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Hitchhiking robot will charm its way across Canada

A "hitchhiking, tweeting, and trivia-loving robot" named hitchBOT will soon embark on a coast-to-coast, 3871-mile trek across Canada. It was initially conceived by Dr. David Harris Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller as a collaborative art project. Armed with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, hitchBOT will be capable of accessing Wikipedia, interacting with social media, and both recognizing and processing speech. One thing it can't do is move: hitchBOT is largely incapable of independent motion, and must rely on charm to secure rides from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia.

Here’s Why Robots Could Humanize War

As the Pentagon expands its use of robots on the battlefield and its investments in developing robot technology, a movement to ban the use of autonomous robots on the battlefield is growing. Those who decry the use of robots argue that removing the human element from warfare would remove all moral judgment; robot soldiers would be unfeeling killing machines.
One researcher, however, believes just the opposite. He argues that robot soldiers would make warfare more ethical, not less.

2014 NRI PI Meeting

Please mark your calendars for the second National Robotics Initiative Principal Investigators (NRI PI) meeting on November 19-20, 2014. The event, which will be held in Arlington, Virginia at the the Westin Arlington Gateway hotel, will bring together the community of researchers, companies, and program managers who are actively engaged in the National Robotics Initiative, launched in 2011.

Google, Facebook and Amazon race to invest into robotics & AI.

"The amount of money that Google and other commercial companies will pour into robotics and artificial intelligence could at last take it truly into the commercial world where we actually do have smart robots roaming our streets," says Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield.

President Obama played soccer with a Japanese robot

TOKYO -- President Obama played soccer Thursday with a Japanese robot.  Obama's visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Mirikan, aimed to highlight both Japan's technological  prowess and the renewal of a 10-year scientific collaboration agreement between the two countries.

Robotic invasion coming to St. Louis from across the world

It’s the fourth year in a row that U.S. FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — has held its top competition here, drawing competitors from 38 countries.
The matches will be timed and intense. The crowds thick. The stands loud.Through it, thousands of students will demonstrate their knowledge of programming, and electrical and mechanical engineering.
For self-proclaimed geeks, it’s a little like March Madness.

New Datalink Toolkit ROS Package

The ARC Lab at WPI is releasing the Datalink Toolkit ROS package, designed to for remote operation of a robot over a high-latency and low-bandwidth datalink. The package was developed and extensively tested as part of the DARPA robotics challenge, though it is not specific to a type of robot.
The package allows the user to easily set up relays and compression methods for a single-master system.

Rise of the Robots: Special Report in The Economist

ROBOTS came into the world as a literary device whereby the writers and film-makers of the early 20th century could explore their hopes and fears about technology, as the era of the automobile, telephone and aeroplane picked up its reckless jazz-age speed. From Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Isaac Asimov’s “I, Robot” to “WALL-E” and the “Terminator” films, and in countless iterations in between, they have succeeded admirably in their task.



Dear Colleagues, we would like the new web site of Robotics VO to become an important place for exchange of ideas and information for the members of the robotics community in the USA.  We start this very first forum to hear your suggestions on the features and functions that our new web site should have.