The place are the robots if you want them!


Wanting on the Open Supply COVID-19 Medical Provides manufacturing tally of handcrafted masks and faceshields, we’re making an attempt to reply that query in our weekly discussions about ‘COVID-19, robots and us’. We talked to  Rachel ‘McCrafty’ Sadd has been constructing techniques and automation for COVID masks making, because the founding father of Challenge Masks Making and #distillmyheart tasks within the SF Bay Space, an artist and likewise as Govt Director of Ace Monster Toys makerspace/studio. Rachel has been organizing volunteers and automating workflows to get 1700 fabric masks hand sewn and distributed to individuals in danger earlier than the tip of April. “The place’s my f*king robotic!” was the theme of her brief presentation.

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In case you assume that volunteer efforts aren’t in a position to make a dent within the issues, right here’s the newest (four/20/20) manufacturing tally for the group Open Supply COVID-19 Medical Provides, who converse frequently on this net sequence. One volunteer group has tallied efforts by volunteers throughout 45 international locations who’ve to date produced 2,315,559 items of PPE. And that’s not counting the #distillmyheart masks. Right here’s Rachel’s current interview on KTVU. These masks aren’t going to make themselves, individuals!

Production Tally 200420

We additionally heard from Robin Murphy, Skilled in Rescue Robotics & Raytheon Professor at Texas A&M College, who up to date her slides on the best way during which robots are being utilized in COVID-19 response. You’ll find extra info on Robotics for Infectious Illnesses, a company shaped in response to the Ebola outbreak and chaired by Dr Murphy. There may be additionally a sequence of interviews answering any questions a roboticist may need about deploying robots with public well being, public security and emergency managers.

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Subsequent we heard from Missy Cummings, Skilled in Robotics Security & Professor at Duke College. “I’ve been doing robotics, certification testing and certification for nearly 10 years now. I began out in drones. After which type of did a segue over into driverless automobiles and I additionally work on medical techniques. So I work on this discipline of security vital techniques, the place the operation of the robotic when it comes to the drone or the automobile or the medical robotic, it may truly do injury to individuals if not designed appropriately. Right here’s a hyperlink to a paper that I’ve written for AI Journal that’s actually wanting on the maturity of driverless automobiles.“

“I spent a ridiculous period of time on Capitol Hill making an attempt to to be a center floor between, sure, these are good applied sciences. We need to do analysis and funding and maintain maintain constructing a capability. However no, we’re not able to have widespread deployment but. And I don’t care what Elon Musk says you’re not getting full self driving anytime quickly.”

Tesla Self driving visualization

“Any reasoning system has to undergo 4 ranges of reasoning, you begin on the fundamentals, what we name talent based mostly reasoning, you then go as much as rule information and knowledgeable based mostly reasoning. And so the place can we see that in automobiles? While you study to drive you needed to study talent based mostly reasoning, which was studying for instance, tips on how to monitor mild traces on the highway. As soon as you probably did that, possibly 20 minutes to study that you then by no means even have an issue with that once more.”

“So upon getting the cognitive capability that you simply’ve discovered expertise, then you’ve got sufficient spare psychological capability to consider rule based mostly reasoning. And that’s if you begin to perceive, Okay, I see this octagon in entrance of me, it’s a cease signal it’s learn, I do know that what it means there’s a set of procedures that go together with stopping and I’m going to observe these after I see it. Then upon getting the foundations of the surroundings that you simply’ve discovered, then you’ve got the spare capability to begin fascinated about information base reasoning, the large bounce between rule and information base reasoning is the flexibility to guage beneath uncertainty. So that is the place you begin to see the uncertainty arrow rising. So if you go as much as information base reasoning, you’re beginning to need to make guesses concerning the world with imperfect info. “

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“So I like to point out this image of a cease signal partially obscured by vegetation. There are numerous many, many driverless automobile system laptop imaginative and prescient techniques proper now that can’t determine this out that in the event that they see some degree of partially obscured cease signal, they only can not see as a result of they don’t see the best way that we see. They don’t see the whole image. And they also don’t choose that there’s a cease signal there. And also you may need seen the current case of the Tesla being tricked by modified 35 mile per hour signal with just a little little bit of tape to make it see 85 miles per hour. It’s a very good illustration of simply how brittle machine studying deep studying is with regards to perceptual based mostly reasoning. After which we get to the best degree of reasoning the place you actually need to make judgments beneath most uncertainty. “

“I really like this illustration of this cease signal with these 4 totally different arrows. You can’t do that, you can’t flip left, you can’t go proper, you can’t go straight and you can’t return. So I’d be curious, I’d prefer to see what any driverless automobile would do on this scenario. As a result of what do you do within the scenario? It’s a must to break considered one of these guidelines, it’s important to make a judgment, it’s important to work out what’s the very best technique to get your self out of the system. And it signifies that you’re going to have to interrupt guidelines contained in the system. So the knowledgeable base reasoning information base reasoning there may be what we name high down reasoning, it’s you taking expertise judgment on the earth that you simply’ve had. As you’ve gotten older in life and had extra experiences, you convey that to bear to make higher guesses about what you need to do sooner or later.”


“Backside up reasoning is, is basically what is going on in machine studying. You’re taking all of the bits and bytes of knowledge from the world, after which processing that to then make some type of motion. So proper now Computer systems are actually good at talent based mostly reasoning, some rule based mostly reasoning, people are actually the very best at information and knowledgeable based mostly reasoning. And that is one thing we name practical allocation. However the issue is there’s an enormous break between rule and information. Driverless automobiles can not do that proper now, till we will make that bounce into information and knowledgeable base reasoning. What are we going to do need to do?” [Missy Cummings, Robot Safety Expert]

Michael Sayre, CEO Cognicept mentioned “I’m working with an organization known as Cognizant as CEO. We’re primarily fixing lots of the issues that Missy highlighted, which is that, you understand, after we have a look at autonomy, and transferring robots into the actual world, there are lots of complexities about the actual world that trigger what we name edge case failure in these techniques. And so what we’ve constructed is basically a system that enables a confused robotic to dial out for human operator.”

“Human within the loop is just not a brand new thought. That is one thing that self driving automobiles have used. What we’ve constructed is basically a system and a service that enables this confused robotic to dialogue for assistance on actual time foundation. We primarily pay attention for intervention requests from robots. So that may be an error code, or, you understand, some type of failure of the system timeouts, no matter it’s actually, we will pay attention for that occasion. After which we trigger a ticket to be registered in our system, which our operators will then see, that connects them to the robotic, they will type of get a way of what’s taking place within the robots surroundings, they will get sensor info, populated in a 3d canvas, we will see movies and so forth, that enable the operator to make judgments on the robots behalf. “

“Self driving automobiles might be not the very best instance for us. However possibly you’d have the ability to use our system in one thing like a final mile supply car, which can face lots of the identical issues. Possibly the robots unsure about whether or not it may cross the highway. We will take a look on the video feed from that robotic, perceive what the visitors indicators are saying, or what the surroundings seems like. After which give the robotic command to primarily assist it with getting previous the situation that triggered that Case failure. So we see this as type of a method to assist get robots into extra helpful service.”

ProductsAutonomousRobotSavioke robots deployed in hospitals

“You realize, proper now, even at 1% failure price for lots of those purposes generally is a deal breaker. You realize, we, particularly for self driving automobiles, as everyone talked about, you understand, the price of failure is absolutely excessive. However even in different type of much less vital instances, like in constructing supply, you see, you understand, if one thing is spinning round in a circle or not performing its job, it causes individuals to lose confidence within the system stopped utilizing it. And it’s additionally you understand, throughout the time that it’s confused, not performing its perform. So we primarily constructed this method as a technique to convey robots right into a broader vary of purposes and enhance the type of uptime of the system in order that it doesn’t get into these positions the place it’s caught throughout its operation.”

“Equally, we now have robots that get misplaced in areas which can be extensively variable. So you understand, a warehouse that has bins or pallets that transfer out and in of the house very continuously. That’s going to confuse the robotic as a result of its inner map is static normally. And when you’ve got a really massive change, the robots going to be confused about its location, after which not have the ability to proceed with its its regular operation. That’s one thing that we can assist with we primarily will have the ability to have a look at the robotic’s surroundings and perceive the place it’s in its house after which replace its location. Once more, you understand, we have a look at various kinds of obstacles. You realize, a plastic bag is just not actually an impediment, we will, you’ll be able to run by that. However on a LIDAR, it reveals up the identical method as a pile of bricks.”

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“So by having a human within the loop aspect, we’re in a position to type of deal with these edge case failures and get robots to carry out capabilities that they wouldn’t in any other case have the ability to carry out and be helpful in purposes that have been possibly too difficult for full autonomy. I believe lots of it has to do with type of how harmful is the robotic in query. So, you understand, for a self driving car, very harmful, proper, we’ve bought a half ton of metal, you understand, transferring at, you understand, comparatively fast speeds. This can be a harmful system. “

“Then again, in constructing supply robots, we’re performing some work in quarantine zones, making deliveries in buildings that enable social distancing to be maintained. We will put wanted provides inside this supply robotic and ship it in a constructing to the supply room. So worst case situation, we would stumble upon someone. It’s simply inconvenient and may type of wreck the both the economics of the usefulness of the robotic. That might be case for these much less vital techniques. So issues like in-building supply, materials dealing with and logistics areas. Possibly like a selecting arm like a robotic arm pulling issues out of a field and placing it right into a transport container, or into one other robotic for in-building supply.”

“Whereas we attempt to get as quick as we will, you’re nonetheless speaking about 30 seconds, possibly earlier than you’ll be able to actually reply to the issue in a significant method. So, you understand, 30 seconds is an eternity for a self driving car, whereas for an in-building supply robotic, it’s not an enormous deal. So I believe you understand, the reply to that it’s fairly software dependent and likewise system dependent, you understand, how harmful is the system inherently?” [Michael Sayre, CEO of Cognicept]

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Rex St John, ARM IOT Ecosystem Evangelist introduced an uncommon COVID-19 response subject. “This isn’t fairly a robotics subject. However a number of weeks in the past, I started engaged on a undertaking known as [email protected] So should you’re not acquainted, there’s lots of researchers which can be finding out protein folding, and different facets of organic analysis. And so they don’t have the funding to pay for supercomputer time. So what they do is that they they distribute the analysis workloads to volunteer networks all all over the world by this program known as boink. So there’s lots of these applications, there’s [email protected], and [email protected] and [email protected] And there’s all these folks that volunteer their further compute cycles by downloading this shopper. After which researchers add work, jobs to the cloud, after which these jobs are distributed to those dwelling computer systems.”

“So as a result of I work at arm, we understand that [email protected] and [email protected] are two tasks that are used particularly to check protein folding. They didn’t have arm 64 bit purchasers obtainable, which suggests you’ll be able to’t run them on a Raspberry Pi 4, you’ll be able to’t run them on a number of the newer arm hardware. So there are lots of people locally that have been wanting to assist out with [email protected] and [email protected], which at the moment are getting used extensively by researchers particularly to check COVID-19. So we put collectively this group undertaking. And it got here collectively very, in a short time. As a result of as soon as everyone discovered about this chance, they jumped on board in a short time. So what occurred was these guys from Neocortex, it’s a startup out of San Jose. They jumped on this and their CTO ported all the important thing libraries from [email protected] to arm 64 after which inside a pair weeks per week or two truly, we’re now as much as 793 arm 64 bit gadgets which can be supporting researchers finding out COVID-19 so anyone that desires to assist out should you’ve bought a Raspberry Pi 4 or an arm 64 bit gadget you’ll be able to set up [email protected] in your Raspberry Pi 4 and start crunching on proteins to assist researchers combat again COVID-19.


“You’ll be able to see that is the spike protein proper there of COVID-19. COVID-19 makes use of the spike protein to type of latch on to the the receptors of human cells and that’s the way it type of invades your physique. In order that they’re doing lots of work to know the construction and conduct that spike protein on Rosetta and [email protected]” [Rex St John ARM IoT Evangelist]

Coronavirus spike protein neocortix e68fba42efc8e8be73e33087e723a0bff4dad80b6bb1b9ec5d7a7e2a2c9737a0Scientific illustration of the Coronavirus spike glycoprotein

Ken Goldberg, Director of CITRIS Folks and Robots Initiative mentioned “I do have one thought that I’d prefer to share that occurred to me this week, which is that I’m wondering if we’re shifting from what was known as the ‘Excessive Tech Excessive Contact’ idea from John Naisbitt. He wrote ‘Mega Tendencies’ about how we have been transferring as we bought towards extra excessive tech, we’d additionally simply as a lot crave that contact. And I’m wondering if we’re transferring towards a low contact future the place we truly will see new worth in issues which can be don’t contain contact.” “It’s been so attention-grabbing for me to be you understand, to be in the home. I’ve gotten an entire new appreciation for issues like washing machines and even vacuum cleaners. They’re unbelievable these mechanisms that assist us do issues, that somewhat than us reaching down and touching all the things they principally do it for us.”

“I’ve been fascinated about you earlier than this pandemic. There are lots of issues on the market like robotic merchandising machines that I used to be just a little skeptical about. And I believed, effectively, I don’t actually see what’s the large benefit, given a alternative I’d somewhat have a human making a hamburger or espresso. However now I’m beginning to actually assume that equation has modified. And I’m wondering if that’s going to vary completely. In different phrases, are we truly going to see this an actual development towards issues like these robotic espresso making baristas and robotic burgers like Creator, the corporate in San Francisco. or Miso robotics is creating quick meals making robots. I believe it’s time to essentially reevaluate these tendencies as a result of I believe there may be going to be an precise visceral enchantment for this type of low contact future.” [Ken Goldberg CITRIS People and Robots]

There’ll be extra subsequent week on Tuesday April 28 so join COVID-19, robots and us with visitor audio system specializing in laws, dangers and alternatives:

Chelsey Colbert, Coverage Council at The Way forward for Privateness Discussion board
Michael Froomkin, Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Regulation
Ryan Calo, Lane Powell & D. Wayne Gittinger Endowed Professorship of Regulation
Sue Keay, Analysis Director at CSIRO Information 61 and Aust Nationwide COVID response
Robin Murphy, Rescue Robotics Skilled and Raytheon Professor at Texas A&M College
Thomas Low, Director of Robotics SRI Worldwide
Ken Goldberg, Director of CITRIS Folks and Robots Initiative
Andra Keay, Director of Silicon Valley Robotics and founding father of Ladies in Robotics

COVID Robots and Us 1

Silicon Valley Robotics

visitor creator

Silicon Valley Robotics the business affiliation supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics applied sciences.


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