November 4 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By November 2, 2019 Insight

1. Bumper Crop of AI Helps Farmers Whack Weeds, Pesticide Use

  • To keep a better eye on fields, improve crop yields and reduce the use of pesticides, farmers and agriculture researchers are turning to AI
  • insights provided by the researchers’ deep learning network could then be deployed in agricultural robots
  • relied on transfer learning based on the popular ImageNet model to develop its deep learning models

2. Drones a step closer to air traffic control integration

  • integrated AirMap’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) monitoring capabilities onto a working prototype of Raytheon’s newest air traffic controller workstation
  • Air traffic controllers need real-time airspace awareness and alerts to unusual drone activity
  • working to optimize how controllers can be armed with information about UAS without burdensome increases in workload

3.  MIT’s self-propelled block robots can now manage basic swarm coordination

  • The behavior is described by MIT researchers as somewhat “hive-like;”
  • cube bots can roll across the ground, navigate up and across each other and even jump short distances
  • they also can communicate in a basic way using unique barcode identifiers on the faces of the blocks to allow them to identify one another

4. Google to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion

  • deal worth $2.1 billion, a 30% premium on Fitbit’s current market cap
  • Google said it plans to build wearables that combine “the best hardware, software, and AI.”
  • ability to monetize fitness data is obviously a major draw for Google

5. Autonomous flying taxi startup Ehang files $100 million initial public offering

  • builds drones large enough to carry human passengers… flown thousands of test flights
  • preparing to launch what it hopes is the world’s first autonomous air taxi service in the coming months
  • recently received approval from local and national regulators to launch a commercial air mobility service in Guangzhou, China