China Will Test Planetary Defense by Crashing a Spacecraft into An Asteroid

China’s plans are similar to a NASA mission that will slam into an asteroid later this year.

By Becky Ferreira

China plans to crash a spaceship into an asteroid that is potentially hazardous to Earth to alter its trajectory, a maneuver that caps off a multi-step planetary defense strategy that was outlined by a representative of the nation’s space agency on Sunday, reports SpaceNews. 

The asteroid deflection mission is scheduled for launch sometime in the mid-2020s, according to Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), who described the project during a celebration of China’s Space Day, which commemorates the launch of the nation’s first satellite, Dongfanghong-1, on April 24, 1970.

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JACK IN THE BOX IS PILOTING MISO’S HAMBURGER-COOKING ROBOT

By Brian Heater

You’ve got to hand it to Miso — the company knows how to sell the sizzle, as they say in the meat-cooking business. The robotics firm has been striking high-profile deals with some of the U.S.’s biggest fast food chains, from White Castle to Panera Bread. Today it adds Jack in the Box to that list.

The king of the late-night hamburger/taco combo is set to pilot a pair of Miso robots. That includes the newish drink machine, Sippy and the company’s old standby, Flippy 2, which helps augment line cook roles by flipping burgers. It’s still an extremely limited pilot, at one of the chain’s San Diego locations, but if things go well, there will be a further rollout in “the months ahead.”

“This collaboration with Miso Robotics is a steppingstone for our back-of-house restaurant operations. We are confident that this technology will be a good fit to support our growing business needs with intentions of having a positive impact on our operations while promoting safety and comfort to our team members,” said Jack in the Box COO Tony Darden.

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ZIPPEDI IS USING ROBOTS TO DIGITIZE INVENTORY FOR LAST-MILE DELIVERY

By Brian Heater

Luis Vera believes the third time is the charm. The self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur admits that his vision for digitizing retail was a decade or two early when he started his journey in the 90s. Through a pair of startups — Prospect and SCOPIX — he tried a variety of methods to help capture store inventory, including placings cameras on shelves and a ceiling-based system where one ran on tracks.

He was, effectively, attempting to compete with Amazon well before Amazon was, well, Amazon — at least in any meaningful sense. Computer vision, machine learning and the like have caught up a lot since then, of course. The notion of competing directly against Amazon is a seemingly impossible order, but Zippedi’s vision utilizes the geographical benefit of brick and mortal locations to help facilitate last-mile deliveries.

The company utilizes an inventory robot to keep tabs of what’s on shelves, creating a “digital twin” online. When someone orders something for, say, DoorDash, a shopper knows not only what is on the shelf, but where to find it. The system can both offer direction to items and provide a prioritized shopping list, so they can be in and out as quickly as possible. It’s easy to see how the company could incorporate AR in the future (and that’s on the roadmap), but we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit here.

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Ep. 82 with eric yates

Watch our interview with Eric Yakes on Youtube or listen on the Futurati Podcast website

Eric Yakes graduated with a double major in finance and economics from Creighton University, and 3 years later earned his CFA charter. He began his career at FTI Consulting in their Corporate Finance and Restructuring group and then moved to Lion Equity Partners, a distressed buyout private equity fund. All the while he intently followed Bitcoin, and its development eventually led him to author the book “The 7th Property: Bitcoin and the Monetary Revolution”.

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Work is broken. Can we fix it?

The Future of Work issue of the Highlight looks at the workers Americans dubbed “essential” and then largely left behind in the work revolution. Can we make work better for the nation’s crucial workforce? 

“We often begin to understand things only after they break down. This is why, in addition to being a worldwide catastrophe, the pandemic has been a large-scale philosophical experiment,” Jonathan Malesic, author of The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives, writes in this month’s issue of the Highlight. 

What has broken down, of course, is work, and what American workers, policymakers, and employers now can see plainly are the countless truths the pandemic laid bare: that productivity does not actually require an air-polluting, hourlong daily drive to a soulless downtown office building; that a fair and just society ought not put the poorest, most vulnerable Americans in danger in the name of capitalism; that the entire economy might just be held together by a rapidly dwindling sea of people — child care workers — earning roughly $13 an hour, with no benefits. 

In this month’s Future of Work issue, the Highlight and Recode teamed up to explore the precarity faced by those workers whom the Great Resignation did not offer much in the way of increased power or security. We look beyond simply what is broken about their working lives, asking policy experts and workers themselves: What could make work better? 

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ELON MUSK’S BORING COMPANY RAISES $675M TO SCALE LOOP PROJECTS

By Rebecca Bellan

The Boring Company, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s project to build underground highways to alleviate traffic congestion, has raised a $675 million Series C round, bringing its valuation up to $5.7 billion.

The round was led by Vy Capital and Sequoia Capital, with participation from Valor Equity Partners, Founders Fund, 8VC, Craft Ventures, and DFJ Growth. The company says it will use the funds to significantly increase hiring across engineering, operations and production in order to build and scale Loop projects and accelerate the research and development of Prufrock, the company’s next generation tunnelling machine.

In October, The Boring Company (TBC) received initial approval to build a transportation system that would shuttle passengers in Tesla vehicles via a network of tunnels under Las Vegas beyond its current 1.7 mile footprint that currently connects the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) campus to a 29-mile route that would hit all the best tourist spots in the city of sin. Operation on the updated Vegas loop should commence this year, according to the company.

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Ep. 82 with eric yakes

Watch our interview with Eric Yakes on Youtube or listen on the Futurati Podcast website

Eric Yakes graduated with a double major in finance and economics from Creighton University, and 3 years later earned his CFA charter. He began his career at FTI Consulting in their Corporate Finance and Restructuring group and then moved to Lion Equity Partners, a distressed buyout private equity fund. All the while he intently followed Bitcoin, and its development eventually led him to author the book “The 7th Property: Bitcoin and the Monetary Revolution”.

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eVTOL: The flying vehicles that may be the future of transportation

A Hexa in the air

By Anderson Cooper

If you’ve ever had the fantasy of soaring over bumper-to-bumper traffic in a flying vehicle, that may be possible sooner than you think. Not with a flying car, but with a battery-powered aircraft called an eVTOL, a clunky acronym for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Dozens of companies are spending billions of dollars to make eVTOLs that will operate like air taxis – taking off and landing from what are called vertiports on the tops of buildings, parking garages or helipads in congested cities.  EVTOLs promise a faster, safer and greener mode of transportation – potentially changing the way we work and live. Sound too good to be true? We went for a joyride to find out.

If this looks like an oversized drone I’m about to take off in, that’s pretty much what it is. 

It’s a single-seat eVTOL called Hexa, powered by 18 propellers, each with its own battery. No jet fuel required. 

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American Research Team Puts New Spin On Old Technique To Produce 3D-Printed Organs

A technician checks on a 3D printer as it constructs a model human figure in the exhibition ‘3D: printing the future’ in the Science Museum on October 8, 2013 in London, England. The exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow, features over 600 3D printed objects ranging from: replacement organs, artworks, aircraft parts and a handgun.

By Michael Leidig

The idea, however, has been beset with technical problems that have, to date, limited the type of organs that can be printed.

With too few organs to go around to satisfy the demand for transplants, scientists are now pinning their hopes on the possibility of 3D-printing technology.

In the United States alone there are an estimated 112,000 people currently waiting for urgent transplants and there is, therefore, plenty of demand for the possibility of 3D-printed organs.

The idea, however, has been beset with technical problems that have, to date, limited the type of organs that can be printed.

But researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in New Jersey, are now pushing through these barriers by revamping a decades-old technique to reproduce any tissue type.

The work, led by Robert Chang, an associate professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stevens’ Schaefer School of Engineering & Science, could open up pathways for 3D printing any kind of organ at any time, even skin directly on an open wound.

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AI Speeds Precision Medicine for Parkinson’s Disease

Robotics combined with AI machine learning spots Parkinson’s disease signatures.

By Vanessa Lancaster

KEY POINTS

  • Over 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease, including nearly a million Americans.
  • A new study uses AI deep learning that finds cellular disease signatures to help accelerate the discovery of novel therapeutics for Parkinson’s. 
  • This unique AI deep learning platform solution is not limited to Parkinson’s disease. It can be repurposed for other disease signatures.

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics are accelerating precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases and brain disorders.

A new study published in Nature Communications reveals a high-throughput screening platform using AI deep learning that finds cellular disease signatures to help accelerate the discovery of novel therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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