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Drones Are Becoming the Oil Industry's Guardian Angels

As petroleum has become harder to find, it's become increasingly costly and dangerous to extract. Could aerial data-collection bots create a new boom in fossil fuels?
Oil and gas exploration has always moved at the speed of the equipment—glacially. Productive job sites quickly get clogged with fleets of massive trucks, cranes, and rotary diggers, forcing site planners to observe the area by helicopter just to direct traffic.

Facebook Built a Giant Internet Drone

Facebook just built a gigantic solar-powered drone that will stay in the stratosphere for months at a time, beaming broadband Internet to rural and hard-to-reach areas.
The drone, called Aquila, is the baby of Facebook's (FB, Tech30) year-old Connectivity Lab. The lab has been developing new technology as part of the social network's mission to "connect everybody in the world."

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers

Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. They might include, for example, armed quadcopters that can search for and eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria, but do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones for which humans make all targeting decisions.

NASA's robot R2 needs your help getting a handle on things in space.

One version of R2, officially known as Robonaut 2, is already on the International Space Station while several others are in development.
NASA has tasked R2 to be an astronaut's assistant on the space station. Some of the tasks require it to use specific tools, and NASA is asking the crowdsourcing platform Freelancer.com to build 3D models to help Robonaut use those tools.
"This is our first-ever collaboration with NASA," said Nik Badminton, Freelancer.com's regional director for North America.

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LATEST DISCUSSIONS

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.