Robots


Drone deliveries ready to soar in Japan but lingering issues likely to keep post office in business

The Japan Times

A drone carrying a package sails through the air, touching down to make a delivery right on a customer's doorstep. Inc. wowed the world in 2013 with a video purporting to show what the future of the delivery industry would look like. But are we any closer to that now? The answer seems to be no -- at least in Japan. The nation is set to take a step forward in the sector this year as the government prepares to deregulate aviation rules so delivery firms can use drones in rural areas.


How Drones Will Impact Society: From Fighting War to Forecasting Weather, UAVs Change Everything

#artificialintelligence

UAVs are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Drone technology has been used by defense organizations and tech-savvy consumers for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors. With the rising accessibility of drones, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are ripe for displacement by drone technology. The use cases for safe, cost-effective solutions range from data collection to delivery. And as autonomy and collision-avoidance technologies improve, so too will drones' ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. According to forecasts, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127B. As more companies look to capitalize on these commercial opportunities, investment into the drone space continues to grow. A drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.


Kroger Goes Big On Robotics But May Trail Amazon And Walmart On Speed

Forbes Technology

Ocado's fulfilment center in Andover has hundreds of robots working above a grid of groceries. In the race to stay alive in grocery retailing, Whole Foods sold to Amazon, Walmart offered grocery delivery and now Kroger has announced it will build three huge, automated warehouses filled with swarming robots to process online orders. The only problem: By the time Kroger gets those warehouses, which could rise to 20 in the coming years, it may still struggle to match Amazon in doing speedy delivery. The reason comes down to geography and the nitty-gritty details of Kroger's logistical overhaul. Kroger has picked warehouse builder Ocado, well known in the U.K. for being one of the first companies in the world to sell fresh food online when it first launched in 2000.


How To Know If Your Business Should Use Drones Now Or Later On

Forbes Technology

Between now and 2020, Drones are big business according to Goldman Sachs, $100 billion big. From Amazon to Uber and your neighbour's kid trying to take an aerial picture, Drones are going to be a big part of life once the law can get its act together. Unless you're Dominos, businesses seem to be struggling with how to apply the new technology and are back on forth on when to go in. How can you make the right decisions? I recently sat down with Robert Garbett (Founder and CEO of Drone Major Group - 'the global commercial trade organisation for the drone industry' and got some answers about where drones are doing in the next ten years and how businesses can take advantage of the technology now and later on.


Drone tests in Reno focus on emergency medical supplies

#artificialintelligence

The selection of the Reno-based drone operator Flirtey and its local partners for a national test program aimed at increasing the use of unmanned aircraft will be a "game-changer" for the delivery of emergency medical supplies in the region, backers of the effort say. The 10 sites the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday include projects ranging from monitoring crops and oil pipelines in North Dakota to applying mosquito-killing treatments in Florida. In northern Nevada, the focus will be on drugs and medical equipment. Flirtey drones already have delivered automated external defibrillators used to jumpstart the hearts of cardiac arrest victims as part of a joint emergency program with first-responders in Reno. The company also anticipates future deliveries of EpiPens to treat severe allergic reactions and Narcan for opioid overdoses.


Uber to announce plans to use DRONES to deliver food to your door in under five MINUTES

Daily Mail

Uber Technologies Inv. hopes to use drones in San Diego to deliver food as part of an innovative commercial test program approved by the federal government on Wednesday. Dara Khosrowshahi, the company's chief executive officer, described how deliveries could be expected in between five to 30 minutes depending on if they were done by humans or drones. 'Push a button and get food on your doorstep,' he said, according to Yahoo Finance. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive officer, described how deliveries could be expected in between five to 30 minutes The executive was speaking to a crowd during an on-stage interview with Bloomberg at a Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles when he said that Uber had become the largest food delivery business in the world. The CEO has been a skeptic of the flying car program but seems to be playing a different tune as of late.


Inside the Arena Where Drones Battle a Wall of 1,300 Computer Fans

WIRED

It messes up hair, it blows stuff in eyes, and most famously and rudely of all, one time it made a bridge in Washington twist and undulate until it exploded. Alright, maybe that was the fault of the engineers, not the wind. But still, strong gusts have the potential to threaten many technologies, including a new one: drones. If you've ever taken a quadcopter out on a windy day, you know the struggle. Now consider that in the near future, our cities will be swarming with delivery drones--and if we don't want them plummeting out of the skies, they'll have to learn to survive the elements.


FAA Relaxes Drone Restrictions With 10 New Programs

WIRED

The space above your head--currently filled with sky, maybe some clouds, and the passing bird or plastic bag--is valuable. Many a company would rather see it filled with drones, saving lives with emergency drugs, delivering items you ordered online, monitoring crops, and handling a bajillion other tasks. But if given free rein, some worry, these quadcopter capitalists might darken the sky with their machines, deafen us with their buzzing, and shower debris on those below when they inevitably collide. To avoid an aerial apocalypse, the FAA has so far taken a restrictive approach to drones. It limits commercial operation by requiring permits and imposing restrictions like banning beyond-line-of-sight flights and nighttime operations.


Apple, Amazon snubbed in race to bring drones to the skies as feds approve 10 testing projects

Daily Mail

Apple and Amazon were passed over in a program spearheaded by the Trump administration that would have given them a greater say in how the drone industry is regulated. On Wednesday, the US Transportation Department announced 10 winning drone pilot projects that will help more unmanned aerial vehicles take to the skies. Among the winners were Silicon Valley tech giants Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft. However, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said there are'no losers' and she thinks dozens of the applicants not chosen could be greenlighted by the FAA in the coming months. Selected winners will be able to conduct experimental drone flights that are beyond the rules outlined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


US will test expanded drone use in 10 states

Engadget

The US government is making good on its promise to expand the use of drones. The Department of Transportation has named the 10 projects that will participate in its Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, and they represent a wide swath of the country. Most of them are municipal or state government bodies, including the cities of Reno and San Diego, Memphis' County Airport Authority and the Transportation Departments for Kansas, North Carolina and North Dakota. However, the rest are notable: the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will be part of the program, as will the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Virginia Tech. Notably, Virginia Tech is working with Google's Project Wing drone delivery initiative as well as transportation and tech giants like Airbus, AT&T and Intel.