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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:59 PM

More Robots: Google's "Atlas" Robot Mimics "Karate Kid"; Flying Defibrillator "Ambulance Drone" Unveiled; Fed Has No Answer

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Robotic technology continues at a rapidly expanding pace. Here's a look at two new technologies.

Flying Defibrillator "Ambulance Drone"

Tech Crunch reports Flying Defibrillator ‘Ambulance Drone’ Cuts Response Time Down to Couple of Minutes

A Dutch engineer has created a flying defibrillator for emergency situations. The drone, called the Ambulance Drone, would be stationed at various points in the city. In an emergency, people on the scene can call it in and it arrives a few seconds later. The built-in defibrillator unit can be used by anyone and it allows doctors to monitor the situation after the shocks are administered.

The drone includes a webcam and loudspeaker and allows remote doctors to walk people on the scene through the process of attaching the electrodes and preparing the defibrillator. The creator, Alec Momont of TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, said that 20% of people can operate a defibrillator without instruction and the number rises when they have prompts from trained personnel.

"Some 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU every year, and only 8% survive," Momont explains. "The main reason for this is the relatively long response time of the emergency services (approx. 10 minutes), while brain death and fatalities occur within 4 to 6 minutes. The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient inside a 12 km zone within one minute. This response speed increases the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest from 8% to 80%."
Ambulance Drone Video

Google's "Atlas" Robot Mimics "Karate Kid"

9-to-5 Google reports Google-owned Boston Dynamics debuts new video of Atlas robot mimicking ‘The Karate Kid’.
Google-owned robotics lab Boston Dynanics has debuted new video of its 6’2″ Atlas robot, also known as “Ian.” The hulking mass of metal, which weighs a whopping 330 lbs, has been programmed to recreate a key scene from the 1984 film The Karate Kid.

Ian is part of an ongoing robotics project that seeks to create automatons that can replace humans in hazardous roles like firefighting. Ian has already demonstrated a variety of abilities, including traversing difficult and uneven terrain, carrying objects such as firehoses, and even to get into a car and drive it. It can also use both its hands and feet to climb over the most treacherous obstacles.

Ian’s head is made up of two cameras and a laser rangefinder that provide it with the necessary depth perception to accomplish many tasks that most other robots simply wouldn’t be able to. It can turn its head to get a better view of its surroundings. It has a total of 28 moveable joints throughout its body.
Atlas Drone Video

As 9-to-5 suggests, turn down your audio for this one. The video sound is more than a bit annoying.

Amazing Technology Pace

Robot technology advances at an amazing pace. It is easy to pooh-pooh this technology as unusable, but it will not be unusable for long.

I believe it's safe to assume that drones, under command from a limited number of humans, will eventually be able to replace a big subset of firefighters.

More On Robots

October 29, 2014: Meet "OSHbot" Lowes New Store Helper; Goodbye Retail Associates, Hello Robots
August 18, 2014: Rising Robots: Is it Obvious Robots Cost Human Jobs? Looking for Someone to Blame?
June 23, 2104: Robot Truck Convoy Tests in Nevada; Driverless Trucks Before Cars, and Before the End of the Decade
May 28, 2104: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car, No Steering Wheel, No Accelerator, No Brake Pedal; Self-Driving Taxi Has Arrived
May 23, 2014: Amazon to Increase Robots from 1,400 to 10,000 by End of 2014; Day in the Life of a Robot
October 9, 2013: High-Tech Robotic Wine: The Future of Winemaking is Robots
October 6, 2013: Reader Question on Robots: What are People Supposed To Do For Their Livelihoods?
October 4, 2013: Never Has Arrived; The Last Mile April 25, 2013: Robotic Outsourcing; Food Preparation Robots Invade China, Japan, US; Who is to Blame, and What Can be Done About It? February 24, 2013: Robots Don't Commit Suicide (and Other Robot Advantages)
January 22, 2013: Meet "Baxter" the Robot Out to Get Your Minimum-Wage, No Benefits, Part-Time Job, Because He's Still Much Cheaper; Fed Cannot Win a Fight Against Robots
August 20, 2012: Robots to Rule the World? Taking All Jobs? Replace Women?

Fed Has No Answer

Technology is extremely price-deflationary. Robots are cheaper and faster than human counterparts in an ever-increasing number of roles.

Neither the Fed, nor governments have an answer.

  1. Higher minimum wages encourage more use of robots.
  2. Lower interest rates make it easier for companies to borrow to invest in technology. 
  3. Lower interest rates also increase income inequality.

In regards to point number three above, lower interest rates boost earnings which in turn boosts CEO salaries and raises the value of stock options.

Those with no assets lose as real wages decline.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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