Pacific Rim’s Robots Are Less Advanced Than Some of Today’s Real Robots

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Giant robots duke it out in the middle of major cities. Humans inside robotic exoskeletons control them just by thinking about it. The robots hack each other with massive saws or fling stacks of cars at one another.

Yes, Pacific Rim: Uprising is the most popular movie in the U.S. right now. In it, humans must pilot enormous robots, called Jaegers, to ward off otherevil enormous robots.

The bots themselves seem pretty high-tech. But there’s an element that may not be as apparent: our real-life technology is actually much more advanced.

That’s according to Robin Murphy, a professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University, in an article published today in the journal Science Robotics.

If robots like the Jaegers seem like a staple of sci-fi everywhere, that’s because they pretty much are, Murphy writes. In the 1960s and 70s, the U.S. military, in partnership with GE, made the first real-life exoskeleton, and dozens more have come out in years since.

Through it all, engineers have learned a few things — things that have fallen by the wayside in Pacific Rim. Here’s a brief breakdown of what Murphy saw to be lacking in the Jaegers, and what scientists have already learned about how to do it better.

Size

The Jaegers of Pacific Rim clock in at an impressive height of about 76 meters (250 feet). However, controlling such massively complex robots in reality simply “cannot be done,” according to Murphy. Today’s researchers are far more likely to focus on smaller robotic exosuits, similar in size to those worn by Tony Stark in Iron Man or Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow.

Walking

It looks really hard to get a Jaeger to walk or run. That’s because, in the movies, the massive bots mirror every step their pilot takes — a process that is much more complicated than it has to be.

“In reality, locomotion is becoming one of the easiest functions to totally delegate to a robot,” writes Murphy.

Think about the Boston Dynamics robots. Engineers simply communicate a speed and direction to one, and it handles the process of lifting and lowering each foot.

Use

In Pacific Rim, pilots use Jaegers as weapons against hostile aliens. In reality, we’re far more likely to design robotic exoskeletons to allow humans to do everyday tasks more easily and safely. Think the power loader used in the movie Aliens to lift heavy materials. You know, before Ellen Ripley uses it as a weapon against a hostile alien.

In fact, Murphy notes, Hollywood has largely ignored one of the most likely uses for human-powered robots: healthcare. Researchers have used exoskeletons to help people with spinal cord injuries walk again.

Our current technology might not make you say “dude that’s awesome!” as much as the stuff in the movies. But as Murphy notes in her article, our current tech actually is awesome.

The post Pacific Rim’s Robots Are Less Advanced Than Some of Today’s Real Robots appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple’s less powerful iPad mini 4 is $70 more expensive than the new iPad

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Today, Apple refreshed its iPad lineup with a new 9.7-inch iPad with Pencil support that comes with a student-focused $ 30 discount. The device is designed to replace last year’s $ 329 base model iPad, and it sells for that same price to regular consumers. Apple’s race to beat Google in the classroom is a good thing for everyone, resulting in cheaper price points and more options. However, one product category that still remains stubbornly unaffordable in Apple’s new education and accessibility-focused iPad roadmap is the iPad mini 4.

The company’s web store was updated this morning, and the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which came out back in September of 2015, is still being sold for a mind-boggling $ 399, as pointed out by Business Insider’s…

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2018 iPhone X Rumored to Cost $100 Less, X Plus to Start at $999

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This year’s stable of flagship iPhones, which are all rumored to sport iPhone X features, could launch at a reduced price according to a RBC Capital Markets analyst. Apple is largely expected to debut three iPhones this year: a second-generation, 5.8-inch iPhone X; a so-called iPhone X Plus with a massive 6.5-inch OLED display; and […]
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Learn how to build over 20 different apps for Android Oreo for less than $15 [Sponsored Deal]

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Earlier this year, Google released their latest OS Android Oreo. As with any constantly updating interface, developers building apps for the Android O environment need to be fully up to speed on all the new features and changes it represents.

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5.8-inch iPhone X Successor Might Cost Less Than $1,000

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Apple is in the process of readying three new iPhone models for release this fall, with the latest rumors suggesting they’ll include a 5.85-inch iPhone X replacement, a larger 6.45-inch iPhone X Plus, and a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone model featuring LCD display tech in lieu of OLED. Considering current trends in the smartphone component market, […]
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Recently, Amazon added a ‘Follow-Up Mode’ to its Echo line of devices, which allows users to repeatedly say commands to the assistant without saying “Alexa” again. The company even added a ‘feature’ where the Echo would laugh at you sporadically. Today, the tech-giant is adding a ‘Brief Mode’ which disables the chatter aspect of the Echo, and replaces it with a simple chime once a task is completed.

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Alexa’s ‘Brief Mode’ makes the digital assistant way less chatty

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Not too long ago, people got creeped out by Amazon's Alexa devices randomly laughing at them. Now Jeff Bezos' digital assistant is offering folks the chance to put a sock in its mouth. Err, speaker. Reddit users first noticed that when asked to turn…
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Second iOS 11.3 beta for developers arrives in less than a week

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Four days after the last update, Apple has made available the sixth beta for iOS 11.3 for developer testing.
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Less than 25% of firms have evaluated cost of cloud outage

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Less than a quarter of UK organisations (23 percent) report that they have calculated the real potential cost of a cloud outage.

That’s according to a new report by cloud data management company Veritas Technologies, which suggests that businesses are ill-prepared to deal with the impact of service outages.

The report, The Truth in Cloud, was commissioned by Veritas with research conducted by Vanson Bourne. It surveyed 1,200 global business and IT decision-makers and reveals that almost all (96 percent) of those organisations will have moved systems to the cloud by 2020, if they have not already done so.

With that in mind, businesses should evaluate the potential cost of outages – not just their bottom-line impact, but also associated costs, such as downtime, poor perception, and lost productivity, for example.

So how serious is the problem?

A fog of responsibility

More than one-third of respondents (38 per cent) expect less than 15 minutes of downtime a month, while the average monthly downtime is 16 minutes, according to Veritas. That may seem insignificant over the course of 30 days, but it could still be costly to many organisations.

More worrying is the finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that dealing with service interruptions is the primary responsibility of the cloud service provider. Meanwhile, 76 percent of organisations believe their cloud service provider is responsible for ensuring that their workloads and data are protected.

However, while the cloud service provider will have service level agreements in place, these are typically restricted to the infrastructure layer, meaning that they’re mainly responsible for restoring that in the event of an outage.

The cost of bouncing back

There are other key considerations for enterprises. One is bringing applications back online once the service has been reinstated. Depending on the complexity of the application and/or any data loss, this could take significantly longer than the infrastructure recovery.

Disaster recovery alternatives, such as failing over applications to an on-premise data centre, or to another cloud, could work. But again, this rests in the hands of the organisation, not those of the cloud provider.

“Organisations are clearly lacking in understanding the anatomy of a cloud outage, and that recovery is a joint responsibility between the cloud service provider and the business,” said Mike Palmer, executive VP and chief product officer at Veritas.

“Immediate recovery from a cloud outage is absolutely within an organisation’s control and responsibility to perform if they take a proactive stance to application uptime in the cloud. Getting this right means less downtime, financial impact, loss of customers’ trust, and damage to brand reputation.”

Internet of Business says

While on-demand computing services, ‘as a service’ applications, and cloud infrastructures or platforms have become critical to most enterprise users in recent years – whether in private, public, hybrid, or community clouds – there is still a fog of misconceptions about the technology.

Cloud provides many opex, agility, scalability, accessibility, and other advantages, as everyone knows. But it is not – and has never been – the borderless mist of code in the sky that the term suggests.

Internet of Business suggests that IT decision-makers should train themselves to look beyind the marketing terminology and consider the reality. In most cases, cloud services are really about racks of hardware, built on land, under the data processing, privacy, and transfer laws of the country where they are based.

Instead of saying “My data is in the cloud”, try saying, “My data is on a rack of servers in an industrial park in California” – or it may be Warsaw, Washington, or Warwickshire. “So what are the implications of that?”

Then, common sense should follow.

Read more: Internet of Energy | SAP’s Henry Bailey on the Cloud for Energy

Read more: Philips expands healthtech portfolio with IoT, AI, cloud solutions

Read more: AT&T launches cloud IOT dashboard, new partnerships

 

The post Less than 25% of firms have evaluated cost of cloud outage appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Zoolz Cloud Storage nets you 2TB of cloud backup for life—and it’s on sale for less than $50 [Sponsored Deal]

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When you think of cloud storage, Dropbox and OneDrive are probably the first of a host of services that come to mind. Next, are the exorbitant rates these solutions charge to handle your information, while not giving you much flexibility with the space you’re given. That said, it’s no wonder why many prefer hard storage options off the cloud or just stick to the free cloud plans that give out a few gigabytes here and there but can’t possibly back up all of our sensitive files.

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