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Kerb-to-kitchen robots and the next big step for online retail

ZDNet

Ocado is investing £10 million in Oxford-based start-up Oxbotica, which develops autonomy software for vehicles. Online retailer Ocado is exploring the possibility of having robots packing, transporting and delivering groceries all the way to customers' kitchens, with a new partnership designed to bring new levels of automation to the warehouse. The British e-tailer is investing £10 million ($14 million) in Oxford-based start-up Oxbotica, which develops autonomy software for vehicles, with the objective of testing different ways of integrating the technology with Ocado's hardware. Among the projects envisioned by the two firms feature autonomous vehicles travelling inside Ocado's warehouses to move orders around the buildings and surrounding yard areas, but also driverless delivery vans and even "kerb-to-kitchen" robots to facilitate what is known as last-mile logistics – the final steps between a customer's doorstep and the vehicle carrying their order. Automating these processes could cut costs significantly.


These iRobot vacuums and mops are still on sale from Cyber Weekend

Mashable

Select iRobot robotic vacuums and mops are on sale on Amazon for up to 43% off as of Dec. 2: OUR TOP PICK: iRobot Roomba i7 -- save $300.99 BEST BUDGET PICK: iRobot Roomba 675 -- save $100.99 BEST ROBOTIC MOP DEAL: iRobot Braava Jet M6 -- save $100.99 Need a new vacuum, but missed out on this year's Cyber Weekend sales? Don't worry about it-- Consumer Reports' 2020 Best Time to Buy Things list says the whole month of December is one of the few times of the year where we see deep discounts on vacuums across most major retailers. Indeed, Amazon still has kept several iRobot robotic vacuums and mops on sale at their Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices as of Dec. 2, with discounts as high as 43% on select models. You didn't really miss out at all.) Here's the lowdown: Boasting ten times the suction of iRobot's popular 600-series models, the Roomba i7 is a powerful and sleek robot vacuum with some brains to match: It comes equipped with adaptive navigation and Smart Mapping technologies on top of virtual assistant compatibility.


Get over 50 hours of training in machine learning for under £30

Mashable

TL;DR: The Machine Learning Master Class bundle is on sale for £29.85 as of August 4, saving you 91% on list price. Thanks to developing artificial intelligence technologies, computer are smarter than ever before. Along with those technologies has come a relatively new category of computer science called machine learning, or ML. Similar to statistics, ML involves computer systems that utilise algorithms to automatically learn about data, recognise patterns, and make decisions, all without outside intervention or explicit directions from human beings. In the real world, you can find it being used in smart assistants like Siri and the Amazon Echo, in online fraud detection services, in the facial recognition feature that identifies photos of you on Facebook, and more recently, in Tesla's self-driving car.


Amazon in talks to buy autonomous vehicle startup Zoox

The Japan Times

Amazon.com Inc. is in talks to buy driverless vehicle startup Zoox Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter, a deal that would accelerate the e-commerce giant's automation efforts. "Zoox has been receiving interest in a strategic transaction from multiple parties and has been working with Qatalyst Partners to evaluate such interest," the startup said. It declined to comment on Amazon's interest. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment. Zoox had outsized ambition and financial backing.


AI's large carbon footprint poses risks for big tech

#artificialintelligence

The artificial intelligence industry has skyrocketed in recent years, powering technologies behind smart speakers and self-driving cars, but that growth is coming at a cost. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently conducted a study assessing the energy consumption required to train several common large AI models. The study revealed that the training process can emit over 626,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, nearly 5x the lifetime emissions of an average car, or the equivalent of about 300 round-trip flights between New York and San Francisco. The benefits from the advancements in AI and other emerging technologies at the expense of the environment are simply not worth it, say many industry experts who are urging big tech companies to ramp up their sustainability efforts. Failing to do so could leave the companies' reputations at risk, they said.


Amazon says it's a decade away from full automation at its shipping warehouses

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon said that by the end of the next decade packages in the company's warehouses could be readied for delivery without touching a single human hand. In a report from Reuters, Director of Amazon Robotics Fulfillment, Scott Anderson, told reporters that there is still plenty of progress to be made before robots take over its warehouses. 'In the current form, the technology is very limited. The technology is very far from the fully automated workstation that we would need,' Anderson told Reuters in a walk through of one of its facilities in Baltimore. Robots still have a long way to go before the replace human hands in Amazon's factories said one of the company's executives in a recent walk through of a facility in Baltimore.


Score more than 50 hours of training in machine learning for less than $40

Mashable

Computers may not wear tennis shoes (yet), but thanks to developing artificial intelligence technologies, they're smarter than ever before. Along with those technologies has come a relatively new category of computer science called machine learning, or ML. Similar to statistics, ML involves computer systems that utilize algorithms to automatically learn about data, recognize patterns, and make decisions, all without outside intervention or explicit directions from human beings. In the real world, you can find it being used in smart assistants like Siri and the Amazon Echo, in online fraud detection services, in the facial recognition feature that identifies photos of you on Facebook, and more recently, in Tesla's self-driving car. ML is distinctive in the world of AI in that it can be used to process vast amounts of data quickly, making it a desirable tech skill among job applicants not only in the fields of computer science and engineering, but also marketing, health care, finance, social media, and beyond.


Facebook hit with huge ad problems ahead of scramble for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

The Independent - Tech

Facebook has been hit by major problems with its ad platform right as the biggest shopping days of the year approach. The company said there had been significant issues with uploading ads that meant that users were unable to post any marketing content. And the issues happened just days before Black Friday and then Cyber Monday, as users search for the best deals and advertisers rush to get their attention. 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.


Amazon Prime Day strike: Workers across Europe leave jobs during day of deals

The Independent - Tech

Amazon workers across Europe are leaving their jobs in the middle of Prime Day. The event – this year held from 16-17 July – has been promoted by Amazon and quickly become an important part of the company's year. The site offers a range of deals and sales, and the offers have made the event bigger than Black Friday. But this year workers across Europe will take part in a strike to demand better work conditions. Workers in Germany, Spain and Poland have all committed to leave their jobs over the period.


Amazon Prime Day hit by huge strike as customers asked not to take part in deals

The Independent - Tech

Spanish unions have called on 1,000 Amazon workers to strike in the middle of one of the company's most important days of the year. The workers are being asked to walk-out during Amazon Prime Day, when the site runs a series of deals. The strike is being called after what unions say is a dispute over workers' rights. Activists have also called on other Amazon workers around the world to join in the strike, and for customers not to take part in the Amazon Prime Day sales. 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.