Meet the Japanese tech guru who is betting big on the future of drones

The Japan Times

The only person in kimono at a recent government meeting on flying cars was Kotaro Chiba, a former online-game executive turned financier of a very specific kind. For Chiba, 44, who wears kimono on special occasions to show his pride in Japanese culture, is gathering money for what he calls the Drone Fund. It invests in unmanned vehicles to survey buildings, make deliveries and take aerial photos for tourist boards; hover scooters; and a pilotless cargo craft that's seeking to make it all the way from Japan to Silicon Valley in one go. Chiba is at the forefront of an industry that's only years away from changing our lives. In five to 10 years, the skies could be alive with drones delivering goods, according to McKinsey & Co.


Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg savaged by politicians from around the world for avoiding them

The Independent

Facebook has been savaged by politicians from across the globe after boss Mark Zuckerberg once again refused to answer questions. The company was accused of undermining democratic institutions and failing to take responsibility for the damage it had done to the world. But the hearing was marked by the fact that Mr Zuckerberg had not arrived, despite a request that came from a coalition of lawmakers from around the world. 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.


A Yelp bot will deliver your sushi in San Francisco

Engadget

While Amazon continues refining its delivery-by-UAV dream, Yelp is gearing up to test a grounded method to autonomously transport take out. The company is partnering with Marble to use their wheeled drone, which is designed to carry perishable cargo, to try out unmanned food delivery for its Seamless-like Yelp Eat24 service. Specifically, they're sending Marble's robots on trips around SF's Mission and Potrero Hill districts, so lucky Eat24 patrons might get the option to have their grub delivered via the boxy drones -- and their humans. Handlers will "chaperone" the autonomous bots to make sure their initial forays into the world go smoothly. The robots use NVIDIA's TX1 Jetson supercomputers to digest environmental data coming from a suite of cameras, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors, the same sensors used by autonomous cars.


Why your next UPS driver might be an ugly robot on wheels

#artificialintelligence

If you're the kind of person who really likes chatting with the mail carrier, Dispatch won't be your favorite startup. That's because the four-person South San Francisco company is working on technology that could replace postal workers, Instacart couriers, UPS and FedEx drivers, or anyone else who gets paid to bring you stuff. Instead, you might be dealing with a 3-foot-tall, 150-pound, battery-powered roving robot that looks like a little dumpster on wheels. Called Carry, the device uses artificial intelligence, five cameras and a laser to navigate on sidewalks around pedestrians, flaming hoverboards and any other obstacles to get packages to your door. The only places you'll find Carry today are on two California college campuses, where it's still being tested.