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Elon Musk unveils Tesla Roadrunner production line and tabless battery in new video

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Tesla has given the first look at its new tabless battery cell, dubbed 4680, and Roadrunner production line that, according to CEO Elon Musk, 'will make full-size cars in the same way to cars are made.' The tabless battery was first unveiled in September during the firm's Battery Day, but was only shown by Musk via a PowerPoint presentation. Now, the time has come for Musk to show the world what Tesla has been working on at its pilot battery factory in Fremont, Texas. The one-minute clip shows the white and blue battery moving through different assembly stages with the help of armed and wheeled robots. Tesla also used this opportunity to announce it is taking applications for manufacturing jobs at its planned battery facilities in Berlin and Texas.


Pizza Hut Hopes Drop Zones Can Help Bring Drone Delivery to Fruition

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"Drone delivery is a sexy thing to talk about, but it's not realistic to think we're going to see drones flying all over the sky dropping pizzas into everyone's backyards anytime soon," said Ido Levanon, the managing director of Dragontail Systems Ltd., the technology firm coordinating Pizza Hut's drone trial. Pizza chains and tech startups have spent years sketching visions of food descending from the sky instead of being yanked from the back of a moped or car. Drones would zip above road traffic, widen restaurants' delivery areas and cost less than human drivers. In 2016, a Domino's Pizza Inc. franchisee flew a drone over Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, and deposited two pizzas--peri-peri chicken and chicken and cranberry--into the backyard of Emma and Johnny Norman. Get weekly insights into the ways companies optimize data, technology and design to drive success with their customers and employees.


The Autonomous Saildrone Surveyor Preps for Its Sea Voyage

WIRED

If you happen to be crossing the San Francisco Bay or Golden Gate bridges this week, look for a massive surfboard with a red sail on top cruising slowly across the water. Don't flinch if you don't see anyone on board. It's actually an autonomous research vessel known as the Saildrone Surveyor and it's being steered remotely from shore. The 72-foot-long vessel is launching this week into the bay from its dock at a former naval base in Alameda, California. It is designed to spend months at sea mapping the seafloor with powerful sonar devices, while simultaneously scanning the ocean surface for genetic material to identify fish and other marine organisms swimming below.


Women in Robotics Update: introducing our 2021 Board of Directors

Robohub

Women in Robotics is a grassroots community involving women from across the globe. Our mission is supporting women working in robotics and women who would like to work in robotics. We formed an official 501c3 non-profit organization in 2020 headquartered in Oakland California. We'd like to introduce our 2021 Board of Directors: Andra Keay founded Women in Robotics originally under the umbrella of Silicon Valley Robotics, the non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra's background is in human-robot interaction and communication theory.


The US Army is developing a nightmarish thermal facial recognition system

#artificialintelligence

The US Army just took a giant step toward developing killer robots that can see and identify faces in the dark. DEVCOM, the US Army's corporate research department, last week published a pre-print paper documenting the development of an image database for training AI to perform facial recognition using thermal images. Why this matters: Robots can use night vision optics to effectively see in the dark, but to date there's been no method by which they can be trained to identify surveillance targets using only thermal imagery. This database, made up of hundreds of thousands of images consisting of regular light pictures of people and their corresponding thermal images, aims to change that. How it works: Much like any other facial recognition system, an AI would be trained to categorize images using a specific number of parameters.


What is an 'edge cloud?' The wild card that could upend the cloud

#artificialintelligence

The edge of a network, as you may know, is the furthest extent of its reach. A cloud platform is a kind of network overlay that makes multiple network locations part of a single network domain. It should therefore stand to reason that an edge cloud is a single addressable, logical network at the furthest extent of a physical network. And an edge cloud on a global scale should be a way to make multiple, remote data centers accessible as a single pool of resources -- of processors, storage, and bandwidth. The combination of 5G and edge computing will unleash new capabilities from real-time analytics to automation to self-driving cars and trucks.


Former DOD Head: The US Needs a New Plan to Beat China on AI

WIRED

On Wednesday, I hosted a discussion with former secretary of defense Ashton Carter, who is now the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. The conversation was part of WIRED's CES programming, which tackled the biggest trends that will shape 2021, from medicine to autonomous driving to defense. We took questions from viewers in real time. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity. Nicholas Thompson: You've had an incredible 35-year career in the US government and in the private sector, working for Republicans and Democrats, always trying to identify what the most important issue of our time is, the smartest solutions to it, and the fairest ways to think about it.


FAA approves first commercial drone flights with no on-site pilots

Engadget

Farms and other agricultural operations in certain rural areas in the US can now use robotic drones to take images of or gather data on their crops. The FAA has approved Massachusetts-based American Robotics' request to be able to deploy automated drones without human pilots and spotters on site. As The Wall Street Journal notes, commercial drone flights typically require the physical presence of licensed pilots making them a costly undertaking. AR's machine eliminates the need for on-site personnel, though each automated flight will still need to be overseen by a remote human pilot. According to the relevant documents (via The Verge) the FAA has uploaded on its website, the pilot "who is not co-located with the aircraft" will have to conduct pre-flight safety checks to ensure the drone is in working condition.


FAA approves first fully-automated commercial drone flights (with a catch)

Mashable

You can officially claim autonomous commercial drones for your 2021 bingo card. On Friday, Massachusetts-based industrial drone developer American Robotics announced it had received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate its fully-automated "Scout" drones without any humans on-site. It's the first waiver of its kind, as the FAA has previously approved the use of autonomous commercial drones exclusively under the condition that human observers be present along the flight path -- or that risk of collision be mitigated through otherwise hyper-strict limitations. Advocates of drone technology say those restrictions have long held the industry back. "Decades worth of promise and projection are finally coming to fruition," CEO and co-founder of American Robotics Reese Mozer said in a press release.


NASA declares the Mars InSight digger dead after two years

Mashable

NASA announced on Thursday that a "mole" on Mars has ended its mission after landing on the Red Planet nearly two years ago. The mole -- also called a digger, drill, and probe -- was built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and deployed by NASA's InSight lander. Its purpose was to drill 16 feet into Martian soil to take its temperature and...well, it never managed to do that. The digger had drilled down merely 14 inches before getting stuck in the first month of its mission. Months later in Oct. 2019, NASA engineers made a plan to put the digger back on track by using a robotic scoop to help refill the 14 inches and support the digger in its next attempt at burrowing down 16 feet.