Robotics researchers propose AI that locates and safely moves items on shelves

A pair of new robotics studies from Google and the University of California, Berkeley propose ways of finding occluded objects on shelves and solving “contact-rich” manipulation tasks like moving objects across a table. The UC Berkeley research introduces Lateral Access maXimal Reduction of occupancY support Area (LAX-RAY), a system that predicts a target object’s location, even when only a portion of that object is visible. As for the Google-coauthored paper, it proposes Contact-aware Online COntext Inference (COCOI), which aims to embed the dynamics properties of physical things in an easy-to-use framework.

While researchers have explored the robotics problem of searching for objects in clutter for quite some time, settings like shelves, cabinets, and closets are a less-studied area, despite their wide applicability. (For example, a service robot at a pharmacy might need to find supplies from a medical cabinet.) Contact-rich manipulation problems are just as ubiquitous in the physical world,

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PlayStation 5: Amazon ‘really sorry’ after customers received cat food and other items instead of games console | Science & Tech News, Reports

Amazon says it is “really sorry” following reports that customers who had pre-ordered the new PlayStation 5 instead received deliveries of cat food and a foot massager.

Social media users have expressed their disappointment at what they claim are a spate of unsolicited deliveries, including cat food, a grill, and packing tape, instead of the much-awaited games console.

Amazon confirmed to Sky News that some of the social media reports were genuine, stating: “We’re all about making our customers happy, and that hasn’t happened for a small proportion of these orders.”

“We’re really sorry about that and are investigating exactly what’s happened,” the Amazon spokesperson added.

“We’re reaching out to every customer who’s had a problem and made us aware so we can put it right. Anyone who has had an issue with any order can contact our customer services team for help.”

The affected users have expressed concerns that

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Power-free system harnesses evaporation to keep items cool — ScienceDaily

Camels have evolved a seemingly counterintuitive approach to keeping cool while conserving water in a scorching desert environment: They have a thick coat of insulating fur. Applying essentially the same approach, researchers at MIT have now developed a system that could help keep things like pharmaceuticals or fresh produce cool in hot environments, without the need for a power supply.

Most people wouldn’t think of wearing a camel-hair coat on a hot summer’s day, but in fact many desert-dwelling people do tend to wear heavy outer garments, for essentially the same reason. It turns out that a camel’s coat, or a person’s clothing, can help to reduce loss of moisture while at the same time allowing enough sweat evaporation to provide a cooling effect. Tests have showed that a shaved camel loses 50 percent more moisture than an unshaved one, under identical conditions, the researchers say.

The new system developed

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