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Electrical Industrial Apparatus


How battery swapping could reduce EV charge time to just 10 minutes

Mashable

The fastest electric vehicle charging stations currently get an empty battery to 80 percent full in about 30 minutes. But a new company is working on swapping out empty battery packs for fully charged ones. That would get an electric vehicle to 100 percent full in about 10 minutes. Ample, which officially launched this week at two sites in San Francisco and another Oakland, builds and operates battery-swapping stations that use a robot to pluck out dead battery packs from under the car and replace them with packs fully charged and ready to go. The Ample stations can be set up anywhere close to a power source so that the robot machine can get under the belly of the car and also charge a waiting supply of replacement batteries. The stations are completely autonomous and you don't even have to get out of the car while the batteries are switched.


Apple's M1 chip-equipped Mac mini just hit a new record-low price on Amazon

Mashable

The new Mac Mini with Apple's in-house M1 chip is on sale on Amazon as of Feb. 18 -- get the 256GB model for the all-time-low price of just $599.99 with an extra discount applied at checkout (normally $699), or upgrade to the 512GB version for only $849 (down $50 from $899). Apple sent the tech world into a tizzy last fall when it dropped some new hardware with its own custom-made M1 silicon chip, the company's first-ever proprietary processor. It was a huge move for a couple of reasons: One, it meant Tim Cook and pals were no longer relying on Intel to power their machines. More importantly, it meant us consumers could now get our hands on Apple devices with improved performance, better battery life, and iOS app support. If you're in need of a new computer and want to see what all the hype's about, the M1-equipped Mac mini is a great place to start: It connects to the monitor of your choosing and comes in at a fraction of the price of the M1 MacBook Air and Pro (which start at $999 and $1,299, respectively).


How wireless charging could unlock commercial drone potential

ZDNet

Commercial drones are still at the starting line in the U.S., but as the FAA begins loosening regulations the sector is primed to take off. Wireless charging, which is helping robots of all stripes operate independently and with less downtime could have a number of benefits for drones as well. "This year marks an inflection point for robot adoption, from mobile robots to aerial drones, even extending to underwater and space-based robots," says Ben Waters, CEO and co-founder of WiBotic, which makes wireless charging solutions for the automation sector. "Organizations that have evaluated small numbers of robots in the past are now realizing ROI, and are pivoting to scale-up." WiBotic, which we've been tracking closely, made headlines late last year for an ambitious project to bring its wireless charging technology to the moon.


Disruptive Innovation 2021: These 15 big ideas are most likely to change the world

ZDNet

ARK Invest defines ''disruptive innovation'' as the introduction of a technologically enabled new product or service that potentially changes the way the world works. ARK focuses solely on offering investment solutions to capture disruptive innovation in the public equity markets. ARK began publishing Big Ideas in 2017. This annual research report seeks to highlight the latest developments in innovation and offers some of our most provocative research conclusions for the year. ARK notes that risks associated with investment in disruptive innovation include: rapid pace of change, exposure across sectors and markets, uncertainty and unknowns, regulatory hurdles, political and legal pressures and competitive landscape.


Vacos Cam review: This promising security camera is handcuffed to a mess of an app

PCWorld

Battery-powered security cameras are a great option for outdoor use, because they remove the logistical hassle of finding a convenient electrical outlet to power them. But their easier installation comes with a cost, as they tend to be priced higher than their AC-powered counterparts. The $139 Vacos Cam would seem to be the best of both worlds, then--supremely flexible, modestly priced. Unfortunately, testing revealed this camera to be far from a polished product. While its video quality and smart motion detection are solid, its barely baked app makes the camera virtually unusable. The camera is the latest to crib its look from the Arlo line of home security cameras, in this case the Arlo Go (except that camera connects to the internet via an onboard LTE radio).


Hybrid chip containing processors and memory runs AI on smart devices

#artificialintelligence

A group of researchers from Stanford have developed a way to combine processors and memory on multiple hybrid chips to allow AI to run on battery-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets. The team believes that all manner of battery-power electronics would be smarter if they could run AI algorithms. The problem is efforts to build AI-capable chips for mobile devices have run up against something known as the "memory wall." The memory wall is the name for the separation of data processing and memory chips that have to work together to meet the computational demands of AI. Computer scientist Subhasish Mitra says the transactions between processors and memory can consume 95 percent of the energy needed to perform machine learning and AI, severely limiting battery life.


How Volkswagen's $50 Billion Plan to Beat Tesla Short-Circuited

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The car, however, didn't work as advertised. It could drive, turn corners and stop on a dime. But the fancy technology features VW had promised were either absent or broken. The company's programmers hadn't yet figured out how to update the car's software remotely. Its futuristic head-up display that was supposed to flash speed, directions and other data onto the windshield didn't function.


Elon Musk unveils Tesla Roadrunner production line and tabless battery in new video

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Tesla has given the first look at its new tabless battery cell, dubbed 4680, and Roadrunner production line that, according to CEO Elon Musk, 'will make full-size cars in the same way to cars are made.' The tabless battery was first unveiled in September during the firm's Battery Day, but was only shown by Musk via a PowerPoint presentation. Now, the time has come for Musk to show the world what Tesla has been working on at its pilot battery factory in Fremont, Texas. The one-minute clip shows the white and blue battery moving through different assembly stages with the help of armed and wheeled robots. Tesla also used this opportunity to announce it is taking applications for manufacturing jobs at its planned battery facilities in Berlin and Texas.


Accelerating the screening of amorphous polymer electrolytes by learning to reduce random and systematic errors in molecular dynamics simulations

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning has been widely adopted to accelerate the screening of materials. Most existing studies implicitly assume that the training data are generated through a deterministic, unbiased process, but this assumption might not hold for the simulation of some complex materials. In this work, we aim to screen amorphous polymer electrolytes which are promising candidates for the next generation lithium-ion battery technology but extremely expensive to simulate due to their structural complexity. We demonstrate that a multi-task graph neural network can learn from a large amount of noisy, biased data and a small number of unbiased data and reduce both random and systematic errors in predicting the transport properties of polymer electrolytes. This observation allows us to achieve accurate predictions on the properties of complex materials by learning to reduce errors in the training data, instead of running repetitive, expensive simulations which is conventionally used to reduce simulation errors. With this approach, we screen a space of 6247 polymer electrolytes, orders of magnitude larger than previous computational studies. We also find a good extrapolation performance to the top polymers from a larger space of 53362 polymers and 31 experimentally-realized polymers. The strategy employed in this work may be applicable to a broad class of material discovery problems that involve the simulation of complex, amorphous materials.


Get ready for really low-power AI: Synaptics and Eta Compute envision neural nets that will observe every sound, every motion

ZDNet

Eta Compute had already developed its own ASIC chip and system board for low-power applications. Now it will devote its effort to making software tuned to Synaptics's chips. Smart buildings, smart cities, smart transportation -- such applications of the Internet of Things have been part of the lore of technology companies for over a decade now. But what does it really mean for there to be sensors that are constantly measuring the ambient noise of rooms, or watching people move about, day and night? That kind of constant surveillance may be coming to some built environments as soon as later this year, thanks to the arrival of chips and software that are dramatically more efficient at running algorithms within the tightest of energy constraints.