Today at the FIRST® Championship, LEGO® Education and FIRST unveiled two new, exclusive LEGO sets created specifically for the 2019-2020 FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. and FIRST® LEGO® League season. LEGO Education also announced today that its newly released LEGO Education SPIKE™ Prime with the new SPIKE™ Prime Competition Expansion Set can be used along with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 in FIRST LEGO League.
Robots are key tools for boosting productivity and living standards. To date, most robot adoption has occurred in manufacturing, where robots are designed to perform a wide variety of manual tasks more efficiently and consistently than humans. But with continued innovation, robot use is spreading to many other sectors, from agriculture to logistics and hospitality.
The plan is to roll out 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners, called the "Auto-C," 300 additional shelf scanners dubbed the "Auto-S.” In addition, 1,200 more FAST Unloaders will automatically scan and sort items from trucks, and 900 more pickup towers are expected to retrieve customers’ online orders. It means that shoppers might soon encounter robots gliding up and down the retailer’s aisles, scanning for inventory, maneuvering around shelves, and scrubbing the store's expansive floor space.
As a former computer engineer with a background in applied math, I’m a firm proponent of STEM education. As a math teacher with 14 years of experience facilitating robotics clubs for students, I’m also an ardent supporter of programming and robotics as a vehicle for STEM ed, so when I had the opportunity to build a K–5 robotics class from the lab up, I leapt at the opportunity.
A new robotic gripper is a strong “hand” with a soft touch. The bell-shaped gripper has a silicone rubber skeleton with an intricate origami design, wrapped in an airtight, latex rubber skin. When a vacuum sucks air out of the gripper, the skin constricts, forcing the origami skeleton to collapse into a narrow funnel. The bunched-up gripper’s rigged interior and rough latex skin help it keep ahold of objects.
If there’s one thing we learned from the commercials that aired during this year’s Super Bowl, it’s that we humans are definitely not worried about robots or artificial intelligence at this juncture in history. Not at all. In fact, we find them funny. Ha-ha! See? We’re laughing confidently, as humans do when confronted with a new trend or phenomenon that doesn’t at all threaten or otherwise discomfit us.
Fears that robots will eliminate your job are unfounded with a growing number of employers planning to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation, staffing company ManpowerGroup said in a survey published on Friday. The "Humans Wanted: Robots Need You" report surveyed 19,000 employers in 44 countries and found 69 percent of firms were planning to maintain the size of their workforce while 18 percent wanted to hire more people as a result of automation. That was the highest result in three years.
Science fiction has promised us a whole lot of technology that it’s rudely failed to deliver--jetpacks, flying cars, teleportation. The most useful one might be the robot companion, à la Rosie from The Jetsons, a machine that watches over the home. It seemed like 2018 was going to be the year when robots made a big leap in that direction.
Robots are coming to a Walmart Inc. near you, and not just as a gimmick. The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup.
Robots improve productivity and boost competitiveness, but the United States and Western Europe trail southeast Asia and parts of Eastern Europe in robot adoption, when controlling for wage levels. ITIF examined 27 nations and found the United States ranks 16th, with South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, China, and Taiwan ranking as the top five. To restore U.S. competitiveness, America needs policies that will accelerate robot adoption.