Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
Robotic dolphin makes a splash
San Francisco-based special effects company, Edge Innovations, has designed and built a robot dolphin that looks, moves and swims like the real thing. Weighing 270kg, the robot has a 10-hour battery life and can last for over a decade in a saltwater environment. The special effects team have built the robot with a skeletal and muscle structure which mimics that of an adolescent bottlenose dolphin.
The robot is to be used to replace dolphins kept in aquariums, where the practice of getting them to perform or letting people pay to swim with them is increasingly considered to be unethical. Its first customer, however, is a Chinese aquarium. Following the Coronavirus pandemic, the Beijing government banned the trading of wildlife and this means real dolphins are in short supply.
While the robot is controlled by a human, there is the potential to deploy cameras, sensors and AI, though those will mainly be of benefit for scientific research and military intelligence.
The rise of the smart vending machine
One unexpected effect of the pandemic is the return of the vending machine to public streets. The social distancing needed inside shops and restaurants means fewer people are going to get served and this has led not only to an increase in the number of vending machines being used but to new, smart adaptations.
Chowbiotics, a company in the USA, has invented a robotic vending machine called Sally that serves customers salads made from scratch. Using an algorithm that provides real-time feedback based on weight, it can accurately dispense each of the ingredients to make the perfect, freshly made salad. Through its connectivity, it is also able to report when ingredients need replenishing, ensuring that you always get walnuts in your Waldorf. Other smart vending machines include those which can cook fresh croissants, pizzas and the Japanese noodle soup, ramen.
Mercedes adopts cloud for speed
Daimler AG, the company which owns the Mercedes brand, is to migrate its after-sales portal to the public cloud. The reasons for the move are that the cloud will enable the company to innovate, scale up and accelerate the development of new products and services for its worldwide customer base.
Another key driver in Daimler’s decision making was the effectiveness of cloud security, particularly the ability to encrypt sensitive business and customer data to protect it from ransomware and hacking. For more information about the public cloud visit our Cloud Hosting page.
Stricter UK compliance monitoring
The new Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum is being set up to strengthen the regulation of digital services in the UK. The forum will see the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Competition and Markets Authority and Ofcom working together to ensure digital service providers act fairly for businesses and consumers.
The forum will be able to manage issues over privacy, data, communications, competition and content which go beyond the remits of the individual regulators, ensuring that coordinated and comprehensive action can be taken when necessary. It will also play a crucial role in developing regulation to meet changing needs in the future.
Due to constant digital innovation, the regulators will work together to undertake projects and research to encourage change and ensure compliance.
Truckers wanted – no driving required
The world’s first autonomous freight network is being launched in the US. The trucking technology firm TuSimple, together with UPS and other logistics companies, will create a network which utilises autonomous lorries, digitally mapped routes and strategically located terminals. This will be operated by an autonomous monitoring system which can ensure vehicles are driven safely whilst providing real-time freight tracking. The network enables autonomous trucks to increase fuel efficiency by 10% and be on the road longer.
TuSimple’s aim is to create a USA-wide transportation network with mapped routes connecting hundreds of terminals. This will enable it to offer cheap, fuel-efficient, long-distance autonomous freight operations to customers anywhere, 24/7. TuSimple plans to expand to Europe and Asia after 2024.
As for the truck drivers, it is hoped the network will improve driving responses and make road systems safer for all vehicles. At the same time, it is expected to improve the delivery experience for both professional drivers, who will have much less driving to do, and the customers.
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