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This self-emptying, smart-mapping Roomba is on sale for $200 off at Walmart

Mashable

SAVE $200: Normally $799, the iRobot Roomba i7 is on sale at Walmart for just $599 as of April 28 (a 25% savings). Originally priced at $949 (and sold for upwards of a grand at select retailers), the Roomba i7 from 2018 was once one of the most expensive vacuums in iRobot's lineup -- and for good reason. Not only can it empty and charge itself, but it's also capable of remembering multiple floor plans of your home and targeting the dirtiest areas. The i7 now retails for $799 after a permanent price drop in 2020, an iRobot rep told Mashable, which is pretty reasonable for a feature-stacked vacuum that's a couple years old. You don't even have to pay that much, though, because Walmart just slashed its price to a mere $599 as of April 28 -- that's a 25% savings.


This is How the Top 5 companies in the world are defining A.I.

#artificialintelligence

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Artificial Intelligence or A.I. as "the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings." Intelligent beings are those who can adapt to changing circumstances. The most forward-thinking companies are investing in Artificial Intelligence, as they already realized the importance of A.I. in business, and the impact A.I. will have, while it is becoming a key component of organizations' strategies as digital disruption increases. I am sharing here today an overview of the top 5 companies in the world according to Fortune 2020) and some examples of how these companies are using A.I. to empower their business. Walmart has been in business since the 1960s, but the company is still developing ways to revolutionize retail operations and enhance customer service.


Ocado's robotic workforce can fulfil a 50 item order in five minutes, the firm claims

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A fleet of 3,000 washing machine-like robots working inside Ocado's London warehouse can fill a 50-item grocery order in just five minutes, the firm claims. They travel along a grid inside the 563,000 square foot London warehouse and are controlled'like pieces on a chessboard' by an AI air traffic controller. As they move along the board, coming within a fraction of an inch of each other, they grab items and prepare them to be delivered to the customer in a process that can take just 15 minutes to process an order with 99 per cent accuracy, Ocado claims. The British online supermarket is now as much a technology company as it is a grocer, licensing its automation system to retailers around the world. Ocado's chief of advanced technology, Alex Harvey, said the eventual goal is to become fully automated and have items'out the door without a single human touch.'


Artificial intelligence, jeopardises employment

#artificialintelligence

Do millennials face economic uncertainty in the future? As employment increasing become more automated, McKinsey & Company (Global management consultants) predicts that, "60% of all work activities could be automated by 2055". As far back as the 16th century, mechanisation was introduced in the form of looms, that were used to weave the material used for stockings and rugs. However, Queen Elizabeth I, was very reluctant to encourage this industry as she felt that "stocking knitters" would become redundant in this field. By the 19th century, textile workers were facing life changing inventions, as the Industrial Revolution became the catalyst to transform economies based on steam-powered machines.


Tech Startups Eye a World, Post-Virus, Back in the Office

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"We believe that we will be our best selves the more that we are together," he said. As more tech companies leverage the promise of flexible work arrangements as a competitive advantage, some are going the opposite route, betting that a strong office culture is what will help them recruit and retain the best talent. Proponents of fully in-office work cite a range of benefits, from the collaboration that can result from happenstance interactions to easier communication. Plus, they add, plenty of people enjoy working in offices, especially after months spent, for some, in makeshift arrangements. Given the tech industry's status as a bellwether for workplace trends, professionals in many industries are watching to see where it lands.


How big tech got so big: Hundreds of acquisitions

Washington Post - Technology News

You're probably reading this on a browser built by Apple or Google. If you're on a smartphone, it's almost certain those two companies built the operating system. You probably arrived from a link posted on Apple News, Google News or a social media site like Facebook. And when this page loaded, it, like many others on the Internet, connected to one of Amazon's ubiquitous data centers. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- known as the Big 4 -- now dominate many facets of our lives. But they didn't get there alone. They acquired hundreds of companies over decades to propel them to become some of the most powerful tech behemoths in the world.


Walmart Is Pulling Plug on More Robots

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Over the past year Walmart has started to remove or turn off the 17-foot-tall machines often placed at the front of stores. About 300 machines are being removed from stores, and around 1,300 "hibernated" while Walmart focuses on other services, said Larry Blue, chief executive of Bell & Howell, a Durham, N.C.-based automation services company that installed and maintains the devices for the retailer. "The customer told us they want one pickup spot, and they want that pickup spot to be outside," said a Walmart spokeswoman. The pickup towers act as a vending machine for online orders, holding items inside until they are collected by shoppers. Walmart frequently highlighted the machines in presentations to media and investors in recent years, saying it aimed to offer shoppers a quicker way to pick up online orders at a lower cost.


Retail robots coming to these grocery stores

ZDNet

Shelf-scanning robot Tally will be donning a new apron soon. Simbe, the company that makes the robot, announced its first deployment with Save Mart, the largest family owned grocery chain in California, which acquired 132 Albertsons stores in 2006 has continued growing. Tally robots will be rolling out to 7 stores across all three Save Mart banners in the Bay Area to bring greater visibility to inventory, streamline operations for store teams and improve the customer experience. This is an important milestone for a sector that's been fixated on wider adoption and sees a real opportunity in the shadow of COVID-19, despite notable setbacks and some in the industry questioning the value of retail robotics late last year. In November 2020, Walmart killed a large contract with Simbe competitor Bossa Nova, which also makes a robot for inventory auditing and data-driven inventory insights.


Save up to 40% on a Roomba so your spring cleaning isn't delayed 'til summer

Mashable

As of April 20, these are Amazon's top deals on Roomba robot vacuums, with savings of up to 40% off: OUR TOP PICK: iRobot Roomba i7 (7550) robot vacuum with auto dirt-disposal -- save $400.99 BEST BUDGET PICK: iRobot Roomba 675 robot vacuum -- save $80.99 BEST UPGRADE PICK: iRobot Roomba s9 (9550) robot vacuum -- save $400.99 BEST FOR HARD FLOORS: iRobot Braava Jet M6 (6110) robot mop -- save $100.99 Nobody likes cleaning, but the more you put it off the worse it gets down the road. And instead of enjoying your summer, you're stuck inside taking care of your original spring cleaning list. But even the worst slackers don't have much of an excuse to put it off thanks to the latest robot vacuums.


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.