The LAPD wil be the largest police department to rely on drones (Drone - 2017-10 - Recode)

Drones will be used for aerial searches, recon intense situations, and other tasks where officers would otherwise be at risk. Flights are restricted to SWAT team members in dangerous situations.

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Armed ground robots to fight in the Ukrainian conflict (Robotics/Fighting - 2017-10 - Big Think)

Ukrainian officials indicate they are planning to use armed ground robots in their conflict against Russian-backed forces next year. The experimental Phantom can have treads like a tank or six wheels, and be armed with anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers or machine guns. It can travel at <37 mph, going 81 miles on one engine charge. It can also be used to evacuate wounded soldiers from the field. Both Russia and the US are developing soldier robots.

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Panasonic has unveiled a robot refrigerator that responds to voice commands and will travel from the kitchen to the living room (Robotics - 2017-09 - Fast Company)

Panasonic has unveiled a robot refrigerator that will come from the kitchen to your living area when called. Besides supplying needs for the elderly and disabled (and couch potatoes), the robot can keep track of supplies and link to automated ordering.

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Robot arm as a sign language interpreter (Robotics/Sign Language - 2017-09 -

U of Antwerp researchers has developed a robotic arm ‘Aslan’ which is a sign language interpreter. The arm is connected to the network, and users can send a text message, and it will start signing. Aslan is made up of 25 plastic 3D-printed parts, 16 servo motors, 3 motor controllers, and an Arduino Due microcomputer. The manufacturing is being handled through a global 3D printing network called 3D Hubs, which is designed to ensure the robot can be built anywhere.

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Marine Corps replaces $30K hand-tossed surveillance drone with $615 3D-printed drone (Drone/Surveillance - 2017-09 - Popular Science)

The Marine Corps uses a battle-proven hand-tossed flying robot for local surveillance. Raven can fly at speeds of <50 mph with a range of <6 miles, feeding video back to the operator. It is bulky and costs $30,000. Its potential replacement is a 3D-printed drone, Scout, that uses an open-source flight controller, and open-source software for waypoint navigation. Its only payload right now is a camera. Its current range is <2 miles, with speeds of <50 mph for <20 minutes. Its assembly time is 3 minutes, and it only costs $615.

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Australia is using AI drones to stop shark attacks (Drone - 2017-08 - FutureScope)

Debuting in September after a year of R&D, quad-copters will fly above the greenish-blue water of the Gold Coast, relaying video to image-recognition technology that determines if the footage is of sharks. The drone sounds an alarm and can drop a four-person life raft and communication device to enable swimmers to call for help. Shark-spotting is only about 18% accurate from a helicopter, and 12% from an airplane, while the drones achieve 90% accuracy.

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Panasonic unveils first robotic hairdresser (Robotics/Haircutting - 2017-07 - Mail OnLine)

Japan’s electronics manufacturer Panasonic offers a hair-washing robot with 24 fingers to massage the user’s scalp and washing arms to spray water and shampoo.

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A soft robot that can navigate its environment by inflatable growth to 74m, and can lift 150lb (Robotics - 2017-07 - Popular Science)

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Stanford University have made a soft robot that can navigate its environment by inflatable growth. It unfurls from a single immobile foot, driven by a battery-powered air mattress pump and directed by a camera at its top, as a flexible pipe that can grow to 74m and can lift 150lb. It can be used to pump air to a trapped earthquake survivor, or as a radio antenna, or to free a trapped body.

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Drones tested in Queensland, Australia for disaster management and policing (Drone - 2017-05 - ZDNet)

The Local Government Association of Queensland has announced a live trial of drone technology to be used for disaster management, with drones flying beyond visual line of sight. The drones would survey terrain and bridges in disaster zones in real time, and would drop medical supplies. They are also testing drones in police chases, as drones can be launched from police vehicles within seconds, and at a far lower cost than helicopters.

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Funeral home uses 3D technologies to reconstruct faces for open casket funerals (Additive Manu/Mortuary - 2017-03 - 3DPrint)

When a facial reconstruction of a deceased is necessary for an open casket. a Chinese funeral home’s 3D printer can build a complete facial mold in half a day. It would take up to a week for undertakers and mortuary cosmetologists to complete facial reconstructions with plaster and plastic cement.

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Israel authorizes commercial, fully unmanned drone flights (Drone/Surveillance - 2017-03 - TechCrunch)

A startup based in Petah Tikva, Israel, Airobotics, has scored the right to fly drones autonomously for use in site surveying, security and other industrial applications in Israel. The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) was the first in the world to authorize commercial, fully unmanned drone flights in their nation’s airspace.

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Cobalt robot is like a superhuman security guard (Robotics/Building Security - 2017-03 - Robotics/ZDNet)

Cobalt introduced a mobile security robot, whose main job is patrolling a building watching for any unusual activity, and reporting anything suspicious to the appropriate authorities. If it detects anything unexpected, then an offsite employee can use it as a telepresence robot to manage the situation without putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. The robot has >60 sensors, and the computational power to handle machine learning algorithms.

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Robots sorting and scanning paper for storage (Robotics/Document Storage - 2017-03 - The Verge)

Ripcord, a new company backed in part by Steve Wozniak, has patented and built robots to automate document storage. The robots can handle mixed content from business cards to legal-sized sheets, from rice paper to cardstock, without changing anything. It even removes staples. A box full of mixed records can be scanned at >600 dpi and sorted into an Amazon-hosted cloud database within hours.

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Biomimetic microdrones with flapping wings (Drone/Surveillance - 2017-03 - TechCrunch)

UK biomimetic engineering startup Animal Dynamics is building a microdrone with wings inspired by the flapping flight of a dragonfly. The project started in June 2015 and is being funded with £1.5 million from the UK Ministry of Defence. The company is confident they’ll have a flying prototype of their Skeeter drone by this summer — with the tech potentially deployed in the field by the end of 2018.

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4-legged small robot goes where tracked and wheeled robots can’t (Robotics/Reconaissance - 2017-03 - Popular Science)

With 4 nimble legs, Ghost Robotics’ Minitaur small robot can climb a snowy hill, use sensors to check under a car for explosives, climb fences, and jump to open doors. Minitaur will be used by the military and for search and rescue.

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The Electrolux Trilobite, a vacuum cleaning robot, became the first commercial home robot (Robotics/Home Cleaning - 2001 - Stanford University)

The Electrolux Trilobite, a vacuum cleaning robot, became the first commercial home robot.

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