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Marty the robot: Non-essential worker


Marty was introduced by Ahold Delhaize, Stop & Shop's Netherlands-based parent company. They put these robots, which cost a whopping $35,000 each, in hundreds of Stop & Shops and other stores throughout the U.S. in 2019. The robots have been a source of problems since their arrival, but as the pandemic has reshaped the shopping experience complaints that Marty prevents proper social distancing have started to pop up. When states began issuing stay-at-home orders in March, panicked shoppers flooded stores to stock up on supplies. The robots were initially pulled off the floors to prioritize customer safety, but then gradually reintroduced over the next two months.

Covid: A wake-up call for many organisations to relook and revive their IT strategies


Companies that do not invest in digital technologies and reinvent will have to retire some of their businesses, an industry expert said. "Businesses that rely too heavily on manual work and resisted in investing in technology over the years, especially digital commerce, will be badly hit. If they haven't awakened yet to the call and continue as is, their survival is going to be a big challenge," Arup Roy, Research Vice-President at Gartner, said at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo India. Organisations that were digitally sound in a pre-pandemic world could contain the impact on their business, he said and added that the pandemic situation was a wake-up call for many organisations to relook and revive their IT strategies and increase their spending on IT in 2021. "We have seen much of disruptions this year but the good news is that the businesses have responded quite well. The credit goes to the technology and CIOs offices. CIOs are leading their organisations through increasing turmoil," he said.

DHL's Warehouse Management Business Makes It Easier to Onboard Robots WSJD - Technology

It is one of several efforts in the industry to improve the usefulness of robots in warehouses, where they are increasingly common. The platform is currently online at one location near Madrid, where it has already reduced integration time for new robot systems by 60%, said Markus Voss, DHL Supply Chain's global chief information officer and chief operating officer. "We're at the beginning of the journey," Mr. Voss said. "We are implementing it as we speak at two additional sites, and we think it has applicability across all of our sites." The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team.

Monash University and The Alfred to develop AI-based superbug detection system


Monash University and Alfred Hospital are developing an artificial intelligence-based system to improve the way superbugs are diagnosed, treated, and prevented. According to Monash University professor of digital health Christopher Bain, infections from superbugs kill 700,000 people every year and by 2050, the world could see 10 million deaths annually from previously treatable diseases. Superbugs are created when microbes evolve to become immune from the effects of antimicrobials. The project, which will be mainly based at The Alfred, has received AU$3.4 million from the federal government's Medical Research Future fund. According to the project's lead researcher, Antony Peleg, the project will look to integrate genomics, electronic healthcare data, and AI technologies to address antimicrobial resistance in the healthcare system.

'Better off thanks to China': German companies double down on resurgent giant

The Japan Times

BERLIN – German industrial robot-maker Hahn Automation plans to invest millions of euros in new factories in China over the next three years, keen to capitalize on an economy that's rebounding more rapidly than others from the COVID-19 crisis. "If we want to grow with the Chinese market, we have to manufacture on the ground," Chief Executive Frank Konrad said of the investment drive, intended to skirt Chinese export hurdles in what Beijing views as a strategic sector. "Our goal is to make up to 25% of our sales in China by 2025," he said, up from roughly 10% now. But while the Chinese recovery may be good news for companies like Hahn, it is complicating efforts by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to diversify trade relations and become less dependent on Asia's rising superpower. Despite Berlin's concerns, German industry is deepening ties with China, which battled the pandemic with stricter measures than other countries, moved out of a first lockdown earlier and saw demand rebound more quickly. Olaf Kiesewetter, CEO of car sensor supplier UST in Thuringia in eastern Germany, shares the same ambition of making 25% of sales in China.

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF (ROBT) at a 52-Week High


For investors looking for momentum, First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF ROBT is probably a suitable pick. The fund just hit a 52-week high and is up 96.8% from its 52-week low price of $22.51/share. Let's take a look at the fund and its near-term outlook to gain an insight into where it might be headed: This ETF seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before the fees and expenses of the Nasdaq CTA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Index. It has AUM of $137.5 million and charges 65 basis points in annual fees. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the robotics market is flooded with opportunities as robots are being used for jobs such as sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces along with monitoring, surveying, handling, and delivering food and medicines.

The future unmasked: how healthcare professionals will work differently in 2025 - Thoughts from the Centre


Last week, we published the first two of our ten predictions in our report, 'The future unmasked: Predicting the future of healthcare and life sciences in 2025'. This week, we launch predictions three and four, 'Clinicians are empowered by new diagnostic and treatment paradigms' and'The who, what and where of work re-architected'. This week's blog provides an overview of predictions three and four. How COVID-19 is changing healthcare professional's ways of working In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers reorganised their staff and services and provided bespoke training to enable new ways of working. They also introduced new levels of physical and mental health and wellbeing support their staff all while attempting to deliver safe care to patients.

Robotics sector brings robotics to the public in annual European showcase


European Robotics Week 2020 (ERW2020) began on Thursday and hundreds of interactive robotics events for the public have been announced. These will take place in countries across Europe and beyond, to show how robots will impact the way we work, live, and learn. In a year when humanity has faced a global pandemic crisis, robotics companies and researchers across Europe have been able to demonstrate how robotics help societies and economies to keep operating in a world affected by Covid-19. With the opportunities arising from Europe's digital transformation driven by new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing and blockchain, the demand for ICT specialists continues to grow. In the future, 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills (source). Yet fewer women than men take up ICT-related jobs and education: for every 1000 women, only 24 graduate in digital fields (source).

Thriving Innovation by Strategic Integration of Hyperautomation in Workforce


Hyperautomation implies the use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation to automate redundant tasks. The COVID 19 pandemic has dispensed organizations to adopt disruptive technology as swiftly as possible. Before COVID 19 outbreak staggered organizational workflow, adoption of disruptive technologies was taking place in a very slow pace. For example, a report by Deloitte states that only 56% of organizations have started their automation journey, with 72% still planning to reap the benefits of this new edge technology. As organizations work remotely, a strategic approach to implement intelligent automation would aid crunching up the investment that they make for redundant tasks.

MIT forum examines the rise of automation in the workplace


"Pop culture does a great job of scaring us that AI will take over the world," said Professor Daniela Rus, speaking at a virtual MIT event on Wednesday. But realistically, said Rus, who directs the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), robots aren't going to steal everyone's jobs overnight -- they're not yet good enough at tasks requiring high dexterity or generalized processing of different kinds of information. Still, automation has crept into some workplaces in recent years, a trend that's likely to continue. Throughout the daylong conference, the "AI and the Work of the Future Congress," which convened speakers from academia, industry, and government, one key theme consistently emerged: Task automation shouldn't be viewed as a replacement for human work, but a partner for it. With the exception of some middle-skilled manufacturing jobs, automation has generally improved human productivity, not eliminated the need for it.