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Arbitrary Pattern Formation by Opaque Fat Robots with Lights. (arXiv:1910.02706v1 [cs.DC])   

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Authors: Kaustav Bose, Ranendu Adhikary, Manash Kumar Kundu, Buddhadeb Sau

Arbitrary Pattern Formation is a widely studied problem in autonomous robot systems. The problem asks to design a distributed algorithm that moves a team of autonomous, anonymous and identical mobile robots to form any arbitrary pattern given as input. The majority of the existing literature investigates this problem for robots with unobstructed visibility. In a few recent works, the problem has been studied in the obstructed visibility model, where the view of a robot can be obstructed by the presence of other robots. However, in these works, the robots have been modelled as dimensionless points in the plane. In this paper, we have considered the problem in the more realistic setting where the robots have a physical extent. In particular, the robots are modelled as opaque disks. Furthermore, the robots operate under a fully asynchronous scheduler. They do not have access to any global coordinate system, but agree on the direction and orientation of one coordinate axis. Each robot is equipped with an externally visible light which can assume a constant number of predefined colors. In this setting, we have given a complete characterization of initial configurations from where any arbitrary pattern can be formed by a deterministic distributed algorithm.


          

Quantile QT-Opt for Risk-Aware Vision-Based Robotic Grasping. (arXiv:1910.02787v1 [cs.RO])   

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Authors: Cristian Bodnar, Adrian Li, Karol Hausman, Peter Pastor, Mrinal Kalakrishnan

The distributional perspective on reinforcement learning (RL) has given rise to a series of successful Q-learning algorithms, resulting in state-of-the-art performance in arcade game environments. However, it has not yet been analyzed how these findings from a discrete setting translate to complex practical applications characterized by noisy, high dimensional and continuous state-action spaces. In this work, we propose Quantile QT-Opt (Q2-Opt), a distributional variant of the recently introduced distributed Q-learning algorithm for continuous domains, and examine its behaviour in a series of simulated and real vision-based robotic grasping tasks. The absence of an actor in Q2-Opt allows us to directly draw a parallel to the previous discrete experiments in the literature without the additional complexities induced by an actor-critic architecture. We demonstrate that Q2-Opt achieves a superior vision-based object grasping success rate, while also being more sample efficient. The distributional formulation also allows us to experiment with various risk-distortion metrics that give us an indication of how robots can concretely manage risk in practice using a Deep RL control policy. As an additional contribution, we perform experiments on offline datasets and compare them with the latest findings from discrete settings. Surprisingly, we find that there is a discrepancy between our results and the previous batch RL findings from the literature obtained on arcade game environments.


          

Cable Manipulation with a Tactile-Reactive Gripper. (arXiv:1910.02860v1 [cs.RO])   

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Authors: Yu She, Shaoxiong Wang, Siyuan Dong, Neha Sunil, Alberto Rodriguez, Edward Adelson

Manipulation of flexible cables is relevant to both industrial and household environments. In this paper, we develop a perception and control framework to enable robots to accomplish the task of following a cable. We rely on a vision-based tactile sensor, GelSight, to estimate the pose of the cable in the grip as well as the friction forces during cable sliding. We decompose the behavior of cable following into two tactile-based controllers: 1) Cable grip controller, where a PD controller combined with a leaky integrator are responsible for regulating the gripping force to maintain the frictional sliding forces close to a suitable value; and 2) Cable pose controller, where an LQR controller based on a learned linear model of the cable sliding dynamics is in charge of keeping the cable centered and aligned on the fingertips to prevent the cable from falling. This behavior is enabled by a designed reactive gripper with force and position control capabilities fitted with GelSight-based high resolution tactile sensors. With the proposed framework, we show that the robot can follow one meter of cable in a random configuration from beginning to end within 2-3 hand regrasps. We further demonstrate that the closed-loop system adapts to cables with different materials and thicknesses, moving at different target velocities.


          

Scaled Autonomy: Enabling Human Operators to Control Robot Fleets. (arXiv:1910.02910v1 [cs.RO])   

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Authors: Gokul Swamy, Siddharth Reddy, Sergey Levine, Anca D. Dragan

Autonomous robots often encounter challenging situations where their control policies fail and an expert human operator must briefly intervene, e.g., through teleoperation. In settings where multiple robots act in separate environments, a single human operator can manage a fleet of robots by identifying and teleoperating one robot at any given time. The key challenge is that users have limited attention: as the number of robots increases, users lose the ability to decide which robot requires teleoperation the most. Our goal is to automate this decision, thereby enabling users to supervise more robots than their attention would normally allow for. Our insight is that we can model the user's choice of which robot to control as an approximately optimal decision that maximizes the user's utility function. We learn a model of the user's preferences from observations of the user's choices in easy settings with a few robots, and use it in challenging settings with more robots to automatically identify which robot the user would most likely choose to control, if they were able to evaluate the states of all robots at all times. We run simulation experiments and a user study with twelve participants that show our method can be used to assist users in performing a navigation task and manipulator reaching task.


          

Deep Learning for Robotic Mass Transport Cloaking. (arXiv:1812.04157v2 [cs.RO] UPDATED)   

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Authors: Reza Khodayi-mehr, Michael M. Zavlanos

We consider the problem of Mass Transport Cloaking using mobile robots. The robots move along a predefined curve that encloses the safe zone and carry sources that collectively counteract a chemical agent released in the environment. The goal is to steer the mass flux around a desired region so that it remains unaffected by the external concentration. We formulate the problem of controlling the robot positions and release rates as a PDE-constrained optimization, where the propagation of the chemical is modeled by the Advection-Diffusion (AD) PDE. We use a Deep Neural Network (NN) to approximate the solution of the PDE. Particularly, we propose a novel loss function for the NN that utilizes the variational form of the AD-PDE and allows us to reformulate the planning problem as an unsupervised model-based learning problem. Our loss function is discretization-free and highly parallelizable. Unlike passive cloaking methods that use metamaterials to steer the mass flux, our method is the first to use mobile robots to actively control the concentration levels and create safe zones independent of environmental conditions. We demonstrate the performance of our method in simulations.


          

Toyota Using VR To Train Robots To Assist The Elderly   

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Practice makes perfect for this army of house-cleaning robots.  Earlier this week Japanese-based Toyota Research Insitute released details regarding a new project currently in development that will have researchers teaching robots how to complete various types of housework using VR technology.  Using a series of 3D sensors and cameras attached to the robots, researchers in […]

The post Toyota Using VR To Train Robots To Assist The Elderly appeared first on VRScout.


          

China’s robotics industry needs to ‘think independently,’ expert says   

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The Chinese government sees the use of robots as a way to upgrade the nation’s manufacturing industry, with a goal of producing 100,000 locally made industrial robots annually by 2020 – equal to a robot density of 150 for every... Continue Reading →

          

La production de la Porsche Taycan immortalisée en vidéo   

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L'usine de la Porsche Taycan tourne à plein régime depuis le lundi 9 septembre. La firme allemande a depuis réalisé pour le plaisir de tous une vidéo montrant le ballet des robots et des ouvriers dans la structure de Zuffenhausen.

          

Robots From Tomorrow: Episode 614 – Pull List for October 9   

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Need suggestions for your LCS trip this week? Let Mike & Greg point out the books hitting shelves on Wednesday they’re most excited about in this latest installment of their ongoing “Pull List” series! These episodes are the perfect way for anyone to kick off their comics: from the most curious newcomer to the most […]

          

Robots From Tomorrow: Episode 613 – October Previews, Part 1   

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Another month, another “Previews” catalog to dissect! As always, Mike & Greg start things off with the diverse Green and Purple sections, covering the majority of publishers in one fell swoop. What’s coming to comic shops in December (and beyond) that catches the lads’ fancies? Definitely something for everyone in the top half of this […]

          

Robots From Tomorrow: Episode 612 – Pull List for October 2   

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Need suggestions for your LCS trip this week? Let Mike & Greg point out the books hitting shelves on Wednesday they’re most excited about in this four hundred third installment of their ongoing “Pull List” series! These episodes are the perfect way for anyone to kick off their comics: from the most curious newcomer to […]

          

Episode #418 - AI And Robots...   

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Robots and AI are focused on but we do go off on a tangent about MST3K. Since I can not monetize if you want to help out the channel please do so here. https://God.blue/splash.php?url=tpwDvaIWRq_SLASH_BZE9vDZCEYif7pm_PLUS_HsKZzq9qYNVfDSwg_SLASH_D6QAsE6LBA1i1Yeq_PLUS_GNjf_PLUS_pOEPVdsv5jH8Xe7ePyxXo0PcpsVP9RVgpPiq1si_SLASH_AAxlQ69AhIiqRlpdxMyec1 Or paypal donations to 1201beyond@gmail.com

          

I, robot / 20th Century Fox ; Davis Entertainment ; Laurence Mark Productions ; Canlaws Productions ; Mediastream Vierte Film GmbH & Co. Vermarktungs KG ; Overbrook Entertainment ; produced by John Davis, Topher Dow, Wyck Godfrey, Laurence Mark ; screenplay, Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman ; directed by Alex Proyas.   

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cover imageIn the year 2035, robots are a common, trusted part of life. But that trust is broken when a scientist is found dead, and a skeptical Chicago police detective investigating the murder believes that a robot is responsible. It seems impossible for a robot to break the Three Laws of Robotics, for if that were to happen there would be nothing to stop them from taking over the world. Aiding the detective in his investigation is a psychologist who specializes in the psyches of robots. Will technology ultimately lead to mankind's salvation or annihilation?

          

Pau et Pays de l'Adour : les robots débarquent à la fac !   

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Soyons honnêtes, ils ne ressemblent pas vraiment à des robots, mais plutôt à des écrans sur roulettes... ce qui n'enlève rien à leur utilité et à leur caractère innovant : ils sont les yeux et les jambes d'étudiants se trouvant dans l'incapacité physique d'assister à leurs cours. Après plusieurs années d'expérimentations dans les Landes, grâce à un partenariat entre le Service d’Aide Pédagogique A Domicile et l'UPPA, cette pratique pédagogique 2,0 se diffuse largement cette année, avec, en cette rentrée 2019, une flotte de 10 robots déployée sur les différents sites de l'Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour.

          

Process Designed for 3D-Printing Mini Soft-Robotic Actuators   

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Scientists have a growing interest in the design of soft robots that are safer and more nimble than their rigid counterparts.

One area in which they’ve been challenged in the development of these robots is at the smaller scale, such as in the millimeter range, because of the complexity of fabricating such fine parts at this size.

soft robots, actuators, digital light projection, Singapore University of Technology. DLP 3D printing
Researchers in China and Singapore have combined efforts to develop a generic process flow to guide the 3D printing of miniature soft pneumatic actuators that are smaller than a coin. Researchers also designed a soft debris remover with an integrated miniature to help navigate through a confined space or collect small objects in hard-to-reach positions. (Source: Singapore University of Technology and Design)

Now a team of researchers from Singapore and China have combined efforts to develop a 3D-printing process using digital light projection (DLP) to develop pneumatic actuators for soft robots ranging in size from 2 millimeters to 15 millimeters, with a feature size of 150-350 micrometers, they said.

The method paves the way for easier fabrication of tiny soft robots well-suited for navigation in confined areas as well as the manipulation of small objects, researchers said. These robots could find use in various applications, from medical technology to jet maintenance.

Specifically, the scientists--from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), and Zhejiang University (ZJU)—have presented a generic process flow for guiding DLP 3D printing of these miniature pneumatic actuators.

The method offers an alternative to the molding and soft-lithography methods that are typically used and require great delicacy, thus are more complex, said Associate Professor Qi (Kevin) Ge from SUSTech, the lead researcher of the research project.

"To ensure reliable printing fidelity and mechanical performance in the printed products, we introduced a new paradigm for systematic and efficient tailoring of the material formulation and key processing parameters,” he said in a press statement.

Multi-Step Process

DLP 3D printing is a process in which photo-absorbers are commonly added into polymer solutions to enhance printing resolutions in both horizontal and vertical directions. However, if the dose of those absorbers is too high, it can lead to rapid degradation in the material's elasticity, an aspect that’s critical for soft robots to sustain large deformations, researchers said.

To achieve their results and not sacrifice any durability in potential soft robots fabricated using the process, researchers made a number of informed decisions, said Yuan-Fang Zhang, a researchers from SUTD who worked on the project.

First the team selected a photo-absorber with good absorbance at the wavelength of the projected UV light and then conducted mechanical performance tests to determine the appropriate material formulation, he said.

“Next, we characterized the curing depth and XY fidelity to identify the suitable combination of exposure time and sliced layer thickness," Zhang said in a press statement.

This process flow enabled researchers to develop a multimaterial 3D-printing system to fabricate a variety of miniature and structurally diverse soft pneumatic robotic actuators, researchers said.

Moreover, the method should be compatible with commercial stereolithography (SLA) or DLP 3D printers without needing to make any hardware modifications, Ge said in a press statement.

Researchers published a paper on their report in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.

To demonstrate the usefulness of their process, the team devised a soft robot as a proof-of-concept—a debris remover comprised of a continuum manipulator and a 3D-printed miniature soft pneumatic gripper, they said. The robot can navigate through a confined space as well as collect small objects in places that humans might have a difficult time reaching, researchers said.

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 20 years. She has lived and worked as a professional journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco and New York City. In her free time she enjoys surfing, traveling, music, yoga and cooking. She currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal.

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A saco con el Porsche Taycan: 500 trabajadores más para fabricar un coche eléctrico que pulveriza expectativas   

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A saco con el Porsche Taycan: 500 trabajadores más para fabricar un coche eléctrico que pulveriza expectativas

El Porsche Taycan, el primer eléctrico de la firma de Stuttgart, ha superado las expectativas y la demanda ya supera las previsiones para el primer año de producción. Todo un éxito paralelo al demostrado en la pista de Nürburgring, donde actualmente mantiene una batalla con Tesla por ser el vehículo cero emisiones más rápido sobre el Infierno Verde.

La capacidad de la planta alemana de Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, donde se ensambla el modelo, se cifró inicialmente en 20.000 unidades anuales; sin embargo, ya hay más de 32.000 reservas realizadas a nivel mundial, por lo que la firma incluirá 500 trabajadores más a su factoría, sumando un total de 2.000, a partir del segundo trimestre de 2020.

El objetivo es abastecer a una clientela creciente.

Porsche cuenta actualmente con 1.500 empleados dedicados a la creación del Taycan, por lo que los 500 nuevos se traducen en un refuerzo equivalente a un tercio de la actual línea de producción. A día de hoy, la sede de Zuffenhausen puede dar salida a hasta 40.000 coches al año funcionando 100% de su capacidad.

El Porsche Taycan apunta al Panamera

Porsche Fabrica Zuffenhausen 2

Para ponerlo en contexto, Porsche cerró 2018 con 256.255 unidades vendidas, siendo el Macan el modelo más comercializado con 86.031 ejemplares. Por detrás se quedó el Porsche Cayenne, con 71.458 vehículos, y más cerca de las cifras a las que apunta el Taycan se situó el Panamera, que terminó el ejercicio anual con 38.443 ventas.

Cabe recordar que la compañía alemana ha invertido hasta la fecha más de 1.000 millones de euros en el desarrollo de la fábrica que da vida al Taycan, casi un tercio de los 6.000 millones que Porsche tiene previstos destinar a electromovilidad hasta 2022.

La buena acogida de su berlina eléctrica, no obstante, comenzó a quedar patente incluso antes de que se conociese el pasado septiembre el modelo que llegaría a producción. En julio, aún sobre el prototipo, las reservas ya superaban las 30.000 unidades previo pago de 2.500 euros reembolsables.

El futuro eléctrico, una incógnita

Taycan Fabrica

A pesar de estas cifras halagüeñas, Andreas Haffner, miembro de la cúpula ejecutiva de Porsche, no ve en el coche eléctrico un sostén fiable para la industria automotriz alemana, amenazada estos días por unos cambios que podrían ser tan bruscos e importantes como los que afectaron a la industria siderúrgica europea en los años 80.

"Con el Taycan estamos demostrando que la movilidad eléctrica no es en absoluto una causa de empleo. Más bien, estamos subrayando su viabilidad futura, especialmente en el segmento de automóviles deportivos", resumió en el comunicado emitido por la marca.

En Motorpasión | Las seis claves tecnológicas del Porsche 911 992, que lo hacen mejor y lo preparan para la hibridación | Se avecina una tormenta perfecta en el sector automotriz alemán, y el coche eléctrico será el desencadenante

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La noticia A saco con el Porsche Taycan: 500 trabajadores más para fabricar un coche eléctrico que pulveriza expectativas fue publicada originalmente en Motorpasión por David Galán .


          

The Evolution of Technology, Humans and Robot Babies   

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This radio show aired live on October 6, 2019 on the Genesis Communications Network. Topics covered: AI Robots to reproduce, Robots babies, the human upgrade, and more. Listen to Flow Of Wisdom Radio Live Sundays 3 – 5:00 PM EST on a radio station near you! It also, streams live on GCNLive.com Hour One Hour […]

          

Study: Banks Will Replace 200,000 Workers With Robots by Next Decade   

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White-collar workers have much to fear from a robot revolution.

          

Foolz   

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$p$$strong$31. Fallout 3 and New Vegas$/strong$$/p$$p$$img alt="Image result for fallout 3" src="https://God.blue/splash.php?url=0MyzGZ_SLASH_EuYdfQ3CSKvUxfWpG1OFsRj_SLASH_5934m6unY5h_PLUS_Kko8_PLUS_Nj_SLASH_MH8_PLUS_gykl9vPsBYUceSARX2aIYcYJqh2_PLUS_qRYF81MpCsE9iUZ4ElG_PLUS_w5o8cjVrYyLc409eMeiOiAhUb1KGudu_SLASH_Mk_PLUS_zqCR9z2FLCSPr90lFIg_SLASH_VffR8T43PKckmVInSdrp_SLASH_qIt2mN0a6HgqX8g4heCeTf7qPd8D5XOWUpA_EQUALS__EQUALS_" /$$/p$$p$$img alt="Image result for fallout 3" src="https://God.blue/splash.php?url=K_PLUS_qF9LCf68JkPRnMXRBXTn3fY5ek9Qig5OvewRTBjH967feCS_PLUS_8eFfnXlEN2_SLASH_TGD_PLUS_6MuP0tbc7o_SLASH_UKcALgiKSW523eLq1sUCmC2IFmkulHyepReyfw4IUdDAwtKT0SEyyd_SLASH_5SPhm8wn8l3vFS13vDUjp231WyxJyKVbbmNQJ2ws4g_SLASH_SBu2wB67A9AqBPGFQJ" /$$/p$$p$So after I was blown away by Oblivion I could not wait for more Betheada open world goodness, theire next game was Fallout 3. This was game of the show at which ever E3 it premiered. I remember a walk through on G4TV where Todd Howard was showing off the Vats slow motion kills. He had the gun that would shoot trash, so I saw a toaster blow up a mutant, it was glorious. I was instantly in love, whats better than a bethesda open world with swords, a bethesda open world with GUNS! Fallout 3 did everything well, the presentation was out of this world, the Pip and its integration really makes you feel like a futuristic world stuck in 1950s. I loved traveling Washington DC listening to old clasic songs and randomly getting into adventures. This was my first fallout game so it's neat to be introduced to all the types of monsters, robots and other oddities that make up this compelling world. Sure Fallout 3 didn't have the best story but it created a sense of adventure few games could and honestly I enoy it more than any TES game.$/p$$p$$img alt="Image result for fallout new vegas" src="https://God.blue/splash.php?url=LV5sp0UuZl1BaIxsdwPDegp3qBe4ZIJ_SLASH_5BA17RCT_PLUS_pqk_PLUS_9cJEaxMAGYacSDauMF0LC4YoLB5tFO_SLASH_sexUvnpMUABb1x_SLASH_MR9rtm9rRH_SLASH_O8YbnVPy_SLASH_mSBIHjWLuuuYeOS_PLUS_4i_SLASH_18qDvCnZQIWjTk7MUyCbsHQ3PNlKHz11Yhth7JsdGJluppYoSWd1VYhl84OggBfH87vxRTNS5N5yFHLYBMpQ_EQUALS__EQUALS_" /$$/p$$p$$img alt="Image result for fallout new vegas" src="https://God.blue/splash.php?url=LpP21tOY_PLUS_0Ra6ew7R65rXNYKbu22z1dL3MiV9ZG4h2DZnolVTgyjib7nKdcCmdAWUF8tliONJX2HTHOk9STSHQOqkf5BJrYGswhXWTrS7Hwxhp7EhEQiiG_SLASH_QMJ2AGI3K0RHdzE5e2X2465PbLslslHjopLOa9UotHrAJkrhpYuOikf1KhccabYphGmRrvO0FPJ0nLrCBs51uTlLaE0EYVyjL5I7PrObMkG0B48mSK1A_EQUALS_" /$$/p$$p$But Fallout 3, while the more polished game, was not the best Fallout game, that goes to the amazing New Vegas. Bethesda's dumpster, Obsidian, would take sequels Bethesda didn't want to make. Obsidian though tries to stay more true to the games RPG roots, New Vegas is the ultimate representation of true CRPG gameplay mixed with Bethesda's open world. I would have this game ranked even higher if not for the little issue of... NOTHING WORKS. New Vegas is easily the most buggy game I finished fully. I also had the worst version, the PS3 version, its a game where you feel the game breaking the further you go it. Crashes left and right, places I couldn't walk on cause I would instantly die, crazy drops in frame rate and more. The ending of this game was not some large scale battle against enemy AI, nope it was me save scumming my way through a glitch filled hell hole where some how I managed to get the ending to role. Seriously the final battle was like 10 frames a second and if I shot something wrong my game would crash, I had to replay it about 20 times. And yet with all that I LOVE THIS GAME.$/p$$p$New Vegas makes every choice and action count, I feel my presense infleuncing the world around you. Quests can be completed in a myrad of ways, many times without violence, simply by role playing your way through them. This is a world with multiple factions which you can play against each other. Rich companions all with their own stories and motivations. I game that begs to be explored and immersed in, where its not just go to icon and shoot shit, many times it's just a story you can role play through. It is the best example of the bethesda formula and its not made by Bethesda. $/p$$p$The setting itself is extremely memorable because its Vegas. Going into the strip for the first time is this ohh shit moment. Multiple hotels and casinos to explore, so many choices to make and of course fun diversions. This is home of the best quest in the game, Beyond the Beef, in which you need to infiltrate a white glove society which lives at the most fancy casino and they happen to be cannibals. This quest has EVERYTHING and perfectly encapsulates why New Vegas is such a step above the other Fallout games. Then there is the incredible DLC, one of which is a crazy 50's sci-fi adventure dealing with wacky AI robots and UFOs, so much fun. New Vegas is easily one of the greatest RPGs ever made.$/p$

          

Keeping Up with the Bots: How the Rise of RPA Impacts IGA    

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Undefined

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of automation technology currently transforming the way businesses operate. RPA software robots manipulate and communicate with business systems and applications to streamline processes and reduce the burden on employees. RPA can automate tasks, including claims processing and call center support to data management, IT services, and invoice processing, and everything in between. Opportunities for automation exist virtually everywhere throughout the business, enabling greater organizational performance and efficiency.

The growth of robotic process automation is unprecedented. In fact, a recent Forrester study, highlighted in Forbes, predicted that the “RPA market will reach $1.7 billion in 2019 and $2.9 billion by 2021,” and “more than 40 percent of enterprises will create state-of-the-art digital workers by combining AI (artificial intelligence) with Robotic Process Automation.” This incredible growth suggests a tremendous shift in overall business strategy toward automating specific processes and reducing reliance on human workers for repetitive tasks that can be performed more efficiently and accurately by software bots.

report by Deloitte also suggests that “as many as 50 percent of the activities performed by a given employee are mundane, administrative, manual-labor intensive tasks,” indicating that ”RPA will replace 16 percent of jobs by 2025.“ Yet the same study indicates that only 17 percent of leaders and workforces are “ready to handle a workforce consisting of people, robots, and AI working side by side.” Clearly, RPA is changing the nature of business today. And as we advance further into automation during this century, organizations will need to change how they manage bot identities and put into place the right identity governance policies to manage their access levels within the organization. So what is the real impact of RPA on Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) and how can organizations today effectively respond to the rise of bots within their business?

Why IGA and RPA Go Hand-in-Hand

The relationship between IGA and RPA should be both mutually dependent and mutually beneficial. According to the IGA, RPA, and Managing Software Robot Identities report from Gartner, ”robotic process automation will have a profound impact on IGA. RPA introduces robotic software whose identities and access must be managed and controlled.” Further, “technical professionals must prepare to extend IGA architecture to address these requirements, while assessing RPA for automating IGA tasks.” This means that organizational IGA policies and programs must be extended to intelligently manage the identities of bots, and concurrently, RPA can aid in automating manual IGA tasks. For the remainder of this piece, we will explore the role of identity governance in managing bots within organizations today and save the discussion of robotic process automation to enhance efficiencies for IGA in a follow-up blog.  

Bots Have Identities Too

Just like the human users within an organization, non-human users, often known as service accounts or software robots, are an increasing target for attack. External threat actors have become more sophisticated in their malicious activities that target users inside the organization—whether human or robot. According to the 2019 Insider Threat Report from Cybersecurity Insiders, 70 percent of cybersecurity professionals surveyed believe that the frequency of insider attacks has increased in the last year alone. And an incredible 62 percent of organizations have experienced at least one insider attack in the past 12 months. With the increasing number of tasks that bots are now performing within organizations today, and the significant access they have to company systems, applications, and data, how can the business effectively manage their levels of access and ensure the organization is protected?

The answer is by including service accounts under the identity governance umbrella, and managing them in a similar, yet distinct way from how human users are managed. Specifically, treating service accounts as contingent workers within the organization, separate from human users, is a best practice approach for giving bots identities and managing them intelligently. Although bots act in the same way as humans, taking on the mundane, repetitive tasks of human users, categorizing them as contingent workers will clearly define the systems and applications they should and should not access. Ultimately, by extending the definition of users to incorporate bots as part of the contingent workforce, organizations can increase visibility across all their environments and more effectively protect their organization as the digital workforce continues to expand.

The User Lifecycle for Service Accounts in Robotic Process Automation

Treating bots as part of the contingent workforce begins when the service account is initiated or ‘onboarded.’ This is where the software robot receives initial account access to appropriate systems and applications. Over time, the robot may need new or different access to complete its task, so an effective IGA program must be able to manage this change. Finally, if the bot is no longer needed, accounts should be immediately disabled to avoid orphaned accounts that are prone to attack. According to Gartner, “software robot identity lifecycle management processes can be modeled to contingent workers when organizations keep software robot identities distinctly separate from people. Just as with humans, each software robot can have a supervisor or sponsor—the person who is responsible for overseeing the operation of the software robot.” By treating service accounts and software robots in a similar manner as contingent workers, organizations can more effectively manage the levels of access they have across the non-human user lifecycle, and easily onboard and offboard software robots securely and efficiently.

Embrace the Rise of Bots in Your Organization Intelligently

As companies continue to increase reliance upon robotic process automation, and depend on service accounts to increase efficiency and drive organizational performance, they must also recognize the responsibility they have in managing these bots as actual users. Identity governance for RPA will continue to play a prominent role, and it is up to organizations to leverage leading-edge IGA solutions for improving organizational security throughout the software robot user lifecycle. Make sure your organization is ready for the rise of RPA and has the proper identity governance programs in place to keep your people and your robots protected.

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