Connect with us

Technology

Ex-Google executive unveils helper ‘Stretch’ equipped with arm to help with simple household tasks

Published

on

ex google executive unveils helper stretch equipped with arm to help with simple household tasks

A robotics company co-founded by an ex-Google executive has launched its first ever product called, Stretch.

The bot, which Hello Robot has spent three years developing, is being marketed as a ‘home automation platform’ designed to spur advancements in home robotics.

It consists of a robotic arm and gripper attached to a wheeled base and can be programmed for a number of household tasks like removing laundry from a dryer or operating a handheld vacuum. 

Scroll down for video. 

30764706 8522919 image a 2 1594756074840

30764706 8522919 image a 2 1594756074840

30764688 8522919 image a 3 1594756088393

30764688 8522919 image a 3 1594756088393

Stretch can be programmed to do a number of household chores like vacuuming or taking clothes out of a dryer

Stretch can be programmed to do a number of household chores like vacuuming or taking clothes out of a dryer

Stretch can be programmed to do a number of household chores like vacuuming or taking clothes out of a dryer

‘What sets this robot apart is its extraordinary reach — which is why we named it Stretch,’ said Edsinger in a statement. 

‘Its patent pending design makes possible a range of applications such as assisting an older parent at home, stocking grocery shelves, and wiping down potentially infectious surfaces at the workplace. We see Stretch as a game-changing platform for researchers and developers who will create this future.’

In addition to its gripper, the bot uses a 3D camera and range finder for navigating as well as an on-board computer. It uses a combination of ROS and Python for software.

Despite its household applications, Hello Robot, which is helmed by former Google director of robotics Aaron Edsinger and Georgia Tech robotics professor Charlie Kemp, isn’t ready to enter into the consumer market just yet.   

The current iteration is meant for research and despite its $17,950 price tag is still less expensive compared other academic counterparts.

According to the team, Stretch will stay as a dedicated researcher platform for now but may expand to other applications, including commercial operations. in the future.

‘Subsequent editions of Stretch will likely be targeted more directly at commercial applications,’ Edsinger told TechCrunch.

‘But at this point we’re focused on providing the best customer experience possible with the Research Edition.’

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology

Stainless steel was first made in PERSIA and NOT Sheffield

Published

on

By

stainless steel was first made in persia and not sheffield

Stainless steel may have first been created in ancient Persia during the 11th century — 1,000 years before it was first made in Sheffield, the Steel City. 

Sheffield has a proud history as a northern powerhouse and it is all based on a formidable metal industry, bolstered by its invention of stainless steel in 1913.

Stainless steel is defined as an alloy of iron and chromium and by modern standards, must contain at least 10.5 per cent chromium.  

But a new study found evidence in modern-day Iran of steel deliberately forged with chromium, at approximately one per cent.  

This picture shows slag adhering to the side of a piece of a crucible. It was found at the site of Chahak, in Fars province, southern Iran. Analysis of this revealed it contained chromium, the first known use of it to make a steel alloy

This picture shows slag adhering to the side of a piece of a crucible. It was found at the site of Chahak, in Fars province, southern Iran. Analysis of this revealed it contained chromium, the first known use of it to make a steel alloy 

Although the medieval methods left the metal unable to reach the high standards of today, the addition of chromium would have been substantial,researchers believe. 

Just like modern-day stainless steel, where the chromium provides an anti-corrosive layer, the Persian steel would have obtained a protective coat. 

Researchers from UCL tracked down the archaeological site where the chromium steel was made with the help of historical manuscripts.

They speak of a once famous steel production centre called Chahak. 

Stainless steel and Sheffield  

Sheffield was famous for its cutlery long before it became Steel City.

By the early modern period Hallamshire cutlers were importing steel from the Continent.

The earliest reference to steel making in South Yorkshire is from 1642. 

The Sheffield steelmaking district had little or no reputation outside the area before Benjamin Huntsman invented crucible steel in 1742. 

The early steelmakers simply supplied the cutlers, but by the mid nineteenth century nearly half the European output of steel was made in the Sheffield district. 

The population of Sheffield grew from 14,531 in 1736 to 135,310 in 1851.

Yet the scale of the steel industry in the classic period of the Industrial Revolution was still small compared with that of Victorian times, and it depended on the handicraft skills of its workers. 

A new era began in 1837 with the giant steel works of the East End, which soon used Bessemer converters to manufacture railway rolling stock and then armaments.

The cutlers were no longer the major customers of the steelmen.

At the end of the nineteenth century Sheffield remained the leading world centre for special steels, and its population had risen to over 400,000. 

SourceDavid Hey

Advertisement

However, the physical location of the site remained a mystery, hindered by the fact many current villages in Iran are called Chahak. 

But researchers tracked down the most likely location as Chahak, in Fars province, a village only known for agriculture, not archaeology.

Here they found a number of charcoal pieces retrieved from within a crucible slag and a smithing slag.

Using scanning microscope analysis, the researchers were able to prove the existence of chromite ore. 

One ancient manuscript, called ‘al-Jamahir fi Marifah al-Jawahir’ (‘A Compendium to Know the Gems’), written by the Persian polymath Abu-Rayhan Biruni around the 11th century, describes this as a key ingredient.  

Next, the researchers set out to find if the chromite ore, which is abundant in the area, was due to contamination or design. 

In steel particles left over from the forging of the metal, the researchers discovered it was made up of between one and two per cent chromium. 

This, they say. is evidence that it was added to the process on purpose to create the chromium alloy, which would make for a superior weapon or tool. 

Dr Rahil Alipour, lead author on the study, said: ‘Our research provides the first evidence of the deliberate addition of a chromium mineral within steel production. We believe this was a Persian phenomenon.’  

Historical records say the steel made from Chakak had a stunning pattern, but was notoriously brittle. 

Researchers also hope their method and findings will allow for previously discovered Persian weapons to be tested to see if they were made at Chakak. 

The presence of chromium in the steel could also explain why many Persian blades are in such good condition when found by archaeologists. 

Stainless steel may have first been created in ancient Persia in the 11th century — 1,000 years before it was independently forged in Sheffield, the steel city. Pictured, a steel works in Sheffield in 1913, the same year Harry Brearley, a metallurgist, created a steel alloy with 12.8 per cent chromium - this was previously believed to be the first known batch of stainless steel

Stainless steel may have first been created in ancient Persia in the 11th century — 1,000 years before it was independently forged in Sheffield, the steel city. Pictured, a steel works in Sheffield in 1913, the same year Harry Brearley, a metallurgist, created a steel alloy with 12.8 per cent chromium – this was previously believed to be the first known batch of stainless steel

The earliest reference to steel making in South Yorkshire is from 1642. The city's steel reputation grew in 1742 when Benjamin Huntsman invented crucible steel. By the mid nineteenth century nearly half the European output of steel was made in the Sheffield district

The earliest reference to steel making in South Yorkshire is from 1642. The city’s steel reputation grew in 1742 when Benjamin Huntsman invented crucible steel. By the mid nineteenth century nearly half the European output of steel was made in the Sheffield district

It is unknown why the chromium steel fell out of use in the region after several centuries. 

And after it vanished from existence, chromium was not used again to make steel until the 20th century. 

On the 13th August 1913, Harry Brearley, a metallurgist, created a steel alloy with 12.8 per cent chromium and 0.24 per cent carbon. 

Until the latest Persian finding, it was believed this was the first ever batch of what became known as ‘stainless steel’. 

He was focused on making metals that were resistant to rusting at high temperatures. 

His invention is one of the most widely used of the 20th century, and is still utilised to this day. 

The full findings are published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. 

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Technology

Hands-on dads are ‘less likely to suffer baby blues’ because they ‘feel more competent as parents’

Published

on

By

hands on dads are less likely to suffer baby blues because they feel more competent as parents

Hands-on dads are less likely to show signs of depression in the first year of the child’s life, a new study says. 

US researchers asked a racially diverse selection of fathers on their levels of parental involvement and general symptoms of depression. 

They found greater time spent with the infant during the week was associated with lower paternal depressive symptoms in the first year after birth. 

Fathers can help avoid symptoms of depression even just by having more confidence in their ability as a dad or making sure they’re regularly stocking up on provisions for their baby. 

The experts call for more lenient paid paternal leave policies to help dad spend more time with their child, which can benefit their workers’ mental health in the long run.   

A father's involvement in the parenting of an infant is associated to a lower risk of experiencing paternal depressive symptoms during the first year of the child's life, according to the study

A father’s involvement in the parenting of an infant is associated to a lower risk of experiencing paternal depressive symptoms during the first year of the child’s life, according to the study

‘We found that fathers who were more involved with their infants shortly after their birth were less likely to be depressed a year later,’ said study author Dr Olajide N. Bamishigbin Jr at California State University. 

‘In our paper, we suggest a few reasons that greater father involvement in parenting would lead to less depression in fathers. 

‘For example, fathers who are more involved during infancy may feel more competent as parents and be more satisfied in their role as parents over time, and this could contribute to lower depressive symptoms.’ 

Dr Bamishigbin highlights the importance of paid paternal leave policies, which give fathers the opportunity to be more involved with their kids and gain confidence as a parent without having to worry about their economic security.

‘[This] may help allow fathers more opportunities to be involved with their kids and be part of shaping healthier and thriving future generations,’ he said.

‘In turn, this may improve the well-being of the entire family.’ 

Estimates from prior analyses indicate that approximately 8 to 10 per cent of men experience depression during the transition period to parenting and during early fatherhood.

The highest prevalence of depression is between three to six months after the birth. 

Prenatal and postnatal depression among fathers is also around twice as high as the prevalence of depression among men in general, according to another study. 

However, no known study had examined the link between early paternal involvement and later paternal depressive symptoms following the birth of a child. 

To learn more, the team conducted home interviews with 881 low-income ethnically and racially diverse fathers from five different sites in the US, one month after the birth of their baby.

In particular, they examined three parenting indicators – time the father spent with the infant, parenting self-efficacy and material support for the infant. 

Estimates from prior analyses indicate that approximately 8 to 10 per cent of men experience depression during the transition period to parenting and during early fatherhood

Estimates from prior analyses indicate that approximately 8 to 10 per cent of men experience depression during the transition period to parenting and during early fatherhood

Parenting self-efficacy is the belief in one’s own ability to care for offspring, while material support is the ‘procurement of economic resources and being a provider for the family’. 

To judge time spent with infant, for example, fathers responded to questions including ‘on an average weekday from Monday to Friday, do you spend any waking hours with your baby?’ and ‘on an average weekend day do you spend time alone with your baby?’

For self-efficacy, they were asked ‘how confident or comfortable you feel when you hold your baby, put baby to sleep, wash or bathe baby, change baby’s diaper, feed baby, and soothe baby when he or she is upset’. 

And for material support, fathers reported how often they provided baby clothing, medicine, baby furniture and other childcare items.    

The experts then assessed paternal depressive symptoms at regular intervals – one, six and 12 months after birth – using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS).

EPDS features a range of questions relating to depression post-birth with multiple choice answers, ranging from 0 (no, not at all) to 3 (yes, all the time) – with a lower score indicating lower depressive symptoms. 

The team estimated whether the three indicators of father involvement after birth predicted lower subsequent paternal depressive symptoms, after controlling for social and demographic variables. 

All three indicators predicted lower rates of depressive symptoms in the fathers in the first year, they found. 

Fathers who spent more time with their infants, had greater parenting self-efficacy, and provided more material support for the baby one month after the birth reported significantly lower depressive symptoms when the child was one year of age. 

Spending four days or more with the new-born child was significantly associated with lower depression scores. 

‘In our study, greater early involvement was related to less depression later on,’ said Bamishigbin.

Even signs of material support from the father - buying things like baby clothing medicine and furniture for the baby - was associated with lower depressive symptoms

Even signs of material support from the father – buying things like baby clothing medicine and furniture for the baby – was associated with lower depressive symptoms

‘This is very important because, it suggests that, if fathers are involved with their infants early and often, their mental health, and the health of the entire family unit, may fare better.’ 

After controlling for all demographic, family, and socioeconomic factors, only higher values of paternal self-efficacy scores were negatively associated with the likelihood of depression over the first year of parenting. 

A one-point increase in the fathers’ self-efficacy score was significantly associated with lower values of the EPDS scale – meaning as self-efficacy increased, symptoms of depression decreased.  

On average, fathers had relatively high score values on parenting self-efficacy, with scores reflecting that fathers feel ‘pretty much’ to ‘very much’ confident or comfortable in executing new-born offspring’s tasks.  

‘Previous research has shown that greater parenting self-efficacy is associated with greater parenting satisfaction in fathers and has been associated with lower prevalence of paternal depressive symptoms,’ the experts say in their paper.

‘Fathers who feel competent as parents may therefore be more satisfied in their roles, and as a result, have fewer depressive symptoms.’      

Overall, the percentage of fathers with symptoms indicating clinical depression was 10 per cent after one month, 15 per cent after six months and 12 per cent after 12 months.       

Previous research has also focused on paternal involvement as an outcome or a predictor of mother and child focused outcomes.

This is the first to examine the link between early paternal involvement with the infant and later paternal depressive symptoms during the first year after a child is born.

‘Family researchers are recognising, more and more, the vital roles fathers play in the lives of their children and the functioning of the entire family unit,’ said Bamishigbin. 

‘As researchers who care deeply about paternal health, we are excited to be a part of this growing field.’ 

It’s also one of the first to focus on a larger community sample of low-income fathers from diverse backgrounds. 

The study has been published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

THE THREE MEASURES OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT  

Time spent with infants

Fathers responded to four items about the time they spent with their infants:  

  1. On an average weekday from Monday to Friday, do you spend any waking hours with your baby? 
  2. On an average weekday from Monday to Friday, do you spend time alone with your baby?
  3. On an average weekend day meaning Saturday and Sunday, do you spend any waking hours with your baby?
  4.  On an average weekend day meaning Saturday and Sunday, do you spend time alone with your baby?

 Responses to each question were 0 (no) or 1 (yes) and were summed. 

Scores range from 0 to 4 and a higher score indicates more time spent with the infant. 

Parenting self-efficacy

Paternal self-efficacy in parenting tasks was measured with six items. 

Fathers were asked ‘how confident or comfortable you feel when you…’ 

  1. hold baby
  2.  put baby to sleep
  3.  wash or bathe baby
  4.  change baby’s diaper
  5.  feed baby
  6.  soothe baby when he/she is upset.

Responses range from 1 (not at all) to 4 (very much). 

Responses were averaged with higher scores indicative of greater parenting self-efficacy.

Material support

A total of 10 items were used to measure the degree of material support fathers provided for their baby. 

Fathers reported how often they provided  

  1. baby clothing
  2.  medicine for baby
  3.  baby furniture or equipment
  4.  childcare items, such as diapers, baby wipes
  5.  food
  6.  babysitting
  7.  money
  8.  health insurance
  9.  toys
  10.  other

Possible responses were 0 (no), 1 (yes, occasionally), and 2 (yes, regularly). 

Scores were summed and range from 0 to 20. 

Higher scores reflect greater material support.  

Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Technology

Retrievers and collies are more playful than pugs and Yorkshire terriers

Published

on

By

retrievers and collies are more playful than pugs and yorkshire terriers

Animal lovers wanting a playful dog which will chase sticks and play tug-of-war may want to go for a specific breed.

Not all dogs are as playful as each other, a study suggests, with sheepdogs, retrievers and German shepherds among the most fun.

Owners of Yorkshire terriers and King Charles spaniels may find their pets cannot be bothered with rough-and-tumble play and would rather sit and be gently patted instead.

Not all dogs are as playful as each other, a study suggests, with sheepdogs, retrievers and German shepherds among the most fun. Researchers analysed the behaviour of almost 190,000 dogs of more than 138 breeds to judge playfulness (stock)

Not all dogs are as playful as each other, a study suggests, with sheepdogs, retrievers and German shepherds among the most fun. Researchers analysed the behaviour of almost 190,000 dogs of more than 138 breeds to judge playfulness (stock)

Researchers analysed the behaviour of almost 190,000 dogs of more than 138 breeds to judge their playfulness.

They found breeds created to work closely with their owners, like the collies which round up sheep, or foxhounds traditionally used for hunting, tend to be more playful.

Smaller, companion animals like chihuahuas and shih tzus, do not play as much.

Professor Niclas Kolm, first author of the study from Stockholm University, said: ‘We found breeds that normally work closely with their owners, such as herding and sporting dogs, have the highest levels of play.

‘In the past these animals may have been trained using playtime as a reward, which is why they prefer it.

‘Or it may be the case that people working closely with dogs have used play to bond with them, and to practise efficient communication for other tasks.’

Breeds created to work closely with their owners, like collies, foxhounds or retrievers, tend to be more playful. Smaller, companion animals like chihuahuas and shih tzus, do not play as much (stock)

Breeds created to work closely with their owners, like collies, foxhounds or retrievers, tend to be more playful. Smaller, companion animals like chihuahuas and shih tzus, do not play as much (stock)

Some breeds are more playful than others  

 Playful dogs include:

Cocker spaniels, English setters, border collies, German shepherds, old English sheepdogs, Pembroke Welsh corgis

Less playful dogs include:

Cavalier King Charles spaniels, pugs, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, chihuahuas, shih tzus

Advertisement

The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, looked at breeds tested to see how playful they were.

Each dog’s owner took a twisted rag used as a dog toy and threw it to a stranger, who then chucked it for the animal to fetch.

Then the stranger held the rag with both hands to see if the dog would play a tug-of-war game to wrestle it away.

The dogs were scored for their willingness to play, from those which showed no interest to those which jumped right in and played very actively.

Those dogs with intermediate scores may, for example, have been slow to start playing, played less actively or shown only interest in the rag without approaching it.

Dogs were split into seven groups, including sporting and hound breeds traditionally used for hunting, herding breeds like collies, non-sporting house dogs, such as dalmatians and bulldogs, and smaller-sized companion dogs in the ‘toy’ category which included Yorkshire terriers and chihuahuas.

The most playful dogs were the sporting and herding groups, including pointers and Malinois dogs.

The non-sporting and toy dogs were least likely to get involved in playtime.

As wolves are much less likely than pet dogs to play, experts believe humans selected and bred dogs which were playful over centuries.

Professor Kolm said: ‘Playing with humans may have been an important trait during domestic dog evolution.’

Dogs are less likely to be scared of fireworks and thunder if they mix with other pet pooches as puppies

For many dog owners, thunderstorms and bonfire night are chaotic events, marred by a barking pet pooch that whimpers relentlessly due to the loud noises.  

Thunder and pyrotechnics both elicit a similar reaction in some dogs, and Finnish scientists looked into what leads to some dogs being more fearful than others. 

They found puppies that socialise with other dogs when they are growing up are less likely to be afraid of the commotion.  

Other factors were also found to be linked to canine fearfulness, including breed, age and whether or not they’ve been neutered. 

Data from the RSPCA shows almost half (45 per cent) of all dogs in the UK are scared of fireworks.  

Dogs that exercised between one and three hours a day were less afraid of thunder than those that exercised more than 3 hours daily.  

Also, big dogs are less likely to be scared of a thunderclap than a small dog. 

Researchers say that while some genetic factors are beyond the control of owners, socialisation in early life may be one way of reducing fearfulness as dogs age. 

Dogs that benefit from an active lifestyle in the countryside are less likely to be fearful, the study also suggests.     

Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.