Preparing For The Third Wave

While applying to business schools in 1980, Steve Case prophetically wrote: “I firmly believe that technological advances in communications are on the verge of significantly altering our way of life…” In his personal statement, he further predicted (ten years before Congress decommissioned the ARPANET) that screens would become “information lifelines” … Read More

The Race For Robot Clairvoyance

This week a Harvard Business School student challenged me to name a startup capable of producing an intelligent robot – TODAY! At first I did not understand the question, as artificial intelligence (AI) is an implement like any other in a roboticist’s toolbox. The student persisted, she demanded to know … Read More

YouTube Is Making Machines Really Smart

As the playoffs are in full swing, everyone is littering their speech with baseball apologies, “We are only at the bottom of the first inning for all these technologies,” declared Pano Anthos at last week’s RoboLab forum. When illustrating his point, Anthos deconstructed one of XRC Labs‘ portfolio companies which … Read More

Educating The Workforce Of The Future, In The Age of Accelerations

I have two kids in college and one of my biggest concerns is their knowledge that what they have labored hard to acquire will become obsolete by the time of graduation. Our age is driven by the hypersonic accelerations of technology and data forcing innovative educators to create new pedagogical … Read More

New York: The Gateway To Industry 4.0

As Hurricane Florence raged across the coastline of Northern Carolina, 600 miles north the 174th Attack Wing Nation Guard base in Syracuse, New York was on full alert. Governor Cuomo just hung up with Defense Secretary Mattis to ready the airbase’s MQ-9’s drone force to “provide post-storm situational awareness for … Read More

The New Restaurant Experience: Robot Servers, Cooks And Hostesses

At the new Alibaba restaurant, Robot.he, in Shanghai the human hostesses have been relegated to smiling and pointing at touch screens. The hard work of interacting with guests and serving dinner is done by mobile phones and mobile robots that look oddly similar to Amazon’s warehouse rovers. Cao Haitao of Robot.he … Read More

Get Ready For Humanoids

Memphis at 1am is quite possibly the busiest airport without passengers on the globe. Touring the 880 acre FedEx facility, I marveled at the speed and efficiency of the automation technologies that can process close to a half a million shipments an hour and 250 flights a day. The cargo hub … Read More

Ice-Bot Cometh: Building Self-Reliant Unmanned Systems

Last June, a massive dust storm engulfed Mars and immobilized the most famous robots in the galaxy, Opportunity and Curiosity. This is not the first time that Martian dirt has prevented Opportunity from recharging its solar panels. Its creators originally predicted that the planet’s harsh weather conditions would limit the … Read More

Disney Launches New Era Of Autonomy With Gravity Defying Stickmen And More

Ever since the première of “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, The Walt Disney Company has pushed the envelope of imagination. Mickey Mouse is still more popular worldwide than any single human actor. In fact, from that one cel an entire world of animated characters were birthed. The entertainment powerhouse demonstrated last … Read More

Disposable Robots Take Flight

Last Wednesday, I attended AeroVironment’s presentation of their contribution to NASA’s Mars Helicopter mission. The autonomous vertical-lift drone is remarkably capable of flying through the planet’s thin atmosphere, as demonstrated on Earth in a vacuum chamber by their CEO, Wahid Nawabi. The unmanned aerial craft will provide a bird’s eye view of the Martian landscape to … Read More