Collaborating Authors


How Artificial Intelligence is Reducing Baggage Mishandling


Modern airports are using artificial intelligence (AI) to avoid mishandling baggage. The idea is to use AI for end-to-end tracking of baggage and planning optimized luggage routes, right from the time a passenger gets on-board, till she collects the baggage at the destination. Nearly all sectors of the economy - education, healthcare, finance, travel, and even the public sector - are applying technology to optimize their functioning. Technologies like AI are digitizing areas that were once thought capable of manual operations alone. Airports and airline companies are exploring the benefits of integrating technology into their operations and services.

Scientists create headless flying robot bird that can perch on branches and carry objects

The Independent - Tech

Engineers at Stanford University have built a robotic bird to understand how birds are able to fly and perch on branches. The robot has a pair of snatching talons that attach to a circular flat base; that is then attached to a quadcopter drone to fly around. To account for the size of the drone that allows it to fly, the avian robot is based on the legs of a peregrine falcon. In place of bones, the machine has a 3D-printed structure with motors and fishing line for muscles and tendons. Each leg has its own motor to move back and forth, another for grasping, and a mechanism to absorb impact energy when it lands.

Space Needle utilises artificial intelligence to manage visitors


"By understanding how people enjoy the Space Needle's observation decks, food and beverage experiences, and amenities, we can better provide both a safe and enjoyable experience," said Luis Quintero, senior operations manager at the Space Needle. "Through Veovo's crowd management solution, we can reduce and prevent overcrowding, while understanding trends over time will allow us to optimise our operations and resourcing." London Gatwick Airport will use Passenger Predictability solution to optimise security operations and improve passenger flow. The partnership will allow the airport to efficiently handle increasing passenger numbers and build back better for a more sustainable, passenger-centred travel experience. The AI-powered technology gives Gatwick real-time awareness of people's movement and experiences in the North and South terminal security areas.

Flying, insect-like robot flits closer to independent flight


Just over six years ago, when researchers at Harvard announced that they had made tiny flying robots, they immediately began talking about the prospect of their tiny creations operating autonomously in complicated environments. That seemed wildly optimistic, given that the robots flew by trailing a set of copper wires that brought power and control instructions; the robots were guided by a computer that monitored their positions using a camera. Since then, however, the team has continued working on refining the tiny machines, giving them enhanced landing capabilities, for example. And today, the team is announcing the first demonstration of self-powered flight. The flight is very short and isn't self-controlled, but the tiny craft manages to carry both the power supply circuitry and its own power source.

The Conglomerate Paradox: As GE splinters, Facebook becomes Meta

NPR Technology

In the first scene of the first episode of the classic sitcom 30 Rock, television showrunners Liz Lemon and Pete Hornberger nervously walk into an office under renovation to meet their boss, Gary. They can't see him anywhere. "Where is Gary?" asks Lemon. Just then a man in a suit kicks down a wall and barges into the room. "Gary's dead," the man says.

Brazilian airports expand facial recognition trials


The domestic airports in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are advancing trials of facial biometrics as part of an initiative to boost airport operational and cost efficiency with the use of next-generation technology. Introduced this week for pilots and flight attendants working for airlines Azul, Gol, and Latam, the technology is aimed at speeding up boarding processes by removing the requirement to show ID to access the departure lounge and aircraft. Procured by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Special Secretariat for Management and Digital Government of the Ministry of Economy, the new functionality is part of the ongoing Safer Boarding programme. The initiative has seen a number of trials taking place with approximately 5,000 passengers in airports serving the cities of Florianópolis, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, as well as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The system based on facial biometrics was developed by government-owned technology company Serpro, with input from a pool of stakeholders including the Civil Aviation Agency, airlines, and airport operators.

Walmart launches drone delivery service within a 50-mile radius of its northwest Arkansas store

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Residents in northwest Arkansas will now see drones soaring through the sky that are delivering goods to people's homes who ordered from the local Walmart Neighborhood Market. Walmart and its partner, drone-maker Zipline, rolled out the service on Thursday, and said it will ship'thousands of products' to customers within a 50-mile radius of the store in Pea Ridge. The companies designed a'first-of-its kind' 25-foot-tall platform, located the back of the Walmart, which serves as the infrastructure for take-off and landing for drones. Orders are placed through the Zipline app, which are collected by Walmart employees who then hand them off to Zipline staff, who prepare the aircraft for launch. Residence in northwest Arkansas will now see drones soaring through the sky to deliver goods to people's homes who ordered from the local Walmart Neighborhood Market Walmart has a made huge push into the drone delivery market over the years, as it has conducted pilot programs in several states such as North Carolina and Texas.

Meet Japan's drone traffic management system


A key part of realizing the future of commercial drones will be drone traffic management: An integrated way to manage airspace for UAV. That's the goal of a recent trial in Japan led by NEDO (National Institute of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) to develop a drone traffic management system for multiple drone operators to fly in the same airspace safely. The trial, closely watched in the industry, brings together several prominent companies and consortiums, including ANRA Technologies, BIRD INITIATIVE, NEC Corporation, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and other partners. It will take place above Wakkanai City in Japan using ANRA's airspace and delivery management software platforms. The testbed is part of an ongoing R&D effort led by NEDO with the aim of integrating drone traffic management and creating a blueprint for a nationwide traffic management system.

Accelerating development in aerospace for more urban mobility

MIT Technology Review

The next wave of aerospace is just around the corner, and a lot of that innovation is happening thanks to new, faster methods of development. "What's happening now is that companies are trying to understand how they take the lessons from Agile software development and apply those to Agile product development," explains Dale Tutt, vice president of Aerospace and Defense Industry for Siemens. With Agile software development, you can build software and test it relatively quickly. "When you start talking about an airplane or an air taxi," Tutt says, "it's expensive to build a prototype and test them, so you have to think about it in a different way and take a different approach. It really takes good program planning." This new type of product development, where planes and other kinds of air transport are developed faster than ever, still needs to incorporate safety as a top priority, which creates new kinds of challenges. These kinds of products are different than smartphones or other consumer electronics, Tutt explains. "Part of it is driven by the safety and reliability you want to have--so that when you're flying around, you can safely operate the vehicle. There's a certain amount of durability and reliability that's built into the design of the product. The amount of investment that these companies or that an individual would make in buying one of these aircraft means there's an expectation that it's going to last a while, and that you're going to have value in that asset. It's a little bit different than some of the consumer goods that we buy, and it's more expensive to repair them than it is to replace them."

Trust in biometrics sought with AI Act, government programs and ethical facial recognition


Biometrics adoption is being encouraged in the public sector for digital ID and online government applications, as it continues to rise in the private sector from smartphones, where Fingerprint Cards has announced new wins to airport processes, where NEC technology is being deployed and Vision-Box is positioning for more growth. National digital ID programs are under the microscope, while Thales has signed a major deal in Vietnam, and a debate has broken out on facial recognition ethics between Oosto and Clearview AI. The potential for digital identity to boost national economies is examined by the World Economic Forum in a new white paper. The WEF sees digital ID as benefitting people by easing access to a range of services, helping small and medium-sized businesses with easier access to financing, and help establish robust growth in digital service industries, with China's digital wealth-management market offered as an example. Research ICT Africa has released a series of extensive reports delving into the digital identity systems in 10 African countries.