Robotics & Automation


Apple given Stop Slavery Award as it opens up about trying to stop abuses in its supply chain

The Independent

Apple has won an international award in recognition of its attempts to stop slavery and the work it has done to rid it from its supply chain. The Stop Slavery Award, which the Thomson Reuters Foundation said was in recognition of a "giant leap in the fight against slavery", comes after a concerted effort by Apple to ensure it is more transparent about its supply chain. Apple says it has worked hard to combat the kinds of abuse that happen in suppliers used by a wide variety of companies, such as workers who are forced into modern slavery by having their passports taken away or being saddled with huge debts they must work to pay off. Uber has halted testing of driverless vehicles after a woman was killed by one of their cars in Tempe, Arizona. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar.


The future of data storage isn't on the cloud – it's on the 'edge'

The Independent

Time travel to the UK in 2025: Harry is a teenager with a smartphone and Pauline is a senior citizen with Alzheimer's who relies on smart glasses for independent living. Harry is frustrated his favourite online game is slow, and Pauline is anxious because her healthcare app is unresponsive. Forbes predicts that by 2025 more than 80 billion devices, from wearables and smartphones, to factory and smart-city sensors, will be connected to the internet. Something like 180 trillion gigabytes of data will be generated that year. Currently almost all data we generate is sent to and processed in distant clouds.


Ford self-driving cars shift from pizza delivery to Walmart order pickup

Mashable

Ford teamed up with Domino's last year to test out self-driving cars for pizza delivery. And while a hot cheesy pie is certainly delicious, the autonomous technology is now being put to even better use. On Wednesday, Ford announced that it is now using Postmates delivery service to bring Walmart products to customers' homes via self-driving Ford vehicles. Ford works with Argo AI to power the self-driving part of the car. SEE ALSO: Ford and Domino's team up for self-driving pizza deliveries Starting in the Miami area, where Domino's is still testing autonomous pizza delivery and Ford has developed a urban self-driving car proving ground, the service will kick off with Walmart employees putting groceries into the car.


Ford and Walmart to partner on self-driving deliveries

Engadget

Self-driving car collaborations are becoming increasingly commonplace. The latest team-up comes from Ford and Walmart -- two older-world companies using autonomous tech to combat nascent startup rivals and remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape. The eventual goal is to bring Walmart shopping items to customers in a self-driving Ford with the help of Postmates' delivery infrastructure. Initially, however, the venture will rely on human-driven cars designed to simulate how a self-driving vehicle would operate. Ford has already started testing its autonomous cars in Miami and Washington DC, with plans for commercial production by 2021.


Google takeover of NHS-linked health app DeepMind is 'totally unacceptable', privacy lawyer says

The Independent

Privacy campaigners have raised fears for patient data following Google's takeover of an artificial intelligence health app used in NHS hospitals. London-based AI firm DeepMind said its Streams app will be subsumed by the technology giant in a move that one expert described as "totally unacceptable" and a betrayal to patient's privacy. DeepMind, which is owned by Google but has operated the app independently until now, justified the decision in a blog post that explained how Google would allow the app to scale in a way that would not be possible by itself. The app uses AI to provide doctors and nurses with an easy-access dashboard of patients' medical records. "Our vision is for Streams to now become an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors everywhere – combining the best algorithms with intuitive design, all backed up by rigorous evidence," the post stated.


Amazon ordered to give Alexa evidence in double murder case

The Independent

An Amazon Echo smart speaker could provide crucial evidence in a double murder case in the US after a judge in New Hampshire ordered the tech giant to provide investigators with recordings from the device. The speaker, which features the artificial intelligence voice assistant Alexa, was seized from a home in Farmington where two women were killed in January 2017. Timothy Verrill, 36, is charged with killing Christine Sullivan and Jenna Pellegrini by stabbing each woman multiple times. Judge Steven M Houran wrote in the court order that an Echo device present in the home may have captured audio that could provide key evidence in the case. How Alexa recorded a family's conversation then sent it to someone How Alexa recorded a family's conversation then sent it to someone "The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server[s] and/or records maintained for or by Amazon.com


Automation will become central to business strategy and operations

ZDNet

Automation will be central to the next phase of digital transformation, driving new levels of customer value such as faster delivery of products, higher quality and dependability, deeper personalization, and greater convenience. Also: World's smallest automated e-commerce facility goes online Last year, Forrester predicted that automation would reach a tipping point -- altering the workforce, augmenting employees, and driving new levels of customer value. Since then, we've seen RPA vendors soar in value; UiPath reached $3 billion valuation in September. Physical robotics leader ABB announced plans to have robots build other robots in its production process. And MIT announced a $1 billion initiative for a new college focused on AI.


Walmart teams up with Ford and Postmates to design driverless delivery service

Daily Mail

Ford Motor Co, Walmart Inc and delivery service Postmates Inc will collaborate to design a service for delivering groceries and other goods to Walmart customers that could someday use autonomous vehicles, the companies said on Wednesday. The project is the latest to grow out of Ford s broader effort to develop businesses that could use automated delivery vehicles. Ford was working with San Francisco-based Postmates already to develop delivery services that could employ automated vehicles. The Walmart pilot, which will take place in the Miami area, initially will use human-driven vehicles operated to simulate how a self-driving vehicle would behave, Ford said. Ford Motor Co, Walmart Inc and delivery service Postmates Inc will collaborate to design a service for delivering groceries and other goods to Walmart customers that could someday use autonomous vehicles, the companies said on Wednesday.


Save on an ECOVACS robot/mop combo vacuum at Walmart, on sale for $155 off

Mashable

As much as you enjoy having the family over for Thanksgiving, your nephew isn't the cleanest of the bunch, leaving a trail of crumbs wherever he goes. But you shouldn't have to spend your long weekend vacuuming the floors you just cleaned, especially when there are robots that can do it for you. The ECOVACS DEEBOT M81PRO robot vacuum is on sale for $199.99 at Walmart, which is a whopping $155.93 off its original price of $355.92 -- that's a savings of nearly 44%. If you need something to get the cleanup started while wade through Black Friday deals from the couch, the DEEBOT is perfect. The little robot works on hardwood and carpet floors and can even mop and dry the floors too, which is perfect if your nephew got overzealous with the cranberry sauce.


Intel's 'neural network on a stick' brings AI training to you

Engadget

Ahead of its first AI developers conference in Beijing, Intel has announced it's making the process of imparting intelligence into smart home gadgets and other network edge devices faster and easier thanks to the company's latest invention: the Neural Compute Stick 2. Edge devices are generally defined as any piece of hardware that controls the flow of data between the boundaries of two networks. These include not just routers, switches and gateways but also a range IoT gadgets like Ring doorbell cameras, industrial robots, smart medical devices or self-guided camera drones. Intel's NCS2 is essentially a self-contained neural network on a thumbdrive and should make developing those sorts of devices faster and easier by offloading much of the processing power required to train them to its onboard Movidius Myriad X vision processing unit (VPU). "We can do some incredible things with artificial intelligence, and one of the fastest growing data types, as we all know, is video data," Steen Graham, General Manager of Channels and Ecosystem in Intel's Internet of Things group, told reporters during a press call on Friday. "The camera is the ultimate sensor."