentum Machines aims to eliminate the burger boy—and retrain him to be an engineer

Five Myths and Facts About Robotics Technology Today

An investor discusses five pressing issues about the future of robots
08/21/14 — You’re probably getting tired of hearing that robots will take your jobs (and, ugh, ours) in the future over and over again. But, here’s the deal: perhaps it’s necessary keep repeating it so it sinks in, because there’s a huge chance that it’ll actually happen. The video below explains how…
POSTED: 07/28/2014
Fueled by strong demand from manufacturing companies in all sectors, the North American robotics industry is off to its fastest
04/10/14 — The Boeing Co. plans to deploy robotic assembly technology on the 777X that will dramatically change the way the plane’s metal hull is built, documents submitted to the city of Everett indicate. The automation technology, replacing a crane and a giant cylindrical fixture now used to turn the half-built fuselage…
08/28/14 — Robots will soon be teaching basic math and other subjects at a private school in Abu Dhabi. Merryland International School in Mussafah has launched what it claims is the first robotic lab in a UAE school, with more than 30 cutting edge robots including humanoids with built-in intelligence. Humanoid AISOY…
08/06/14 — The robots are coming, even for the boss’s job. Up until now, robots and other smart machines have been used to replace blue-collar workers. But a new study by The Pew Research Center and Elon University, released Wednesday, says that while artificial intelligence will continue to replace jobs in factories…

WeChat dives into wearables to start ‘connecting everything’

 By Francis BeaJuly 18, 2014
Several health-and-fitness trackers have gone on sale in China, revealing that messaging-app maker’s efforts to become a software platform for wearables and eventually “everything.”
09/25/14 — Cutting Dynamics, one of the leading manufacturers of sub-assemblies and components for the aerospace industry, has installed Rethink Robotics’ Baxter robot as a critical part of its thermal deburring line in its Avon, Ohio plant.The company, widely recognized for its innovation in laser-cutting hydro-forming and thermoplastics fabrication has now joined…
09/04/14 — Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics mean that machines will soon be able to do many of the tasks of today’s workers. And not just blue collar jobs in areas such as manufacturing, but even in such white collar occupations as lawyers, doctors and – gulp – journalists.A new viral…
09/11/14 — America’s top business leaders admit that they would rather hire robots then employ humans.A recent survey of Harvard Business School alumni found that 46 percent would rather have robots perform their company’s labor then hire people to do the same work. Another 49 percent said their business would rather outsource…

Robohub Digest September 2014: Robo-vacuums, regulation, IROS and more

 

Robohub Digest August 2014: Drone deliveries, record robot sales, job fears, butlers and more

 

Robohub Digest July 2014: Social robots, autonomous cars, STEM education and more

 

Robohub Digest June 2014: Robots at the World Cup, machine ethics and more

 

Robohub Digest May 2014

 

Robohub Digest April 2014

 
 

TERROR, MILITARY, POLICING, SURVEILLANCE

America’s dominance in military robotics is starting to crumble

Posted on 05/17/14 by Frank Tobe
Foreign Policy Magazine’s recent examination of “The Looming Robotics Gap” by University of Pennsylvania International Relations Associate Professor Michael C Horowitz, and recent Pentagon insider on national security issues, is an up-to-date review of the world-wide state of military robotics.

Underwater robot for port security

MIT News-Sep 25, 2014
Last week, at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a …

A Military-Grade Drone That Can Be Printed Anywhere

By Jordan Golson Tuesday, September 16
We have 3-D printed keys, guns and shoes—now a research team at the University of Virginia has created a 3D printed UAV drone for the Department of Defense. In the works for three years, the aircraft, no bigger than a remote-controlled plane, can carry a 1.5-pound payload. If it crashes or needs a design tweak […]
09/11/14 — The latest in robotic design is leading to ‘new creatures’ that can move without constraint, withstand harsh temperature changes, ambulate over a variety of surfaces and even ‘limbo’. The newest model has recently been let off the leash.The latest ‘soft’ robot from Professor George M. Whitesides Research Group at Harvard…
04/03/14 — The ability to link human brains to machines, create new life forms and build Star Trek-style disease detectors will be the focus of a new Defense Department office soon. The new office, named the Biological Technology Office, or BTO, will serve as a clearinghouse for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or…
04/04/14 — A military unmanned aerial vehicle crashed outside a Lebanon County school and a hotel this afternoon. Fort Indiantown Gap spokesman Maj. Ed Shank said the UAV was involved in training operations when it experienced an uncontrolled hard landing on Fischer Avenue in Union Township. The drone came down between Lickdale…
06/05/14 — Bloomberg BusinesWeek is reporting that a robot inside Unit 1 of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has discovered the source of water leaks delaying decommissioning work. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) says a robot designed by Hitachi-GE Nuclear energy “for the first time took clear pictures showing water drips from…
06/25/14 — Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon Station (RWS) – billed as the “first-of-its-kind” concealed weapon system for helicopters – See more at: http://www.popularmechanics.co.za/blogs/hidden-firepower-helicopters/#sthash.aVBB1byF.dpuf Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems has developed a concealed Robotic Weapon System (RWS) for helicopters that allows utility helicopters to fly into hostile territory without an armed escort.…
07/03/14 — G4S, the world’s largest provider of security officers, has a new autonomous robot called Bob that is now patrolling its offices in England. Bob is there to monitor the environment, make suren doors are properly closed and gather other information. Bob is completely autonomous, stands 5 feet 10 inches tall…
07/31/14 — The Israeli Defense Forces have introduced new robot technology to help aid in excavating Hamas’ vast tunnel network and a mobile radar system designed to warn against short-range mortar shelling. Defense News featured the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, developed by Roboteam, a Tel Aviv-based start-up that beat more established U.S.…
08/14/14 — Waterloo-based robotic vehicle manufacturer Clearpath Robotics is the first robotics company to sign on with the Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, “an international coalition of non-governmental organisations working to ban fully autonomous weapons.”The aptly-named Campaign To Stop Killer Robots seeks legislation and regulation that would block people from having access…
08/28/14 — Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which came up under the public private partner model, has ushered in a new initiative for maintaining airport safety by employing robotics technology.   CIAL is all set to implement a high-end robotic security system with Canadian-built robotic equipment at an estimated Rs 12 crore.…
09/11/14 — Finding and neutralizing landmines is a tedious but very dangerous job, so the Army is planning to turn it over to robots. The service’s Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., has awarded a nearly $23 million contract to Carnegie Robotics for an Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS) being developed to…
09/18/14 — Soldiers are used to being weighed down by what they wear, especially when it can add up to 100 pounds or so. But researchers are working on wearable gear that could actually do the opposite, reducing fatigue and the risk of injury when carrying heavy loads. The Defense Advanced Research…
 
 

INDUSTRY AND MANUFACTURING

07/14/14 — Folks eagerly awaiting the availability of the iPhone 6 in Sept. 2014 might not spend much time thinking about who made it and how. But for those of us interested in more than snapping selfies, robots will be making the iPhone 6 a reality. The Fiscal Times reports that “Foxconn parent…

Video: Foxconn, Pegatron Install More Robotic Arms in China Factories

Apple’s suppliers are depending more on robots to assemble gadgets. The Wall Street Journal’s Eva Dou tours a factory and tells Yun-Hee Kim why this is happening.
 
06/12/14 — Researchers at University West in Trollhättan have developed a new robotic welding technique that can reduce the weight of cars, reports Phys.org. And it has to do with incorporating the battery into the vehicle chassis. Here’s how it works, writes Phys.org: Researchers at University West in Trollhättan have now invented…
POSTED: 09/03/2014
KUKA Aerospace is locating its first US facility outside of Michigan in Everett, WA.
POSTED: 09/09/2014
Innovative human-friendly dual arm robot with breakthrough functionality unlocks vast global additional automation potential in industry.

Robots Work Their Way Into Small Factories

New, relatively inexpensive collaborative robots—designed to work alongside people in close settings—are changing how some smaller U.S. manufacturers do their jobs.

French group Renault to increase automation of its Romanian Dacia

Romania-Insider.com-Sep 28, 2014
“If we will continue to increase salaries every year like we have done so far then we will also increase the automation of the plant, which is currently at 10% and …

U.S. Manufacturing: Will It See a Revival?

The Experts weigh in on how new energy realities and technological developments seem to be reshaping this sector.

U.S. Manufacturing Is Rolling on Aged Wheels

Even as economic indicators rise, domestic capital spending has remained anemic by historical standards and the nation’s capital equipment base is getting long in the tooth.
05/01/14 — Most industrial robots are far less friendly than the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, which is safe enough to be a surprisingly popular means of feline transportation. Industrial robots often sit behind metal fences, their mechanical arms a blur of terrific speed and precision; to prevent serious injury to humans (or…

India’s Drug Makers Move Toward Automation

India’s drug makers have blossomed into multibillion-dollar companies and have come under increased scrutiny in the U.S. for manufacturing and testing. As a result, some companies are spending millions to automate.
 
 
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODOUCTION
 
04/23/14 — Lenders are expecting a rise in demand for robotic milking systems, but urge farmers to look on them as part of a long-term business plan and future herd expansion rather than just replacing a parlour. Dawn Ferris, senior agricultural manager with financiers Lombard, said the company was looking “very positively”…
 
08/14/14 — FANUC Robotics has assisted a snacks manufacturer in increasing its output of packed crisp boxes with the installation of six M-410 robotic palletising systems. Palletising over 5,000 boxes of crisps per hour the robots have been integrated into all of the six packing lines within the company’s factory enabling them…
 

Automation Of Global Agriculture Will Yield Significant Growth

Seeking Alpha (registration)-Sep 26, 2014
Technology and automation have powered efficiencies in the agricultural … in the agricultural sector is enormous with increased automation, and not just in …
 

What you need to know about the robots that feed humanity

Engadget-Sep 22, 2014
But more and more farmers in the country are also turning to agricultural robots, as laborers start dwindling in number and demands for crops and produce …
 

Will agricultural robots arrive in time to keep fruit and vegetable costs down?

77% of all agricultural workers in the U.S. are foreign born and about half of those are undocumented (1). These low-wage workers have helped keep American food prices reasonable – especially for growing, harvesting and processing fruits and vegetables.
 

Data-Driven Food Processing Extends to the Farm

Automation World-Sep 19, 2014
But I bet you didn’t know that automation also is infiltrating food growing counterparts around the world—commercial farms, orchards, hatcheries, and the like.
 
 

SERVICE SECTOR

Coming Soon to the Library: Humanoid Robots

They can recognize faces, speak in 19 languages, even do tai chi. One Connecticut library will be using these toddler-sized robots to teach patrons coding and programming skills.
08/14/14 — I saw the future of work in a San Francisco garage two years ago. Or rather, I was in proximity to the future of work, but happened to be looking the other direction. At the time, I was visiting a space startup building satellites behind a carport. But just behind…
08/21/14 — It’s more teatime than Terminator — a restaurant in China is electrifying customers by using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food. Mechanical staff greet customers, deliver dishes to tables and even stir-fry meat and vegetables at the eatery in Kunshan, which opened last week. “My daughter…

Nao Humanoid Robot Learns to Drive Mini BMW Z4

09/11/14 — Aldebaran Robotics’ RobotsLAB, maker and seller of the small humanoid robot, Nao, has built a miniature version of the BMW Z4 for the Nao robot to drive around – and it’s for sale to consumers already.The Nao robot has made a splash in the educational community – it comes with…

Panasonic Robot Bed/Wheelchair Earns Global Safety Certification

04/16/14 — There’s a lot of talk about Japan’s rapidly aging society, and how it is expected to literally place a heavy burden on the island nation’s caregivers. Among the many projected problems is a smaller pool of health care workers amidst a growing tide of elderly who require around-the-clock care. With…

Startup Avidbots Targets Robotic Cleaning of Commercial Areas

05/01/14 — Vacuuming is one of the few markets where robots have proven that they can be consistently commercially successful. There’s a good reason for this: vacuuming is a repetitive, time-intensive task that has to be performed over and over again in environments that are relatively constrained. Despite the success of several…

Robot Valet Parking Cars at German Airport

06/24/14 — Running late for a flight and don’t have time to park your car? If you’re flying out of Dusseldorf airport in Germany, you’re in luck. A robot valet named Ray has started parking cars at the airport and can be booked with a smartphone. The best part? Ray doesn’t even…

Musk Promises 90% Autopilot for Teslas in 2015, Doesn’t Say How

A Tesla may be technically capable of autonomous driving by 2015, but will it be ready for consumers?

New UK Hospital Enlists AGVs to Deliver Meals to Patients

09/04/14 — Southmead Hospital, a new £430million hospital in England, has deployed a fleet of 12 automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) to deliver meals to its 950 patients. The droids, which start work at 10.15 every morning, are capable of opening doors, operating lifts and picking up food without any human assistance. They…

08/14/14 — When Sunnyvale, Calif.-based robotics startup Savioke announced a $2 million seed round of funding in April 2014, the company said it would use the money to develop and build its first autonomous robot for the services industry. However, no further details about the robot were shared. Until now, as The…
09/11/14 — There’s a new bartender set to sail on Royal Caribbean’s next-generation cruise ship – a robotic bartender, to be precise. The Makr Shakr, created by designers at MIT Senseable City Lab, may not indulge stories of your latest break-up or offer philosophical advice as it slides your Moscow Mule across…
10/09/14 — Like a real life “Dalek,” Dr. Who’s robotic nemesis in the British science fiction show, a Texas company’s robot is ready to “exterminate.” Only this robot, “Little Moe,” is trying to exterminate viruses, including perhaps the Ebola virus. “Little Moe” is manufactured by a Texas company called Xenex. The company told CBS News that its disinfection robots are in use in 250 American hospitals, including Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is being treated and is in critical condition. The company would not confirm whether their robot was being used in that part of the hospital.…
06/26/14 — Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro has been creating humanoid robots for years, and his latest creations might be the most humanlike. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan has added humanoid robots to its staff to show visitors around the science museum in Tokyo. Otonaroid is working…

VertiKUL UAV Explores Practicalities of Delivery Drones

Autonomous landings, cargo management, and range: this drone is trying to do it all

SaviOne: Savioke Unveils Its Delivery Robot

This robot will deliver whatever you need to your hotel room while emitting adorable R2-D2 beeps

“Service Robots – Flexible Helpers in Professional Use”, A Film by EUnited Robotics, June 2014
“Service Robots – Flexible Helpers in Professional Use” is an exhilarating film by EUnited Robotics, that is technologically inspired and a must…

Secret Service urgently seeks sarcasm-detecting software

 By Chris MatyszczykJune 3, 2014
In a work order posted online, the service is looking for software that synthesizes social-media data and weeds out false positives and sarcasm. Oh, and it has to be IE8 compatible.

  City eyes robot mower for dangerous work

Mansfield News Journal-Sep 19, 2014
Theaker and several city employees took turns operating a robot lawnmower that city officials are considering for purchase from Century Equipment, a company …

Google+ Stories thinks it can top your vacation slideshow

 By Seth RosenblattMay 20, 2014
Google+ expands automation with the new Stories and Movies features, which create digital travelogues of your vacation.

Google’s Nest Thermostat talks to your car, washing machine

 By Bridget CareyJune 24, 2014
Nest Labs opens its platform so the smart thermostat and smoke detector can communicate with other appliances and apps. And Intel shows off a walking, talking 3D-printed robot anyone can build and program.

Sense’s Mother hub wants to control your day-to-day

 By Megan WollertonSeptember 29, 2014
Creepy marketing aside, the $299 Mother home automation kit by Sense is a really solid smart home option.

In 2025, our lovers will be robots

Chris MatyszczykAugust 15, 2014
A new Pew Report examines the world in the near future. It’ll be one in which robots aren’t confined to machine-like tasks.

Japanese comedian robot is the other kind of funny

 By Michelle Starr June 16, 2014
Can humour be broken down into a series of programmable commands? The Kobian robot helps researchers find out.
05/01/14 — Robots can capture a child’s imagination like no other tool by creating a fun, physical learning process. With robots, kids learn programming via interactive play by moving a robot in various sequences and using intuitive, visual programming on a computer screen. The children also learn STEM (science, technology, engineering and…

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

09/25/14 — Eugene Izhikevich thinks you shouldn’t have to write code in order to teach robots new tricks. “It should be more like training a dog,” he says.  “Instead of programming, you show it consistent examples of desired behavior.”Izhikevich’s startup, Brain Corporation, based in San Diego, has developed an operating system for…
POSTED: 09/17/2014
Technology is the result of a collaborative effort by the airplane maker and the KUKA Systems Aerospace Group.
 

PACKING, SHIPPING AND TRANSPORTATION

Global Supply Chain News: Automation Emerging as Key Issue in

Supply Chain Digest-Sep 25, 2014
With the International Longshore and Warehouse Union now is working without a contract at West Coast ports for coming up on three months, new insight into …

  Port labor talks turn on effects of automation

The Columbian-Sep 20, 2014
The two sides are discussing how to retrain and preserve jobs for dockworkers as automation reduces the number of positions at one Los Angeles terminal by …
August 6, 2014

Rail industry reviews prospects for automated trains

…It would be the first time that such automation was used on the railways, where trains…the London Underground, where partial automation is in use on the Central, Jubilee and Victoria…Thameslink franchise next month as Govia. Automation would allow more trains to run, and…By Jane Wild

DHL UAS Parcel Delivery Gets First Test

DHL launches first authorized autonomous delivery flights by “parcelcopter” to and from the North Sea island of Juist, 7.5 miles off the coast of Northern Germany.

Self-Driving Cars Face Serious Roadblocks, Experts Say

The technical and safety challenges are tremendous, says panel of researchers

Smart Cars Would Save 420 Million Barrels of Oil Over 10 Years

Giving vehicles in the United States the ability to communicate would save more than lives

Google Wants Option to Test Autonomous Motorcycles and Trucks in California

Google isn’t testing self-driving motorcycles, but is there a reason that it shouldn’t be able to?

Mercedes Shows Off Self-Driving “Future Truck 2025″

Even 11 years from now, though, the company expects human drivers to still be “in the loop”
 
07/24/14 — The use of material-handling robots has increasingly become a solution to raise productivity and manufacturing versatility, while enhancing worker safety as they historically have. Material handling is a natural extension of robotics and an area where the technology has already been predominant for many years, but robots are finding new…
 

A Radical But Possible Plan to Connect African Nations With Cargo Drones

By J.M. Ledgard | Monday September 22, 2014
Let me detail here what I mean by cargo drones and why I think hoisting time-dependent goods into the sky and moving them about with a flying robot is, like the mobile phone before it, a good idea in Africa—and beyond.
 

Military Grade Drone That Can Be Printed Anywhere

By Jordan Golson | Tuesday September 16, 2014
We have 3-D printed keys, guns and shoes—now a research team at the University of Virginia has created a 3D printed UAV drone for the Department of Defense. In the works for three years, the aircraft, no bigger than a remote-controlled plane, can carry a 1.5-pound payload. If it crashes or needs a design tweak […]
 
 

JOB DISPLACEMENT DEBATE

7/03/14 — If you’re worried robots are going to steal your job in the near future and take over the world, you’re not going to like what a few professors recently said at the Financial Times Camp Alphaville event. Professors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oxford University and Sussex University agree…
 
08/28/14 — In a recent study from MIT labor economist David Autor, he pointed out that most of us are safe from having our jobs stolen away by robots, due to the fundamental way humans are ‘creative’ and have ‘common sense’. With a job that depends heavily on computer models already, it might…

Finally somebody debunks the Pew Research Center’s “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs” report

Kudos to Erik Sofge, Boston-based reporter for Popular Science Magazine. His recent story, “Sex Bots, Robo-Maids, and other Sci-Fi Myths of the Coming Robot Economy,” cleverly pokes holes where they’re most needed.
  June 3, 2014

Robot makers warned over fears that automation will ‘steal jobs’

…vice-president of the European Commission, that they must do more to reassure the public over concerns that a new wave of automation could take away their jobs. Launching a €700m round of EU funding for robotics research, which will be supplemented by…By Chris Bryant in Frankfurt
Aug 16, 2014 Engineer no.1 Aug 18th 2014 4:50 GMT. How can you not include automation as one of the primary causes of structural unemployment?
Mar 8th 2011, 5:46 from Democracy in America
Union power will not suffice to maintain broadly shared prosperity in the face of increasing automation

The rise of the robots

AzerNews-Sep 30, 2014
For decades, people have been predicting how the rise of advanced computing and robotic technologies will affect our lives. On one side, there are warnings …
September 25, 2014

Robots are our saviours, not the enemy

…though most PayPal customers would never even hear about it, thinking of us simply as a software company. Fas cinated by automation, most people still overlook the role that humans play in running software that would be worthless on its own. Spiralling…By Peter Thiel

Automation has made certain professions an endangered species

Financial Director-Sep 24, 2014
The list of skilled jobs and professions that have been automated, drastically reduced, or redistributed out of existence is endless and appears to be growing fast.

Automation likely to impact jobs in future’

The Hindu-Sep 15, 2014
In the coming years, there would be a lot of automation in the industry worldwide and this could cast an impact on the jobs. India is not immune to this situation …
 
  June 23, 2014

Robots will not eat the jobs but will unleash our creativity

…increase in living standards. One consequence of a growing robot workforce is that products become less expensive. Indeed…intelligence can replace What is often forgotten in all this robot fear-mongering is that the technology revolution has put the…By Marc Andreessen
 
 

GOVERNMENT, POLITICS, POLICY AND LAW

04/16/14 — Mention Daleks and a ruthless race of extraterrestrial robots intent on universal domination spring to mind.But ‘The Dalek’ is also the nickname of a £200,000 machine that is exterminating potholes 30 times as fast as the conventional method of repair.The machine is capable of filling in the craters in just…

Governmental Funding of Strategic Robotic Projects

Many governments have determined that robotics will play a significant role in contributing to their economy and have set up projects to fund bottlenecks to speed up the process.

BUSINESS OF AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS

4 reports predict steady growth for robotics

Four recent research reports covering service robots, vision guided robotics, material handling robots, and robot component speed reducers, all predict steady growth, particularly in China.

Robot Wars: Why China Is Outmanned in Electronics Automation

Chinese electronics makers face pressure to automate as labor costs rise but are challenged by the low margins, precise work and short product life of the phones and other gadgets that the country produces.

  Robots Cannot Solve Japan’s Big Problem

Forbes-Sep 21, 2014
Robots like SoftBank’s latest humanoid Pepper, showcased over the weekend in Tokyo, can perform many tasks. They can dance, sketch portraits, and control …

Japan holds first “robotics revolution” council meeting

Colin Lewis  –   October 16, 2014
This fall the Japanese government held its first meeting of a new panel focused on its goal of a “robotics revolution,” a key item in the government’s economic growth strategy adopted in June. The panel is tasked with promoting measures to increase the use of robots and related technologies in various fields, extending out of the manufacturing sector and into hotel, distribution, medical and elderly nursing-care services. According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who instigated the robot panel, determining the appropriate use of robots will be a key to solving these problems.
  June 15, 2014

Japan’s robot makers under threat

…national robotics industry. But Japan’s robot makers are facing new and difficult challenges…countries catch up and hardware – the robot “bodies” that Japanese groups have proven…group, Aldebaran, to supply a humanoid robot that is designed to recognise and respond…By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo

Microsoft gets into the home automation game with Insteon partnership

 By Ry CristMay 15, 2014
With exclusive features coming to Windows devices this June, the tech giant is officially getting into the home automation game.
 

CES 2014: Wearables, connected appliances, automated cars, and curved TVs

 By CNET staffJanuary 10, 2014
This year’s International CES in Las Vegas once again showcased the latest and greatest in tech. Here’s what it all means.
 
 

RESEARCH AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS

08/06/14 — Sleek yellow gliders will soon cruise the waters off Nova Scotia in a high-tech bid to track down one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals and possibly provide clues to an ecological mystery. Canadian and American scientists are getting ready to deploy autonomous underwater vehicles around the Scotian shelf…
09/18/14 — Researchers at MIT have built a robotic “cheetah” which may not be quite as fast as its feline counterpart but does have the ability to run and jump across a grass field without a tether. The four-legged robot, which can sprint at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour…

Robots: How Will They Be Employed in the Future?

Automation and digitization are transforming the workplace. The Experts predict future avenues for the employment of machines with artificial intelligence.
September 29, 2014

The future of the City of London

…European and Asian markets.” This will play into the development and further automation of processes, says Rolet: “The next 30 years will be about the automation of financial information disclosure as well as the primary capital-raising process…By Harriet Agnew
  June 5, 2014

Dawn of a robot revolution as army of machines escape the factory

…coming to your workplace soon. At the Automatica robot and automation fair in Munich this week the organisers devoted a whole section…the Fraunhofer Institute for manufacturing, engineering and automation demonstrated a Care-O-Bot that sweeps office floors and…By Chris Bryant in Frankfurt
  June 29, 2014

US economy: The productivity puzzle

…days, and think, is that person going to be replaced by a robot in the next 20 years? Prof Gordon is also dismissive of the…days, and think, is that person going to be replaced by a robot in the next 20 years?” One curious aspect of both professors…By Robin Harding

Don’t Shoot

Don’t Shoot

by Lew Rosenbaum

1999

Amadou Diallo

23 years old

Guinean immigrant in the Bronx,

New York.

His name rolls off the tongue

Like waves rising from the port of Conakry

To crash at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.

Shot 41 times

By four white police officers.

 

2011

Kelly Thomas

Thirty-seven years old

Homeless, Anglo, schizophrenic man.

Citrus-scented hallucinations

Taunt his fevered

Fullerton, California, street dreams.

Beaten to death by the police.

 

2014

Michael Brown

19 years old

African American bound for college,

Hope gripped tight,

A future denied.

Shot 6 times

In Ferguson,Missouri.

 

Come: See the blood

Running in the streets of my country.

 

Does it matter

If it’s 41 shots

Or only 6 –

Or (merely) beaten to death?

 

Amadou Diallo’s killers

Were judged not guilty.

Kelly Thomas: verdict not guilty.

How will Michael Brown’s killers be judged?

 

Come see the blood,

Blood that torrents down the streets

Of my poor country.

 

Michael Brown, his student life opening before him;

Kelly Thomas, living in the trap of his delusions;

They achieved the equality of the bullet and night-stick,

Both shed blood to wash the streets of their cities.

 

Amadou’s mother cried out, sobbing:

She had “the talk” with her son.

Surely Michael’s mother had

“the talk.”

Even before Trayvon Martin

I had “the talk” with my grandson.

Today I shiver as his

Brown-skinned hands brandish his toy rifle.

 

Come see, how the blood

Floods the streets of my rich country.

 

These, our words, are

Our weapons.

Our weapons draw all the poor together

In what is a tapestry of common purpose,

That join us in a vision of a country

Where no one wants for a place to stay

For food to eat

For songs to sing

 

Where the conjoined blood

That today separately runs rivulets in the streets

Will bind us together

To return laughter to our throats

Peace to our hearts

Justice to our hands.

 

 

 

Plant Seeds Now/This Will Be A Lean Winter

Plant Seeds Now/This Will Be A Lean Winter

by Lew Rosenbaum20140221_172544_resized

Early November and

Thick-furred, fat, gray squirrels

Scamper collecting fallen berries

And seeds and detritus of donuts and doritos.

This will be a lean winter.

The burly, balding, square-jawed janitor

Stops me, his steel-gray eyes soften

As the afternoon light fades.

He cradles in his callused palm

A shivering warbler, orange breast heaving,

He’d found it lying on the cold cement walk,

Picked it up, warmed it back to life,

Now opens his fingers,

Sets it free to fly South.

It will be a cold, lean winter.

In Berrien County, Michigan,

The court found Reverend Edward Pinkney

Guilty of five vote-fraud felonies

For exercising his democratic rights.

He may get life,

Though there is no evidence

He forged anything.

It will be a lean, cruel winter.

Diana points to the marigolds,

Lemon, ochre, deep orange, bountiful

As they catch the dusting of snow flurries,

Hastily going to seed

Before winter’s onslaught.

She reminds me that

Seeds settling in fertile soil in dark times

Bloom gloriously

After the lean, lethal winter,

In the revolution of the Spring.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers