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Automation


Latest significant advancements in automation. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements in automation on society and humanity.

This Robotic Warehouse Fills Orders in Five Minutes, and Fits in City Centers

Shopping is becoming less and less of a consumer experience—or, for many, less of a chore—as the list of things that can be bought online and delivered to our homes grows to include, well,...

No Safety Driver Here—Volvo’s New Driverless Truck Cuts the Cab

Each time there’s a headline about driverless trucking technology, another piece is taken out of the old equation. First, an Uber/Otto truck’s safety driver went hands-off once the truck reached the highway (and said...

China Is Building a Fleet of Autonomous AI-Powered Submarines. Here Are the Details

A fleet of autonomous, AI-powered submarines is headed into hotly-contested Asian waterways. The vehicles will belong to the Chinese armed forces, and their mission capabilities are likely to raise concerned eyebrows in surrounding countries. According...

In the Future, We’ll Know Everything—Thanks to This Tech

We’re rapidly approaching the era of abundant knowledge—a time when you can know anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want. An era of radical transparency. By 2020, it’s estimated we’ll have 50 billion...

Bot vs. Bot: Will the Internet Soon Be a Place Without Humans?

The internet, as it stands, is a global system of interconnected computer networks that allows humans to interact with each other, do business, gain knowledge, and be entertained. Google allowed us to find everything...

The Smart Road Tech That’s Making Driving Faster, Safer, And Just Better

From autonomous cars to flying taxis to electric-powered aircraft, technological innovations in transportation vehicles seem to be moving faster than Elon Musk’s express loop underneath Chicago. But when it comes to regular roads and...

What if Autonomous Vehicles Actually Make Us More Dependent on Cars?

Cities across Europe are taking steps to become increasingly car-free. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is aiming for 80 percent of all trips to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by...

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

As technology has progressed, humans have become ever more powerful. With this power comes great opportunity and great risk. Nowhere is this clearer than in the potential of artificial intelligence. But a new report...

Chinese Port Goes Full Robot With Autonomous Trucks and Cranes

By the end of 2018, something will be very different about the harbor area in the northern Chinese city of Caofeidian. If you were to visit, the whirring cranes and tractors driving containers to...

Self-Driving Cars Navigate Unmapped Country Roads With New MIT System

Self-driving cars are now a regular fixture in some American cities, but they are heavily reliant on high-precision 3D maps of the roads. That means they can’t tackle the vast majority of the country...

3 Major Shifts Are About to Transform Manufacturing as We Know It

We are on the verge of transforming one of society’s most fundamental building blocks: manufacturing. As new technologies enable manufacturers to customize everything, these same agents are quickly turning consumers into inventors. Following the agricultural revolution some 5,000 years ago,...

Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots...

Robot Cities: Three Urban Prototypes for Future Living

Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary...

$10 million XPRIZE Aims for Robot Avatars That Let You See, Hear, and Feel by 2021

Ever wished you could be in two places at the same time? The XPRIZE Foundation wants to make that a reality with a $10 million competition to build robot avatars that can be controlled...

How We Can ‘Robot-Proof’ Education to Better Adapt to Automation

Like millions of other individuals in the workforce, you’re probably wondering if you will one day be replaced by a machine. If you’re a student, you’re probably wondering if your chosen profession will even...

Hyperloop and Flying Cars Are Battling It Out for the Future of Transportation

Tech titans are eager to reimagine how we will travel in the coming decades, but whose vision will win out? Last week Elon Musk and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi got in a back-and-forth on Twitter...

Silicon Valley Is Winning the Race to Build the First Driverless Cars

Henry Ford didn’t invent the motor car. The late 1800s saw a flurry of innovation by hundreds of companies battling to deliver on the promise of fast, efficient and reasonably-priced mechanical transportation. Ford later...

Why the Rise of Self-Driving Vehicles Will Actually Increase Car Ownership

It’s been a long time coming. For years Waymo (formerly known as Google Chauffeur) has been diligently developing, driving, testing and refining its fleets of various models of self-driving cars. Now Waymo is going...

The Biggest Tech Takeaways From the 2018 World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland wrapped up last week. The WEF exists to improve the state of the world by fostering cooperation between governments, NGOs, and the private sector. In...

Machines Teaching Each Other Could Be the Biggest Exponential Trend in AI

“The easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens.” – James Burke, Science Historian During an October 2015 press conference announcing the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S, which allowed the car to...

The 7 Hub Stories That Got the Most Social Media Love This Year

I bet you think 2017 was a hot mess, a relentless series of tragedies and catastrophes that exposed humanity for what little it's worth. Let us re-instill in you a sense of optimism with...

This Self-Driving AI Is Learning to Drive Almost Entirely in a Virtual World

I don’t have to open the doors of AImotive’s white 2015 Prius to see that it’s not your average car. This particular Prius has been christened El Capitan, the name written below the rear...

Robotic Materials Will Distribute Intelligence All Over a Robot’s Body

The classical view of a robot as a mechanical body with a central “brain” that controls its behavior could soon be on its way out. The authors of a recent article in Science Robotics...

The Farms of the Future Will Be Automated From Seed to Harvest

Swarms of drones buzz overhead, while robotic vehicles crawl across the landscape. Orbiting satellites snap high-resolution images of the scene far below. Not one human being can be seen in the pre-dawn glow spreading...

Amazon Is Quietly Building the Robots of Sci-Fi—Piece by Practical Piece

Science fiction is the siren song of hard science. How many innocent young students have been lured into complex, abstract science, technology, engineering, or mathematics because of a reckless and irresponsible exposure to Arthur...

To Uber or Not? Why Car Ownership May No Longer Be a Good Deal

Every day there’s more news about the inevitable arrival of autonomous vehicles. At the same time, more people are using ride-hailing and ride-sharing apps, and the percentage of teens getting their driver’s license continues...

These Autonomous Delivery Drones Will Soon Dot the Swiss Skies

As much as commodities and data have been digitized over the last few years, we still need to send an awful lot of physical items hither and thither. The logistics of doing so have...

These 7 Forces Are Changing the World at an Extraordinary Rate

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who first said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” He was onto something. But even he would likely be left speechless at the scale and pace of...

Why Education Is the Hardest Sector of the Economy to Automate

We’ve all heard the warning cries: automation will disrupt entire industries and put millions of people out of jobs. In fact, up to 45 percent of existing jobs can be automated using current technology. However,...

The World’s First Autonomous Ship Will Set Sail In 2018

What A Norwegian container ship called the Yara Birkeland will be the world’s first electric, autonomous, zero-emissions ship. With a capacity of up to 150 shipping containers, the battery-powered ship will be small compared to...

These Pizza Robots Assemble Perfect Pies in Minutes

Oh pizza, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Your golden, flaky crust. Your salty-sweet tomato sauce. Your gooey, stretchy cheese. Your predictive algorithms and efficiently automated production line… Wait, what? Sounds like a...

Should Self-Driving Cars Make Ethical Decisions Like We Do?

An enduring problem with self-driving cars has been how to program them to make ethical decisions in unavoidable crashes. A new study has found it’s actually surprisingly easy to model how humans make them,...

Technology Will Erase Jobs—But Also Make Everything Cheap or Free

At an event about how technology is shaping the future of money, it seems counterintuitive to talk about a future where technology has mostly done away with the need for money to live. But that’s...

7 Big Tech Trends That Are Changing the Way We Make Things

Manufacturing is dirty, dull, and outmoded. It’s a slow-moving industry stuck in the past as new technologies out of Silicon Valley threaten to upend it. Stereotypes are fun, and misleading. Let’s not forget manufacturing is...

Veo Gives Robots ‘Eyes and a Brain’ So They Can Safely Work With People

The robots are coming. Actually, they’re already here. Machines are learning to do tasks they’ve never done before, from locating and retrieving goods from a shelf to driving cars to performing surgery. In manufacturing environments,...

Singularity Hub Is Live This Week at Exponential Manufacturing in Boston

Singularity Hub is on the ground this week at Singularity University’s Exponential Manufacturing Summit in Boston. At the summit, executives, makers, entrepreneurs, and policy leaders across the manufacturing industry will come together to learn how...

The Future of Flying Cars: Science Fact or Science Fiction?

Uber has shaken up the taxi industry and is trying to put driverless cars on our roads. Now the company aims to have flying ride-sharing vehicles in our skies by 2020. Uber is not alone...

What We’re Learning From a Big Universal Basic Income Experiment

Will artificial intelligence “destroy humanity?” Probably not. But I am concerned that AI and robotics will massively impact the future of work. McKinsey & Co. predicts that 45 percent of jobs today will be automated out...

Science Has Outgrown the Human Mind and Its Limited Capacities

The duty of man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads and … attack it from every...

Will Tech-Driven Deflation Export Japan’s Economic Woes to the World?

In the post-war years and into the 80s, no economy could match Japan’s for sheer speed and growth. Since then, however, Japan has struggled to overcome slower growth and stubborn deflation. The country’s struggling economy...

These 6 Trends Are Retooling Manufacturing as We Know It

Let’s be honest — sometimes manufacturing gets a bad rap. The industry can be seen as a behemoth — stuck in the past and slow to innovate, the victim of outsourcing and the purveyor...

Automation Could End Meaningless Jobs—And None Too Soon

What makes your work valuable? Does it fulfill you? Allow you to connect with or help people? Contribute to a greater good? Or does its value come from your income, which allows you to do other...

New Burger Robot Will Take Command of the Grill in 50 Fast Food Restaurants

Would your burger taste as delicious if it was made by a robot? You’ll soon be able to find out at CaliBurger restaurants in the US and worldwide. Cali Group partnered with Miso Robotics to develop...

See How This House Was 3D Printed in Just 24 Hours

3D printing is being used to produce more and more novel items: tools, art, even rudimentary human organs. What all those items have in common, though, is that they’re small. The next phase of...

How Robots Helped Create 100,000 Jobs at Amazon

Accelerating technology has been creating a lot of worry over job loss to automation, especially as machines become capable of doing things they never could in the past. A recent report released by the...

Robot Cars Can Teach Themselves How to Drive in Virtual Worlds

Over the holidays, I went for a drive with a Tesla. With, not in, because the car was doing the driving. Hearing about autonomous vehicles is one thing; experiencing it was something entirely different. When...

Discover the Most Advanced Industrial Technologies at Exponential Manufacturing

Machine learning, automated vehicles, additive manufacturing and robotics—all popular news headlines, and all technologies that are changing the way the US and the world makes, ships and consumes goods. New technologies are developing at...

Self-Driving Cars Will Soon Be Everywhere—But You May Not Own One

Even as the capabilities of self-driving cars continue to evolve, it is not a given that consumers will choose to buy one. What is equally likely is that autonomous vehicles will transform the automotive...

When Intelligent Machines Cause Accidents, Who Is Legally Responsible?

The rise of artificially intelligent machines will come at a cost—but with the potential to disrupt and transform society on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Jobs will be lost, but new...

Robots May Steal Our Jobs, but Not as Quickly as We Thought

Fear of job loss to automation is growing, with each announcement of exciting technological progress generating a backlash from those who could end up unemployed because of it. Amazon Go is eliminating the need...

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