Here is the latest:
Google is sufficiently confident about its technology that its staff have discussed launching a fully autonomous taxi service in Mountain View as soon as next year, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. The service may initially be restricted to Google employees, which might get around any legal and regulatory issues. Google has already run some tests with employees who are trained drivers.
I enjoyed this bit too:
Yet real life brings surprises no-one can anticipate. Last year, a Google car rounded a corner to find a woman in an electric wheelchair chasing a duck with a broom in the middle of the road. “We’d never tested the car against a woman and a duck,” Mr Urmson says, “and it was able to understand this was unusual, slow down, let that thing play out and then get on its way.”
General Motors Co. and Lyft Inc. will begin testing a fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric taxis on public roads within a year, a move central to the companies’ joint efforts to challenge Silicon Valley giants in the battle to reshape the auto industry.
A robot is being designed to compete with 12th graders during the college entrance examination in 2017 and get a score qualifying it to enter first-class universities in China, according to Huaxi Metropolis Daily.
US researchers have developed what they say is the world’s first surgical robot that can outperform human surgeons when operating autonomously on soft tissues such as intestines, paving the way for clinical trials.
Airbus is working with French and Japanese researchers to develop humanoid robots able to work alongside humans on its assembly lines and inside aircraft, in what would be a step change in the use of industrial robotics.
That is a lot of robot news for a day and a half.