Pickle Robot raises $26 million to develop robotics for unloading trucks

Pickle Robot, a startup developing robotic automation systems that unload trucks, says it has “live pilot implementations” which are unloading tens-of-thousands of packages per month at customer sites in the greater Los Angeles area.

BY MARK ALLINSON

The company says it has also raised $26 million in series A funding led by Ranpak, JS Capital, Schusterman Family Investments, Catapult Ventures, and Soros Capital.

Additionally, Pickle Robot has added growth-oriented industry veterans to its leadership team to accelerate commercialization of the company’s flagship robotic unload systems. 

Founded in 2018, Pickle Robot tackled a number of warehouse challenges using industrial robots built on core AI software, computer vision, and advanced sensors.

The company says it is “laser-focused” on applying its technology to one of the most labor-intensive, physically demanding, and highest turnover work areas in logistics operations: truck unloading.

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Surgeons Grow 3D-Printed Nose on Patient’s Arm

And then grafted it onto the patient’s face.

The ENT and Cervico-Facial surgery teams of the Toulouse University Hospital and the Claudius Regaud Institute carried out a surgical intervention at the Toulouse-Oncopole University Cancer Institute consisting in completely reconstructing a patient’s nose from a synthetic graft previously implanted in the patient’s forearm to pre-vascularize it.

The patient had been treated in 2013 for nasal cavity cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. As a result of this treatment, the patient lost a large part of their nose as well as the front part of their palate.

For more than four years, the patient lived without a nose, facing failures in nasal reconstruction by skin flap grafting and difficulty coping with wearing a facial prosthesis.

The patient was thus offered a nasal reconstruction using custom-made biomaterial, based on a surgical procedure carried out in two stages by Prof. Agnès Dupret-Bories and Dr. Benjamin Vairel.

This type of reconstruction had never before been performed on such a fragile and poorly vascularized area and was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the medical teams with the company Cerhum, a Belgian manufacturer of medical devices specializing in bone reconstruction . This new technique also makes it possible to overcome certain limitations presented by other techniques.

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FCC Proposes New “Space Bureau” to Meet the Challenges of Commercial Space

By Daniel Pereira

On November 3, 2022, at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a plan to reorganize the agency to better support the needs of the growing satellite industry, promote long-term technical capacity at the FCC, and navigate 21st-century global communications policy.

Under this plan, Chairwoman Rosenworcel will work to reorganize the FCC’s International Bureau into a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. These changes will help ensure that the FCC’s resources are better aligned so that the agency can continue to fulfill its statutory obligations and keep pace with the rapidly changing realities of the satellite industry and global communications policy.

“The satellite industry is growing at a record pace, but here on the ground, our regulatory frameworks for licensing them have not kept up. Over the past two years, the agency has received applications for 64,000 new satellites. In addition, we are seeing new commercial models, new players, and new technologies coming together to pioneer a wide range of new satellite services and space-based activities that need access to wireless airwaves,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel.

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Out of this world! NASA will launch a huge flying saucer-like inflatable heat shield into space THIS WEEK – and it could help humans land safely on Mars one day

By SAM TONKIN and SHIVALI BEST

  • The Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is scheduled for launch on Wednesday
  • NASA’s test will see a huge 20ft inflatable heat shield launched into low Earth orbit on an Atlas V rocket
  • Once it reaches low-Earth orbit, the heat shield will inflate before descending back to the Earth’s surface
  • In the future, the heat shield could be used to slow down a spacecraft to survive atmospheric entry on Mars

If humans are to one day land safely on Mars, engineers are going to have to invent a spacecraft that can slow down enough to survive atmospheric entry.

Known as the ‘seven minutes of terror’, in 2021 NASA’s Perseverance rover emerged unscathed after making its descent to the Red Planet using a basic parachute.

But the landing process is trickier for larger payloads, such as rockets with humans on board.

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Sky’s The Limit For World’s First High-Rise Robot Window Cleaner

IT SAVES LIVES, IT’S THREE TIMES FASTER, AND IT NEVER MISSES A SPOT

By John Jeffay

Robots using the technology that powers driverless cars are cleaning the windows of some of the world’s tallest buildings.

They can work around the clock, they don’t leave streaks, and unlike their human counterparts they never miss a spot.

But more important than all of that… they save lives.

The “dirty, dull and dangerous” job of cleaning steel and glass skyscrapers has cost thousands of lives, according to Michael Brown, CEO & chairman of Skyline Robotics, based in Tel Aviv. “The problem, put simply, is that cleaning windows at height is extremely dangerous.”

Robots do the job much better, they can do it at least three times quicker, and they mean lives are no longer being put at risk.

Other companies have experimented with automated window cleaning solutions, mostly using rollers, like a car wash. But they’re hit-and-miss in terms of actually getting the windows clean and they’re not designed for buildings over 10 stories.

Skyline proudly describes its machine, called Ozmo, as “the world’s first high-rise window-cleaning robot”.

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Would YOU try a ‘human washing machine’? Japanese scientists are developing a futuristic AI bath that washes you with tiny bubbles while blasting out soothing music and videos

By FIONA JACKSON

  • A ‘human washing machine’ is being developed that can ‘wash the mind’ 
  • High-speed water containing microbubbles is used to clean the user’s body
  • At the same time, their heart rate is measured to gauge their level of relaxation
  • An artificial intelligence uses this data to choose the best video for them

If the bubbles, rose petals and scented candles aren’t enough to soothe you after a long day, your dream bath may be just around the corner.

Scientists in Japan are developing a ‘human washing machine’ that cleans your body while playing a relaxing video chosen for you by artificial intelligence (AI).

The ultrasonic bath will blast users with high-speed water containing extremely fine air bubbles which remove dirt from the pores.

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A.I.-driven robots are cooking your dinner

Your next Friday night pizza may be made by robot hands.

BY STEPHANIE CAINE

That’s the vision of Ajay Sunkara, who launched the Pizzaiola autonomous chef, an A.I.-driven, voice-controlled pizza maker that’s making its way to Chicago-based regional pizza chain, Slice Factory. The robotic chef monitors more than 1,200 parameters every microsecond, from managing food quality to the point-of-sales machine.

When a customer places a pizza order, Pizzaiola will select, press, and stretch the dough; add the sauce, cheese, and toppings; then cook, slice, and box the pizza all to the customer’s specified preferences. It’s fulfilled in real time and can even have an individual jumbo slice ready to go through the Slice Factory drive-thru in minutes.

Not a single human touch is involved.

“There are robotics in the food industry, but in factories, meat-processing centers, and packaged food processing,” Sunkara tells Fortune. “We reduced the scale of it from industrial to something that can fit in a normal commercial kitchen.”

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Elon Musk’s ‘X’ app will be a WeChat-like super app

By Athik Saleh

Elon Musk has a flair for the dramatic. The man spent months trying to get out of buying Twitter, only to do an about-turn and express his desire to acquire it. There are many theories behind why he changed his mind. One of them is ‘X, the everything app.’ Let’s have a look at what this all-encompassing app could be. 

Why does this story matter?

  • Musk wants to buy Twitter for the same price as he offered the first time. And he wants to do it this month itself.
  • While the world tries to understand his decision, the eccentric billionaire with a love for the letter X (X.com, SpaceX, Model X, X Holdings…) is probably thinking about an app that can change the way the free world functions.

What is the ‘X’ app?

A ‘super app’ capable of doing everything that a user can imagine. An app that can function as a one-stop shop for every digital need of a consumer. Does this vivid description ring a bell? Does it sound like we’re talking about ‘WeChat‘? This is what Musk meant by the ‘X’ app – an app that is more than just an app. 

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New RNA Tool Can Illuminate Brain Circuits and Edit Specific Cells

Tagging and illuminating only the inhibitory “brake” cells (green) in human brain tissue is just one of many things the new tool from Duke University, CellREADR, can do.

Editing technology is precise and broadly applicable to all tissues and species.

Scientists at Duke University have developed an RNA-based editing tool that targets individual cells, rather than genes. It is capable of precisely targeting any type of cell and selectively adding any protein of interest.

Researchers said the tool could enable modifying very specific cells and cell functions to manage disease.

Using an RNA-based probe, a team led by neurobiologist Z. Josh Huang, Ph.D. and postdoctoral researcher Yongjun Qian, Ph.D. demonstrated they can introduce into cells fluorescent tags to label specific types of brain tissue; a light-sensitive on/off switch to silence or activate neurons of their choosing; and even a self-destruct enzyme to precisely expunge some cells but not others. The work will be published today (October 5, 2022) in the journal Nature.

Their selective cell monitoring and control system relies on the ADAR enzyme, which is found in every animal’s cells. While these are early days for CellREADR (Cell access through RNA sensing by Endogenous ADAR), the possible applications appear to be endless, Huang said, as is its potential to work across the animal kingdom.

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Study: Medical debt threatens people’s health, housing

Soaring medical debt is setting U.S. adults up for higher risks of eviction, food insecurity and bad health outcomes regardless of insurance or income, a new study found.

By Sabrina Moreno

Why it matters: Uninsured or middle-to-low-income patients are more likely to get stuck with medical debt while the rich are largely spared. But even private insurance offers little protection against unaffordable bills, according to the study published in JAMA Open Network on Friday.

  • “Private insurance is a defective product. You pay for it and then when you get sick, there’s co-payments, there’s deductibles, there’s out-of-network fees, there’s things that aren’t covered at all,” said Steffie Woolhandler, a physician and public health professor at Hunter College who co-authored the study. 

The big picture: More than 100 million Americans live with medical debt, per an investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR.

  • Mounting costs coupled with stagnant wages can force people into delaying necessary care, taking on multiple jobs, sacrificing essentials like groceries and depleting savings to the point of financial ruin.

Yes, but: People in states that expanded Medicaid reported an average of $3,000 less in medical debt than those in states who hadn’t, signaling a link between comprehensive coverage and lower bills.

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