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Engadget readers get $200 off Roomba's i7 vacuum at Wellbots

Engadget

Roomba's i7 series has some of the most advanced robo-vacs you can get, but they come at high prices. But for Black Friday, Engadget readers can save $200 on both of the robot vacuums in the line. The Roomba i7 drops to $599 and the Roomba i7 falls to $399 when you use the code ENGADGET200 at checkout. We've seen these vacuums drop to $699 and $499, respectively, but this is deal represents the best prices for both that we've seen. Since these remain expensive gadgets, you'll qualify for free shipping at Wellbots and the company offers no sales tax outside New York.


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.


Artificial Intelligence Stocks To Buy And Watch Amid Rising AI Competition

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence stocks are rarer than you might think. Many companies tout AI technology initiatives and machine learning. But there really are few -- if any -- public, pure-play artificial intelligence stocks. The "AI" stock ticker, though, has been claimed. Startup C3.ai, which sells AI software for the enterprise market, filed on Nov. 13 for an initial public offering. Thomas Siebel, who started Siebel Systems and sold it to Oracle for nearly $6 billion in 2006, founded Redwood City, Calif.-based C3.ai.


Walmart abandons shelf-scanning robots, lets humans do work

Boston Herald

Walmart is laying off the robots it had deployed in about 500 stores to keep tabs on what's on and not on the shelves. The retailer said it has ended its relationship with startup Bossa Nova Robotics, which builds roving robots equipped with cameras for identifying out-of-stock and misplaced products. Walmart said in a statement it has "worked with Bossa Nova for five years and together we learned a lot about how technology can assist associates, make jobs easier and provide a better customer experience." It said it is still testing other new technologies for tracking inventory and moving goods. "This was one idea we tried in roughly 500 stores just as we are trying other ideas in additional stores," Walmart said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal was first to report the ending partnership Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation who said the retailer found human workers could get similar results.


Walmart to reportedly end contract with company providing robots to scan shelves

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Walmart is reportedly ending its contract with the robotics company that provided shelf-scanning machines to stores. According to The Wall Street Journal, the retail giant is ending its contract with Bossa Nova Robotics and plans to replace the machines with human workers. The company provided robots to over 500 stores when the contract ended, according to the report. Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment by USA TODAY. Walmart first announced the use of shelf-scanning robots in 2017, aiming to replenish inventory faster and save employees time when products run out.


As retail evolves, 5G and edge computing keep you in the express line

#artificialintelligence

Today's customer doesn't want to walk into a store and be approached by a clueless salesperson. Their expectations are higher than ever. Plus, patience is at an all-time low. Those are daunting challenges for any retailer. Fortunately, troves of data promise to bridge the worlds of online and in-person shopping, creating engaging experiences. As 5G, edge computing, and AI proliferate, we're going to start seeing innovation that makes retail even more exciting.


The Roomba i7 robot vacuum returns to its all-time low price

Engadget

The holiday shopping season has already begun, but Wellbots is kicking off November with a couple of deals on iRobot Roombas. Of note is the Roomba i7 for $699, which is $100 off its normal price. The standard Roomba i7, which does not come with a Clean Base, is also $100 off. We last saw these sale prices in August, and as usual, Wellbots is offering free shipping and no sales tax outside New York. We reviewed the Roomba i7 when it came out and gave it a score of 87.


Sam's Club is putting robot janitors in all of its stores during the pandemic

#artificialintelligence

New York (CNN Business)Soon every Sam's Club will have a robot to scrub the store floors. In partnership with Brain Corp, an artificial intelligence company, the membership-only warehouse chain will distribute 372 new autonomous floor scrubbers to its stores this fall. Sam's Club, which is owned by Walmart, has already deployed hundreds of the robotic scrubbers. With the addition of 372 new robots, the company will soon have a scrubber in each location. It will also implement one of Brain Corp's accessories that will allow them to analyze shelf inventory.


The Future of AI Part 1

#artificialintelligence

It was reported that Venture Capital investments into AI related startups made a significant increase in 2018, jumping by 72% compared to 2017, with 466 startups funded from 533 in 2017. PWC moneytree report stated that that seed-stage deal activity in the US among AI-related companies rose to 28% in the fourth-quarter of 2018, compared to 24% in the three months prior, while expansion-stage deal activity jumped to 32%, from 23%. There will be an increasing international rivalry over the global leadership of AI. President Putin of Russia was quoted as saying that "the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world". Billionaire Mark Cuban was reported in CNBC as stating that "the world's first trillionaire would be an AI entrepreneur".


Sam's Club offers doctor visits with new telehealth subscription while Walmart pilots COVID-19 test drone delivery

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Sam's Club is giving its members a new way to see the doctor – virtually. The Walmart-owned warehouse club chain announced a partnership with Seattle-based virtual primary care provider 98point6 Tuesday to provide members with an exclusive introductory fee and quarterly subscription. Sam's Club members with either a Club or Plus membership level can sign up for a quarterly subscription to 98point6's telehealth virtual clinic via a text-based app for $20 per participant for the first three months, $10 less than 98point6's regular sign-up fee of $30. With the subscription, unlimited virtual visits are $1 each with "access to U.S. board-certified doctors 24 hours a day and seven days a week," the retailer said in a news release. Walmart raises:Walmart increasing pay for approximately 165,000 hourly workers across U.S. stores, introducing new roles The quarterly subscription costs increase to $33.50 every three months per participant after the first three months.