A boat carrying a cargo of British oysters across the English Channel has become the world's first ever shipment completed using remote control. Mersea Island molluscs were on-board the 40-foot (12 m) long Sea-Kit vessel heading to Orstend in Belgium and there was not a single human being on-board. It successfully completed the delivery of the 11 pounds (5kg) of shellfish and then made a return journey with some Belgian beer on-board. Myriad technological gadgets and innovations fed data back to a control room in Maldon, Essex where two workers completed the 22-hour trip. The British vessel is equipped with cameras, radar, microphones, thermal imaging and a back-up autonomous system to keep it and other sea-goers safe.
Robots are increasingly picking up the slack in package distribution centers. Honeywell and Siemens have unveiled new machines that are capable of autonomously ferrying packages from the tractor trailer to the fulfillment center with surprising accuracy, according to Bloomberg. It comes as consumers increasingly expect two-day or even same-day delivery, causing shipping companies to embrace automation as a solution to meet the spike in demand. Both Honeywell and Siemens' robot unloaders drive up to the back of a tractor trailer and use machine learning to identify packages. And, the companies say their machines work just as fast, if not faster, than human employees.
A sister company of Google, Alphabet's Wing Aviation, just got federal approval to start using drones for commercial delivery. Amazon's own drone-delivery program is ready to launch as well. As drones take flight, the world is about to get a lot louder – as if neighborhoods were filled with leaf blowers, lawn mowers and chainsaws. Small recreational drones are fairly loud. Serious commercial drones are much louder.
The future of Amazon's logistics network will undoubtedly involve artificial intelligence and robotics, but it's an open question at what point AI-powered machines will be doing a majority of the work. According to Scott Anderson, the company's director of robotics fulfillment, the point at which an Amazon warehouse is fully, end-to-end automated is at least 10 years away. Anderson's comments, reported today by Reuters, highlight the current pace of automation, even in environments that are ripe for robotic labor, like an Amazon warehouse. As it stands today, robots in the workforce are proficient mostly at specific, repeatable tasks for which they are precisely programmed. To get the robot to do something else takes expensive, time-consuming reprogramming.
The Wing company, a Google spinoff, has won federal approval to operate its drone delivery system as an airline in the U.S. Wing hide caption The Wing company, a Google spinoff, has won federal approval to operate its drone delivery system as an airline in the U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Alphabet's Wing Aviation to operate as an airline, in a first for U.S. drone delivery companies. Wing, which began as a Google X project, has been testing its autonomous drones in southwest Virginia and elsewhere. "Air Carrier Certification means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States," Wing said in a statement posted to the Medium website. The company has touted many advantages of using unmanned drones to deliver packages, from reducing carbon emissions and road congestion to increasing connections between communities and local businesses. "This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential," Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said in a statement from the agency.
Boston Dynamics has taught its fleet of SpotMini robot dogs a new trick: The robotics company posted a new video featuring ten of the mechanical canines hauling a cargo truck up a slightly inclined hill like a team of sled dogs. The video was shared to the company's popular YouTube page on Tuesday. In the above video, two lines of SpotMini's are tethered together and marched in unison to inch a semi-truck in neutral gear forward. As with pretty much every video Boston Dynamics publishes, it elicited a flurry of Black Mirror, Terminator, and robot overlord-themed references across social media. But Boston Dynamics promises that its famous SpotMinis are here to help humans, not to rule them.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – iFood is planning to invest US$20 million in opening an AI learning center to strengthen ties with the tech industry. With an expected staff of 100 people by the end of the year, everything from machine learning, deep learning, behavioral science, and logistics will be covered. All of this is part of iFood's US$500 million funding round that began last year. São Paulo-based iFood is one of Latin America's biggest and most successful startup food delivery company. Seeing how the international food delivery ecosystem is worth around US$94 billion, it's easy to understand why iFood takes digital innovations so seriously.
Supplier selection problem has gained extensive attention in the prior studies. However, research based on Fuzzy Multi-Attribute Decision Making (F-MADM) approach in ranking resilient suppliers in logistic 4.0 is still in its infancy. Traditional MADM approach fails to address the resilient supplier selection problem in logistic 4.0 primarily because of the large amount of data concerning some attributes that are quantitative, yet difficult to process while making decisions. Besides, some qualitative attributes prevalent in logistic 4.0 entail imprecise perceptual or judgmental decision relevant information, and are substantially different than those considered in traditional suppler selection problems. This study, for the first time, develops a Decision Support System (DSS) that will help the decision maker to incorporate and process such imprecise heterogeneous data in a unified framework to rank a set of resilient suppliers in the logistic 4.0 environment. The proposed framework induces a triangular fuzzy number from large-scale temporal data using probability-possibility consistency principle. Large number of non-temporal data presented graphically are computed by extracting granular information that are imprecise in nature. Fuzzy linguistic variables are used to map the qualitative attributes. Finally, fuzzy based TOPSIS method is adopted to generate the ranking score of alternative suppliers. These ranking scores are used as input in a Multi-Choice Goal Programming (MCGP) model to determine optimal order allocation for respective suppliers. Finally, a sensitivity analysis assesses how the Cost versus Resilience Index (SCRI) changes when differential priorities are set for respective cost and resilience attributes.
That will soon be a reality in more markets thanks to robots. Automation had made large-scale, ultra-fast order fulfillment economically viable (see: Jeff Bezos world domination), but the physical remoteness of typical logistics facilities has prevented retailers from offering true on-demand delivery outside a few metropolitan markets. But by harnessing networks of tiny automated hubs, micro-fulfillment could enable retailers to store their goods in the hearts of cities while still benefiting from the efficiency of automation. CommonSense Robotics, a company that's leveraging logistics automation with nimble deployments of micro-fulfillment centers, is betting big on the micro-fulfillment approach, and the company just passed an important milestone: Its first 1-hour fulfillment delivery. The delivery, which took place in Israel, comes in partnership with Super-Pharm, an Israeli health and beauty retailer.
There is a stretch of highway through the Ozark Mountains where being data-driven is a hazard. Jason Tashea (@justicecodes), a writer and technologist based in Baltimore, is the founder of Justice Codes, a criminal justice and technology consultancy. Heading from Springfield, Missouri, to Clarksville, Arkansas, navigation apps recommend the Arkansas 43. While this can be the fastest route, the GPS's algorithm does not concern itself with factors important to truckers carrying a heavy load, such as the 43's 1,300-foot elevation drop over four miles with two sharp turns. The road once hosted few 18-wheelers, but the last two and half years have seen a noticeable increase in truck traffic--and wrecks.