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A purr-fect companion: Robotic cats help isolated dementia patients | Duluth News Tribune

a purr-fect companion: robotic cats help isolated dementia patients | duluth news tribune

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Silver is her 53-year-old daughter Christine Hasey’s gray, life-like animatronic cat. Delivered a week and a half ago as a surprise for Hasey, the pet is from the Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center at Florida Atlantic University. Silver, who purrs, meows, blinks and rolls over, is one of more than 30 robotic cats the memory and wellness center uses to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although they’ve been used for over a year on campus, the cats are now going to homes to see how effective they are as treatment for the increased isolation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Hasey is one of the first to receive a robotic cat at home. She has dementia caused by Reye’s syndrome, and before quarantine began, she attended therapy five days a week at the memory center. There, she did not have her own robotic cat, but she had structure to ground her days and friends to make crafts with. But when the center switched to teletherapy because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hasey had to stay home, drastically magnifying her seclusion.

“Especially since this coronavirus hit, she’s not motivated to do much at home,” Cordes said …

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The Square Off robotic chess board gets a video calling component for remote games

the square off robotic chess board gets a video calling component for remote games

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The Square Off robotic chess board was already a great device for these times. The system makes it possible to play a solo game using 20 different degrees of difficulty or challenge someone remotely through chess.com. I met with the Mumbai-based startup a couple of CESes ago, and was quite impressed with the execution.

Now, in the face of massive global isolation courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has introduced a video calling feature. Using the connected app, players can connect with one another across the globe. It’s not quite like having another human on the other side of the board, but in these trying times and all that, we’ll take what we can get.

“The lockdowns have motivated people to rediscover their passion and the chess community is expanding,” CEO Bhavya Gohil says in a release. “The recent addition to the video calling feature was the call of the hour and we are thrilled for the response it has received. It takes the experience of connected board gaming one notch ahead. We are constantly innovating to provide the most quintessential gaming experience.”
The company says it has seen a 30% uptick in time spent on the board …

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May 2020 robotics deals slow; self-driving car companies still get funding

may 2020 robotics deals slow; self-driving car companies still get funding

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The number of robotics transactions continued to decline in May 2020, but as factories begin to reopen around the world, that drop may be only temporary. More than $1 billion was invested in autonomous vehicles last month, leading fundings in supply chain and logistics, healthcare, and other automation.
In May 2020, The Robot Report tracked 18 deals worth about $1.5 billion, compared with 26 robotics transactions worth more than $600 million in April 2020 and $1.5 billion in 27 transactions in May 2019. In a recent study, Silicon Valley Bank noted that the trend toward fewer, larger deals has continued.
The slump in global manufacturing had a ripple effect on automation, as several countries have faced a second wave of COVID-19 infections and closures. China, which was first affected by the novel coronavirus, has also been the first to recover, according to IHS Markit.
Diversification of production and supply chains could also help robotics rebound, said several industry analysts. Investors have shown confidence in leading robotics manufacturers such as ABB and Rockwell Automation, said The Motley Fool in late April.
The table below lists fundings in millions of U.S. dollars, where amounts were publicly available.
Robotics investments, May 2020

CompanyAmt. (M$)TypeLead investor, partnerDateTechnology

arculus17.52Series AAtomicoMay 19mobile robots

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Waypoint launches Kingpin lift and hitch top module for its warehouse robots

waypoint launches kingpin lift and hitch top module for its warehouse robots

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Waypoint launches Kingpin lift and hitch top module for its warehouse robots









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WATCH: The Covid-19 battle has just become robotic

watch: the covid-19 battle has just become robotic

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The spread of Covid-19 has spurred a swift response in most sectors. With tech leading the charge in a lot of instances with apps, new types of facemasks and social distancing mechanisms to name a few. One type of product that we are seeing gaining more traction is the use of robots using UV light to disinfect spaces. In this unfamiliar territory we find ourselves waiting for a vaccine to be created and approved, robots could play a significant role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and many other airborne viruses and bacteria in the health sector.

With parts of the economy being reopened, more people returning to work and schools being reopened, there has never been a better time to consider the use of UV-D disinfection robots, with the use of its short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) lamps that can disinfect theatre units, and rooms in general in just eight minutes.
The UV-D robot uses eight full-length UV-C lamps with 360° coverage, which operate only in the germicidal wavelength of 253.7 nm. Each lamp generates 5J a second of UV-C energy. There is always a minimum of four lamps facing any given surface within 1m, totaling a minimal intensity of 20 J/m2 per second.

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Commentary: FI$Cal Saving Time, Money with AI, Robotics

commentary: fi$cal saving time, money with ai, robotics

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The following commentary first appeared last week in the monthly update published by the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal), the state’s accounting, budget and business portal. It was edited only lightly for style.
At FI$Cal, our customers stand at the forefront of what we do. I’m excited to share our evolution at FI$Cal — putting artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) into our systems to bring more help to our customers.
The implementation of FI$Bot marked one of our first uses of AI. A key upgrade to the chatbot last year used AI to allow it to learn from its experience, so that FI$Bot improves answers to user queries as it goes forward. I highly encourage you all to try FI$Bot.
We are also looking at AI to make use of our historical ticket data in the FI$Cal Service Center. The goal is to train the FSC system to help users faster and at a much higher level, starting by processing emails from the inbox and routing them directly to staff who can respond to them.
We are just getting into the deployment of RPA in a number of …

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If There’s a Robot Revolution Coming, It Won’t Be From Apple

if there’s a robot revolution coming, it won’t be from apple

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One might think that the world’s first trillion-dollar company would be at the forefront of manufacturing technology, especially when it’s a company that produces billions of dollars in consumer electronics every year, but it seems that as much as Apple has tried to kick off the machine revolution, its been discovering the hard way that humans can still do things on the assembly lines that robots can’t.A new report from The Information explains how Apple has been trying to build completely automated factories in China for almost eight years now, and yet it’s faced repeated challenges in trying to find ways to get Macs, iPhones, and iPads made by robots rather than humans.In fact, eight years ago Apple CEO Tim Cook and other top execs travelled to China where they saw a pitch from Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou for an experimental, fully automated manufacturing line that could be used to produce iPads.Cook and the other Apple executives watched as iPad parts traveled along conveyor belts and were cut, chemically treated, polished and partially assembled with the help of robotic arms known as Foxbots.The InformationAccording to Gou, the proposed line required “very few …

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