Army looks for a few good robots sparks industry battle

first_imgCHELMSFORD, Mass. — The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight — not yet, at least — but to help the men and women who do.These robots aren’t taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court.The project and others like it could someday help troops “look around the corner, over the next hillside and let the robot be in harm’s way and let the robot get shot,” said Paul Scharre, a military technology expert at the Center for a New American Security.The big fight over small robots opens a window into the intersection of technology and national defence and shows how fear that China could surpass the U.S. drives even small tech startups to play geopolitics to outmanoeuvr rivals. It also raises questions about whether defence technology should be sourced solely to American companies to avoid the risk of tampering by foreign adversaries.Regardless of which companies prevail, the competition foreshadows a future in which robots, which are already familiar military tools, become even more common. The Army’s immediate plans alone envision a new fleet of 5,000 ground robots of varying sizes and levels of autonomy. The Marines, Navy and Air Force are making similar investments.“My personal estimate is that robots will play a significant role in combat inside of a decade or a decade and a half,” the chief of the Army, Gen. Mark Milley, said in May at a Senate hearing where he appealed for more money to modernize the force.Milley warned that adversaries like China and Russia “are investing heavily and very quickly” in the use of aerial, sea and ground robots. And now, he added, “we are doing the same.”Such a shift will be a “huge game-changer for combat,” said Scharre, who credits Milley’s leadership for the push.The promise of such big Pentagon investments in robotics has been a boon for U.S. defence contractors and technology startups. But the situation is murkier for firms with foreign ties.Concerns that popular commercial drones made by Chinese company DJI could be vulnerable to spying led the Army to ban their use by soldiers in 2017. And in August, the Pentagon published a report that said China is conducting espionage to acquire foreign military technologies — sometimes by using students or researchers as “procurement agents and intermediaries.” At a December defence expo in Egypt, some U.S. firms spotted what they viewed as Chinese knock-offs of their robots.The China fears came to a head in a bitter competition between Israeli firm Roboteam and Massachusetts-based Endeavor Robotics over a series of major contracts to build the Army’s next generation of ground robots. Those machines will be designed to be smarter and easier to deploy than the remote-controlled rovers that have helped troops disable bombs for more than 15 years.The biggest contract — worth $429 million — calls for mass producing 25-pound robots that are light, easily manoeuvrable and can be “carried by infantry for long distances without taxing the soldier,” said Bryan McVeigh, project manager for force projection at the Army’s research and contracting centre in Warren, Michigan.Other bulkier prototypes are tank-sized unmanned supply vehicles that have been tested in recent weeks in the rough and wintry terrain outside Fort Drum, New York.A third $100 million contract — won by Endeavor in late 2017 — is for a midsized reconnaissance and bomb-disabling robot nicknamed the Centaur.The competition escalated into a legal fight when Roboteam accused Endeavor, a spinoff of iRobot, which makes Roomba vacuum cleaners, of dooming its prospects for those contracts by hiring a lobbying firm that spread false information to politicians about the Israeli firm’s Chinese investors.A federal judge dismissed Roboteam’s lawsuit in April.“They alleged that we had somehow defamed them,” said Endeavor CEO Sean Bielat, a former Marine who twice ran for Congress as a Republican. “What we had done was taken publicly available documents and presented them to members of Congress because we think there’s a reason to be concerned about Chinese influence on defence technologies.”The lobbying firm, Boston-based Sachem Strategies, circulated a memo to members of the House Armed Services Committee. Taking up Endeavor’s cause was Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat — and, like Bielat, a Marine veteran — who wrote a letter to a top military official in December 2016 urging the Army to “examine the evidence of Chinese influence” before awarding the robot contracts.Six other lawmakers later raised similar concerns.Roboteam CEO Elad Levy declined to comment on the dispute but said the firm is still “working very closely with U.S. forces,” including the Air Force, and other countries. But it’s no longer in the running for the lucrative Army opportunities.Endeavour is. Looking something like a miniature forklift on tank treads, its prototype called the Scorpion has been zipping around a test track behind an office park in a Boston suburb.The only other finalist is just 20 miles away at the former Massachusetts headquarters of Foster-Miller, now a part of British defence contractor Qinetiq. The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The contract is expected to be awarded in early 2019.Both Endeavor and Qinetiq have strong track records with the U.S. military, having supplied it with its earlier generation of ground robots such as Endeavor’s Packbot and Qinetiq’s Talon and Dragon Runner.After hiding the Scorpion behind a shroud at a recent Army conference, Bielat and engineers at Endeavor showed it for the first time publicly to The Associated Press in November. Using a touchscreen controller that taps into the machine’s multiple cameras, an engineer navigated it through tunnels, over a playground-like structure and through an icy pool of water, and used its grabber to pick up objects.It’s a smaller version of its predecessor, the Packbot, which was first used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2002 and later became one of soldiers’ essential tools for safely disabling improvised explosives in Iraq. Bielat said the newer Scorpion and Centaur robots are designed to be easier for the average soldier to use quickly without advanced technical training.“Their primary job is to be a rifle squad member,” Bielat said. “They don’t have time to mess with the robot. They’re going to demand greater levels of autonomy.”It will be a while, however, before any of these robots become fully autonomous. The Defence Department is cautious about developing battlefield machines that make their own decisions. That sets the U.S. apart from efforts by China and Russia to design artificially intelligent warfighting arsenals.A November report from the Congressional Research Service said that despite the Pentagon’s “insistence” that a human must always be in the loop, the military could soon feel compelled to develop fully autonomous systems if rivals do the same. Or, as with drones, humans will still pull the trigger, but a far-away robot will lob the bombs.Said P.W. Singer, a strategist for the New America Foundation think-tank : “China has showed off armed ones. Russia has showed them off. It’s coming.”Matt O’Brien, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgBarrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Mining. Up 80 cents, or 4.54 per cent, to $18.43 on 9.9 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Down 67 cents, or 7.86 per cent, to $7.85 on 7.9 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 34 cents, or 4.78 per cent, to $6.78 on 7.3 million shares.GeneNews Ltd. (TSX:GEN). Health care. Down half a cent, or 10 per cent, to 4.5 cents on 6.6 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up two cents, or one per cent, to $2.03 on 5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 14 cents, or 6.17 per cent, to $2.41 on 4.7 million shares. Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,322.86, up 100.86 points) Companies reporting major news:The Canadian Transportation Agency says the country’s two major railways exceeded their maximum revenue entitlements for grain in 2017-18, despite shipping less of the stuff than last year. Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX:CNR) reaped $1.05 million more than its entitlement of $787.01 million in 2017-18. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP) took in $1.5 million beyond its entitlement of $707.99 million.center_img The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Northern Healths Imagine Community Grants

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health has opened the application process for ‘Imagine Community Grants'(ICG).ICG helps projects that support community-based initiatives that focus on chronic disease prevention and or health promotion priorities. Taking a healthy community idea and working towards making it happen.Applications for the grant are being accepted March 1st to March 31st. The website expresses preference will be given to projects that;Support partnerships and build relationships – will encourage different groups to work together, connecting people to each other and their communityIdentify a community need – will address something that is missing that could benefit the community and its residents to improve health and well-beingPromote healthy outcomes – will include activities that reduce the risks and impacts of chronic disease and injury through education, awareness and collective actionReduce health inequities – will help those who are disadvantaged or vulnerable to improve their access to supports and resources for better healthBuild capacity – will develop and strengthen skills and resources within the communityLast – will have a good chance of living on after the funding endsFor more information on the grant; CLICK HEREIMAGINE Community Grants: Key factors for success in community blog; CLICK HERElast_img read more

Leaders welcome SC decision on Ayodhya row

first_imgNew Delhi: Political leaders welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a panel headed by retired apex court judge F M I Kalifulla to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. BSP leader Mayawati called the move “appreciable”. “Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order to constitute in-camera mediation (in Faizabad) in order to resolve the Ayodhya matter seems an honest effort. Hon’ble Court looking for ‘a possibility of healing relationships’ is an appreciable move. BSP welcomes it,” she said on Twitter. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! In an apparent reference to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he should act in an “unbiased” manner. “It would have been better had the Supreme Court appointed a neutral person. One of the members of the panel had threatened Muslims that India would become Syria and I hope that he keeps those thoughts out of his mind while being on the mediation panel. We welcome the decision,” he told reporters. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results but this time, the Supreme Court is monitoring it and all the parties who have gone to the court are in agreement with the decision and it is to be seen what will be the result. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The Supreme Court Friday gave the panel eight weeks to complete its proceedings. The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and added that they can co-opt more members if needed. Ravishankar said the Supreme Court’s decision is in the best interest of the country. “This move towards mediation by the Hon Supreme Court is in the best interest of the country and all parties concerned. We should not leave any stone unturned in resolving this burning issue amicably. We should keep our egos and differences aside and come together with a spirit of honouring & accommodating the sentiments of the communities concerned. Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society – we must all move together towards these goals,” he tweeted.last_img read more

Artificial intelligence pioneers win techs Nobel Prize

first_imgSan Francisco: Computers have become so smart during the past 20 years that people don’t think twice about chatting with digital assistants like Alexa and Siri or seeing their friends automatically tagged in Facebook pictures. But making those quantum leaps from science fiction to reality required hard work from computer scientists like Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. The trio tapped into their own brainpower to make it possible for machines to learn like humans, a breakthrough now commonly known as “artificial intelligence,” or AI. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalTheir insights and persistence were rewarded Wednesday with the Turing Award, an honor that has become known as technology industry’s version of the Nobel Prize. It comes with a 1 million prize funded by Google, a company where AI has become part of its DNA. The award marks the latest recognition of the instrumental role that artificial intelligence will likely play in redefining the relationship between humanity and technology in the decades ahead. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society,” said Cherri Pancake, president of the Association for Computing Machinery, the group behind the Turing Award. Although they have known each other for than 30 years, Bengio, Hinton and LeCun have mostly worked separately on technology known as neural networks. These are the electronic engines that power tasks such as facial and speech recognition, areas where computers have made enormous strides over the past decade. Such neural networks also are a critical component of robotic systems that are automating a wide range of other human activity, including driving. Their belief in the power of neural networks was once mocked by their peers, Hinton said. No more. He now works at Google as a vice president and senior fellow while LeCun is chief AI scientist at Facebook. Bengio remains immersed in academia as a University of Montreal professor in addition to serving as scientific director at the Artificial Intelligence Institute in Quebec. “For a long time, people thought what the three of us were doing was nonsense,” Hinton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “They thought we were very misguided and what we were doing was a very surprising thing for apparently intelligent people to waste their time on. My message to young researchers is, don’t be put off if everyone tells you what are doing is silly.” Now, some people are worried that the results of the researchers’ efforts might spiral out of control. While the AI revolution is raising hopes that computers will make most people’s lives more convenient and enjoyable, it’s also stoking fears that humanity eventually will be living at the mercy of machines. Bengio, Hinton and LeCun share some of those concerns especially the doomsday scenarios that envision AI technology developed into weapons systems that wipe out humanity. But they are far more optimistic about the other prospects of AI empowering computers to deliver more accurate warnings about floods and earthquakes, for instance, or detecting health risks, such as cancer and heart attacks, far earlier than human doctors. “One thing is very clear, the techniques that we developed can be used for an enormous amount of good affecting hundreds of millions of people,” Hinton said.last_img read more

Young Ohio State womens tennis team ready to take on 2014 season

OSU women’s tennis coach Melissa Schaub watches the Buckeyes during a match against Michigan April 21 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU lost, 7-0.Credit: Courtesy of the OSU Athletic DepartmentHalf the roster for the Ohio State women’s tennis team is composed of freshmen, but the Buckeyes youth doesn’t mean they can’t play with the best of them.Senior Noelle Malley said her team can hang with anyone in the Big Ten.“We’ve been working so hard recently,” she said. “I think we’re right there with them.”The Buckeyes are unranked while three other Big Ten teams, No. 10 Michigan, No. 12 Northwestern and No. 16 Nebraska, find themselves in the top 25.“It’s going to be hard, keeping up our focus and intensity and when we go out there, not being afraid of them, which we aren’t,” Malley said. “It’s exciting.”Senior Kelsey Becker, said her goal for the team goes beyond the conference.“We definitely want to make the NCAA tournament this year, we haven’t made it the past three years since I’ve been here,” she said. “I think we can do it this year, I think we have a really good team.”The Buckeyes have not made it to the tournament since 2009, and as they prepare for a run at the ultimate goal in the spring, are scheduled to finish preseason this weekend in Los Angeles, Calif., at the Jack Kramer tournament.Coach Melissa Schaub said the preseason schedule has been all about experience for her young squad.“The fall season like this is just about getting matches in, just getting a bunch of matches under your belt, preparing ourselves for the spring season,” she said.Schaub added that she has seen strong showings from her team, top to bottom.“The freshmen have stepped up big time, and we’ve had good leadership from our seniors,” she said. “It’s been really good so far.”Schaub stressed that every one of her freshmen have impressed, but singled out one in particular.“I think (freshman Gabriella DeSantis) has had an unbelievable fall season, coming in as a freshman,” she said. “You’re never really sure how that person is going to react to a different environment, being away from home.”Of the four youngsters, three are from outside of the U.S. DeSantis is from Caracas, Venezuela, Ferny Angeles Paz hails from Lima, Peru, and Miho Kowase comes from Tokyo.Schaub said the diverse roster is commonplace in the sport.“In tennis, it happens,” she said. “Tennis is such a universal sport, it’s big in other countries, so it’s not that uncommon to have a fairly international team.”Malley said she enjoys having international teammates, especially as a senior leader on the team.“It’s awesome, they’re so much fun,” she said. “We have so many different cultures and we’re talking about doing a dinner where we each make a home cooked meal.”Malley added that there might be some extra perks of forming bonds with individuals from around the world.“We have places to visit out of the country now, if we want to,” she said.Becker said each of the freshmen have done well to adjust, but that at least two of the newcomers might have had a leg up.“It’s kind of cute because (Paz) and (DeSantis) knew each other before because they’re both from South America,” she said. “They’re all just really sweet, and doing a really good job.”Even with such a diverse and young roster, Schaub said her team is already better than last year, but the main thing is improving each day.“It’s about every time you go on the court, competing as hard as you can and trying to get better in every match that you play,” Schaub said. “If that happens, then we’re going to be happy leaving a tournament.”After their weekend in California, the Buckeyes are scheduled to have plenty of practice time before diving into their regular season against Baylor Jan. 18 in Waco, Texas. read more

Mauricio Pochettino sets for a special night at the Nou Camp

first_imgTottenham Hotspur will face Barcelona in the sixth and final match of UEFA Champions League Group B on Tuesday evening.Tottenham will need to match Inter’s result against PSV to progress to the knockout stages and club’s manager Mauricio Pochettino feels it’s a special chance that can go for the next stage of the CL.“When I was at Espanyol, we always felt the derbies (against Barcelona) a lot, that rivalry,” said Mauricio via club’s website.“This is special because it’s special for Tottenham and it’s special for us to have the chance to go to the next stage of the Champions League – and that’s with all the respect to Barcelona.Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“We are focused on trying to prepare for the game in the best way. After the victory against Leicester I think it’s important in a decisive game to have confidence and a belief we can win.“Of course, in front of us, we are going to have one of the best teams in the world and it’s going to be tough, but the most important thing is to be focused and concentrate on trying to play in our best way and trying to win.“Without belief in football, it is too difficult to win. I think it’s so important to arrive at that moment with the belief and the faith that we can perform in the best way.“After that, we will see what happens in the game because you need some luck and some good things to happen for you but we are confident that we can do a good job.”last_img read more

A game unlike others Allegri

first_imgThe Juventus manager talked about the importance of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 series between his side and Atletico Madrid.Italian Lega Serie A club Juventus is set to visit Wanda Metropolitano stadium to play against Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid.The game will be the first of two in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.And the game between the Bianconeri and Los Colchoneros will be like no others Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri told reporters today in the pre-match press conference.“It’s not a match like any other, it’s an important Last 16 match, just as it was last year, two years ago, three years ago, four years ago and five years ago,” Allegri was quoted by the club’s official website.“This is because for Juventus the Champions League has always been a goal.”“It will be a good match between two teams that have an excellent organization. Atletico has made defending its strength and makes the most of set-pieces,” he added.“It’s the first of two matches and we have to lay the groundwork to get through it.”“We’ve had some difficulties, but the team is now growing in all aspects, but we can’t stop here and have to improve further because we are playing in the Last 16 and have more league games to go,” he explained.“To win, you have to work hard and have a little bit of luck, because the Champions League is like that.”📌 Qui @Metropolitano 🏟#GETREADY #AtletiJuve pic.twitter.com/IF4qOPo1NG— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) February 19, 2019Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“Having [Cristiano] Ronaldo is definitely an advantage because in the last 10 years the top scorers of the tournament were him and Messi, but the team must put in a good performance.”“With Ronaldo – the best in the world, you have more chances to win, but it’s not a guarantee,” Allegri continued.The manager took some time to praise Atleti’s coach Diego Simeone too.“He’s done an extraordinary job and above all he manages to make the team work the same way, giving them the right mindset and manages well both the important games and against the medium-small sides in always the same way,” he said.“They always have great humility and great respect for their adversary and they know that they have gotten their results with those characteristics. So congratulations to Simeone.”⚫️⚪️ #GETREADY ⚪️⚫️Your squad list for Wednesday’s round of 16 UEFA Champions League match! @SamiKhedira has stayed in Turin for medical checks.➡️https://t.co/1p59CvlFKS #AtletiJuve #UCL pic.twitter.com/KyFKSjFIYo— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 19, 2019last_img read more

One dead in fatal collision in La Mesa

first_imgOne dead in fatal collision in La Mesa LA MESA ( KUSI) – A man was fatally struck by a car Tuesday on a street near Lake Murray.The pedestrian was hit by a westbound vehicle about 3:30 p.m. on Lake Murray Boulevard, near Marengo Avenue in La Mesa, said Sonny Saghera, spokesman for Heartland Fire & Rescue.The victim, believed to be roughly 50 to 60 years old, died at the scene. His name was not immediately available.The fatality forced the closure of traffic lanes near the road crossing. Police asked motorists to avoid the area if possible.Any witnesses to the collision are encouraged to contact the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: June 25, 2019center_img KUSI Newsroom June 25, 2019 Updated: 5:46 PMlast_img

Googles PowerMeter Will Help Reduce Energy Consumption Video

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Google’s PowerMeter Will Help Reduce Energy Consumption (Video) (2009, February 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-02-google-powermeter-energy-consumption-video.html Explore further Clean energy from local producers The data collected from these smart devices is displayed on a graph and shows the amount of power used and which device is using it at any given period of time. This will allow people to make smart decisions on how to better manage their energy consumption. (Physorg.com) — Google.org has announced “PowerMeter”, a platform that will help users track their home electricity usage in real-time on their home computer. This platform will receive data from “smart meters” and other electricity management devices that will collect detailed data on energy consumption. Video: Google PowerMeter Video ClipWith this new platform and smart meters, all of us will have a better understanding of our own energy usage. This is a huge opportunity for us all to save money and fight global warming by reducing our power usage.Studies show that with access to your homes personal energy information, it’s likely to save you between 5-15% on your monthly electric bill. For every six households that save 10% on electricity, carbon emissions would be reduce by the equivalent of taking one conventional car off the road.At this time Google’s PowerMeter is in closed beta but hopes that it will eventually be distributed to anyone who has a smart meter. The information from utility companies’ smart meters and energy management devices would be made available to anyone who signs up for access to their home electricity consumption on iGoogle’s homepage.© 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more