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What I Learned This Week – WILTW #5

What I Learned This Week – WILTW #5

Time to restart my blog, after a few weeks of Innorobo-hectic!

Robotics and AI related


What’s happening in robotics? Five trends to watch:  Altough this articles doesn’t bring anything new on the table (especially when you’re working in robotics, or curating a technology watch like I do), it’s worth reading – a compilation of facts and figures about the rise of China, collaborative robots, robotics as a service, robotics in logistics and investment.


In french: La Robotique dans les Technologies Clés 2020: some interesting facts and figures about the (mainly french, but also some global insights) economy, market trends, etc regarding innovation. The Ministry identified 47 key technologies for (France’s) Future (better said, for the french SME’s competitvity), and robotics is amongst them (relatively unsurprising).


Congratulations to Promobot – a few months before competing at Techcrunch Disrupt, their name appears in every single piece of news. Why? One of their robot allegedly escaped (twice), when off-guard. Smart communication move, I only hope that the “brand” isn’t too damaged, and that Promobot will not be remembered as “the mad robot going rogue”.


Is the time of the personal robot coming of age?: I would rather say NO, because none of these robots were tested in actual homes, bought by actual consumers (Buddy and Jibo are delayed, Robotbase is cancelled. The Asus Zenbo might succeed, concerning that Asus brought many gamechangers to the market – remember the time when EeePC where THE most sexy computers to buy? I’ve still one at home, and its functionning perfectly 7 years later. But I’m still waiting to see if the Zenbo promise will be delivered). The normal Home environemment is so incredibly messy – with so many unexpected interactions, that it will probably take more time for these cute embodied SIRI-robots to really gain some traction (tell me how these robots, aside of their cuteness, can do more that your phone actually does, right now?).

Interesting Links


Renderings vs. Reality: The Improbable Rise of Tree-Covered Skyscrapers: as a big fan of architecture, I’m always stunned by these renderings, or the photoshopped pictures you can see in magazines. But the reality is always different – harsh for those believing that a building can be made without imperfections. Adding gorgeous-looking trees to architectural rendering just adds a level of complexity – extra concrete and steel reinforcement are required to handle added weight, irrigation systems are needed to water the plants, additional wind load complexity has to be taken into account because of the little canope growing on the concrete walls. Another trend looking extremely beautiful on paper (or screen), but so deceiving in real life.


10 reasons why placeholders are problematic: Let’s wander to the country of UX design now. If you’re upset about all the fields missing labels, not rendering properly of just missing the right information for you to type, then you should bookmark this article, and send it to every website where the login form is an endless struggle.


Did you know? We actually have 9 senses. Yes, 9, NOT 5. Smell, sight, taste, touch, hearing, nociception, thermoception, equilibrioception and proprioception. Magnetoception would be our 10th sense, but the scientific community is waiting for some more peer-reviewed litterature! (my first source, and wikipedia).


In french – Pénurie d’Uber pendant le Ramadan:  during the Ramadan, after 9PM, muslim drivers are finally allowed to eat – ensuring lesser Uber cars available for passengers. Because of the Uber algorithm, non-muslim drivers working at these hours will be paid more – turns out to be hilarious…

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