1. Efficient Handle: New Loading Robot from Boston Dynamics
Boston Dynamics never ceases to delight fans of innovation with new inventions. If a couple of years ago skeptics chuckled at some awkward prototypes, now everyone is amazed at the accuracy of the improved models. What is the brand new improved Handle? For the first time, the company introduced the original robot model in 2017, but in two years it has undergone significant changes. Designed for work in warehouses and cargo sorting, Handle moves easily and quickly, carefully transferring and unfolding all kinds of packaging: from small to heavy. But here, there were dissatisfied with the functionality of the robot, saying that a person works much faster.
Oh, they did not see the movers in real life! Unlike a human colleague, Handle does not need a day-long break, he does not get tired, does not run for lunch, does not ask for days off and holidays. The only break a robot needs is to charge its batteries. Maybe the young loader will furiously take up work at the beginning of the day, but by the end of the shift he will tire and certainly give way to the speed of his man-made brother.
Will Boston Dynamics dwell on this concept? It is unlikely, because the experience of past years suggests that engineers always strive for excellence, bringing the functionality of their creations to the ideal. Of course, while the model of such a robot will cost several times more than a living worker. But this is a temporary nuance. Remember how factory owners scolded the first expensive conveyors (which are still expensive)? Say, it’s cheaper to hire a person. In the future, the price of robots will decrease due to growing production and maintaining a staff of people will become unreasonably expensive compared to a staff of automated loaders, a dozen of which can be controlled by one human operator.
Many of the Luddites of our time gasp and gasp, fearing the day when such robots will replace humans. But is there really a reason for suffering? Not! We will have the opportunity not to waste valuable human resources on dragging refrigerators or sacks of potatoes. Hard physical labor, which does not require mental activity, injures a person physically and mentally, spoils health and does not allow you to engage in creative and mental work.
2. A system of thoughtful driving: road safety from the ADAS & ME project
Daily news bulletins almost do not do without the full tragedy of reports of terrible accidents. The statistics are disappointing: annually more than a million inhabitants of the planet die in accidents. And how many people have lost their health and are now confined to wheelchairs? The main cause of such incidents are drunk or inadequate drivers. The popular street racing with pokatushki in residential areas is now outraging the public. Abroad, society does not hesitate to punish politicians and celebrities, depriving violators of the order of a driver’s license, fining, taking away privileges and even sending them to prison. However, the corruption of systems in Slavic countries allows alcoholics and psychos to push people further, taking away someone’s loved ones, parents, children … Fortunately, thoughtful engineers decided to exclude the human factor in order to reduce the number of accidents.
In Europe, they set a daring and seemingly difficult task: to reduce the number of deaths on the roads by 0 to 2050. How? Using unmanned vehicles. Dr. Anna Anand of the Transport Research Institute, said the ADAS & ME project is developing a sensory system that assumes that a driver can rest from driving or take control only in certain situations. A well-thought-out system will go into autopilot mode if the driver is unwell, falls asleep (and this is a common problem for truckers), upset, or very angry. Anand drowned: “We want to make sure that the driver cannot regain control of the car, as long as he is not able to drive it. We also intend to develop a system of safe and comfortable change of control in order to avoid terrible accidents during which people are seriously injured or even die. ”
In general, the system is not new. A few years ago, Japanese developers were actively trying to introduce unmanned vehicles that could even pull over, brake and call an ambulance if the driver fell asleep or lost consciousness. Even in the CIS countries, devices are already appearing that allow the car to start only after confirmation of the absence of alcohol in the driver’s blood. However, it is still difficult to implement such systems on a massive scale: the issue of life safety, unfortunately, depends not only on money, but also on people’s unwillingness to adapt to changes.
3. Biped Cassie: Enhanced Agility Robotics Courier Robot
Like their colleagues at Boston Dynamics, Agility Robotics developers are actively working to improve their robots. The new Cassie models (similar to leisurely ostriches) easily overcome the most difficult obstacle for robots – insidious steps! You are amazed at watching how the ability to determine the height of the steps and calculate the height of the limb, while maintaining the balance, was finalized. The latest models no longer slow down before “taking the barrier”, but calmly step over thresholds, cobblestones and other obstacles. The improved model quietly moves forward, backward and from side to side.
However, here, too, cries of discontent rang out, in which robots allegedly “take away work”. Technology gave freedom to the development of the individual, putting an end to inhumane slave labor. Do you think otherwise? Well, then abandon the machines: throw away the washers, because they deprived the laundries of work; destroy the vacuum cleaners which have taken the place of the cleaners; anathema cars – these hellish machines took bread from the coachmen and manure cleaners. And it’s better to immediately throw away the computers and go to the Amish, while the modern population enjoys the progress. Many make fun of the appearance and yet modest capabilities of Cassie. Due to the bright colors of the body and the lack of a head, beautifully pacing robots were compared with “brainless models on the catwalk.” The authors of a funny (and rather offensive analogy) will soon lose cause for ridicule. Cassie stands firmly in every sense of the word. A few more years, and such couriers will deliver goods to us at home, without delays and confusion of orders. Oh, I would rather. I’ve been waiting for my pizza for 2 hours!
4. Emigration … to Europe? NASA will study the satellite of Jupiter using HGA
In recent years, a new round of space racing has begun, which has called into question the further way of life of earthlings. The planet’s population is growing at a frantic pace, and more and more often the question arises: what next? We are draining resources from Mother Nature, destroying forests, drying up the seas – we need more space for life. Mankind flatly refuses to recklessly breed, stubbornly crowding out other forms of life. What about the environment? The complete collapse: radiation, tons of packages in the ocean, spilled oil and exhaust gases instead of oxygen … There is not enough space, but we give birth, give birth and give birth … Because it is so, the clock is ticking, Sveta from the second entrance is already with the third in demolitions. So mankind has to spend fabulous sums on the search for new areas of residence and Mars is far from the only option for a possible relocation within our solar system.
Scientists decided to explore Europe – one of the moons of Jupiter. However, first you need to make sure that flights to a distant celestial body really justify all the risks and costs. For this purpose, active work is underway within the framework of the Europa Clipper mission in order to study the surface of the satellite, under the ice of which (presumably) twice as much water as in the entire water area of the Earth! If the positive predictions of scientists are confirmed, the astronauts will go to the satellite, and the highly sensitive HGA antenna will allow to maintain communication between the crew in space and the control center on Earth. Perhaps in ten years the phrase “European visa” will take on a radically different meaning.
5. Tesla showed off the brand new crossover Model Y
High-tech news rarely does without reviews of new products from Elon Musk. Although many people are not enthusiastic about this person, it is foolish to deny that under his leadership more and more interesting devices are being born. Just a couple of weeks ago, Tesla revealed to the world the concept of a new generation electric car. The Model Y crossover is declared as a budget model (well, for them it is a budget model, the price will seem like a bite to our person). Four different models of the electric car will go on sale: Standart Range, Dual Motor AWD, Long Range as well as Perfomance. The cost of models varies greatly: from 39,000 to 60,000 dollars. The cheapest option (Standart Range) will appear on the market only in the 2021st. Yes, yes, they have already boasted to them, but have not yet completed it. Nevertheless, there are more than enough pre-orders! Hmm, is there any sense in such a pre-order? You’ll spend two years driving the car, and by then more thoughtful and improved models will certainly appear.
According to the stated information, the crossover is equipped with two motors (electric). The most expensive model (Perfomance) accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers in just 3.5 seconds. The maximum speed of the car is 240 km / h. In other versions, the indicators are a little more modest, but still impressive for an electric car. A large display is installed in the cabin, allowing control over the machine. And the most important highlight of the design was the panoramic roof.