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University’s robot builds Ikea chair in 20 minutes

Scientists at a university in Singapore showed off the capabilities of their robots by having one of the machines assemble an Ikea chair. The Nanyang Technological University researchers released a video showing the robot using two mechanical arms to build an Ikea Stefan chair. The team said they programmed the robot with the order of the instructions and then spread the parts randomly around the robotic arms.

The arms used a 3D camera to map the locations of the pieces and spent about 11 minutes planning its movements before building the chair in about nine minutes. “The job of assembly, which may come naturally to humans, has to be broken down into different steps, such as identifying where the different chair parts are, the force required to grip the parts, and making sure the robotic arms move without colliding into each other,” assistant professor Pham Quang Cuong said on the school’s website. The researchers published their findings in the April issue of Science Robotics. “We are looking to integrate more artificial intelligence into this approach to make the robot more autonomous so it can learn the different steps of assembling a chair through human demonstration or by reading the instruction manual, or even from an image of the assembled product,” he said.

(UPI)

woman fined $500 for carrying apple

A Colorado woman traveling home from France was charged $500 because she was in possession of an apple. On a flight from Paris to Denver, Delta Airlines staff handed out apples for an in-flight snack and Crystal Tadlock put hers in her purse to save for later. But once she carried the apple onto U.S. grounds, a customs agent said she broke a customs rule by not declaring the free fruit, even though it was still wrapped in Delta packaging.

“He had asked me if my trip to France was expensive and I said, ‘yeah.’ I didn’t really get why he was asking that question, and then he said ‘It’s about to get a lot more expensive after I charge you $500,’” Tadlock told Fox 31-TV. “It’s really unfortunate someone has to go through that and be treated like a criminal over a piece of fruit.” Tadlock said Delta should have been more diligent about warning passengers to not carry produce off the plane. But a Delta official told the Washington Post that food “is given with intention you consume it on board.” In a statement, Delta said they “encourage customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols.”

(UPI)

Kyrgyzstan mayor wears fake beard to tour city

The mayor of a city in Kyrgyzstan said he keeps up with the issues affecting locals by going out wearing a fake beard as a disguise. Mayor Albek Ibraimov of Bishkek, the country’s capital, said he wears a fake beard to prevent being recognized when he goes out to get a first-hand view of the problems faced by residents. “I dress in old clothes, so that no one will know,” he told news outlet Fergana, “I wear a beard, take off my tie [and] I go and look, and see how things actually are.” Ibraimov made the comments in response to being accused of being out of touch with those affected by an April 13 fire that destroyed part of Osh Bazaar, the city’s largest market. The fire was the third at the market so far this year, and Ibraimov said fire hydrants and surveillance cameras will be installed during repair efforts.

(UPI)

family with 13 sons gets 14th

There will be no shortage of hand-me-downs for this Michigan kid. The Grand Rapids Press reports that Kateri and Jay Schwandt welcomed the birth of their 14th son on Wednesday, five days before he was due. They have no daughters. WOOD-TV reports that the boy weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces (about 3.7 kilograms) and is 21 inches (53 centimeters) long. His name wasn’t immediately announced.

As with their last few children, the couple from Rockford, north of Grand Rapids, didn’t want to know the baby’s sex ahead of time. Jay Schwandt said earlier this year that he would have loved to have a girl, but didn’t think would be in the cards. He was right. Kateri Schwandt has said she’s used to large families, as one of 14 children herself. The couple’s oldest son is in his 20s.

(AP)

Cowboy saves bison struggling to swim

A bison released from its enclosure by flooding in Hawaii was rescued from the middle of a bay by a lasso-wielding cowboy on a jet ski. Hanalei residents reported seeing buffalo running loose amid flooding this week, and one of the animals was spotted struggling in Hanalei Bay. A witness captured video of a lasso-wielding cowboy roping the bison and towing it back to shore. Locals said the bison were released when floodwaters provided a path over the fence surrounding their enclosure.

(UPI)

 
 
 
 
 

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Odia version of PM’s ‘Exam Warriors’ released

14 Aug 2018 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR

Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal released Odia version of ‘Exam Warriors’, written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, here on Monday. Releasing the book, the Governor said a common child can build self a superman by strong commitment and will power...

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