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Will robots steal our jobs? There seems to be mounting fear that the human labor force will face pressure from robotic automation, though a new report from Deloitte indicates job creation among the creative, care, tech and business service sectors make up for jobs lost in agriculture and manufacturing.
"It's been very easy to identify where jobs have been destroyed," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, in a statement to CNBC. "Job losses generally are very conspicuous, whether it's a middle manager replaced by software, or checkout staff displaced by auto terminals, whereas job gains [are] harder to identify."
Machines help drive down production costs, and consumers are more willing to spend on new consumer goods and services. Researchers point to increasing sales for things like short holidays, morning cups of coffee at a local café, and other luxuries consumers may not be able to splurge on.
Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industry accepted a giant robot battle challenge from MegaBots, and now the team wants a bit of your help. The US robot will need some significant upgrades to make it suitable for hand-to-hand robot combat, which is a condition the Japanese company requested.
The US team created a Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $200,000 of an expected $500,000 goal - supported by 2,900 backers with 29 days remaining. The Mk. II needs heavy duty armor plating, additional firepower, updated hydraulics, and better motor to reach a higher maximum speed.
In addition to public support, the company has received backing from NASA, which is sharing some of its technology with a specific purpose:
IDF 2015 - As we were walking through the halls of the Intel Developer Forum, we thought that Skynet had been born and that Intel was its creator.
The chipmaker had some awesome robotic spiders crawling around, with one looking like the spider mothership, while its smaller creations of sheer horror are under its command. Something to break up the pace of the super serious topics of IDF 2015.
Boston Dynamics recently demonstrated its Atlas humanoid robot going for a walk outside, testing how it handles a dynamic environment outside of the lab.
"We're interested in getting this robot out in the world. All kind of stuff happens out there. You can't predict what it's going to be like," said Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, in a statement during the Fab Lab robotics panel.
The Atlas humanoid robot has been designed so it can navigate rough terrain, using bipedal motion, though it can also use its hands and feet to move around. Atlas features stereo cameras and a laser range finder in its head, and supports 28 hydraulically-actuated degrees of freedom, with fully functioning hands, arms, legs, feet and torso.
The current human population on Earth is 7.3 billion today, and will rise to 9.7 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion by the year 2100, according to the United Nations (UN) Population Division.
Africa is expected to see another surge in population figures, with a current population of 1.2 billion up to 5.6 billion. Asia, which has 4.4 billion and is the most populous continent, is estimated to peak at 5.3 billion by 2050, and then decline back down to 4.9 billion by 2100.
Here in the United States, where the population is around 322 million, we're going to add 1.5 million people per year until we reach 450 million by 2100.
3D printers can do weird, wacky and amazing things, but 3D-printed drugs? The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to be 3D-printed, Aprecia's epilepsy-fighting Spritam.
Spritam will use a porous, 3D-printed formula that will give an even stronger dose of up to 1000mg, while maintaining a smaller size making it easier to swallow. The 3D-printed drug won't be available until the first quarter of 2016, and you'll need a prescription to get your hands on the next-gen pills.
If Aprecia's first run is successful, we could see a new wave of drugs using 3D printers, easier for patients to swallow.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and seeing a team of robots making your meal for you... sure, some people don't like the idea of machines doing this type of work, but it is the future. Technology runs so much of our lives, from the smartphone in your hand to the cloud it connects to, right up into space to satellites and everything in between.
But now we're looking at a group of experts based in the UK who are working on the first "robotic kitchen" which can be installed into any home. The scientists behind the project have made a machine that is capable of emulating human chefs in the kitchen while packing access to an unlimited library of programmed recipes.
They plan to have the robotic kitchen ready by 2018, for just $75,000 with the costs coming down "substantially" if the unit sells well. But the sheer tease of this is exciting, as custom home builders could start including a robotic kitchen in their designs in the next decade. Imagine walking through a new home that you're planning to buy, and it featuring a robotic kitchen making world-class meals, without you having to lift a finger from food preparation, cooking, and cleaning.
A hitchhiking robot managed to survive several major trips, but researchers had to pull the plug after it was vandalized in Philadelphia. Just two weeks into its expected cross-country trip across America, after starting on July 17 in Massachusetts, the robot was damaged beyond repair. Researchers don't know who is responsible for damaging the robot, or why it happened.
For drivers courteous enough to pick up the robot, it was designed to provide informative factoids and enjoy "limited" conversations. hitchBOT has a GPS tracker installed and a built-in camera able to take photos every 20 minutes, so researchers can follow its progress.
"hitchBOT's trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots."
Patients with heart problems can now have a custom microchip installed, able to give them advance notice of potential heart problems. Once inserted into the pulmonary artery, the CardioMEMS system is able to track heart function - and upload data to healthcare supervisors.
"You have more faith and trust. People are looking at, watching me and I feel safer," said Reg Youngman, one of the first people to have the microchip installed, in a statement published by Euronews. "Because in the past I never knew quite when something was going to hit me badly and when it did, it was usually, it had gone too far and hit me really badly."
The CardioMEMS HF System is the first implantable device supporting remote functionality, so health care professionals are able to remotely monitor the condition of their patients. Heart failure is one of the more common reasons people over the age 65 end up in the hospital, so closer evaluation of patients could help save lives.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has thought very carefully about robots and artificial intelligence, with lots of thoughts regarding emotions and compassion - especially towards humans.
"I'm sure that most people would rather have the warm-hearted person as a friend," Son said during the SoftBank World conference, as noted by Tech in Asia. "Someday robots will be more intelligent than human beings, and [such robots] must also be pure, nice, and compassionate toward people."
Trying to figure out how much human-like emotional functionality robots should have, however, is extremely difficult. There is growing concern that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humans, though robot supporters believe that can be controlled.