Your October robot update

According to the International Federation of Robotics, in February 2018, the average global robot density was 74 robot units per 10,000 employees, up from 66 in 2015. As well as increasing in popularity, robots are also performing more complex and surprising tasks, such as giving evidence in Parliament. To keep you in the loop, I have reviewed three interesting robot updates from October so far.

By Leah Elston-Thompson, senior account executive at Stone Junction


Last week, the news broke that Pepper the robot will be giving evidence in Parliament, marking the first use of a non-human witness. The Commons Education Select Committee has invited Pepper to answer questions about artificial intelligence (AI) in the labour market.

A robot witness

Pepper was designed to help care for the elderly and has worked in an educational role with students at Middlesex University, including a project where it teaches primary school children. It is now being used to provide evidence at a hearing on AI, Industry 4.0 and robotics.

This is widely regarded to be a stunt, as Pepper will deliver pre-recorded answers rather than formulate them on the spot. However, it remains an interesting way to demonstrate the capabilities of AI technology and the work the University of Middlesex is doing.

Parkour

Boston Dynamics has released a video of its humanoid robot Atlas performing a type of exercise known as parkour. The robot can run, jump and even backflip, being described as the world’s most dynamic humanoid. The video reached a million views on YouTube in a matter of hours. The tech firm has suggested that the robot could join search and rescue operations in the future.

Working like a dog

It’s been a busy week for Boston Dynamics. In October, the firm released a new video of SpotMini, its robot dog.  In the clip, the robot dog climbs stairs, surveys a construction site and freely moves around the facility.  The robot will be commercially released to work on construction sites and the firm expects to build about 100 robots from 2019.

If you want to see something a little more dystopian, try this video of a robot snake climbing a ladder. It’s a little terrifying — don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you want advice on technical PR for your latest automation project, or simply want a natter about robots, give me a call on 01785 225416 or e-mail me at leah@stonejunction.co.uk. 

Alison Gardner

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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