Robot Spider and Bat

 The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode
The Festo BionicWheelBot, in walking mode(Credit: Festo)

Festo, the German electrical automation company that previously brought us a robotic dragonfly, kangaroo and penguin, is back with a couple of new creations – a spider that can roll like a wheel, and a bat that flies by autopilot.

Reminiscent of the Star Wars battle droids, the BionicWheelBot robotic spider was actually inspired by the flic-flac spider (cebrennus rechenbergi). In its native Sahara Desert habitat, that spider walks normally on uneven ground, but rolls/somersaults across smooth terrain – doing so is twice as fast as walking. read more

The Robots are Coming – and Sooner Than We Think

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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Remember the “Fight for 15,” the big progressive plan to raise the minimum wage to the arbitrarily chosen hourly base of 15 dollars? And recall that we free-market conservatives have been arguing that a mandated wage hike will not end well?

Already, the hike has taken a toll on some cities. Local and State minimum wage hikes are forcing restaurants and like service industry employers to raise their prices and/or lay off staff. Other businesses are closing up and relocating outside of cities to avoid the mandated pay hike.

Governments – federal, state and local, bowing to the pressure of a tiny minority of radicals, know not what they do.

Governments and radical activists create static charts and models showing how a massive minimum wage hike will benefit “the workers.” They never consider how the mandates will affect the employers – nor do they seem to care. They don’t understand that the private sector cannot just vote themselves more money to pay for the wage hike and further crushing regulations.

So instead of subserviently complying with government overlords, companies of all kinds are seeking to find ways around these crushing big brother decrees. And just like everything else in life – leave it to private sector innovators to find a path around Nanny State mandates. read more

My Weekly WND Exclusive – Impose Income Tax — on Robots?

Back in 2015, the Fiscal Times wrote an article describing a fear Bill Gates had. “He may be one of the world’s pivotal computing pioneers, mentioned in the same exuberantly geeky breath as Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Tim Berners-Lee. His technological exploits may have earned him over $80 billion, making him the world’s richest man. Yet even Bill Gates is somewhat concerned about the potentially destructive power of technology.”

Point of order. Some claim Gates is no longer the richest. That moniker goes to a Spaniard Amancio Ortega, the owner of the Zara retail chain.

In the article, Gates describes his fear, like Elon Musk, of what they are calling superintelligences – “computers with cognitive and computational abilities that far surpass those of humanity.” read more

Is this a Real Robot?

Improvements in technology mean robots are becoming eerily life-like – to the extent that now, people cannot tell the two apart.

Karen X Cheng, a ‘viral video director’, went to the CES conference in Las Vegas earlier this month and pretended to be a robot.

She was so convincing, or perhaps robots are so lifelike, that people believed her.

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Karen Cheng, a ‘viral video director’, went to the CES conference in Las Vegas earlier this month and pretended to be a robot. She was so convincing, or perhaps robots are so lifelike, that people believed her

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The Ultimate Dominion by Robots

After you heard President Obama’s call for a hike in the minimum wage, you probably wondered the same thing I did: Was Obama sent from the future by Skynet to prepare humanity for its ultimate dominion by robots?

But just in case the question didn’t occur to you, let me explain. On Tuesday, the day before Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage, the restaurant chain Applebee’s announced that it will install iPad-like tablets at every table. Chili’s already made this move earlier this year.

With these consoles customers will be able to order their meals and pay their checks without dealing with a waiter or waitress. Both companies insist that they won’t be changing their staffing levels, but if you’ve read any science fiction, you know that’s what the masterminds of every robot takeover say: “We’re here to help. We’re not a threat.” read more