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Robots invade the construction site

#artificialintelligence

Theresa Arevalo was in high school when she first tried finishing drywall at her brother's construction company. "It's a fine art," she says of mudding--applying and smoothing drywall. "Like frosting a cake, you have to give the illusion that the wall is flat." Fast-forward a few decades: Arevalo now works at Canvas, a company that's built a robot using artificial intelligence that's capable of drywalling with almost as much artistry as a skilled human worker. The robot has been deployed, under Arevalo's supervision, at several construction sites in recent months, including the new Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and an office building connected to the Chase Center arena in San Francisco.


This AI-powered parking garage rewards you for not driving

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The trial project is being led by U.K.-based Fetch.ai and Munich-based blockchain company Datarella and was just launched at one of the central Munich offices owned by Connex Buildings. The goal is to control the pricing and use of the building's parking spaces dynamically, and to disincentivize people from driving to work by rewarding them with public transit passes for all the time they aren't using the parking garage. "It could say okay if you park closer, you're going to be charged more; if you park farther away, you'll be charged less," says Humayun Sheikh, CEO of Fetch.ai. "We reward you for doing certain actions and we discourage you from doing certain actions." Sheikh says that if the trial program is expanded to parking garages citywide, it could cut car usage by 10% annually, resulting in a reduction of more than 37,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions from the annual energy use of nearly 4,000 homes.


Robots Invade the Construction Site

WIRED

Theresa Arevalo was in high school when she first tried finishing drywall at her brother's construction company. "It's a fine art," she says of mudding--applying and smoothing drywall. "Like frosting a cake, you have to give the illusion that the wall is flat." Fast-forward a few decades: Arevalo now works at Canvas, a company that's built a robot using artificial intelligence that's capable of drywalling with almost as much artistry as a skilled human worker. The robot has been deployed, under Arevalo's supervision, at several construction sites in recent months, including the new Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and an office building connected to the Chase Center arena in San Francisco.


Amazon axes staff at Prime Air drone project, launches talks with external manufacturers

ZDNet

Amazon has laid off "dozens" of employees working on the firm's drone project while also seeking out manufacturing deals with third-parties. The Financial Times reported on Thursday that the e-commerce giant is axing staff involved in the Prime Air drone program's research, development, and manufacturing units. According to sources close to the matter, Amazon is still "years away" from the project properly lifting off the ground. See also: Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery system earns key FAA certification First revealed in 2013, Amazon Prime Air aims to use octocopter drones to deliver small parcels ordered through the Amazon e-commerce platform in as little as 30 minutes. While the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently granted Amazon permission to begin testing customer drone deliveries in the US -- four years after the company agreed to a partnership with the UK government to "explore the steps needed to make the delivery of parcels by small drones a reality" -- it seems a shake-up is in order.


Albany airport unveils digital incubator for safe, post-pandemic air travel

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In the coming weeks, the Airport and GE will unveil other advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and other digital technologies being …


Public road CAV testing by Catalonia Living Lab and Aurora Snowbox JV

#artificialintelligence

Catalonia Living Lab, a public-private project for the development of CAVs, and Aurora Snowbox, the Finnish testing organization, have reached an agreement to collaborate on test drives of connected and automated vehicles on public roads. Noting that there is an imminent need for public road test drives in all weather conditions (including summer and winter), the organizations have agreed to team up for the next two years. The alliance is expected to be mutually beneficial in strengthening the services provided by both entities and expanding their activities in the field of connected and automated vehicles. As a first step in their collaboration, both companies have aligned their service portfolios and marketing strategies to ensure an identical user experience on both test beds. A strategic analysis performed within the framework of Catalonia Living Lab resulted in the identification of a series of objectives for testing of CAVs on public roads.


Driverless Cars Are Roundabout Rookies, Circling Confusion

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Help, I am stuck in a roundabout and I can't get out! For those of you that have ever driven into a roundabout, often also known as a traffic circle, a road circle, and sometimes a rotary, they can be devilish to navigate. Typically, a novice driver finds them to be frightening and a real-world version of a crazy bumper-car mad dash. Seasoned drivers like to think that they have mastered the roundabout and so act like it is a breeze to traverse one. Even seasoned drivers are at times though thrown for a loop, as it were, and find themselves baffled and frustrated by a roundabout. If you get enough drivers going through a roundabout and if they are all behaving badly, you find yourself wishing you had gone some other path and had avoided the dreaded roundabout.


Watch early testers try Tesla's Full Self-Driving mode for the first time

Mashable

On Friday, we finally got a glimpse at a long-awaited feature that Elon Musk rolled out this week for a select group of Tesla owners: Full Self-Driving mode. Only a small group of Tesla-chosen drivers with safe driving records were given the software update to test the new autonomous feature, known as FSD, which goes beyond what's currently available on Tesla's advanced driving system, Autopilot. As longtime Tesla vlogger Tesla Raj showed in the video above, FSD now lets his electric Model X navigate itself on city roads. Previously Autopilot, which featured abilities like autosteering, braking, and lane changing, only worked on highways and major thoroughfares with clear lane markings. Now with the beta update, the car can maintain the speed limit and its position in the lane, stop at stop signs, make turns, and even more on its own.


What is a Smart City? Definition from WhatIs.com.

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A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare. While the exact definition varies, the overarching mission of a smart city is to optimize city functions and drive economic growth while improving quality of life for its citizens using smart technology and data analysis. Value is given to the smart city based on what they choose to do with the technology, not just how much technology they may have. Several major characteristics are used to determine a city's smartness. A smart city's success depends on its ability to form a strong relationship between the government -- including its bureaucracy and regulations -- and the private sector.


Inspection drones buzz this airport (and the FAA is cool with it)

ZDNet

Since September 2018, FedEx has been inspecting its aircraft at a busy international airport using drones that normally wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the facility. Strict regulations prohibit drones from sharing airspace with planes, but a novel FAA pilot that includes FedEx, as well as drone companies such as DJI and Asylon, could change that in the future. Drone inspection has long been a hot area for enterprise drones, including in unexpected spaces, but this program is a real watershed in the FAA's evolving approach to drone regulation. I reached out to Joel Murdock, managing director at FedEx Express, for insights about the company's airport drone operations and what it means for the future of enterprise drones in sensitive areas, and he's optimistic. "We believe drones could help improve efficiencies around aircraft inspections and maintenance at our World Hub at Memphis International Airport," says Murdock, "and other airports around the country. We also believe drones can be used to supplement our existing airport perimeter surveillance and runway/taxiway FOD detection activities."