Google and Delphi Self-driving Cars’ Close Shave

Self-driving cars are a thing of the near future as we begin to see sign of fully autonomous vehicle appear within vehicles of today. We know the technology is there, but the question everyone ask is whether it’s safe enough. Would I put my life in the hands of a robot? Would a robot do the right thing when I need it to? Everyone has only one chance – when a vehicle crashes, it might be your last.

There are of course statistics that prove that autonomous vehicles are safer. There are statistics that prove otherwise. I personally have placed my life in the hands of a robot and I know where to stand when a robot comes my way. I would always stand in a way to move out of the way if I have to. The analogy is that lifts use to be semi-autonomous (human in the lift) and now they are fully autonomous. Just press the button and you will be sure you will get there.

Accidents and deaths have plagued transport of every kind in big ways because we need to travel. Either to work or to get food and for holidays. It’s a necessary aspect of life. Is the real solution online shopping? or VR? Should we just stop travelling all together. It’s a game of probability and the size of the sample. The percentage might be small but a small percentage of a large number is still huge.

What do you think? I would still put my live in the hands of an autonomous vehicle but there are users and educated users. My take is that we need to show responsibility and learn to use whatever technology we have today. To not use it is to say I would not cook food because fire is dangerous. Embrace the technology but before each trip, please watch the stewardess in the video explain safety features in the “plane”. Do not ignore here!

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Fetch Robotics Secures Investment from SoftBank

The Fetch Robotics’ system is comprised of a mobile base (calledFreight) and an advanced mobile manipulator (called Fetch). Fetchand Freight can also use a charging dock for autonomous continuous operations; allowing the robots to charge when needed and then continue on with their tasks. In addition, the system includes accompanying software to support the robots and integrate with the warehouse environment. Both robots are built upon the open source robot operating system, ROS.

The robots are designed to work autonomously alongside workers, performing repetitive tasks such as warehouse delivery, pick and pack, and more. Fetch and Freight used in tandem are capable of handling the vast majority of all items in a typical warehouse.

Fetch is an advanced mobile manipulator, including features such as:

  • Telescoping spine with variable height from 1.09 to 1.491 meters
  • Capacity to lift approximately 6 kgs.
  • 3D RGB Depth Sensor
  • Back-Drivable 7DOF Arm
  • Modular Gripper Interface
  • Head Expansion Mount Points
  • Pan-Tilt Head
  • Differential Drive
  • ROS-Enabled

Freight is a modular base, used separately or in conjunction with Fetch. Features include:

  • Base Expansion Mount Points
  • Payload support of approximately 68 kgs.
  • 2D Laser Scanner
  • Stereo Speaker
  • Computer Access Panel
  • Run-Stop
  • ROS-Enabled