GineersNow Engineering Magazine Issue 005

GineersNow Engineering Magazine July 2016 Issue No. 005 Masdar: The Future of Sustainable City in Abu Dhabi, UAE Exclusive Stories: Future cities, smart cities, robotics, artificial intelligence, deep learning, digital migration, exoskeleton, social good, information technologies. Special feature stories: HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, MEP contractors, construction, civil engineering, chemical, petrochemicals, oil & gas, water and wastewater, nano filtration, ultra filtration, desalination, reverse osmosis. Country Focus: United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United States, Canada, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam. https://www.gineersnow.com/topics/magazines

GineersNow Engineering Magazine July 2016 Issue No. 005

Masdar: The Future of Sustainable City in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Exclusive Stories: Future cities, smart cities, robotics, artificial intelligence, deep learning, digital migration, exoskeleton, social good, information technologies.

Special feature stories: HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, MEP contractors, construction, civil engineering, chemical, petrochemicals, oil & gas, water and wastewater, nano filtration, ultra filtration, desalination, reverse osmosis.

Country Focus: United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United States, Canada, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.



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JULY 2016 ISSUE NO. <strong>005</strong><br />

MASDAR:<br />






STORIES:<br />

Future Cities<br />

Smartest Cities in the World<br />

Robotics<br />

Artificial Intelligence<br />

Deep Learning<br />

Exoskeleton<br />

Social Good Technologies<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


John Vauden<br />

Senior Editor<br />

Asia-Pacific<br />

Hina Sapra<br />

Senior Editor<br />

South Asia<br />

Therese Matheren<br />

Senior Editor<br />

North America<br />


Ems Bagatsing<br />

Sales & Marketing Director<br />

Ems@LincolnMartin.com<br />

Robert Bagatsing<br />

Editor-In-Chief<br />

editor@<strong>GineersNow</strong>.com<br />

Engr. Alice Hernandez<br />

Senior Editor-At-Large<br />

Charity Bagatsing<br />

Senior Editor<br />

North America<br />

Engr. Dion Greg Reyes<br />

Junior Editor<br />

Engr. Cielo Panda<br />

Junior Editor<br />

Raymond Gerard del Valle<br />

Junior Editor<br />

Abhishek Tarafder<br />

Matrix Media<br />

Information Technology<br />

Lauren Lloyd Del Mundo<br />

Video Editor<br />

Creative & Layout<br />

<strong>GineersNow</strong> is a subsidiary of<br />

Lincoln Martin Strategic Marketing<br />

Level 14, Boulevard Plaza Tower 1<br />

MBR Boulevard, Emaar Square,<br />

Downtown Dubai, UAE<br />

P.O. Box 334036, Dubai, U.A.E.<br />

Mob: +971 50 4289684<br />

www.LincolnMartin.com<br />

Disclaimer: The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or<br />

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(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”

Editor's<br />

Note<br />

The future is here and we can see<br />

it everywhere. From the advanced<br />

technology that helps us easily<br />

navigate our way around the world<br />

to the robotic technology we’re<br />

using to make everyday life more<br />

efficient. No more waiting lines, no<br />

more harsh and awkward human<br />

interactions from offices and<br />

definitely a faster way to fix things<br />

and heal people. Yes, the future<br />

is here and we’re benefiting from<br />

all the hard work engineers have<br />

devoted to making it all happen.<br />

In this issue, we bring you different<br />

stories about how the world<br />

interacts with robots and artificial<br />

intelligence. Learn more about<br />

cities that are setting an example<br />

on today’s renewable-energy-driven<br />

technologies and machines that can<br />

work for the human race. Aren’t you<br />

excited with what more engineers<br />

can do for us now?<br />

Whatever you need, there’s an<br />

artificial intelligence program ready<br />

to serve you. May it be one push of<br />

a button or just one word uttered,<br />

today’s AI has fully advanced and<br />

developed into a machine that can<br />

think like a human. Come to think<br />

of it, there are robots out there that<br />

looks just like a real person. Is this<br />

a good thing or a bad thing for<br />

the human race? I’ll let you be the<br />

judge of that. A lot of experts have<br />

different opinions on this matter<br />

but one thing’s for sure, the world<br />

may no longer be a place for only<br />

humans and animals.<br />

Let’s talk about futuristic cities, too.<br />

While we can’t deny that majority of<br />

today’s people are poverty-stricken,<br />

there are rising cities and welldeveloped<br />

places that have been<br />

labeled as the cities of the future.<br />

We’re not just talking about highrise<br />

establishments here. We’re<br />

seeing cities with the most advanced<br />

technologies available to all of its<br />

citizens. We’re talking about the use<br />

of renewable energy to power these<br />

places, which leads to a cleaner and<br />

safer environments to live in. One<br />

example of these projects is what<br />

Masdar has accomplished so far<br />

in Masdar City. We’re giving you<br />

an exclusive interview with the<br />

company’s CEO on our cover story<br />

to let you know what exactly is the<br />

company up to and how they can<br />

set an example for other cities and<br />

countries to follow.<br />

As engineers, we’ll be taking on a<br />

crucial job in providing the future<br />

generation a place where they can<br />

thrive more using the artificial<br />

intelligence programs we’ll be<br />

developing. It is our responsibility<br />

to give them a place to live where<br />

we can teach them that anything is<br />

possible - something we’re tacking<br />

on as well. Futuristic cities? Robots<br />

that can follow our every demand?<br />

Who knew that this day would<br />

come? The engineers in the past<br />

did. The engineers today believe<br />

that as well. Let’s set an example for<br />

the future engineers to think that as<br />



PAGE<br />

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‘2045 INITIATIVE’: THE<br />



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HOW R2-D2 AND C-3PO<br />



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WORLD<br />

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DRONE<br />

68<br />

10 MOST FAMOUS<br />



MASDAR:<br />


MEET THE<br />


CEO:<br />



RAMAHI<br />

I joined Masdar in 2008<br />

as Head of Internal Audit<br />

and Compliance. Later, I<br />

was appointed Masdar’s<br />

Director of Corporate Services<br />

and Financial Affairs. I<br />

subsequently became Chief<br />

Financial Officer, and then<br />

Chief Operating Officer of<br />

Masdar. I was appointed<br />

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)<br />

in February 2016.<br />

In addition to my<br />

responsibilities as CEO, I serve<br />

on the board of a number of<br />

prominent companies, joint<br />

ventures and special entities,<br />

including the Dudgeon<br />

Offshore Wind Farm in the<br />

UK, the Masdar Solar Wind<br />

Cooperative, the Masdar<br />

Investment Committee,<br />

and Torresol Energy. Before<br />

joining Masdar, I was head<br />

of the Internal Audit and<br />

Risk Management Office at<br />

GASCO, a leading oil and gas<br />

company based in Abu Dhabi.<br />

I have a bachelor’s degree in<br />

business administration and<br />

finance from the University of<br />

Evansville in the US.<br />



Q: Are you an educational<br />

institution, social enterprise,<br />

non-profit or private<br />

company?<br />

Masdar is a commercially<br />

driven renewable energy<br />

company based in Abu<br />

Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.<br />

The company has a mission<br />

to invest, incubate and<br />

establish a new energy<br />

industry in Abu Dhabi and<br />

around the world. Masdar<br />

is playing an important role<br />

in extending Abu Dhabi’s<br />

energy leadership beyond<br />

hydrocarbons. Masdar is<br />

delivering on its goal of<br />

becoming an innovative,<br />

holistic, ecosystem while<br />

helping to realise a template<br />

for sustainable urban<br />

development. Masdar City<br />

is the home of the Masdar<br />

Institute of Science and<br />

Technology, the focal point<br />

of an innovation cluster<br />

that is leading global<br />

technology partnerships,<br />

commercializing new<br />

technologies and driving<br />

real-world innovation.<br />

Q: How big is your company?<br />

Masdar was established in<br />

2006 as a wholly owned<br />

subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi<br />

government’s Mubadala<br />

Development Company.<br />

Our company is located 17<br />

6<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

kilometers east-south-east of<br />

the city of Abu Dhabi near<br />

its international airport: our<br />

operations span the globe<br />

from Europe through the<br />

Middle East and North Africa<br />

(MENA) region to the Indian<br />

Ocean, Asia and the Pacific<br />

islands.<br />

Q: Describe your mission,<br />

vision and values.<br />

Masdar is advancing<br />

the development and<br />

commercialization of<br />

renewable energy and<br />

sustainable technologies<br />

in both developed and<br />

developing markets. Through<br />

initiatives such as Masdar<br />

City, Masdar is helping<br />

to realize a template – or<br />

“greenprint” - for sustainable<br />

urban development. Masdar<br />

is realizing solutions and<br />

technologies at the critical<br />

nexus of water and energy<br />

– in a region where water<br />

is more important than oil.<br />

Masdar is helping to equip<br />

the region’s future leaders<br />

in energy and sustainable<br />

development with the skills<br />

to succeed in an increasingly<br />

diversified economy. Through<br />

its diverse activities, Masdar<br />

is raising awareness among<br />

the wider community of the<br />

importance and potential<br />

of sustainability and clean<br />

energy, helping to change<br />

behavior and motivate action.<br />

Q: Where is this company<br />

headed? What’s your future<br />

expansion plans?<br />

Our long-term vision is to make<br />

Abu Dhabi the preeminent<br />

source of renewable energy<br />

knowledge, development and<br />

implementation, as well as<br />

the world’s benchmark for<br />

sustainable development.<br />

In the next five years, we will<br />

further develop Masdar City<br />

as an innovation ecosystem.<br />

Our aim is for 35 percent of<br />

the planned built-up area of<br />

the City to be complete within<br />

5 years (up from 5 per cent<br />

today) and to quadruple the<br />

number of tenants in Masdar<br />

City Free Zone. We will<br />

continue adding residential<br />

facilities, commercial facilities<br />

and educational institutions,<br />

as well as building out the<br />

clean-tech R&D hub.<br />

In clean energy, our goal is<br />

to double the clean energy<br />

capacity in our portfolio in the<br />

next 10 years and to continue<br />

improving energy access in<br />

some of the most remote<br />

areas of the world.<br />


Q: What is clean energy?<br />

Clean energy can be defined<br />

as sustainable and renewable<br />

energy sources that increase<br />

the global carbon footprint.<br />

Masdar has been at the<br />

forefront of the UAE’s efforts<br />

to deploy clean energy at<br />

home and abroad, while<br />

driving sustainable economic<br />

growth, employment,<br />

innovation and prosperity.<br />

Since its inception in 2006,<br />

Masdar has positioned Abu<br />

Dhabi on the front line<br />

of clean energy research<br />

and technology, investing<br />

over US$2.7 billion in clean<br />

energy projects around the<br />

world, with nearly 1.7 GW of<br />

renewable energy capacity<br />

either in operation or under<br />

development globally.<br />

Masdar has 360-degree<br />

expertise in renewable energy<br />

projects, from development to<br />

construction to operation: the<br />

company now has projects in<br />

the UAE, Spain, the United<br />

Kingdom, Jordan, Mauritania,<br />

Seychelles and the South<br />

Pacific.<br />

• The 630MW London Array<br />

in the Thames Estuary,<br />

UK, is Masdar’s biggest<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


international investment at<br />

present and the largest wind<br />

farm in the world currently in<br />

operation<br />

• Masdar has a 35% share<br />

in the planned Dudgeon<br />

offshore wind farm in Britain,<br />

which is being developed<br />

with the Norwegian partners<br />

Statoil and Statkraft<br />

• The Tafila Wind Farm in<br />

Jordan is the first utility-scale<br />

wind farm commissioned<br />

in the region. The US$238<br />

million project is capable<br />

of producing 117MW<br />

of electricity, delivering<br />

400GWh of electricity<br />

annually and displacing<br />

235,000 tonnes of CO 2<br />

• A pilot desalination<br />

programme in Ghantoot, Abu<br />

Dhabi, is producing 1,500<br />

m3/day of potable water<br />

over 15 months using four<br />

unique technologies from<br />

four international partners.<br />

The programme is ultimately<br />

aimed at the large-scale<br />

deployment of one or more<br />

of these energy-efficient<br />

desalination technologies<br />

in the UAE and potentially<br />

across the MENA region, and<br />

in other global locations.<br />

• Masdar’s 100MW Shams 1<br />

facility in the Western Region<br />

of Abu Dhabi is still one of the<br />

world’s largest concentrated<br />

solar power plants, capable<br />

of reducing CO 2<br />

emissions<br />

by up to 175,000 tonnes<br />

annually.<br />

• In partnership with ADNOC,<br />

Masdar is developing a<br />

Carbon, Capture, Usage<br />

and Storage project that<br />

sequesters industrial carbon<br />

and enhances oil recovery<br />

• Through the Ecomagination<br />

2020 Partnership, Masdar<br />

and GE are implementing the<br />

first complete energy-neutral<br />

wastewater treatment<br />

process.<br />

Why bother? What's the<br />

importance of pursuing clean<br />

energy?<br />

It is crucial that we develop<br />

clean energy to mitigate<br />

climate change and address<br />

domestic and global energy<br />

demand. Our rapidly<br />

urbanizing world will mean<br />

that cities are likely to host<br />

up to 70% of the world’s<br />

population by 2050. We need<br />

to reduce carbon emissions<br />

and provide sufficient energy<br />

for a rapidly growing global<br />

population.<br />

The UAE’s commitment to<br />

generate 24 percent of its<br />

electricity from clean energy<br />

sources by 2021 shows both<br />

our nation’s commitment<br />

to climate action and its<br />

willingness to invest in the<br />

innovation needed to achieve<br />

such an ambitious target.<br />


LEVEL OF<br />

CLEAN<br />

ENERGY<br />

Q: Where are we today? What<br />

is the current situation of<br />

renewables?<br />

Globally, an estimated<br />

US$329 billion was invested<br />

in new renewable energy<br />

capacity last year, an all-time<br />

high [2015 Bloomberg New<br />

Energy Finance Report (http://<br />

www.climateweeknyc.org/<br />

news-media/clean-energyhit-record-investment-lastyear-bnef-report)].<br />

Emerging<br />

markets still account for a<br />

relatively small proportion<br />

of this expenditure, but the<br />

Middle East and North Africa<br />

(MENA) region will steadily<br />

acquire a larger share of<br />

newly installed renewables<br />

capacity. At Masdar, we<br />

are refocusing our efforts<br />

on the further adoption of<br />

clean energy and sustainable<br />

development across MENA in<br />

8<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

2016, building on our many<br />

successful projects overseas.<br />

Q: Where should we be 10<br />

years from now? Are we<br />

on the right track? Are we<br />

delayed? Are we progressing?<br />

The business case for<br />

renewable energy is now<br />

beyond doubt. A recent<br />

report by the International<br />

Renewable Energy Agency<br />

suggests that doubling the<br />

share of renewables in the<br />

global energy mix by 2030<br />

could boost global GDP by<br />

1%. That equates to more<br />

than 1 trillion US dollars and<br />

an estimated 24 million jobs.<br />

Countries in arid and semiarid<br />

regions are increasingly<br />

setting renewable energy<br />

targets in their energy mix as<br />

demand grows, serving as a<br />

boost for investments in solar<br />

and wind power ventures.<br />

At the same time, prices<br />

are becoming increasingly<br />

competitive.<br />

MASDAR’S<br />



AND<br />


Q: What are the initiatives /<br />

projects that you are doing<br />

(or have done) that will drive<br />

low or zero emission?<br />

Masdar is a for-profit,<br />

renewable energy company<br />

that has been fulfilling a<br />

mission to invest, incubate<br />

and advance the new<br />

energy economy around the<br />

world since the company’s<br />

inception in 2006.<br />

Our completed projects are:<br />

• Shams 1, Abu Dhabi (100<br />

MW CSP plant)<br />

• Masdar City, Abu Dhabi:<br />

10 MW PV array and 1MW<br />

roof-top complex, Abu<br />

Dhabi<br />

• Solar Hub testing and R&D<br />

facility, Abu Dhabi<br />

• Renewable Energy<br />

Desalination pilot<br />

programme<br />

• London Array, UK (630 MW<br />

offshore wind farm)<br />

• Gemasolar solar power<br />

plant, Spain (20 MW)<br />

• Valle 1 and 2 solar plants,<br />

Spain (100 MW)<br />

• Tafila Wind Farm, Jordan<br />

(117 MW)<br />

• 600 solar home systems in<br />

27 villages in Afghanistan<br />

• Sheikh Zayed Solar Power<br />

Plant, Mauritania (15 MW PV<br />

plant)<br />

• Port Victoria Wind Power<br />

Project, the Republic of<br />

Seychelles (6 MW)<br />

• Siwa Solar PV Plant, Egypt<br />

(10 MW)<br />

• Red Sea Solar Power Plants,<br />

Egypt (14 MW)<br />

• Al Wadi Al Jadeed Solar PV<br />

Plants, Egypt (6 MW)<br />

• 7000 Solar Home Systems<br />

in Egypt<br />

• Kiribati: 500kW Solar PV &<br />

Water Protection<br />

• Fiji: LaKaRo 525kW Solar<br />

PV plant<br />

• Samoa: 550kW Cyclone-<br />

Proof Wind Farm<br />

• Tonga: Vava’u 512 kW Solar<br />

PV plant<br />

• Tuvalu: 500kW Rooftop<br />

Solar PV plant<br />

• Vanuatu: Port Vila 767kW<br />

Solar PV plant<br />

• Solomon Islands – Solar PV<br />

Plant in Honiara<br />

• Marshall Islands – Solar<br />

Water Collection in Majuro<br />

• The Republic of Nauru –<br />

Nauru Solar PV plant<br />

• Palau – Solar Penetration<br />

and Water Access projects<br />

• FSM – Solar PV plant in<br />

Pohnpei<br />

Our projects currently under<br />

development are:<br />

• Carbon Capture, Usage &<br />

Storage project, Abu Dhabi<br />

• Waste to Energy projects<br />

• Dudgeon, UK (402 MW<br />

offshore wind farm)<br />

• A 50MW onshore wind farm<br />

in Dhofar, Oman<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


• A 200MW PV plant in Jordan<br />

• Additional PV projects in<br />

Mauritania with a total<br />

capacity of 12MW<br />

Q: What are the future<br />

innovations that your<br />

company is currently<br />

pursuing?<br />

The pilot research projects<br />

located at Masdar City, many<br />

of them led by or closely<br />

involving MI scientists and<br />

students, are accelerating<br />

the acquisition of scientific<br />

knowledge in the clean tech<br />

industry and paving the way<br />

towards the development<br />

of real-world commercial<br />

applications. As the<br />

surrounding community at<br />

Masdar City grows, the R&D<br />

cluster will also expand.<br />

The exciting and innovative<br />

new projects currently being<br />

developed at Masdar City<br />

include:<br />

• Eco-Villa Prototype: a project<br />

incorporating innovative<br />

water- and energy-saving<br />

technologies and design<br />

features that significantly<br />

reduce its environmental<br />

impact compared to standard<br />

villas. The ‘Net Zero Energy’<br />

prototype equipped with 80<br />

rooftop PV panels can supply<br />

up to 40,000 kWh per year<br />

to the national grid, easily<br />

offsetting its own electricity<br />

requirements.<br />

• Seawater Energy &<br />

Agriculture System (SEAS):<br />

a project supporting the<br />

nascent aviation biofuel<br />

industry in the Middle East<br />

and promoting increased<br />

food security through the<br />

cultivation of oil-rich, salttolerant<br />

plants from the<br />

waste water of an industrial<br />

fish farm. SEAS is an initiative<br />

of the Sustainable Bioenergy<br />

Research Consortium<br />

established by the Masdar<br />

Institute, Etihad Airways,<br />

Boeing and Honeywell UOP.<br />

• Electric Energy Storage<br />

Solutions Hub: exploring the<br />

potential of electrochemical<br />

technologies to enhance the<br />

capacity of renewable energy<br />

systems to store power,<br />

enabling their wider adoption<br />

in the energy mix.<br />

• Geothermal Energy: a<br />

project evaluating a possible<br />

power source for district<br />

cooling. With geothermal<br />

wells already sunk to a depth<br />

of 2,500 metres within the<br />

grounds of Masdar City, the<br />

research initiative is the first<br />

of its type in the Middle East<br />

and may be converted into<br />

a full-fledged demonstration<br />

project.<br />

• The Masdar Solar Hub:<br />

Photovoltaic (PV) Test Centre:<br />

operated in partnership with<br />

the Masdar Institute and TÜV<br />

Rheinland, the facility provides<br />

independent measurement of<br />

the performance, reliability<br />

and durability of PV modules,<br />

their panel coatings and other<br />

related technical equipment.<br />

• The Masdar Solar Hub:<br />

CPV Testing Facility: a<br />

joint initiative between<br />

Masdar and Instituto de<br />

Sistemas Fotovoltaicos de<br />

Concentración (ISFOC)<br />

of Spain, researching the<br />

performance of Concentrated<br />

Photovoltaic (CPV) systems<br />

in the Gulf’s desert climate<br />

conditions.<br />

Q: What impact have you<br />

delivered (social, economic<br />

and environmental)? Do you<br />

have metrics or statistics of<br />

your accomplishments?<br />

Masdar has 10 years of<br />

experience as a renewable<br />

energy developer and<br />

investor, building state-ofthe-art<br />

projects, from large,<br />

utility-scale power plants to<br />

community grid projects to<br />

individual solar house systems<br />

in locations around the world.<br />

In total, Masdar has invested<br />

more than US$2.7 billion in<br />

clean energy generation.<br />

Our already-operational solar<br />

and wind projects have a total<br />

peak capacity of nearly 1,000<br />

megawatts (MW) and are<br />

displacing nearly 2.5 million<br />

metric tons (2,389,725 m/t)<br />

of carbon dioxide per year.<br />

Another 700MW of capacity is<br />

currently under development.<br />

Among the most notable of<br />

our clean energy projects is the<br />

630MW London Array, which<br />

is the largest offshore wind<br />

project in the world currently<br />

in operation. The landmark<br />

Gemasolar concentrated solar<br />

power (CSP) plant in Spain<br />

was the first utility-scale solar<br />

plant to deliver electricity to<br />

the grid 24 hours a day.<br />

Masdar City’s 10MW<br />

photovoltaic array produces<br />

about 17,500 megawatthours<br />

of clean electricity<br />

annually and offsets 15,000<br />

tonnes of carbon emissions<br />

per year. The plant consists of<br />

87,780 multi-crystalline and<br />

thin-film modules supplied by<br />

Suntech and First Solar.<br />

Masdar also manages the<br />

Zayed Future Energy Prize.<br />

From ensuring access to<br />

modern energy in rural African<br />

villages, to empowering<br />

Bangladeshi women with<br />

careers as solar technicians,<br />

more than 202 million people<br />

around the world have<br />

experienced the sustainable<br />

actions of the Zayed Future<br />

Energy Prize winners. Through<br />

progressive achievements<br />

recognized by the awards,<br />

water security is now a<br />

reality for millions of families<br />

across Bangladesh, India,<br />

Ghana and the Philippines.<br />

Renewable energy sources<br />

supply electricity to 60 million<br />

people, and enough carbon<br />

emissions have been avoided<br />

to offset the price of global<br />

deforestation for a year.<br />

The Zayed Future Energy<br />

Prize’s Global High Schools<br />

category was launched in 2012<br />

10<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

as part of the UAE leadership’s<br />

commitment to the Sustainable<br />

Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.<br />

Since the launch of this category,<br />

nearly 2,000 students have<br />

participated in projects run by<br />

award-winning schools and<br />

academies. Over 9,000 students<br />

in total have benefitted along<br />

with 37,000 people living in local<br />

communities. Almost 1.5 million<br />

kWh have been generated, solar<br />

panels with a total capacity<br />

of 263 kW installed and CO2<br />

emissions cut by over 1,000<br />

tonnes.<br />

Our annual Sustainability Report<br />

for 2015 demonstrates that we<br />

have firm foundations to build on<br />

by outlining a range of significant<br />

achievements. During 2015, we<br />

secured the production of 2,962<br />

gigawatt hours of total renewable<br />

energy, displacing a total of 1.39<br />

million tonnes of carbon. Masdar<br />

City’s personal rapid transport<br />

(PRT) system was used by more<br />

than 33,000 passengers each<br />

month on average during the<br />

period. Our attractiveness as a<br />

business environment was further<br />

illustrated by the 64 percent<br />

increase in registered companies<br />

in Masdar Free Zone (MFZ) last<br />

year.<br />

FACING<br />




Q: What are the stumbling blocks<br />

or bottlenecks in the renewable<br />

industry?<br />

From a wider industry<br />

perspective, one of the main<br />

technical hurdles for sustainable<br />

renewable energy, and therefore<br />

one of the main points of focus<br />

in terms of innovation, is energy<br />

storage. With effective storage<br />

technology in place, energy from<br />

renewable sources will evolve<br />

from its traditional peak-sharing<br />

energy providing role to providing<br />

reliable base-load generating<br />

capacity, enabling electricity<br />

grids to absorb even more clean<br />

power. Overall, renewable energy<br />

is the fastest growing power<br />

sector worldwide, accounting<br />

for the majority of new installed<br />

capacity, so the future for the<br />

industry is bright indeed.<br />

Q: How do we provide cheap<br />

energy in poverty stricken areas?<br />

Masdar has led the way in<br />

providing renewable energy to<br />

remote regions and communities<br />

away from the national grid.<br />

For example, Masdar has led a<br />

UAE initiative to bring secure<br />

sources of renewable energy to<br />

11 remote Pacific Island counties.<br />

These projects include innovative<br />

solar and wind solutions that have<br />

provided 6.5MW of clean energy<br />

and saved US$1 million dollars in<br />

diesel fuel imports.<br />

The most important consideration<br />

when designing energy access<br />

projects in remote areas is to<br />

consider the specific needs of the<br />

community and of the geography.<br />

No two projects should be the<br />

same. For example, our<br />

project in Samoa features<br />

collapsible wind turbines due<br />

to the prevalence of cyclones.<br />




The momentum towards<br />

the widespread adoption of<br />

sustainable and renewable<br />

energy can only be maintained<br />

through the collective action<br />

of our young scientific,<br />

technological and engineering<br />

talent.<br />

My advice to young engineers<br />

would be – think big and work<br />

hard. There is no limit to what<br />

you can achieve with bold ideas,<br />

dedication and determination.<br />

You have the power to create<br />

the new innovations that will<br />

secure our future.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />





We have already seen many exoskeletons being developed for quite<br />

some time, and most of them have been created especially for<br />

elderly workers and for people achieving extraordinary strength. This<br />

company however, has developed an exoskeleton made especially<br />

for children with disabilities.<br />

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has developed the<br />

world’s first child exoskeleton which is designed to help children with<br />

spinal muscular atrophy. Spinal muscular atrophy is a degenerative<br />

illness which affects one in ten thousand babies in Spain.<br />

This exoskeleton weighs 12 kilos, and is made of aluminium and<br />

titanium. It is designed to help the patients walk—for some, for<br />

the first time. This exoskeleton will also be used in physiotherapy<br />

in hospitals to prevent secondary effects that are associated with<br />

the loss of mobility in this illness. This technology is currently in the<br />

preclinical phase and has been patented and licensed by CSIC and<br />

its technology-based business unit, Marsi Bionics.<br />

12<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by: Engadget






Good news for parents<br />

and toddlers everywhere.<br />

No need to worry about<br />

young kids accidentally<br />

swallowing a battery or a<br />

marble. Scientists from MIT,<br />

the University of Sheffield<br />

and Tokyo Institute of<br />

Technology have developed<br />

a robot that can remove<br />

eaten batteries and marbles.<br />

It’s an ingestible origami<br />

robot that unfolds itself from<br />

the capsule as soon as it<br />

enters the stomach. It crawls<br />

along the stomach wall and<br />

detects the small object<br />

and wraps itself around it,<br />

then remove it. Scientists<br />

also makes it possible for<br />

the robot to help in healing<br />

wounds inside the digestive<br />

system.<br />

Professor Danial Rus, leader<br />

of the group behind this<br />

origami robot and director<br />

of MIT’s Computer Science<br />

and Artificial Intelligence<br />

Laboratory (CSAIL), said:<br />

“It’s really exciting to see our<br />

small origami robots doing<br />

Photo by: MIT News<br />

something with potential<br />

important applications<br />

to health care. For<br />

applications inside the<br />

body, we need a small,<br />

controllable, untethered<br />

robot system. It’s really<br />

difficult to control and<br />

place a robot inside<br />

the body if the robot is<br />

attached to a tether.”<br />

This small robot works<br />

without wires since it can<br />

be controlled by magnetic<br />

waves. It is encased in a<br />

piece of ice so that it can<br />

be swallowed easily.<br />

Every year, around 3,500<br />

small batteries are<br />

swallowed by toddlers. If<br />

not removed immediately,<br />

it can cause stomach<br />

lining burns.<br />




DOCTOR<br />

It’s not new that robots have<br />

assisted doctors in medical<br />

operations and surgeries, but<br />

recent experiment indicates<br />

that robots alone can do<br />

the job themselves – yup,<br />

with the doctor no longer<br />

in the operating room. This<br />

is what can be derived from<br />

an experiment with an<br />

autonomous robot named<br />

Smart Tissue Autonomous<br />

Robot or STAR, who made<br />

surgical stitches with pigs.<br />

Composed of a robotic arm,<br />

a suturing tool and imaging<br />

technologies, STAR operates<br />

using a computer program<br />

which has the intelligence<br />

to perform surgical practices,<br />

especially stitches.<br />

It was found out that the<br />

robots were as good as, if<br />

not better, than the stitches<br />

made by skilled surgeons.<br />

Peter Kim, the study’s senior<br />

author, believes that if robots<br />

can do it on pigs, they can<br />

also do it to human patients.<br />

He said, “The main message<br />

is that by giving surgeons<br />

Photo by: Medifit Biologicals<br />

tools that are intelligent,<br />

whether autonomous or<br />

semi-autonomous, you can<br />

make outcomes better.”<br />

Surgeons have the tendency<br />

to have tremors during<br />

operations, which robots<br />

do not have. This is what<br />

autonomous robots can<br />

offer far more than the<br />

humans: consistency. Having<br />

autonomous robots in<br />

operating rooms can reduce<br />

human errors and improve<br />

efficiency, surgical time and<br />

access to quality surgeons<br />

in some of the 44.5 million<br />

soft-tissue surgeries in the<br />

United States a year.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


A revolutionary device is<br />

now being developed<br />

in the laboratory of<br />

AndrosRobotics (AR) LLC<br />

which will help stroke<br />

patients and physical<br />

therapists in gait training.<br />

The device is called the<br />

Robotic Leg Advancement<br />

Device (R-LAD).<br />

The device will primarily<br />

help physical therapists in<br />

administering gait training.<br />

It will reduce the number of<br />

physical therapists required<br />

in treating a patient from<br />

2 or 3 to just one, without<br />

compromising the gait<br />

training therapy. But it<br />

isn’t designed to replace<br />

the therapists and is meant<br />

to compliment them.<br />




R-LAD is the brainchild<br />

of Dr. Maciej Pietrusinski,<br />

Founder and President<br />

of AR, whose career is<br />

dedicated to medical<br />

robotics. The device<br />

is a by-product of Dr.<br />

Pietrusinski’s Ph.D.<br />

project which aimed to<br />

develop a robotic system<br />

for controlling pelvic<br />

motion during therapy.<br />

The original system was<br />

too complicated and too<br />

expensive which led to the<br />

simpler R-LAD device.<br />

A prototype was made<br />

thanks to a $225k grant<br />

from National Science<br />

Foundation. This grant<br />

paved the way for R-LAD<br />

to place third among<br />

664 submissions in the<br />

International Robotics<br />

for Good competition in<br />

Dubai.<br />

Photo by: Google/Sites<br />

14<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

Photo by: Adrian Malloch<br />





The Rex Bionics Group is a leading<br />

technology based company that<br />

produces robotic walking devices.<br />

Paralytics in wheel chairs will now<br />

be able to walk, all thanks to this<br />

company’s innovation. The robotic<br />

innovation’s physical appearance is<br />

similar to a human exoskeleton, a sort<br />

of robotic suit, which could be the<br />

next alternative for wheelchairs.<br />

Rex Bionics uses advanced<br />

technological solutions, precise<br />

engineering, electromechanical<br />

actuators and exclusive system<br />

of network to make this awesome<br />

robotics device possible. The primary<br />

concern of the robotic exoskeleton<br />

has been to improve the capabilities<br />

of the people of military ground. The<br />

materials that are used to build it<br />

are lightweight, so that the person<br />

will be able to maneuver the device<br />

comfortably. The individual will strap<br />

themselves to the exoskeleton with<br />

the help of several Velcro and bucklestraps<br />

that are strapped around the<br />

legs and the belt wraps around the<br />

waist. Unlike most exoskeletons, REX<br />

is controlled through a joystick that is<br />

placed in the waist level of the user.<br />

With Rex, an individual can make<br />

any movement like walking, moving<br />

sideways, climbing up and down the<br />

stairs, and even turning around. It is<br />

convenient to move on any surface<br />

may it be on slopes, ramps or flat<br />

surfaces.<br />

It has a battery that can be<br />

recharged and can run for around<br />

two hours. However, prior to<br />

purchasing a Rex, the person needs<br />

to consult a physician and qualified<br />

physical therapist to make sure that<br />

it is suitable for them. In order to<br />

use Rex, a person’s height must be<br />

between 4’8’’- 6’4’’, weight less<br />

than 220lb and a waist dimension<br />

of less than 15”.<br />

Rex Bionics ensures that they instruct<br />

their customers well on how to use<br />

it. They mention that it is suitable<br />

for any manual wheelchair user<br />

to operate with the help of hand<br />

controls. This device has proved to<br />

be very helpful for the paralytics.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


‘2045 INITIATIVE’:<br />



Dmitry Itskov, a Russian media mogul and multi-millionaire,<br />

has one goal: to be able to use technology to live forever. To<br />

be able to do this, he is currently heading a science-based<br />

project called the ‘2045 initiative’ which aims to “upload”<br />

human consciousness into an online avatar that can live<br />

forever.<br />

Itskov has given millions of dollars into pioneering the<br />

research since the initiative was launched. His team of<br />

scientists, believe that the human brain is very similar to a<br />

computer and will eventually be able to be transferred to<br />

upgradable “bodies”.<br />

Itskov claims that he has upped the urgency of his research.<br />

"If there is no immortality technology, I'll be dead in the<br />

next 35 years," he says in an upcoming documentary,<br />

The Immortalist. “The ultimate goal of my plan is to<br />

transfer someone's personality into the new artificial carrier.<br />

Different scientists call it uploading or they call it mind<br />

transfer. I prefer to call it personality transfer."<br />

Photo by: International Business Times<br />

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JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics



Photo by: EW.com<br />

Photo by: geeksofdoom.com<br />

Take a look at science fiction<br />

and you will find innumerable<br />

examples of robots gone<br />

evil. From the popular<br />

Skynet and Terminators to<br />

HAL 9000 to Ultron, there<br />

are many robots that are<br />

out to destroy humanity. Of<br />

course, such stories may be a<br />

bit of a stretch. Nonetheless,<br />

there is a genuine concern<br />

about artificially intelligent<br />

robots but it’s not because<br />

people worry about these<br />

robots taking over the world.<br />

The concern is about whether<br />

the robots in question are<br />

capable of taking the right<br />

moral choice at the right<br />

time.<br />

Thousands of scientists<br />

and tech experts such as<br />

Stephen Hawking, Steve<br />

Wozniak and Elon Musk have<br />

agreed to get autonomous<br />

weapons such as drones<br />

banned. Such weapons are<br />

capable of identifying and<br />

destroying targets without<br />

human intervention. As scary<br />

as that sounds, the actual<br />

applications may be more<br />

mundane. Nonetheless, it<br />

may spark off another arms<br />

race.<br />

Jerry Kaplan, a scholar<br />

of artificial intelligence,<br />

believes that morality is<br />

essential to robots. After all,<br />

humans can end up making<br />

some extremely silly and bad<br />

choices when it comes to<br />

their robots. After all, they<br />

may ask the robot to fetch<br />

something quickly. Now,<br />

that may turn to be very bad<br />

if the robot ends up hurting<br />

people when fetching the<br />

desired item.<br />

Another interesting test<br />

proposed by Jerry Kaplan is<br />

the driving test. Self-driving<br />

cars need to make a very<br />

crucial decision when it comes<br />

to avoiding a major accident.<br />

For example, should the car<br />

swerve to save pedestrians<br />

and harm the occupants or<br />

the reverse? Now that is a<br />

moral conundrum that even<br />

humans find difficult to<br />

agree on. Kaplan declares<br />

that machines by their very<br />

nature are psychopaths.<br />

Therefore, it becomes crucial<br />

that robots are taught<br />

morality and ethics. A lofty<br />

goal? Well, we need that or<br />

Skynet is a possibility.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


It’s Scary What AI Can Do<br />

Artificial Intelligence has come<br />

a long way after its introduction<br />

in 1950’s. But what if robots and<br />

Artificial Intelligence replace the<br />

human race as shown in the scifi<br />

movies? Sounds intimidating,<br />

right? Some eminent personalities<br />

like Stephen Hawking seems to be<br />

bothered about this same issue for<br />

quite some time now.<br />

Nevertheless, reality tells us that<br />

there is nothing to worry about.<br />

The concern of the people is mostly<br />

compelled by Hollywood movies.<br />

The fact is that though the field<br />

of artificial intelligence might be<br />

making huge progress but it is<br />

nowhere near being a threat yet.<br />

There will be enough time to gauge<br />

the problem and solve it.<br />

This does not necessarily mean that<br />

the issue can be left to be ignored.<br />

In any case, if you look into the<br />

matter very closely you will notice<br />

that artificial intelligence needs to<br />

reach to some point where they will<br />

be able to think all by themselves<br />

and evolve into something all by<br />

themselves which we will not be<br />

perceive and control.<br />

There is no reason to think that<br />

artificial intelligence will rise up<br />

against us one day in an attempt<br />

to break free from the constraints of<br />

humanity. When you come to think<br />

of it logically, you will realize that<br />

if you have a robot that performs<br />

according to your instruction, then<br />

how can you wake up one morning<br />

to find the robot to be doing some<br />

other tasks which it has not been<br />

programmed to do? No way! They<br />

are not human beings that they will<br />

not have their feelings and opinions<br />

about something. They do not have<br />

dreams and desires, and they work<br />

according to the goals that we set<br />

for them.<br />

You might want to ask, is there<br />

nothing to worry about? Well, not<br />

really, not at least at present. For<br />

now you can enjoy the privileges<br />

provided by the AIs.<br />

Photo by: Technologyreview.com<br />

Photo by: t-online.de<br />

Photo by: consciouslifenews.com<br />

left:: Stephen Hawking<br />

below: Michio Kaku<br />

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ROBOT<br />

Asus has just unveiled a<br />

cute talking robot named<br />

Zenbo. It was presented at<br />

this week’s Computex trade<br />

show in Taipei, it’s priced at<br />

$599.<br />

Zenbo is an adorablydesigned,<br />

friendly home robot<br />

which generally provides<br />

assistance, entertainment<br />

and companionship to<br />

families and it helps address<br />

the different needs of the<br />

family members. It has<br />

numerous capabilities like<br />

moving independently<br />

and understanding spoken<br />

commands.<br />

In Asus’ Zenbo video<br />

showed some of the robot’s<br />

capabilities, like giving<br />

reminders, interacting with<br />

family members, telling<br />

stories to the children, movie<br />

streaming, and its face is<br />

touch screen too!—which<br />

helps the family to connect<br />

and browse through the<br />

internet.<br />

The Chairman of Asus<br />

Jonney Shih presented and<br />

demonstrated Zenbo at a<br />

press conference in Taipei,<br />

he gave it various voice<br />

commands and asked it<br />

questions as it rolled on the<br />

stage.<br />

A big reason for Asus’s<br />

creation of Zenbo is that it<br />

could help assist the elderly.<br />

According to Asus, Zenbo<br />

“helps to bridge the digital<br />

divide between generations”<br />

by allowing seniors to make<br />

video calls and use social<br />

networking with simple voice<br />

commands.<br />

Zenbo can also connect to a<br />

smart bracelet which alerts<br />

relatives via a smartphone<br />

app if their elderly relative<br />

has a fall.<br />

Photo by: Android Community<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


MEET<br />

THE REAL<br />

JARVIS<br />

FROM<br />

IRON MAN<br />

Autonomous, a company<br />

based in the United<br />

States will be offering<br />

us, mere mortals, the<br />

opportunity to purchase<br />

Maya, a Personal Robot<br />

for US$1499 come the<br />

middle of 2016. Maya’s<br />

Kickstarter program<br />

had 274 backers pledge<br />

$161,537.00 to get the<br />

project off the ground and<br />

it seems the first of 300<br />

of these Robotic Personal<br />

assistants will be born very<br />

soon.<br />

Some cynics have ridiculed<br />

the concept, and sure,<br />

the design may look like<br />

the unplanned progeny<br />

of a Tennis racquet, iPad<br />

and Robo Vac after a<br />

swinger’s party. But the<br />

problems that was solved<br />

and the engineering<br />

effort that has gone into<br />

the making of Maya is<br />

simply breathtaking!! The<br />

Photo by: Cloud Front<br />

20<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

company claims “She’s the<br />

whole package: your very<br />

own personal assistant,<br />

photographer, storyteller,<br />

telepresence device<br />

& the smartest home<br />

automation system.”<br />

Sounds good to me, and<br />

if the promotional videos<br />

are to be believed she will<br />

be effective to the point of<br />

being a nagging nuisance!<br />

But despite this, the<br />

company is dedicated to<br />

the development of such<br />

devices and has gone to<br />

painstaking measures to<br />

find the best componentry<br />

available in the market<br />

today. If you fancy yourself<br />

as a tech genius and<br />

would like to be part of the<br />

development process, the<br />

company offers a research<br />

version called Deep Bot<br />

for US$999. Though it<br />

looks like something an<br />

alien race would use in a<br />

death squad, Deep Bot is<br />

creating an open source<br />

opportunity for anyone<br />

willing to contribute<br />

to the evolution of this<br />

technology.<br />

While I think many of<br />

the features of Maya<br />

are already done well by<br />

people, I think the concept<br />

is pretty darn clever! The<br />

discussion and research<br />

it will foster, will make<br />

a huge contribution to<br />

how we can develop the<br />

technology to aid us in<br />

our daily lives. Who knows,<br />

with further development<br />

of these devices, we<br />

might even be able to<br />

program Maya to match<br />

the owner’s preference of<br />

assistance like aiding the<br />

disabled and the elderly.<br />

Photo by: Autonomous<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


THIS<br />

ROBOT<br />

HAND CAN<br />

LEARN<br />

FROM ITS<br />


Many robots nowadays can<br />

do a variety of tasks ranging<br />

from easy to difficult.<br />

They are used in different<br />

industries, but mostly in<br />

manufacturing. Yet while<br />

these robots have an edge in<br />

specific tasks, they can’t do<br />

a given list of chores or learn<br />

certain skills on their own.<br />

Now a new robot hand can<br />

learn how to master new<br />

abilities over time, and it<br />

doesn’t need help from its<br />

programmers. This extradexterous<br />

robotic hand<br />

is the product of study<br />

by 3 researchers from the<br />

University of Washington.<br />

They call this the Adroit<br />

manipulation system, and<br />

presented it on Tuesday at<br />

Photo by: Turner<br />

the International Conference<br />

on Robotics and Automation<br />

in Stockholm.<br />

If you’re familiar with Rosie,<br />

the robot maid from the<br />

Jetsons, the Adroit system<br />

is somewhat similar to its<br />

technology. Its hardware<br />

accomplishes tasks better<br />

than humans and is<br />

controlled by a “Brain”<br />

which learns—just like the<br />

human mind. Vikash Kumar,<br />

the lead researcher, and his<br />

team focused on building a<br />

robot that could do general<br />

tasks and be able to adapt.<br />

According to the researchers,<br />

their creation can be used in<br />

many applications like space<br />

exploration and healthcare.<br />

Photo by: Youtube/ ADROIT Manipulation Platform<br />

22<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics





How do computers learn something new? One might say<br />

programming, but it involves telling the computer every<br />

little step that it needs to perform in order to complete the<br />

new task. You need to know the steps yourself in order to<br />

teach the computer. However, what do you do when you<br />

don’t know the steps yourself?<br />

This is where machine learning comes in. With this<br />

technology, the computer is made to learn things and<br />

processes on its own. Jeremy Howard is a specialist in this<br />

field. He gave a TED Talk to show how much machine<br />

learning has evolved and how it will begin to affect the<br />

world at large.<br />

The first example of machine learning took place in 1956<br />

when a guy named Arthur Samuel wanted his computer to<br />

be good enough at checkers to beat him. His solution was<br />

to make the computer keep playing checkers against itself<br />

and learning from the games. Suffice to say, it worked<br />

so well that the computer ended up defeating the state<br />

champion of Connecticut.<br />

Photo by: Stanford Info Lab<br />

Today, examples of machine learning<br />

are all around us. The most common<br />

application is the search engine. Google<br />

makes use of machine learning to get<br />

its search engine locate the information<br />

that you actually want. Remember those<br />

recommendations shown in Amazon?<br />

Those recommendations are provided by<br />

machine learning algorithms. Pretty nifty,<br />

right? Well, it can be creepy too like those<br />

friend recommendations in LinkedIn.<br />

Photo by: Your News Wire<br />

Take for example the team which created<br />

a computer program for automatic drug<br />

discovery. What’s cool is that the team<br />

did not have any knowledge in biology or<br />

medicine. They simply used what is called<br />

deep learning. Deep learning allows<br />

computers to actually learn Chinese.<br />

Now, what does that mean for people<br />

and their jobs? We might be heading into<br />

another Industrial Revolution, except, the<br />

results might not pretty. After all, deep<br />

learning will allow computers to perform<br />

80% of human jobs easily.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />





It’s 2016 and these engineers have finally<br />

programmed a robot that can’t be pushed<br />

around anymore. Boston Dynamics, an<br />

engineering and robotics design company,<br />

has just released an updated version of Atlas.<br />

This company is where people from the<br />

military and even the entertainment industry<br />

turn to when they need help with specialized<br />

robots.<br />

And as expected, Google owns this company.<br />

In its Youtube video, it has described its latest<br />

addition to the company’s weird but very<br />

innovative collection of robots:<br />

“A new version of Atlas, designed to operate<br />

outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized<br />

for mobile manipulation. It is electrically<br />

powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses<br />

sensors in its body and legs to balance and<br />

LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to<br />

avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with<br />

navigation and manipulate objects. This<br />

version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a<br />

head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs<br />

180 lbs.”<br />

Atlas can now walk and move just like a<br />

normal human being. It can even stack boxes<br />

on its own. One feature that makes this latest<br />

version remarkable is its ability to get back<br />

right up after it has been pushed over by a<br />

stick.<br />

Is this the beginning of robots finally sticking<br />

up to itself and eventually picks a fight with<br />

humans? Are we seeing a possible humanrobot<br />

war in the future? Will these robots<br />

evolve into something that would make them<br />

our enemies?<br />

Future enemies or not, these robots will be<br />

used to help soldiers carry equipments and<br />

probably replace humans in deployment to<br />

dangerous areas. So far, Boston Dynamics<br />

tests its robots’ efficiency by treating them<br />

to different kinds of tortures like kicking them<br />

and making them walk in icy steps.<br />

Still brutal even for robots. Good thing they<br />

don’t feel anything.<br />

Photo by: 4erevolution<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics

Photo by: UAH<br />




LIVES<br />

Science is doing everything in its<br />

power to bridge the gap between<br />

humans and robots. The students of<br />

University of Alabama in Huntsville<br />

(UAH) and their adviser have built<br />

an autonomous robot that has<br />

managed to grab a lot of attention.<br />

There are a lot of robots out there, so<br />

what is so special about the robot?<br />

The project that they are developing<br />

teaches the robots the way they<br />

will control themselves in certain<br />

environments. These robots function<br />

primarily like driverless cars.<br />

Dr. Farbod Fahimi, along with<br />

mechanical engineering graduate<br />

Sai Susheel Praneeth Kode and his<br />

research assistant, Tevon Walker,<br />

an undergraduate Computer<br />

<strong>Engineering</strong> Major, has been working<br />

on the project for more than one<br />

year.<br />

They have written a code and<br />

inserted it into the robot which<br />

will make the robot function. The<br />

robot has a GPS system to be<br />

able to detect its surroundings.<br />

It is supposed to function in an<br />

unfamiliar environment without any<br />

kind of assistance from you. You just<br />

let it do the task. That’s it; but it can<br />

be operated by a remote control if<br />

you desire.<br />

The robot is so smart that it can<br />

detect the surroundings and report<br />

about its conditions to you. That<br />

way, it can also cut off human<br />

element when it is not required.<br />

At present, the robot is working<br />

according to the inputs that they<br />

are giving but they are unsure as<br />

to how accurate the robot executes<br />

the code. However, what is amazing<br />

about this robot is that this has<br />

the capability to adjust its error<br />

automatically. Somehow, their robot<br />

fixes a problem that their makers<br />

cannot fix.<br />

This robot is definitely opening up<br />

new opportunities in the field of<br />

autonomous robots. With time,<br />

these kind of robots will come out<br />

of the laboratory and find its place<br />

in the hands of the military and<br />

emergency response where they are<br />

needed the most.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />









26<br />

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Photo by: Pinterest<br />

Scientists will soon prove<br />

that Artificial Intelligence<br />

may be able to embody the<br />

saying “A picture is worth a<br />

thousand words,” because<br />

now, they are teaching<br />

programs to tell a story<br />

based entirely from pictures.<br />

According to the researchers,<br />

computers will soon be able<br />

to explain what is happening<br />

in videos, just like people do.<br />

Scientists at Microsoft<br />

Research with their<br />

colleagues are developing<br />

a system that can<br />

automatically describe<br />

images just like a person<br />

would tell a story. Their<br />

objective is not only to let<br />

the system enumerate the<br />

objects in the picture, but to<br />

explain what is happening<br />

in the photo and how it can<br />

make a person feel. In other<br />

words, they are giving the AI<br />

storytelling capabilities.<br />

For example, if a person is<br />

shown a picture of a man in<br />

a tuxedo and a woman in a<br />

long, white dress, instead of<br />

saying. “Bride and groom,”<br />

they would say “My best<br />

friend got married. They look<br />

happy, and it was a beautiful<br />

wedding.”<br />

According to study senior<br />

author Margaret Mitchell,<br />

a computer scientist at<br />

Microsoft Research, "The<br />

goal is to help give AIs more<br />

human-like intelligence, to<br />

help it understand things on<br />

a more abstract level — what<br />

it means to be fun or creepy<br />

or weird or interesting.”<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />






In the future, you may<br />

be able to chat with your<br />

computer about the daily<br />

news headlines, because<br />

now, an AI is being taught<br />

how to read, analyze and<br />

answer questions about a<br />

news article accurately.<br />

One of Computer Science’s<br />

goals is to be able to<br />

create AI systems that can<br />

learn humanity’s existing<br />

information. According to<br />

Chris Manning at Standford<br />

University, “Computers<br />

don’t have the kind of<br />

general knowledge and<br />

common sense of how the<br />

world works [from reading]<br />

about things in novels or<br />

watch[ing] sitcoms,”<br />

Last year, Google’s<br />

DeepMind team got a series<br />

of articles from the Daily Mail<br />

website and CNN to help<br />

train an algorithm, so that<br />

it can read and understand<br />

short stories. The researchers<br />

used the bulleted summaries<br />

of the articles to create<br />

short and simple questions<br />

which trained the algorithm<br />

to search for the article key<br />

points.<br />

Now, a group led by Manning<br />

has designed an algorithm<br />

that was able to beat<br />

DeepMind’s results by 10<br />

percent on the CNN articles<br />

and 8 percent for Daily Mail<br />

articles. Overall, it got a score<br />

of 70 percent.<br />

“Some of the stuff they<br />

had just causes needless<br />

complications. You get rid<br />

of that and the numbers go<br />

up.” Manning said.<br />

Photo by: Makeuseof<br />

28<br />

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NASA’S<br />


ROVER TO<br />

SAMPLE<br />

WATER ON<br />

MARS<br />

NASA scientists have been<br />

searching for liquid water<br />

on mars, and they’ve found<br />

hints. Now, they want to<br />

have a closer look at it. NASA<br />

revealed that the Curiosity<br />

rover will be investigating<br />

recurring slope lineae—<br />

the dark narrow streaks on<br />

the above photo—around<br />

Mars’ Gale Crater hoping to<br />

find water.<br />

It will first take a photo<br />

using its mast camera to<br />

make sure that there really<br />

is water. If it does find<br />

water, the machine will<br />

go and get samples. The<br />

agency is expecting to take<br />

photos within a year.<br />

However, finding water<br />

doesn’t mean Curiosity will<br />

find life. As we all know,<br />

Mars’ harsh conditions like<br />

fierce radiation might have<br />

prevented life in the first<br />

place. We may take a look<br />

at this investigation as a<br />

stepping stone for mankind.<br />

By getting results, the<br />

findings Curiosity will collect<br />

may help plan a mission<br />

for finding signs of life. A<br />

small success in this trip may<br />

lead to greater things in the<br />

future.<br />

Photo by: Express<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />






30<br />

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Until now, it was just in the<br />

science fiction movies, but<br />

now, it is known that the<br />

“killer robots” are possible.<br />

Throughout the world, there<br />

are around 40 countries<br />

that are engaged in building<br />

autonomous robots.<br />

Probably, the day is not far<br />

when the humanity has to be<br />

on war against the machines<br />

for their survival. There<br />

are talks that the world is<br />

nearing an autonomous<br />

arms race. To stop this kind of<br />

a destructive war, which can<br />

have a devastating impact<br />

on the entire humanity,<br />

some great scientists of the<br />

world have come together.<br />

They have filed a petition to<br />

the governments all around<br />

the world to put ban on<br />

autonomous weapons. There<br />

are some high profile names<br />

on the list of petitioners<br />

including Prof. Stephen<br />

Hawking, Tesla’s CEO Elon<br />

Musk, Google DeepMind<br />

CEO Demis Hassabis and<br />

Apple co-founder Steve<br />

Wozniak. They have joined<br />

hands to put a ban on the<br />

designing and development<br />

of weapons that can<br />

autonomously “select and<br />

engage targets without<br />

human interventions.”<br />

The letter of declaration<br />

states: “AI technology has<br />

reached a point where the<br />

deployment of [autonomous<br />

weapons] is – practically<br />

if not legally – feasible<br />

within years, not decades,

Photo by: Hawking<br />

Photo by: Woz<br />

Photo by: speakerpedia<br />

Photo by: Ted<br />

and the stakes are high:<br />

autonomous weapons have<br />

been described as the third<br />

revolution in warfare, after<br />

gunpowder and nuclear<br />

arms.”<br />

Hawkings and Musk<br />

reiterated that mankind’s<br />

biggest existential threat is<br />

to develop an AI that could<br />

spell the end of the human<br />

race.<br />

A few of the early examples<br />

of machines that could hit<br />

targets and kill without<br />

any kind of human help<br />

are drones, quadcopters<br />

armed with weaponry, and<br />

various military targeting<br />

systems. However, that is<br />

not the end of it, they are<br />

just the beginning. With<br />

the advancement of robotic<br />

technology, more lethal<br />

weapons are going to come<br />

to the forefront to kill people<br />

and wage wars against one<br />

another.<br />

According to roboticist Noel<br />

Sharkey, the new world<br />

robots will not look like the<br />

ones we see in movies and<br />

televisions. The killer robots<br />

will probably look like the<br />

autonomous machines that<br />

we have now. According to<br />

Sharkey, the machines will<br />

almost look like the tanks, jet<br />

fighters, or ships. The main<br />

aim of the petitioners is to<br />

stop the kill decision to be<br />

given to machines.<br />

An open letter from Future<br />

of Life Institute summarizes<br />

the ideologies of every<br />

petitioner: “We believe that<br />

AI has great potential to<br />

benefit humanity in many<br />

ways, and that the goal of<br />

the field should be to do<br />

so. Starting a military AI<br />

arms race is a bad idea, and<br />

should be prevented by a ban<br />

on offensive autonomous<br />

weapons beyond meaningful<br />

human control.”<br />

In the distant future, I hope<br />

that mankind won’t have to<br />

choose between the red pill<br />

or the blue from Morpheus?<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Photo by: digitaltrends<br />





ROBOT<br />

If you told my college self that in a<br />

few years, pizza would be delivered<br />

by a smaller and less depressed<br />

version of the robot Marvin from The<br />

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,<br />

I’d have laughed in your face (and<br />

maybe barfed, too, because college<br />

was an insane blur).<br />

Well, my past self should have known<br />

better because Domino’s Pizza just<br />

told the world that it is currently<br />

testing a new, totally autonomous,<br />

pizza delivery robot that will be driving<br />

itself to your door in the very near<br />

future. The Domino Robotic Unit, or<br />

DRU, is apparently not an elaborate<br />

marketing stunt but an actual robot<br />

that’s been driving around Australia<br />

for some time now for its trial runs<br />

before Domino’s rolls it out to the<br />

world.<br />

According to Domino’s, DRU can deliver<br />

pizzas up to 12.5 miles away and will<br />

be using the sidewalk and bicycle lanes<br />

while following your GPS coordinates.<br />

After ordering, you get a unique code<br />

on your phone that will let you open a<br />

specific compartment on DRU, which<br />

incidentally can carry up to 10 pizzas in<br />

separate heated compartments, along<br />

with drinks.<br />

For those worried that little DRU might<br />

fall into a pothole, worry no more because<br />

this robot was built by Marathon Targets,<br />

a company that works primarily with the<br />

military in developing robots specifically<br />

for obstacle-avoidance during live-fire<br />

exercises. Because when I’m having my<br />

pizza delivered, I take comfort in knowing<br />

it’s being done by a military-grade piece<br />

of technology.<br />

Photo by: PCmag<br />

Photo by: imgix<br />

32<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by: Arstechnica



Photo by: Moley Robotics<br />

If you have a problem with your own<br />

cooking, or wanted a chef in your own<br />

kitchen, that won’t be so much of a<br />

problem anymore with the world’s<br />

first ever robotic kitchen.<br />

The robotic kitchen features four key<br />

integrated kitchen items of robotic<br />

arms, an oven, a hob and a touchscreen<br />

unit. It can be operated right at your<br />

fingertips via a smartphone or via the<br />

included touch screen; all you need to<br />

do is pull up a recipe and wait for the<br />

robot to serve you the food.<br />

It isn’t a machine that just cooks; it<br />

has hands that can cook like a master<br />

chef. The hands get its articulation<br />

– its speed, its sensitivity, and its<br />

movement – by recording the cooking<br />

skills of Master Chef Tim Anderson,<br />

winner of the BBC Master Chef title,<br />

in a demonstration and putting the<br />

skills into its system. The hands then<br />

replicate, even the pauses in between<br />

and the OK gesture in the end, the<br />

master chef’s abilities into its kitchen.<br />

No wonder about that, since the<br />

nuclear industry and NASA uses the<br />

same kind of hands made by the<br />

Shadow Robot Company.<br />

If you are concerned with being<br />

stabbed by the robot, no need to fret<br />

as the robots uses a food processor<br />

and limits itself to knives. The kitchen<br />

also comes with a protective screen<br />

as an additional layer of safety.<br />

This technology, however, will not be<br />

available to consumers until the fourth<br />

quarter of 2017. It will be supported<br />

by an iTunes-style downloadable<br />

library of recipes that the robot chef<br />

can cook at your own home which<br />

are about 2,000 recipes. Just prepare<br />

a good amount of $75,000 at its first<br />

launch.<br />

The robot kitchen is the brainchild<br />

of U.K.-based Moley Robotics,<br />

which prototype premiered at an<br />

international robotics show Hanover<br />

Messe. The eureka moment for the<br />

idea was of Mark Oleynik in January<br />

of 2014. The first patents were filed<br />

in the following month; a prototype<br />

was built by Moley in September of<br />

the same year.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />





We have seen many robots<br />

integrated with laboratory<br />

machines and factory<br />

equipment, but we have<br />

just started seeing robots<br />

helping in the construction<br />

of our buildings. It doesn’t<br />

end there: there’s more<br />

with robots in the field of<br />

construction in the future.<br />

The future of construction<br />

lies in modern technology<br />

that will help in various<br />

aspects: drones to monitor<br />

site activities and robotic<br />

bulldozers to push soil<br />

without the human touch.<br />

Robots can also be used with<br />

off-site fabrication of the<br />

buildings’ elements by 3D<br />

printing them.<br />

Drones have become<br />

recently popular and their<br />

applications in construction<br />

sites are already realized. US<br />

start-up Skycatch uses drones<br />

on high-profile building<br />

projects, which provides a<br />

bird’s-eye view of a site to<br />

give progress reports, and<br />

speed up site logistics<br />

through delivery monitoring<br />

and real-time updates.<br />

Japanese construction<br />

34<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

Photo by: dronologista<br />

machinery giant Komatsu<br />

takes it a step further and<br />

uses Skycatch drones to<br />

have eyes for automated<br />

bulldozers. Their function is to<br />

send 3D models of a building<br />

site to a computer which will<br />

then feed information to the<br />

driverless machinery.<br />

Other than drones are 3D<br />

printing machines which will<br />

be prevalent in the future to<br />

solve the housing crisis. The<br />

United Nations estimates<br />

that by 2030, approximately<br />

three billion people will<br />

require housing and has<br />

introduced 3D printing as<br />

one possible solution.<br />

Technology is moving<br />

forward and the construction<br />

industry is adapting with it.<br />

There’s a lot more in store<br />

for this teaming up that<br />

engineers have to deal with.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Learn<br />

Buddhism<br />

from Xian’er,<br />

the Baby<br />

Robot Monk<br />

Photo by: Crowd Fund Insider<br />

CUBETTO, A<br />



This is what we get when we meet<br />

Buddhism and technology.<br />

A modern approach has been<br />

made to introduce one of the<br />

oldest religions in the world,<br />

Buddhism, and that is through a<br />

baby robot monk named Xian’er.<br />

It’s more than just a cute robot as<br />

it will promote the religion in its<br />

own way.<br />

The robot, which is dressed like<br />

a Buddha but only standing two<br />

feet tall and purely electronics,<br />

has a touchscreen on his chest<br />

which helps him answer 20<br />

questions about Buddhism and its<br />

lifestyle. It can also move around<br />

in seven different ways adding to<br />

the fancy of its appearance.<br />

Xian’er is the brainchild of<br />

36<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by: The Malay Mail Online<br />

Master Xianfan who says that<br />

this integration of science and<br />

technology with spirituality is<br />

but a natural alignment. He said,<br />

“Science and Buddhism are not<br />

opposing [or] contradicting,<br />

and can be combined and<br />

mutually compatible. Buddhism<br />

is something that attaches much<br />

importance to inner heart, and<br />

pays attention to the individual’s<br />

spiritual world.“ He added, “It is a<br />

kind of elevated culture. Speaking<br />

from this perspective, I think it<br />

can satisfy the needs of many<br />

people.”<br />

The current robot monk is still up<br />

for development to cater to more<br />

functions. But if you want to have<br />

an overview of Buddhism, Xian’er<br />

will give you that just enough in<br />

Beijing Longquan Temple.<br />

Just when you think that the<br />

kids of this era is all about<br />

playing games on tablets or iPads<br />

(where no fundamental skills are<br />

developed), an educational toy is<br />

created that aims to revolutionize<br />

the way youngsters think and<br />

learn. Introducing Cubetto by<br />

Primo Toys, a playful wooden<br />

robot that lets kids aged 3 and<br />

above to learn programming and<br />

STEM skills through storytelling.<br />

Using its screenless blockbased<br />

control panel and tactile<br />

methods specifically designed for<br />

young minds, the toy set is able<br />

to introduce debugging, queue<br />

and recursions which in effect<br />

teaches the children to think<br />

more logically.<br />

Basically, the kids have to<br />

command the cube robot to<br />

move around obstacles to reach<br />

its home. Think it's all too much<br />

for the innocent minds to handle?<br />

Not really because of the colorful,<br />

creative displays and easy to<br />

maneuver toy parts, Cubetto is<br />

able to provide joyful learning<br />

memories for the 'curious little<br />

minds with big imaginations'.



WORTH $3.2 BILLION<br />

China has unveiled the world’s<br />

first police robot at the 12th<br />

Annual Chongqing Hi-tech Fair.<br />

The robot is called “AnBots”,<br />

and was created by the<br />

National Defense Univeristy—<br />

the Chinese military base for<br />

innovation.<br />

Anbots is 1.49 meters long,<br />

and weighs around 78kg. It<br />

is programmed to patrol the<br />

streets at one kilometre per<br />

hour. It can run for a span of<br />

8 hours and charge its battery<br />

on its own.<br />

The robot is 1.49 meters<br />

long and reportedly weighs<br />

approximately 78 kg. It is<br />

programmed to patrol the<br />

streets one kilometer per hour<br />

and can reach a speed of 18<br />

kilometers per hour. It can<br />

run for 8 hours and charge its<br />

battery on its own.<br />

Photo by: Popsci<br />

It includes other features like<br />

biochemical detection, explosive<br />

clearing, intelligent monitoring,<br />

emergency call response and<br />

also environmental monitoring.<br />

The Ministry of Public Security<br />

has also pointed out the<br />

limitations of the robot at the<br />

launch, they mentioned its<br />

lack of social and emotional<br />

intelligence, and the inability<br />

to catch suspects and it also<br />

carries the risk of cyber-attacks.<br />

They also mentioned that<br />

robots will never fully replace<br />

the police, and that the system<br />

will be controlled by humans.<br />

Civilians will also be able to use<br />

the robot using the SOS button<br />

on the robot.<br />

Photo by: Telegraph<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Elios: The World's<br />

First Collision<br />

Tolerant Drone<br />

Photo by: Flyability<br />

Drones have been around for<br />

some time and they are usually<br />

used for different purposes like<br />

taking aerial footages of events,<br />

and taking aerial selfies. For<br />

the engineering field though,<br />

drones have a different purpose,<br />

they are used to survey and<br />

inspect different areas that are<br />

too difficult or dangerous for<br />

people to do so themselves.<br />

Using drones not only makes<br />

the job safe and effective, it<br />

also promotes safety—since<br />

people don’t have to risk going<br />

through extreme measures<br />

to survey or inspect a certain<br />

area. However, one flaw in<br />

using drones is that it could get<br />

damaged during inspection or<br />

surveying. This can happen if<br />

the area being inspected is too<br />

tight—the drone would bump<br />

into different places, and could<br />

get damaged. Falling debris,<br />

and weather issues could also<br />

damage the drone.<br />

This is why the company<br />

Flyability developed Elios, the<br />

world’s first collision tolerant<br />

drone. This drone is surrounded<br />

by a 15-inch exoskeleton-sphere<br />

(approximated size). The idea<br />

of this drone was inspired by<br />

houseflies, which bounces off a<br />

surface and keep flying. Elios is<br />

equipped with a free-rotating<br />

carbon-fiber exoskeleton which<br />

spins on a separate axis from<br />

the drone avionics inside.<br />

When Elios hits a wall, the<br />

cage will continue to spin and<br />

therefore absorb the energy from<br />

the collision while the propellers<br />

inside are still spinning and the<br />

HD camera and lighting system<br />

are still stabilized. This drone<br />

can be used in different extreme<br />

and dangerous environments<br />

that could cause harm to a<br />

person like chemical spill sites,<br />

collapsed buildings and even<br />

glaciers.<br />

38<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics

Photo by: youtube/Laundroid<br />

THE<br />

WORLD’S<br />

FIRST<br />

LAUNDRY-<br />


ROBOT<br />

Anyone who has tried to live<br />

alone (and by alone, I mean no<br />

household help, not even parttime)<br />

will most probably agree<br />

with me that folding clothes<br />

is such a pain in the arse. I<br />

mean, come on! It personally<br />

takes me some three tries<br />

before I can successfully fold<br />

a simple short-sleeve shirt, let<br />

alone a long sleeve one. I am<br />

sometimes just tempted to<br />

fold each of the clothing item<br />

the way I want just to get the<br />

chore done and over with. If<br />

there is a device that can do<br />

the washing and the drying,<br />

why isn’t there that can do<br />

the folding?<br />

Well, folks, our wait is over!<br />

Presenting the “laundroid” –<br />

a device that can wash and<br />

dry clothing, then identify<br />

each clothing item and neatly<br />

fold them up. The Japanese<br />

technology, produced by<br />

Panasonic, together with<br />

Seven Dreamers and Daiwa, is<br />

about the size of a refrigerator,<br />

and is said to be capable of<br />

folding a t-short in about five<br />

to 10 minutes.<br />

Wait, what? Ten minutes!<br />

The creators admit that<br />

laundroid’s present turnaround<br />

time is exceedingly<br />

long compared to manual<br />

work, but it is committed<br />

to shortening that and also<br />

reducing the product’s size as<br />

soon as it hits the market by<br />

2017.<br />

Laundroid’s trump card is its<br />

ability to recognize the type of<br />

clothing and to fold the item<br />

by means of its robotic arm.<br />

It has an automated opening<br />

in the center in which the user<br />

can toss the piece of clothing.<br />

The machine accepts the item,<br />

then after folding it, tosses it<br />

out neat and tidy.<br />

The makers of laundroid plans<br />

to integrate the device with its<br />

user’s home by 2020, in that<br />

the user can simply dump their<br />

used clothes into laundroid,<br />

and the machine itself will put<br />

them in their proper closet<br />

spaces once washed, dried<br />

and folded. The creators, as<br />

early as now, envision that<br />

laundroid will be most useful<br />

in hospitals and nursing care<br />

facilities, which require an<br />

exceedingly high volume of<br />

items to be washed, dried and<br />

folded.<br />

A prototype of laundroid was<br />

demonstrated at the CEATEC<br />

trade fair, Japan’s biggest IT<br />

and electronics fair.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Photo by: Robotic Gizmos<br />


CAN BEAT<br />

YOU AT<br />


A group of students and<br />

professors from the University<br />

of Electronic Science and<br />

Technology of China developed<br />

a robot that can play the<br />

sport badminton just like any<br />

amateur player. This robot uses<br />

cameras, motion sensors and a<br />

special navigation system.<br />

It was named the Robomintoner,<br />

and was created for competition.<br />

The UESTC team was given a<br />

task to create a badmintonplaying<br />

bot for the Asia-Pacific<br />

Robocon 2015, wherein the<br />

robots would compete against<br />

each other in doubles matches.<br />

According to Huang Xi, a<br />

student from the University<br />

of Electronic Science and<br />

Technology of China, "We were<br />

the only team who made this<br />

robot fully-automated. We are<br />

in the business of making clever<br />

devices. We might as well make<br />

it fully intelligent,"<br />

This robot has become very<br />

popular in China. It played<br />

ceremonial matches against<br />

Dong Jiong, an Olympic medal<br />

winning badminton player.<br />

Recently, it competed against<br />

table tennis champion Wang<br />

Liqin.<br />

Photo by: Prog3<br />

40<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics

This Creepy Robot Is<br />

Designed Just to Stab<br />

People<br />

Photo by: Alexander Reben<br />

Biochemist Isaac Asimov has Three Laws<br />

of Robotics. The first law says, “A robot<br />

may not injure a human being or, through<br />

inaction, allow a human being to come to<br />

harm;” while the second law states, “A robot<br />

must obey orders given it by human beings<br />

except where such orders would conflict<br />

with the First Law.”<br />

But both laws are challenged by a roboticist<br />

from California who just invented a machine<br />

that purposely stabs humans with needles.<br />

For a reason.<br />

Alexander Reben from Stochastic Labs in<br />

Berkeley, California wants to join the ethical<br />

debate with robots but on a different light<br />

– by breaking the laws, he wants people<br />

to realize about the inevitable robot<br />

population that might harm us later in life.<br />

He does not intend to scare people with<br />

his robot either, which by the way, is only a<br />

black box with a mechanical arm. Nothing<br />

scary at all on first look, but when you<br />

place your fingers (for the fun of it) inside<br />

a pair of brackets, the robot is alerted of<br />

your presence and it starts pricking your<br />

finger until it bleeds. That’s it.<br />

He says, “No one’s actually made a robot<br />

that was built to intentionally hurt and<br />

injure someone. I wanted to make a robot<br />

that does this that actually exists...That<br />

was important, to take it out of the thought<br />

experiment realm into reality, because once<br />

something exists in the world, you have to<br />

confront it. It becomes more urgent. You<br />

can’t just pontificate about it.”<br />

Reben wants the people to start confronting<br />

the physicality of robots harming the<br />

people. He reiterates that it will raise a bit<br />

more awareness outside the philosophical<br />

realm, so he broke the robotics laws.<br />

He could have just chosen a robot that<br />

pinches the humans, right? But no, he<br />

wants it bloody.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


TATTOO<br />

ARTIST<br />

GETS THE<br />

WORLD’S<br />

FIRST<br />




There are a huge mass of people who<br />

love tattoos, from simple, minimalistic<br />

designs, to hardcore awesome hyperrealistic<br />

tattoos. Some get tattoos<br />

because of many reasons, the most<br />

prevalent one is because each tattoo<br />

has its own special meaning. That’s<br />

why it’s important to many tattoo<br />

recipients to make sure their tattoo<br />

artist is skilled in his/her art.<br />

Photo by: Metrouk2<br />

But let’s be honest, it’s really difficult<br />

to find a tattoo artist who can satisfy<br />

the perfect tattoo art. After all,<br />

getting a tattoo is somehow a ‘forever’<br />

commitment—since they don’t come<br />

off unless you have it professionally<br />

removed.<br />

If you’re one of those people who love<br />

special tattoos, you might love that<br />

tattoo art of JC Sheitan Tenet. Why?<br />

Because, not only does he do awesome<br />

realistic tattoo art but he does it using<br />

a prosthetic hand! Woah!<br />

Confused? Tenet is from Lyon,<br />

France. He lost is arm 22 years ago,<br />

and his existing prosthetic hand was<br />

modified into the world’s first tattoo<br />

machine prosthetic by French artist<br />

JL Gonzal. Here are some of his<br />

works.<br />

42<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by: Metro UK



We have seen artificial arms<br />

that enable limb mobility, but<br />

not with one with a laser light, a<br />

torch, a USB port, a watch, and<br />

a drone fixed on a panel outside<br />

of the shoulder.<br />

This design is created by a<br />

Konami developer and publisher<br />

of the Metal Gear Solid titles,<br />

who worked with a leading<br />

prosthesis artist Sophie De<br />

Oliviera Barata and a technical<br />

team. It is inspired by the<br />

protagonist Snake in the new<br />

PlayStation 4 game Metal Gear<br />

Solid V.<br />

A product of 3D printing<br />

technology, the arm allows its<br />

recipient to pick up the tiniest<br />

objects through commands<br />

sent by the shoulder muscles.<br />

It communicates with the<br />

sensors and does its tasks like<br />

a real hand, only with the extra<br />

features.<br />

The recipient of this first-of-itskind<br />

prosthetic arm is James<br />

Young, a gamer who fell under<br />

a train which left him with a<br />

damaged left arm and a severed<br />

lower left leg. It happened May<br />

18, 2012.<br />

James is happy to have been<br />

provided with the arm. He<br />

shared, “It gives me a hand –<br />

and not a device. It’s soft, but<br />

firm, so it’s really nice to shake!”<br />

Photo by: Fashionably Geek<br />

Scarlett Johansson<br />

Becomes A Doll Robot<br />

Hong Kong-based product and<br />

graphic designer Ricky Ma just<br />

created a female robot that is<br />

modelled after the Hollywood<br />

star Scarlett Johansson from<br />

scratch. The female robot<br />

prototype is named Mark 1<br />

and is able to response from<br />

verbal commands. It could also<br />

make facial expressions. As an<br />

example, when the robot is told<br />

'Mark 1 you are so beautiful',<br />

it will bow and smile while<br />

replying 'Hehe, thank you.'<br />

The success of Ricky Ma was<br />

all thanks to his persistence<br />

and dedication to live out a<br />

dream--that is to create his<br />

own robot. He did not mind<br />

spending more than $50,000<br />

just to finish what he wanted.<br />

Even if he had no background<br />

in 3D printing, programming and<br />

electromechanics, he pursued with<br />

learning it. To him, it was a sweat<br />

and blood project but it was all<br />

worth it.<br />

"I figured I should just do it when<br />

the timing is right and realise my<br />

dream. If I realise my dream, I will<br />

have no regrets in life," Ricky Ma<br />

happily commented on his work.<br />

What do you think is going to<br />

be the consequence if humanoids<br />

become a part of our daily lives?<br />

Photo by: economictimes/indiatimes<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Photo by: Apartment Therapy<br />

HOW THE<br />




One of the many fascinating cartoons that we’ve watched<br />

as a kid must be The Jetsons, because of an element<br />

contrary to other animations: the future. The makers of<br />

this cartoon have imagined what the world will look like in<br />

2062, through the lifestyle in its characters George Jetson,<br />

his son Elroy, his daughter Judy, and his wife Jane. And oh,<br />

not to forget the family’s space dog, Astro and their robot<br />

maid, Rosie.<br />

Robot Maids<br />

Let’s start with Rosie the robot maid. In 2012, we already have<br />

a Rosie version through Honda’s Asimo, who can walk, talk, and<br />

interact with humans. Some other robots can now do housekeeping<br />

like she does.<br />

It’s not 2062 yet as how this Hanna Barbera 60’s cartoon<br />

is staged, but there are some feats seen in many of their<br />

episodes that are already happenin – a safe conclusion<br />

that the writers of The Jetsons somehow predicted the<br />

future.<br />

Video Chat<br />

Remember Jane getting to call George while he is in his Spacely<br />

Sprockets through video call? Yes, that’s it, but that’s only two<br />

of them – there’s a lot more in the cartoon that used video chat.<br />

It’s prevalent now with the camera technology we have and the<br />

Internet connection. Communication has become easy in the<br />

modern times because of video calls.<br />

Flatscreens<br />

The video calls of the Jetson couple were done on flatscreen<br />

televisions, on top of having to watch the news. Right now,<br />

the best tool for entertainment and information is through<br />

those thin and wide TVs.<br />

44<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by:Smithsonian Mag<br />

Photo by: Venture and the city

Photo by: chipchick Photo by: Article 3<br />

Flying Cars<br />

The transportation in The Jetsons is primarily flying car, if you can recall<br />

George driving everyone to their respective locations in their opening billboard.<br />

Although we are not there yet with flying cars, maybe in 2062, but humans<br />

have made significant improvements with Terrafugia Transition, which can get<br />

up to 62 mph on the road.<br />

Jetpacks<br />

Human flight is achievable in the said television<br />

series through jetpacks. We also have that now in<br />

our aim to also be elevated.<br />

Dog Treadmills<br />

Astro casually takes dog walks through a treadmill, which already<br />

exists to exercise their favorite canine.<br />

Smartwatch<br />

The first smartwatch that shows images and videos might<br />

have been in The Jetsons. Even when the screen is so small,<br />

it still works with George and even the humans just to<br />

watch the favorite shows.<br />

Photo by: retrokimmer<br />

Photo by: Youtube<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Photo by Hubspot<br />

Photo by:Cartoon Scrapbook<br />

Tanning Beds<br />

Tanning beds, at the time The Jetsons was aired, wasn’t<br />

very relevant at all. It is only after over a decade that<br />

tanning beds were introduced to America in 1979 through<br />

Friedrich Wolff.<br />

Mall Architecture<br />

The malls we have now are shaping to look like the<br />

shopping centers in The Jetsons. Instead of the<br />

conventional concrete and wood, we already use huge<br />

amounts of glass for the exteriors.<br />

Cloning<br />

In one episode, George decides to clone himself to do<br />

dual duties: be relaxed at home and be busy at work.<br />

But in the new century, we only have until animal<br />

cloning because of moral debates regarding the<br />

possibility of having to clone a human. That is not the<br />

same way George cloned himself though as such only<br />

exists in fiction, but through biomedical engineering.<br />

Vacuum Tube Transport<br />

The Jetsons haven’t stepped on the levels of elevators and<br />

stairs, but of vacuum tubes that will serve as transport.<br />

Today, undergoing study has been done by US and China<br />

if such system can work in real life. The transporters might<br />

hit 2,500 miles an hour as predicted by scientists, which<br />

will enable the commute from America to Europe be<br />

shortened to an hour rather than 6 hours via plane.<br />

There is a catch though: the clear elevator shafts are<br />

already existent.<br />

46<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics<br />

Photo by Devops<br />

Photo by: Flickr




IN JAPAN<br />

Automation is on the way to the<br />

industries. Spread, a Japanese<br />

vegetable producer, announces its<br />

automated farm run by robots in<br />

Kameoka, Kyoto prefecture.<br />

It will the world’s first “robot farm”<br />

in an attempt to address labor<br />

shortages by the country’s shrinking<br />

workforce and aging population.<br />

The robot will do the re-planting<br />

of young seedlings, watering,<br />

trimming and eventually harvesting<br />

of crops. The feat is said to boost the<br />

productions from 21,000 to 50,000<br />

lettuces per day and a consequent<br />

plan to raise it up to half a million<br />

lettuces daily in five years. It will also<br />

improve efficiency and reduce labor<br />

cost into half according to Spread’s<br />

global marketing manager, JJ Price.<br />

With the success of the first<br />

automated farm, surely, Japan plans<br />

to build more robotic plant factories<br />

elsewhere, even across the globe.<br />

Photos by Getty Images<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


The Queen of<br />

Useless Robots<br />

All hail the queen of shitty robots!<br />

She who works on useless automation!<br />

by Dion Greg Reyes<br />

For Swedish inventor Simone Giertz, robots are<br />

not entirely as useful as we think they are. There<br />

are ways to utilize robots in everyday life to the<br />

point that they are already useless. And this is<br />

evident in her YouTube channel, filled with videos<br />

of robots and their out-of-this-world applications,<br />

that has already gathered enough followers<br />

– more than 200,000 of them – to say that the<br />

Internet is indeed a weird place.<br />

Her shitty machines speak of her imagination<br />

and abilities. She already considers making such<br />

machines a job (she earns quite a fortune with<br />

her ingenous robots) and never plans to stop from<br />

manufacturing and posting about them. Using<br />

only Arduino UNO boards, she has brought robots<br />

and contraptions to a different dimension that no<br />

other engineer could have ever thought of.<br />

If you visit her YouTube channel, you can find<br />

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JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

there her robot that feed her with cereal, her<br />

robot that puts on her lipstick, her robot that<br />

chops vegetables, and her robot that argues on<br />

the internet by banging itself on a keyboard,<br />

among others. All are products of self-taught<br />

robotics. She built stuff on her own being so ideaoriented<br />

- she figures out building stuff by herself<br />

rather than just learning them in theory.<br />

It usually takes her an afternoon of work for<br />

projects that only require minimal programming,<br />

and one to two weeks full-time when she’s<br />

working on more complicated robots like the<br />

Applause Machine, which claps for you when<br />

your hands are full (such a groundbreaking idea<br />

for a robot, huh).<br />

Living in an old tugboat makes her wish to have a<br />

project of a submarine houseboat someday. It’s a<br />

dream robot project that is up her sleeves when<br />

she has enough time, skills and money for it. But<br />

she will get there, undoubtedly, having to do her<br />

unusual job on a regular basis that she enjoys. She<br />

left her job in San Francisco for this kind of life in<br />

Stockholm.<br />

All hail the queen of shitty robots! She who works<br />

on useless automation!<br />

All photos are screencapped from<br />

Simone Giertz’s YouTube channel.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Robots that Will Make<br />

the Kids Want to<br />

Learn Math and Science<br />

by Dion Greg Reyes<br />

For the kids, learning math and science is<br />

almost always boring. The methods of teaching<br />

such subjects to the young ones do not usually<br />

appeal to them especially when the styles are<br />

too traditional or lacking with techniques or<br />

innovation. You can see in their eyes that they<br />

show no interest at all because let’s face it, they<br />

would rather choose to play with their toys<br />

rather than immerse themselves in the seemingly<br />

difficult to process world of math and science.<br />

But with advent of modern technology through<br />

robots, this might change.<br />

There is a certain charm with robots that children<br />

can be so enticed with. Using that charm, the<br />

robots can capture the attention of the children<br />

to be directed to a fun learning process, teaching<br />

them about math and science. The children will<br />

be immersed more than ever in wanting to learn<br />

with the enhanced interactive tools.<br />

“Kids recognize when they are learning something<br />

themselves—robots give them that. Building and<br />

programming these devices is part of becoming<br />

a creative science and engineering kind of<br />

person.” That’s what Larry Johnson, CEO of a<br />

research organization specializing in educational<br />

technology called New Media Consortium said.<br />

Robots have been proven to be more effective<br />

educational tools starting from the lower grades<br />

up to graduate school.<br />

Here are robot platforms specially designed to<br />

teach children:<br />

Play-i<br />

The robot tandem that encourages kids to engage<br />

in computational thinking without knowing<br />

it, Play-i robots are a product of a successful<br />

Kickstarter campaign. No doubt about that<br />

because it holds a lot of promise in teaching kids<br />

through learning activities. Play-i robots are ballshaped<br />

and composed of two: Bo and Yana. Bo is<br />

made up of four connected spheres that children<br />

program to glide along the floor on three wheels,<br />

avoiding obstacles and delivering small items in<br />

the process. Yana is a single sphere laden with<br />

sensors. Both are connected with a variety of<br />

Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices<br />

using Bluetooth 4.0.<br />

“The goal is to keep interaction open-ended and<br />

free-play so kids discover what they can do with<br />

the robot. The robot draws them in while posing<br />

new challenges over time,” says Play-i founder<br />

and CEO Vikas Gupta.<br />

Photo by Robot Launch<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics

RobotsLAB<br />

This robots platform feature a lot of educational<br />

robots that will ultimately keep the kids have fun<br />

while learning. There’s the mini humanoid NAO,<br />

the two-wheeled Qbo series, and the RobotsLAB<br />

BOX. The RobotsLAB BOX has a tablet computer<br />

containing 50 lesson plans and quizzes, which are<br />

math and science at its core, as an aid to the flying<br />

AR.Drone, stationary ArmBot, rolling Sphero and<br />

mobile Mustached Rover.<br />

“This helps teachers create the bridge between<br />

the concrete world and the abstract world of<br />

mathematical concepts,” says RobotsLAB CEO<br />

Elad Inbar.<br />

Photo by RobotsLAB<br />

Linkbots<br />

EZ-Robot<br />

If the kids love to craft and program new robots and<br />

want to share them with its other users, EZ-Robot<br />

is the one for them. It is an open-source software<br />

platform that works on personal computer and<br />

mobile devices, and also a hardware platform.<br />

It uses a graphical user interface that promotes<br />

robot-making for the newbies.<br />

Photo by Robot Shop<br />

Not only for the younger ones because of its<br />

advanced quality, Linkbots are for those who like<br />

to play with customizable machines on two main<br />

modules. Such modules are connected wirelessly<br />

with accelerometers, which can be controlled<br />

one by the other through simply moving them.<br />

The robots are designed with a program similar<br />

to stop-motion animation, which is manipulation<br />

of the robot using the hands instead of giving<br />

instruction over a computer. It can go further<br />

complex movements with the a software for<br />

programming.<br />

Photo by Linkbots<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


An Autonomous Robot<br />

as your Grocery<br />

Shopping Assistant<br />

Say goodbye to the conventional push and pull<br />

shopping cart as Kartum by Charles Bombardier<br />

has revolutionized your weekly shopping<br />

experience.<br />

Kartum is an electric autonoumous shopping cart<br />

that is also a virtual grocery-shopping assistant.<br />

It has features that will pick up the items in your<br />

shopping list that you can create via an online<br />

application, monitor your items that will be over<br />

your budget and even calculate the calories in<br />

your items. It can even plan the best itinerary<br />

in the store which can link up with the store’s<br />

database to identify location of the products.<br />

This ‘smart shopping cart’ also eliminates the<br />

need to stop at the counter as you can pay by<br />

using your digital print. Once you unload the<br />

items from the cart, it will proceed with the next<br />

customer in sight.<br />

There is no need to plug Kartum in as it recharges<br />

itself with wireless electricity. It walks along with<br />

you based on the user’s preferences, may it be<br />

behind or just ahead of you.<br />

Bet that this will make you want to visit the<br />

grocery stores even more.<br />

Photo by Charles Bombardier<br />

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Future Cities & Robotics

A Robotic Arm<br />

that Acts Like an<br />

Elephant Trunk<br />

Biomimetics is a damn exciting field. Engineers<br />

in this field use nature as their inspiration for<br />

systems and designs to create awesome stuff. For<br />

example, they used the elephant’s trunk to create<br />

a cool robotic arm.<br />

At first glance, the thingamajig looks like a cross<br />

between a mechanical claw and iron snake with<br />

a good measure of tentacle horror thrown in. In<br />

fact, they are reminiscent of the sweet robotic<br />

arms used by the infamous Dr. Octopus, the<br />

Spiderman villain. Of course, they are calling it<br />

the Bionic Handling Assistant, the blandest name<br />

possible for the cool robot. But it’s cool anyway.<br />

As it stands, elephant trunks are possibly the<br />

coolest appendages in the Animal Kingdom. So,<br />

making a robotic arm based on that is a fantastic<br />

idea. This robotic arm was made by Festo, a<br />

German automation company.<br />

What is even more fantastic is that the arm acts<br />

and learns just like a baby’s arm. The researcher<br />

will guide the arm to perform certain actions. The<br />

robot will learn and memorizes the movements<br />

so as to repeat them whenever necessary. This<br />

will enable the robot to fulfill functions such as<br />

operating in tight quarters and helping people in<br />

the medical or the industrial sector. It can even be<br />

programmed to change a light bulb.<br />

Festo has also been responsible for the creation of<br />

the first robot kangaroo that actually moves like<br />

the real thing. Again, they have used biomimetics<br />

to mimic the leaping movements of the kangaroo<br />

precisely. The robot jumps and lands perfectly as<br />

a result. Now, that’s a kickass use of science.<br />

Photo by Festo<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Would You Let a Robot<br />

Do Your Make Up?<br />

Girls, by now you may have<br />

probably perfected your<br />

everyday make-up routine from<br />

washing your face, to putting on<br />

foundation, eyeshadow, blush<br />

and lipstick. After all, you’ve been<br />

doing it everyday, over and over<br />

again, until such a time you are<br />

able to create a systematic way<br />

of putting on make-up that you<br />

don’t have to concentrate so<br />

much when doing so anymore.<br />

But what if you were offered the<br />

option of letting someone or<br />

something else take your place<br />

in putting on your everyday make<br />

up, let’s say—a robot? Would you<br />

let it?<br />

Two students from the University<br />

of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria<br />

wanted to experiment on the<br />

idea. The two students are Maya<br />

Pindeus and Johanna Pichlbauer.<br />

They designed three robots that<br />

can mimic three real human<br />

make-up application motions,<br />

which are swiping on lipstick,<br />

putting on eyeshadow and using<br />

a facemask.<br />

The pair wanted to answer<br />

the question: “If aesthetic<br />

judgements are resigned to<br />

robot intelligence, would it<br />

make our lives emotionally less<br />

complicated?”<br />

Their answer: No.<br />

After they set up the installation<br />

with the robots, it proved that<br />

the irregularities and uniqueness<br />

in different people’s faces make<br />

it simply impossible to perfectly<br />

beautify the face of every person.<br />

This experiment proved one<br />

thing: that mindless robots can’t<br />

beautify every woman the same<br />

way, since every woman’s face<br />

is unique and has its own way<br />

of being beautiful. A make-up<br />

style may look beautiful for one,<br />

but may look bad on the other.<br />

This experiment also opens the<br />

issue of why are women trying<br />

to achieve the same beauty<br />

standards, when we all obviously<br />

look different? So how about you,<br />

would you like a robot to do your<br />

make up?<br />

Photos by Pindeus & Pichlbauer<br />

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Exoskeletons to Begin<br />

Iron Man Age<br />

ActiveLink, a Japanese tech company<br />

and subsidiary of Panasonic, released<br />

its first commercially available assist<br />

suit AWN-03, an exoskeleton that<br />

detects and assists body movements.<br />

It has been showcased in Tokyo’s<br />

International Robot Exhibition, the<br />

world’s largest robotics show, a few<br />

weeks ago where it garnered a huge<br />

interest from the audience.<br />

This is to address the aging<br />

population of Japan and supporting<br />

its shrinking workforce focusing on<br />

health care, physical assistance and<br />

maintaining the country’s level of<br />

production. Using the exoskeleton,<br />

which weighs a few pounds (6kg), the<br />

user would be able to lift up crates or<br />

things effortlessly, six to seven times<br />

in a row. The device is composed of<br />

two disks on the front part of thighs<br />

and distributed over the shoulders.<br />

It is powered by lithium-ion battery<br />

with an electric engine according to<br />

ActiveLink Engineer, Yasunori Nishi.<br />

The exoskeleton costs $10,000 each.<br />

Also, Japan is not the only one<br />

developing the exoskeletons. In<br />

Europe and the United States, a<br />

number of projects were soon<br />

be unveiled under the sectors of<br />

defense and rehabilitation industries.<br />

Exoskeletons ranging from modular<br />

arms, limbs and chairs are now being<br />

developed for commercialization.<br />

In this technological age of robotics,<br />

from parts to overalls, these “Iron<br />

Man suits” are now a reality.<br />

Photos by Panasonic<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />



CITIES<br />

YOU’D WANT<br />

TO LIVE IN<br />

If you’ve come from a small town,<br />

you’ll definitely find yourself amazed<br />

at the wonder big cities can give<br />

you. With buildings so high and<br />

people living a very different lifestyle<br />

compared to those who live in a<br />

small town, it’s impressive for small<br />

town people - but imagine going to a<br />

futuristic city. It’s not exactly what we<br />

see in movies and shows such as The<br />

Jetsons but it’s still innovative and<br />

creative than ever before.<br />

Futuristic cities give us a feel of what<br />

the future will look like. It’ll give us<br />

a peak on how things will be in the<br />

future. Isn’t it exciting to see all these<br />

things in just one place?<br />

If you’re the type of millennial coming<br />

from a small town who would like to<br />

wander around futuristic cities, how<br />

about going for a visit in these cities:<br />

DUBAI, UAE<br />

It’s got the world’s tallest building and<br />

a hotel located underwater. If you<br />

find yourself looking at the place in a<br />

bird’s eye view, you’d definitely catch<br />

The Palm, man-made islands that<br />

form the shape of a palm together.<br />

They offer free wifi using their palm<br />

trees and they even plan to have a<br />

smart beach. There’s definitely a lot<br />

of things to look forward to this place<br />

considered one of the most futuristic<br />

cities in the world.<br />

Photo by All Dubai<br />


If you find yourself walking in the<br />

streets of Hong Kong, observe all<br />

the buildings in the place. You’ll<br />

find yourself amazed at how highlyadvanced<br />

these places can be.They<br />

even have plenty of skyscrapers that<br />

they’re more than of them compared<br />

to any other country.<br />

Photo by National Geographic<br />

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It’s the home of the offices of your<br />

favorite tech companies - from<br />

Facebook to Google. We all know<br />

what we can expert from nerds<br />

who gather in just one place. They<br />

definitely know how to make one<br />

helluva futuristic area.<br />

Photo by Spiegel<br />


If you’re crazy about getting<br />

connected to your social media all<br />

the time, you might want to consider<br />

getting your free Wifi access in<br />

Helsinki. What makes this place a<br />

little extra special is the government’s<br />

attempt to improve the quality of<br />

lives of the citizens.<br />

Photo by Helsinki Blog<br />


You’ve probably seen futuristic anime<br />

set in Japan. As you can see, it’s not<br />

that far from reality. Everywhere<br />

you look, you’d see how advanced<br />

the city is. They have a sci-fi cuisine<br />

to its advanced railway system, you<br />

might consider living around there.<br />

It’s actually any tech-Savy’ dream to<br />

visit Tokyo.<br />

Photo by Vacation Advice 101<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


6 GADGETS<br />



If there’s one certain toy<br />

every engineer as a child<br />

loved to play with, I’ll bet<br />

it’s building things using<br />

LEGO bricks.<br />

If there’s one certain toy every<br />

engineer as a child loved to play<br />

with, I’ll bet it’s building things using<br />

LEGO bricks. When we play with<br />

LEGO, anything we plan to build are<br />

limited only by our imaginations.<br />

From a rocket ship to a bulldozer,<br />

from a simple robot to a skyscraper.<br />

While, our creations as children<br />

weren’t able to really do much, we<br />

were content with the simple joys of<br />

being able to create our first designs<br />

as young engineers.<br />

Now, we would like to show you some<br />

awesome creations made from our<br />

once cherished toys. These creations<br />

will bring you back to your childhood<br />

days and show you that it’s possible<br />

to create almost anything if you just<br />

put your mind into it.<br />



This creation is a camera that was<br />

created to capture indelible images.<br />

Cary Norton, an Alabama-based<br />

photographer built this working<br />

127mm f4.7 camera by using LEGO’s<br />

Digital Designer application.<br />

Photo by Engadget<br />



Some years ago, a 14-year-old boy<br />

designed this working LEGO printer<br />

which moves a pen to write drawings<br />

and text. It’s called the LEGO<br />

Mindstorms NXT printer, or PriNXT.<br />

Photo by ICT Press<br />


3D PRINTER<br />

The LEGObot 3D printer was created<br />

by Matthew Kreuger. This is the<br />

LEGO version of the Makerbot, an<br />

inexpensive NXT-powered printer.<br />

Photo by Inhabitat<br />

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This year, LEGO will be launching a<br />

new line called Beatboards, wherein<br />

anyone can use LEGO bricks to create<br />

original musical compositions. Touch<br />

sensors are built into the baseplate<br />

and it registers the resistance formed<br />

under the weight of the LEGO bricks<br />

and turns those messages into sound.<br />

Photo by Wikia<br />


ARM THAT<br />




Carlos Arturo, a former LEGO intern,<br />

developed the IKO prosthetic arm. It<br />

was made especially for children, so<br />

they can create custom-built limbs.<br />

Torres was inspired by his childhood<br />

in Colombia, where many children<br />

lost their limbs during armed<br />

conflicts.<br />

Photo by Engadget<br />

This clever invention uses pancake<br />

batter to draw onto a sizzling griddle.<br />

It can create any elaborate shape you<br />

want. You’ll never see pancakes the<br />

same way again.<br />

Photo by YouTube<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


Everything You Need to Know<br />


by Cielo Panda<br />

Photo by AP<br />

Nowadays, our technological world<br />

is filled with gadgets, Artificial<br />

Intelligence, Deep Learning, and<br />

Robots that help make our daily lives<br />

easier. All these are made possible<br />

thanks to the hard work of robotics<br />

engineers. So if you’re planning to be<br />

a robotics engineer, here is a short<br />

overview of what they do and what it<br />

takes to be one.<br />

What is a Robotics Engineer?<br />

A Robotics Engineer is basically an<br />

engineer who specializes in robots.<br />

They are also known as Automation<br />

Engineers, Robotics and Automation<br />

Engineers, or Automation Robotics<br />

Engineers.<br />

They are designers who are<br />

responsible for the creation of<br />

robots and robotic systems that does<br />

work that humans cannot or prefer<br />

not to do. With the help of their<br />

innovations, robotics engineers helps<br />

make different tasks easier, safer and<br />

more efficient.<br />

What are the Necessary Skills to be a<br />

Robotics Engineer?<br />

To be able to become a successful<br />

robotics engineer, one should be<br />

highly-creative with the ability to<br />

think outside the box. After all,<br />

robotic engineers design robots and<br />

robotic systems that can improve a<br />

certain job.<br />

They should have a solid<br />

understanding in subjects learned<br />

in school such as advanced<br />

mathematics, applied physical<br />

science, and computer science. It<br />

is also important that they enjoy<br />

collaborating with a team, and have<br />

adequate communication skills.<br />

Lastly, since programming new robots<br />

is one of the most challenging part of<br />

robotics engineering, it is important<br />

that one should be an expert in<br />

programming such. Others even get<br />

a degree in software engineering to<br />

expand their robotics engineering<br />

career further.<br />

What does a Robotics Engineer<br />

Particularly do?<br />

Robotics engineers spend most of<br />

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Photo by Press Herald<br />

their time designing plans that are<br />

needed to build robots and robotic<br />

systems. This also includes programs<br />

and processes that the robot will<br />

need for it to run correctly. There<br />

are even robotic engineers that<br />

create robotic systems that assemble<br />

robots. The design phase is crucial<br />

since it embodies every aspect that<br />

will build up the finished robot. Once<br />

the design is complete, they will<br />

move to the more exciting process—<br />

assembling the unit.<br />

Robotics engineers are responsible<br />

for creating several different types<br />

of robots depending on what<br />

task it is supposed to do. Prior to<br />

construction, it is important that the<br />

engineer researches properly what<br />

the robot will be used for, and the<br />

manner in which it will perform the<br />

needed task.<br />

More often than not, creating a robot<br />

takes a lot of time. This includes<br />

the research phase, design phase,<br />

assembling phase, and testing phase.<br />

Many robotics engineers get stuck in<br />

one of those phases and revise what<br />

needs to be revised to get the desired<br />

results. It can even take a few months<br />

to years to complete one robot.<br />

Professionals who want to enter in<br />

this field need to be extra patient.<br />

Photo by Alpine Daily Planet<br />

Photo by University of Michigan<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />



HUMANS<br />



ROBOT<br />


Photo by Noval World<br />

Ok, when you hear “Robot Apocalypse”<br />

what usually goes on in your head? You<br />

may be imagining an army of Terminator-ish<br />

automations ready to destroy the human<br />

race who built them—just like in those sci-fi<br />

movies.<br />

Our technology is evolving through time,<br />

but we still have a long way to go. So instead<br />

of imagining the terminator-style robot<br />

revolution, let’s imagine: what if our current<br />

machines suddenly turned against us? How<br />

long would humanity last?<br />

Here’s how the scenario might go.<br />

#1<br />

In laboratories, experimental robots would<br />

go wild and leap from their benches and try<br />

to locate the door, only to suddenly crash<br />

onto the door and fall over. However, for<br />

those robots who have limbs, they may be<br />

able to open the doorknob and successfully<br />

leave the room.<br />

After a few hours, they would be found<br />

in bathrooms, trying to destroy and trash<br />

everything while looking for humans to<br />

exterminate only to be short-circuited due to<br />

the water spillage they’ve caused.<br />

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#2<br />

What about the machines in our offices,<br />

and our cell phones? Well, they could<br />

attack us but their options are limited. They<br />

could start annoying us with ringtones and<br />

irritating noises. Our desks would start to<br />

rattle because all our phones would be set<br />

on vibrate. In the end, the only physical<br />

damage our cell phones could do is if it falls<br />

off the desk (because of the simultaneous<br />

vibrations) and fall on our toes. Ouch!<br />

#3<br />

Most modern cars have computers now, so<br />

they’ll join the revolution. This would be way<br />

more dangerous, but mostly to their drivers<br />

and passengers. But there are options to fight<br />

back, drivers could still control the steering<br />

wheel, which has a direct mechanical link<br />

to the wheels. The driver could also pull the<br />

parking brake.<br />

#4<br />

What about industrial robots found in<br />

factories. Most factory robots are bolted<br />

to the floor, so they won’t be able to hurt<br />

humans if they suddenly fled the area. All<br />

they can actually do is assemble things.<br />

#5<br />

Photo<br />

Military Robots would be the most dangerous<br />

of them all, but there are very few of them in<br />

the world. Most of them are kept in storage<br />

lockers, and if there were machine-gunarmed<br />

military robots on the loose, they can<br />

be easily subdued by a couple of military<br />

men.<br />

Military Drones on the other hand is the<br />

closest to the terminator description, and<br />

they are dangerous. However, they easily run<br />

out of fuel and missiles.<br />

by Corbett Report<br />

With all these scenarios, there is still a part of<br />

the story that gives us hope. We still have our<br />

nuclear weapons to counter their attacks. In<br />

addition, nuclear explosions cause powerful<br />

electromagnetic pulses (EMP’s). EMP’s<br />

overload and destroy sensitive electronic<br />

circuits which in turn could destroy the<br />

robots. A few more strikes from us and the<br />

human race will be able to eradicate them<br />

completely.<br />

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Photo by Wallpaper Made

HOW R2-D2<br />

AND C-3PO<br />



TO JOIN<br />


If there are fictional characters<br />

that have played crucial roles in<br />

robotics, it will be the famous<br />

sidekicks in the Star Wars trilogy.<br />

R2-D2 and C-3PO have charmed<br />

their way around the audience<br />

and made a huge impact as well<br />

in the robotics field. As soon as<br />

they bicker in front of the screen,<br />

they have caught our attention<br />

and definitely inspired a lot of<br />

robotics enthusiasts to create<br />

their own robots.<br />

R2-D2 has inspired the public<br />

to create their own assistants<br />

that could help them around the<br />

house. The droid also helped in<br />

inspiring younger generations<br />

spark their curiosity in science in<br />

engineering. Through its beeps<br />

and bops, little children have<br />

curiously tried learning how the<br />

robot works and how to make<br />

one.<br />

R2-D2 got inducted into the<br />

Robot Hall of Fame back in 2003<br />

while made it in the list of 101<br />

Objects that Made America - a list<br />

made by Smithsonian Institution.<br />

The droid has definitely made an<br />

impact not just in pop culture<br />

but in robotics as well. It was<br />

also believed that this funny little<br />

robot was George Lucas’ favorite<br />

character in the series. According<br />

to him, he makes it intentional<br />

that R2-D2 manages to save the<br />

day every now and then in each<br />

movie.<br />

As for the humanoid robot<br />

character, C-3PO, we can see a<br />

lot of robots nowadays that has<br />

clearly taken inspiration from this<br />

funny easily frightened robot.<br />

Re-created by Anakin Skywalker<br />

in the Episode I, C-3PO has also<br />

made an impact in the robotics<br />

field. One example on projects<br />

that was inspired by the protocol<br />

droid was the robot built by the<br />

United States Navy. It’s called<br />

the Autonomous Shipboard<br />

Humanoid and its purpose was<br />

to extinguish fires, climb ladders<br />

and carry hoses.<br />

For both robots, we can see a<br />

lot of high-level toys created to<br />

develop the learning skills of<br />

children. Clearly, a lot of kids<br />

have sparked an interest in<br />

building robots as soon as they<br />

were introduced to these two<br />

funny droids. With the release<br />

of Episode VII last December, the<br />

public was also given a new robot<br />

to love - BB-8.<br />

Star Wars has a strong fan base<br />

and while not everyone got into<br />

robotics because of it, we still<br />

can’t admit how this series has<br />

helped out the robotics field in<br />

terms of increasing people who<br />

join the field and inspired designs<br />

and prototypes that shaped the<br />

way we see the world now.<br />

Photo by Hello Giggles<br />

Photo by Ubergizmo<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


TOP 50<br />




We’ve welcomed robots in our lives. This<br />

is very noticeable especially in futuristic<br />

and first-world countries that are fastpaced<br />

and give importance in giving people<br />

convenience and comfort. While some give a<br />

bad reputation for robots, it is quite obvious<br />

that robotics have played a crucial role in<br />

how we develop as a society. Nowadays,<br />

engineers have developed robots that can<br />

do all the chores for us, robots that work for<br />

us and robots who could even think for us.<br />

That’s why every robot has been very useful<br />

in making our daily lives better.<br />

There has been a debate going on lately about<br />

robots though. For some, robots pose as a<br />

threat to humanity. With the threat of actually<br />

replacing humans one day, some people<br />

believe that we should stop developing them<br />

into a more complex human-like machines.<br />

But other people thought differently and<br />

have made it their mission to produce highquality<br />

robots that could be more useful to us<br />

than ever before.<br />

Robotics Business Review released this year’s<br />

Top 50 robotics companies that made crucial<br />

commercial influence, groundbreaking<br />

applications and have shown innovativeness<br />

in their products.<br />

Photo by Robotnor<br />

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3D Robotics<br />

ABB Robotics<br />

Aethon Inc.<br />

Alphabet, Inc. (Google)<br />

Amazon<br />

Autonomous Solutions<br />

CANVAS Technology<br />

Carbon Robotics<br />

Clearpath Robotics<br />

Cyberdyne<br />

Delphi Automotive<br />

DJI<br />

Ekso Bionics<br />

Energid Technologies<br />

EPSON Robots<br />

FANUC Robotics<br />

Fetch Robotics<br />

Foxconn Technology Group<br />

GreyOrange<br />

IAM Robotics<br />

Intuitive Surgical<br />

iRobot<br />

Jibo<br />

Kawasaki<br />

Knightscope<br />

KUKA Robotics<br />

Lockheed Martin<br />

Locus Robotics<br />

Omron Adept Technologies Inc.<br />

Open Bionics<br />

Rethink Robotics<br />

ReWalk Robotics<br />

Robotiq<br />

Samsung<br />

Savioke<br />

SCHUNK<br />

Seegrid<br />

Siasun Robot & Automation Co Ltd<br />

SoftBank Robotics Corporation<br />

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd<br />

Swiss log<br />

Titan Medical<br />

Toyota<br />

ULC Robotics, Inc.<br />

Universal Robots A/S<br />

Vecna Technologies<br />

Verb Surgical<br />

VEX Robotics<br />

Yamaha Robotics<br />

Yaskawa Motoman<br />

JULY 2016<br />

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10 MOST<br />

FAMOUS<br />


ROBOTS<br />

In this age of information, more<br />

and more robots are being<br />

developed to aid humankind’s<br />

varying needs. Bit by bit they are<br />

being involved into different fields<br />

in our society, like manufacturing,<br />

construction, healthcare,<br />

automotive field, and even in the<br />

movie industry!<br />

You may have been familiar with<br />

some robot superheroes, and<br />

supervillains in some movies<br />

you’ve seen. We collected some<br />

of them to show you 10 of the<br />

most famous fictional robots.<br />

R2-D2<br />

R2-D2 is part of the robot duo<br />

tandem in the Star Wars saga.<br />

R2-D2 is the abbreviated form<br />

of Second Generagtion Robotic<br />

Droid Series-2. Though it only<br />

knows how to whistle talk, slowly<br />

move, and do minor things like<br />

create hologram messages, it is<br />

considered to be one of George<br />

Lucas’, the Star Wars creator’s,<br />

favorites.<br />

Photo by: Hello Giggles<br />

C-3PO<br />

C-3PO is the other half of the<br />

robot duo in Star Wars. This robot<br />

is famous for being a nervous and<br />

talkative. It is able to speak and<br />

interact in over 6 million forms<br />

of communication, which makes<br />

him a valuable asset to the group.<br />

It works as a protocol droid, and<br />

its main purpose is to be a liaison<br />

for different races, and planets by<br />

knowing their customs, etiquette,<br />

and language.<br />

Photo by: Side Show Toy<br />

BB8<br />

BB8 is a new robot droid favorite<br />

in the famous sci-fi saga, Star<br />

Wars. In the film, it loyally<br />

accompanies Poe Dameron on<br />

many missions for the Resistance.<br />

BB-8 is a spherical robot with a<br />

free-moving dome-shaped head.<br />

He is colored white, with orange<br />

and silver accents.<br />

Photo by: Tf3dm<br />

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Optimus Prime<br />

Optimus Prime is a fictional<br />

character from the Transformers<br />

franchise. This robot is depicted<br />

as one that has a strong moral<br />

character, excellent leadership,<br />

and good decision-making skills.<br />

Photo by: Comic Vine<br />

Wall-E<br />

Wall-E, or Waste Allocater Load<br />

Lifter- Eart Class, is a fictional<br />

robot that was featured in the<br />

2008 heart-warming film Wall-E.<br />

The plot of the story follows his<br />

adventures as he does his duty<br />

to clean the earth wasteland in a<br />

future era. While he was cleaning<br />

the earth he comes across and falls<br />

in love with another robot named<br />

Eve, and he follows her into outer<br />

space as they try to alter destiny<br />

that will save humanity.<br />

Photo by: No Cookie

T-800<br />

This robot character was played<br />

by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the<br />

1984 film. T-800 is a cyborg that<br />

was programmed as an assassin<br />

and military infiltration unit by<br />

the resistance in the future to kill<br />

Sarah Connor to prevent the birth<br />

of her son.<br />

Photo by: Geek Style Guide<br />

Megatron<br />

Earlier, I’ve mentioned Optimus<br />

prime. This robot is the total<br />

opposite, he is the leader of the<br />

evil robot faction, the Decepticons<br />

and the nemesis of Optimus<br />

Prime and the Autobots.<br />

Photo by: Enterpreneur<br />

RoboCop<br />

RoboCop is a fictional robot in the<br />

movie, RoboCop in the year 1987.<br />

In the movie he was the veteran<br />

police officer Alex Murphy, who<br />

was murdered. His body was<br />

reconstructed in a cyborg project<br />

by Omni Consumer Products<br />

(OCP) to fight crimes in the city.<br />

Photo by: YouTube<br />

Astro Boy<br />

Astro Boy is an atomic-powered<br />

robot with 100,000 hp. He<br />

is a robot that resembled its<br />

creator’s dead son. This robot is<br />

a superhero that saves his town<br />

from crimes done by evil doers.<br />

Photo by: Time 4 Smart<br />

Voltes V<br />

Voltes V is a robot from the<br />

Japanese Anime series, Chōdenji<br />

Machine Voltes V. Voltes V is a<br />

robot composed of five “Volt<br />

Machines”, and each of them are<br />

weapons. When the 5 machines<br />

combine, they create the ultimate<br />

robot that saves the earth from<br />

the invasions of the Boazanians.<br />

Photo by: YouTube<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


THIS IS<br />

LIFE IN A<br />


CITY<br />

What will the future look like<br />

in 50 to 100 years? Nobody<br />

really knows for sure but our<br />

imaginations can come up with<br />

so many possibilities that it could<br />

either fascinate us or terrify us.<br />

There’s no certainty if we’d still<br />

see the big blue oceans or the<br />

wild animals in the safari but<br />

we do have a glimpse of what<br />

futuristic cities can look like. We<br />

are on the way to living in the<br />

future and today’s engineers have<br />

very big ambitious plans for the<br />

places we’ll be living in.<br />

First, our future cities will<br />

definitely involve a lot of artificial<br />

intelligence systems. Remember<br />

The Jetsons? We’ll probably be<br />

living their lives soon. We can have<br />

cars that fly and a robot for a maid.<br />

We let things move on its own<br />

through science and engineering<br />

and we’ll have more robots to<br />

take over the government and the<br />

private institutions to serve us.<br />

There’s even a possibility that real<br />

dogs and cats might go extinct by<br />

then and we’ll replace them with<br />

robotic pets.<br />

According to a robotics professor<br />

from the University of Sheffield,<br />

Professor Noel Sharkey, robots<br />

will take on an important role<br />

in law enforcement and crowd<br />

control:<br />

“They keep the police out of<br />

harm’s way in an increasingly<br />

dangerous world of armed<br />

criminals, gangs and terror<br />

organizations.”<br />

How about our mode of<br />

transportation? It is possible<br />

that futuristic cities can easily<br />

allow citizens to travel in just a<br />

short period of time. Aside from<br />

autonomous cars (which aim to<br />

avoid accidents and lighten the<br />

load of traffic), engineers are<br />

working on flying cars and rail<br />

transportation that’ll only take a<br />

few minutes for people to arrive<br />

from point A to point B. We<br />

might even see a hovercraft in<br />

the near future.<br />

As for the infrastructures of future<br />

cities, we’ve already seen what<br />

they’ll look like in smart cities<br />

around the world. They’ll be selfsustaining<br />

and will use renewable<br />

energy to power up buildings,<br />

homes and industries. In an attempt<br />

to make places a safer and cleaner<br />

place for the future generations,<br />

engineers are working very hard to<br />

use solar, wind and other sources<br />

of renewable energy to power all<br />

of the energy needed for all human<br />

consumption.<br />

70<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

Source: Lava 360<br />

All those infrastructures you<br />

see in dystopian movies may<br />

be our future cities but it is<br />

also possible that we could live<br />

underwater. This is currently<br />

what engineers are working on<br />

given that the crowd in the land<br />

are too many already for us to<br />

continue dwelling on land. As<br />

you know, it’s also possible that<br />

companies will be sending us to<br />

Mars to let us live there. That’s<br />

something Elon Musk is working<br />

on with his team.<br />

Who knows what the cities of the<br />

future will exactly look like? We<br />

have glimpses of it already but<br />

we are constantly changing and<br />

constantly working on making<br />

things better, faster and more<br />

efficient for us. Add the human<br />

factor to that, we’re vulnerable to<br />

any kind of change. One thing’s for<br />

sure, the futuristic cities waiting<br />

for us will definitely be an exciting<br />

thing to look forward to. May it<br />

be a positive change for the all<br />

species in this world.<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />




WORLD<br />

Cities around the world are constantly shifting to modern technologies, especially<br />

in information and communication, in order to provide a higher quality of life.<br />

Every opportunity for innovation is embraced by these cities – rightfully called to<br />

be smart cities – towards efficient use of resources, savings in cost and energy,<br />

and reduced environmental footprint. Such efforts are reflected to the cultural<br />

assets, human infrastructure, and networked markets of the city.<br />

Among the many cities true to their initiatives of urban progress by innovations,<br />

here are 10 cities that are worthy models of a smart city:<br />

VIENNA<br />

With programs like the Smart Energy Vision 2050,<br />

Roadmap 2020, and Action Plan 2012,-2015, Vienna is<br />

one of the smartest cities in the world with laser focus<br />

in improving the lives of the people. The city does well in<br />

almost every aspect of urbanization including innovation,<br />

green technologies, quality of life, and digital governance.<br />

Their strategies are leaned on Vienna’s planners who make<br />

decisions cohesive to the cities’ targets.<br />

Photo by: Urban Transform<br />


If there’s a city in North America that is worthy to be<br />

included in the smart cities list, that’s Toronto. The city has<br />

a target towards a low-carbon economy (being an active<br />

member of the Clinton 40 megacities), and its private<br />

sector also contributing with the Smart Commute Toronto<br />

initiative, that aims to increase transit efficiency in the<br />

metro area. It also began using natural gas from landfills<br />

to power the city’s garbage trucks.<br />

Photo by: Navigatored<br />

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JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

PARIS<br />

Paris comes close with Vienna in this list from Europe, with<br />

competencies in innovation, green technology and digital<br />

governance as well. They have a successful bike sharing<br />

program called Velib and a bunch of small electric vehicles<br />

called Autolib.<br />

Photo by: Itespresso<br />

NEW YORK<br />

Despite the low quality of life, New York fares in other<br />

categories of being a smart city. Notable is IBM’s launch<br />

in the city with their Business Analytics Solution Center to<br />

address "the growing demand for the complex capabilities<br />

needed to build smarter cities and help clients optimize<br />

all manner of business processes and business decisions."<br />

Photo by: Navigatored<br />

LONDON<br />

The capital city of the United Kingdom is well-known<br />

of its sustainability innovations. To add to that is their<br />

efficient mass transit system. It holds a promise towards<br />

transport, government, business, academic and consumer<br />

data efficiency through a smart city research center in the<br />

Imperial College.<br />

Photo by: Urban Data Hack<br />

TOKYO<br />

Being the house of tech giants like Panasonic and Accenture,<br />

among others, this Asian city is among the better cities<br />

when it comes to innovation and digitalization. Tokyo<br />

leans towards smart mobility solutions and also forwards<br />

the use of green technologies in the suburbs.<br />

Photo by: Jama English<br />

BERLIN<br />

The inclusion of Berlin in this list is because of its green<br />

technologies, innovation and quality of life. The city has<br />

been talking with car manufacturers in electric vehicle<br />

(EV) technology, which already includes vehicle-to-grid, or<br />

V2G, a system that collects power from electric vehicles.<br />

Photo by: Smart City App Hack<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />



The leaders of Copenhagen must be happy to see that their<br />

sustainable innovations are paying off: the city was ranked<br />

by Siemens as number one on the green scale. Well, this<br />

is due to their cumulative efforts in pursuing a carbon<br />

neutral city by 2025. The locals also already promote and<br />

use bicycle as an alternative to cars.<br />

Photo by: Shutterstock<br />


The smart cards are Hong Kong’s key in this list. The<br />

city has been successful in forwarding the use of RFID<br />

technology in almost everywhere: airport, public transit,<br />

library, residential, car parks, and shopping centers. Their<br />

digital governance is working to their advantage.<br />

Photo by: SCMP<br />


The edge of this smart city in Spain primarily lies in its lowcarbon<br />

solutions. Barcelona is among the pioneers in solar<br />

thermal ordinance more than a decade ago, and is now<br />

promoting the adoption of EVs and charging infrastructure.<br />

The city also has a living lab for smart-city innovation to<br />

tap other sectors.<br />

Photo by: Fast Company<br />

74<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics

ROBOTS<br />

CAN NOW<br />

RECORD<br />

YOUR<br />


Recently, a new feature has been<br />

announced for the humanoid<br />

robot, NAO, by French researchers<br />

working at the Centre National de<br />

la Recherche Scientifique. This new<br />

feature will allow NAO to build up an<br />

autobiographical memory. Sounds<br />

pretty cool, doesn’t it? It is, in fact,<br />

pretty awesome as this technology<br />

can be used in space and can even<br />

reach to far more ordinary tasks like<br />

taking care of the elderly.<br />

The scientific explanation is that a<br />

human can teach NAO new actions<br />

via physical demonstrations, voice<br />

command or visual imitation. Physical<br />

demonstrations are performed by<br />

putting the limbs of the robot in the<br />

correct position while visual imitation<br />

uses the Kinect system. NAO will learn<br />

and store the information gathered<br />

as procedures, which the robot can<br />

later recall and even explain to other<br />

people. That’s quite a nifty skill for a<br />

little robot to have!<br />

This ability to not only learn but also<br />

teach information can be quite useful<br />

for the International Space Station.<br />

After all, in the ISS, astronauts have to<br />

come and go and still solve a problem<br />

right on the spot. In situations<br />

which have not been foreseen, this<br />

ability can be extremely useful. An<br />

experienced astronaut can teach the<br />

solution to a problem to NAO. Later,<br />

when a new crew arrives and the<br />

same problem occurs, NAO can help<br />

the new crew members solve it. In<br />

other words, NAO acts as a guide in<br />

different unexpected scenarios. It will<br />

be capable of providing information<br />

rarely found in manuals. This ability<br />

can also be used for serving people<br />

suffering from short-term memory<br />

loss back here on earth. This can<br />

make NAO a great companion for<br />

taking care of the elderly.<br />

Now, where was NAO during our<br />

exams at school?<br />

Photo by CNRS<br />

JULY 2016<br />

Future Cities & Robotics<br />


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