August 7 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By August 7, 2019 Insight

1. Amazon Scout autonomuous delivery robots begin deliveries in California

  • they will be making their way to customer homes “during daylight hours,” Monday to Friday
  • While the robots can drive themselves around, which is the whole point of the project to begin with, for the time being they’ll be accompanied by an “Amazon Scout Ambassador.”
  • Robots aren’t yet actually interacting with people too much on a daily basis, especially out in the world, so a key part of rolling them out commercially is studying how people interact with them, and thinking about how those interactions might be altered or improved

2. New York City’s First Self-Driving Shuttle Service Is Now Open For Business

  • The service, which is run by an MIT spinoff called Optimus Ride, consists of a half-dozen six-seater electric vehicles operating within a 300-acre walled-off industrial space called the Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Most companies are resigned to keeping safety drivers behind the wheel for the near future, realizing any rush to pull them out may expose passengers or pedestrians to safety risk — and the companies themselves to expensive lawsuits
  • Optimus Ride calls to mind similar services that are available from startups like Voyage in retirement communities in California and Florida, or in Frisco, Texas: mostly low-speed autonomous vehicles in tightly controlled, geofenced areas with an operations team in constant communication with the cars

3.  First FAA-approved beyond-line-of-sight drone flies in the US

  • this particular test is a big step towards making drone deliveries a reality in the country, something retailers like Amazon are planning to deploy to keep up with consumer demand for high-speed deliveries
  • used a hybrid electric drone to inspect a four-mile section of the Trans-Alaska pipeline
  • team had to load it with an on-board technology by Iris Automation called the Casia system…a sense-and-avoid technology that can detect other aircraft and make intelligent decisions on what kind of threat they pose to the drone

4. The wild, neural network-powered future of knitting

  • software called InverseKnit that will allow anyone to design a pattern on a computer…or upload a picture of an existing knitted item…image can be sent to any existing 3D knitting machine to produce the final product
  • To make this software, the scientists created an enormous data set of knitting instructions and matched images to each of those patterns
  • trained the neural network on the data to translate the images into knitting instructions using computer vision technology…able to give the system a photo of a glove and let the model generate a set of instructions for the knitting machine

5. Audi E-Tron Scooter is a funky electric skateboard with a handlebar

  • designed to help people get around town more efficiently, gliding along silently between the office and the train, or bus, or whatever other method you use to get from Point A to Point B
  • The E-Tron Scooter weighs 26 pounds, and it can fold up, taking up about as much space on the train as your average backpack
  • Audi is exploring all sorts of ways to make these available, including the notion of offering the E-Tron Scooter as an option for buyers of the E-Tron SUV