Golfers face a dilemma each time they arrive at the golf course. One option is to pay to rent a golf cart, giving them something to help carry their clubs around. But many golfers prefer to walk from one hole to the next, forcing them to either carry their golf clubs or pay for a caddy to do it.

A former BP executive may have come up with the perfect solution to a classic golfer dilemma. Tim Doane has created an autonomous robot that takes over the responsibility of carrying golf clubs. The device, called Rover, runs on three wheels and is self-propelled, which means you can enjoy your game without worrying about getting your clubs from one hole to the next.

Published in Our Blog
Thursday, 09 April 2015 00:00

Will Robots Replace Fast-Food Workers?

Fast-food restaurants in some parts of Europe already use touch-screen ordering systems that take your order, accept debit/credit payment and spit out a number that's called when your order is ready to be retrieved at the counter. One day, fast-food establishments could use robots to cook and serve your food items, suggests a report from financial services company Cornerstone Capital Group.

While it could take a decade or so for that idea to become a reality, there are compelling reasons for why automation of the fast-food business makes bottom-line sense. Noting that food and labor costs account for anywhere from 60% to 70% of industry revenues, the report has identified three factors which portend to place significant upward pressure on costs.

Published in Our Blog
Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

Should We Give Robots Human Qualities?

The founding director of Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute seems to think so -- with a caveat.

In his book, Superintelligence, Nick Bostrum suggests that a robot equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) -- which mimics the workings of the human brain beyond carrying out tasks -- will, when effected, take the concept of superintelligence to a much higher level. And much more quickly than predicted.

Currently, says the Financial Times, about half of AI experts worldwide believe that true humanoid AI will become a reality by 2040. 9 out of 10 specialists believe that AI will be here by 2075. Bostrum doesn't dwell so much on the timing of AI as much as its impact, which be says could work out really well for humanity. Or really badly.

As he writes in his book, “Machines have a number of fundamental advantages, which will give them overwhelming superiority. Biological humans, even if enhanced, will be outclassed.”

Published in Our Blog
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