What’s Stopping Robots From Taking Over The World? (Hint: Not Much)

It’s been a dream of humanity to develop a legion of mechanical slaves to do their bidding for generations. And to a large extent, that’s what we’ve done. The reason only about 2 percent of people work on farms is that machines do the work of the other 98 percent, burning vast amounts of energy in the process.

But when we talk about robots, we have something different in mind to combine harvesters. We’re talking about things that look and move like use: general purpose devices that will do our bidding, whatever that happens to be. A combine harvester might be great at scooping up corn, but it’s probably not all that great at making you a salad.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the things that are stopping robots from being our personal assistants and when we can expect technological breakthroughs to make it possible.

Servos

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You can think of servos as the equivalent of robot muscles. They’re little motors in robot joints that translate rotational energy into linear movement. The problem is that, compared to biology, they’re poor. Although they have a lot of strength, they use a lot of energy and don’t have the finesse or ability to spin up and down quickly enough to provide robots with real-world balance.

Improvements in software and panel design, however, is changing the status quo. Servos will likely never be as good as muscle tissue, but as companies like Boston Dynamics are making increasingly clear, they are improving. Servos have now advanced to the point where they can provide stabilization for bi-pedal robots, something that looked hopeless just a few years ago.

Brains

Wikipedia

Google has a room at an undisclosed facility where it is testing robot arms. All of the arms are lined up in a row, attempting to grab objects in boxes in front of them in slightly different ways. Most of the time they fail, but when they succeed, they update smart software which integrates how the arm did it into its software so that it knows what to do next time.

There are, naturally, a lot of failed attempts. But every so often, one of the arms succeeds in picking up one of the irregularly shaped objects and depositing it into a nearby container. When this happens, the instructions that led to that success are shared with all of the other robots, improving their picking ability.

Google will be the first to admit that the technology has a long way to go. But in under a decade, we’re like to see robots like this on production lines and in fulfillment centers picking things up and depositing them elsewhere, so human workers don’t have to.

Pliable Materials

The trick to life-like robots is to create artificial muscles that behave like their natural counterparts. Researchers have already built synthetic muscle in the lab which contracts when an electrical current is passed through it. Once this technology matures, it will help some robots more naturally mimic the movements of people – movements that we’ve evolved to inhabit planet Earth.

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The Essential Guide To Becoming An Ebay Entrepreneur

If you are struggling to work out where your strengths lie in terms of going it alone and launching your own startup, why not consider the lucrative world of eBay entrepreneurship? The synonymous online auction site has been around since 1995 and was one of the very first real successes of the Silicon Valley dot-com bubble of ideas. Fast forward over two decades and eBay is the number one platform for all sorts of goods and products ranging from the second-hand to the brand new. While it was once seen as a nifty way of getting rid of your unwanted bits of junk, eBay is now viewed as the ultimate online platform to launch your very own retail empire. So, how can you make a success of your new foray into online shopping? Read on to find out.

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Descriptions And Photos

The most important aspect of your eBay business are the product descriptions you utilise. It doesn’t matter whether you are importing the latest piece of flexible tubing for gas engineers or whether you sell custom-made tee shirts, you need to make all of your descriptions uniform and consistent. Use subheadings and bullet points to make them easy to read. Point out any flaws and be honest about your product. A vintage item isn’t going to be a hundred percent perfect but it will be authentic so sell this aspect of it.

Another key aspect of your sales pages will be the items themselves. Take photographs from all angles and point out the flaws (if there are any). Make sure that you utilise your photograph allowance. If you are allowed twelve, don’t just put up three. Make sure they are in focus, the background is plain and you have a range of close up shots to show detail and wider angle compositions.

Customer Service

It’s important that you present a professional outfit if you are planning to make your eBay empire your full time profession. Consider using some packaging design software to brand the boxes you place your items in before they are shipped. This creates a more formal and professional image and your logo can be consistently applied across all merchandise and online platforms.

Implement a strategy of under promising and over delivering. If you know that you can deliver an item in two days, state on your delivery policy that you will get it there in three. Then, when a product arrives a day early, your customer will be pleasantly surprised and will be more inclined to leave positive feedback for your startup. On eBay, your reputation is vital, so make sure you limit any possibility of negative reviews.

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Link To Social Media

By utilising the power of social media, you can direct people to the relevant product pages of your eBay listings. Giving your eBay site greater visibility online helps you to maintain a strong online presence for your brand. By linking directly from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you are easily broadening your potential customer base.

Ebay is a fantastic platform from which to launch a retail business. Follow this guide, and begin your e-commerce empire in the most successful way.

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How Does Google Know Where You Are?

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Over the last couple of years, the services which companies like Google offer for free have started to outpace their premium alternatives. With these businesses relying on advertising revenue, rather than sales, they have the scope to make far more money than traditional methods would allow, and this gives them the chance to improve their services. As a big part of this, Google has spent a long time developing systems which can tell you when roads, stores, and other areas are busy, all using real-time user data. How exactly does Google know where people are, though?

This all starts with the smartphone you carry around with you each day. Most people are aware that Google owns Android, and this means that all of the basic services which come with this operating system are provided by Google. With your phone on all the time, they have access a lot of information about your daily life, and they can use this to warn other users when there are too many people in one place. Of course, Google is also responsible for creating maps services for iOS devices. While the apps aren’t quite the same, they give Google access to similar data, and this gives them even more power.

It’s fair to assume that having GPS turned off on your phone would stop you from broadcasting your location to Google. In reality, though, the GPS antenna isn’t the only part of your phone which can figure out where it is. Along with this, using a range of cell signals from different towers, businesses are able to get a rough approximation of your location without it ever being broadcast. This sort of technology is great for loads of different situations, ranging from making your device use less battery to being able to find people who are lost but don’t have GPS turned on. Of course, though, this doesn’t stop people from finding it creepy.

There are very strict rules around the world which prevent businesses from collecting and sharing data which you consider to be private or secret. Of course, though, there are easy ways to get around this, with taking advantage of in-built privacy options being the most common approach which companies will take. In most countries, tech companies don’t have to explicitly ask for this sort of data, instead being allowed to give you the option not to send it to them. This makes it nice and easy to turn off your location sharing if you don’t like having it on, but leaves millions of people unaware that they are giving this information away.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling more confident about the uncanny ability companies like Google have to know where you are. Thankfully, this information will never cross a human’s eyes, and this means that people aren’t going to be able to find you without your permission. Of course, though, it’s still worth doing your own research and keeping an eye on this area, as a lot of businesses change their tactics all the time.

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