Scythe Robotics receives 7,000 orders for its autonomous law mowers

Scythe Robotics has received 7,000 orders for its autonomous law mowers, according to a report

 BY DAVID EDWARDS

The startup company says it plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Colorado to be able to handle the orders, adding that its mowers have received strong interest from all across the United States.

Scythe Robotics specializes in building commercial-grade autonomous robotic solutions for the landscaping industry, and its first offering is an all-electric, fully autonomous mower, designed completely in-house. 

Scythe raised $13.8 million in Series A funding led by Inspired Capital with participation from existing investors True Ventures, Zigg Capital, and Lemnos, bringing the company’s total funding to $18.6 million.

The new investment will be used to grow the company’s existing operations in Texas, Florida and Colorado, expand with new customers, and accelerate development of further products to revolutionize how commercial landscape contractors care for outdoor environments.

Founded in 2018 by Jack Morrison, Isaac Roberts and Davis Foster, Scythe says its launch comes at a “pivotal moment” for the $105 billion commercial landscaping industry, which has been plagued for years by painful labor shortages and hasn’t seen substantial technological innovation in decades.

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Imperial startup GlioQuell has the power to shut down cancer cells

Mitochondria membranes could unlock new cancer treatments

By Ian Mundell

A new company using research from the Department of Brain Sciences will look for drugs to treat brain cancers and diseases of old age.

Cancer cells grow at an extraordinary rate inside the body. To do this, they need energy, which is provided by mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. Dr Kambiz Alavian in the Department of Brain Sciences has been looking for ways to turn off cancer cells’ power supply. He has now co-founded a company, GlioQuell, to accelerate the development of a new kind of cancer treatment.

“We think we have a new way of looking at the mitochondria of cancer cells, and of treating cancer, based on reducing the efficiency of these beasts inside the cells,” he says

All cells in the human body contain mitochondria, structures that produce energy and biomolecules for whatever activity the cells need to carry out. Looking closely at the cells involved in glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and deadliest forms of cancer, revealed that their mitochondria are extraordinarily efficient.

“There is almost no cell that I have seen that is as efficient as these particular cells, in terms of utilising their resources for growth,” says Dr Alavian. “They resemble mini-embryos, growing very quickly inside the brain.”

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‘Revolutionary’ robot brickie builds first house

Hadrian X robot said to build homes quicker and cheaper than traditional methods 

By Emily Twinch

The Hadrian X robot that can built a home in up to three days.

A robot said to lay bricks with “absolute perfection” has completed the first clay block house for materials giant Wienerberger in Australia. 

The masonry robot Hadrian X built the home in the Australian suburb of Wellard with Wienerberger’s Porotherm bricks and will now construct more single- and multi-family homes with the same blocks as part of the pilot project.

In a statement the Austria-based brick and products giant, which is working in partnership with the robot’s Australian designer, Fastbrick Robotics, said: “The robot not only accelerates the bricklaying process, but also excels in terms of precision, laying bricks with absolute perfection. Wind and vibrations are measured and balanced in real time. 

“This forward-looking technology will revolutionise residential construction by making it faster, less expensive and more efficient, and guarantee a higher standard of quality.”

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Super-fast EV charging might be possible with AI and machine learning

Battery-specific chargers are on the horizon.

By Can Emir

Researchers from Idaho National Laboratory are using machine learning and other advanced analysis to reduce electric vehicle charging times without damaging the battery, a press release revealed.

Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles, many consumers hesitate to make the switch. One of the primary reasons is that it takes so much longer to power up an electric car than to gas up a vehicle powered up by an internal combustion engine. This hesitation is a reflection of range anxiety, and the solution for this anxiety is to get yourself a long-range electric vehicle, which can be a bit pricey.

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This Flying ATV Might Bring Farming Into a Cyberpunk Future

It’s a little boring to fly. And that’s actually a good thing.

By Tony Ho Tran

It’s easier to operate a flying ATV than you think—or, at least it was for me. That’s not a humblebrag either. It was designed so any idiot like me—who backs up into his recycling bin every time he pulls out of the driveway—can jump in and use it.

Making sure I fly without freaking out, though, was another question entirely.

“Alright, you’re doing great,” the voice of Mick Kowitz, the CEO and founder of RYSE Aero Technologies, chirped in my ear via a radio relay in my helmet. “Now just pull back on the left handle and press the button to take off.”

The machine I was sitting in—dubbed the RECON—is known as an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and it’s Kowitz’s brainchild. While not technically a flying ATV, it’s pretty damn close. As I pulled back on the handle, six battery powered propellers whirred to life around me and my seat began to rumble. Images of the new Top Gun movie flashed in my mind’s eye before a macabre intrusive thought popped into my head: If I stuck out my arm just a little bit, I’d sever my hand entirely from my arm. A shiver ran down my spine as I attempted to bury the mental image.

I pressed the takeoff button on the center console. For a moment, nothing happened. As I was about to tell Mick that something was wrong, though, the motors whirred louder as the RECON lurched sideways. Before I could react, I felt a weight on my chest and my heart jump into my throat as it lifted me off the ground and into the sky.

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Switzerland Moves Ahead With Underground Robot Cargo Delivery

“Cargo sous terrain follows a similar principle to that of an automatic conveyor system.”

ByGeorgina Jedikovska

Photo shows underground autonomous cargo delivery in Switzerland in undated photo. The CST project commenced after the Swiss parliament passed the necessary legal framework on August 1, 2022. (Cargo sous terrain AG/Zenger)

Switzerland has moved further with the first part of an underground autonomous cargo delivery line worth between $30 and $35 billion which will open in 2031.

Cargo Sous Terrain – CST – Switzerland’s planned underground logistics system – started its first tunnel after half a decade of studies on Monday, August 1.

The system involves underground cargo tubes full of automated delivery carts carrying goods that travel back and forth between cities and across Switzerland at 18.6 miles per hour.

The Swiss parliament passed the necessary legal framework and thus greenlighted the project in December 2021.

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This startup 3D prints tiny homes from recyclable plastics

And their method is faster, cheaper, and more sustainable.

By Nergis Firtina

Recently, many projects have been carried out using recyclable materials for sustainability. One of these projects was implemented by the Los Angeles-based architectural startup Azure.

Azure is using recycled plastic to 3D print prefab homes. The startup is now selling many house models ranging from a backyard studio to a two-bedroom ADU.

“The construction sector is the largest global consumer of raw materials, responsible for approximately 11 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. Our responsibility to our customers and future generations is to use the most sustainable practices imaginable,” said Ross Maguire, the CEO of Azure, in April.

Azure also unveiled what it called the world’s first 3D printed “backyard studio” made with recycled plastic materials in the same month. 

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Why the rental housing market is so deeply broken

By Felix Salmon

Why it matters: The U.S. is in desperate need of more high-quality rental housing. Homeownership works for many — and doesn’t work at all for many others, who might not be ready to settle down or might not have the financial means.

The big picture: Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has invested $350 million, his largest check ever, into Adam Neumann’s new company, Flow

  • Andreessen’s blog post lays out his investment thesis, that renting a home is “a soulless experience.” 
  • The details of how Flow will work are still vague, but they’re likely to include amenitization — bells and whistles for apartment renters — as well as some kind of financial upside.

What they’re saying: “Someone who is bought in to where he lives cares more about where he lives,” writes Andreessen. “Without this, apartments don’t generate any bond between person and place and without community, no bond between person to person.”

  • In New York, I’ve lived in both owned and rented apartments, and the community in my rental building was just as vibrant and tight-knit as anywhere I’ve owned.
  • Neighborhoods characterized by very low home-ownership rates — think Harlem, in New York, or Hialeah, in Miami — often boast deep and lasting communities stretching across generations and decades. 
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Micro Jet Boat Is a Tiny Yet Exciting Contraption, Goes on Wild Joy Ride

I’ve just recently started discovering water sports, and some of them are downright addictive. Kayaking seems to be a great way to unwind and work out at the same time, but riding a jet ski is ten times as exhilarating. Of course, there are plenty of other options out there if you’re keen to cool down on the water.

by Dragos Chitulescu 

You’ve probably seen at least one project developed by GrindHardPlumbing Cobefore. Over a year ago, we showed you one of their most ridiculous contraptions: a supercharged Barbie Jeep. 

And their work proves that you don’t need tons of cash to have fun. You just have to come up with a cool idea and get to work. You can be creative on your own, or you can even draw inspiration from these guys.

Some of their most insane projects over the years include a 2JZ-powered Lawn Mower, several Power Wheels cars with crazy engine swaps, and a rotary drift trike. 

But one of their most recent endeavors seems to have attracted a lot of attention from people across the world. Several months ago, the guys posted a video revealing a rather small package from Jetstream Adventure boats.

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Air Taxis Are About To Change The Future Of Travel

BY DAVE MCQUILLING
Have you ever been stuck in bad traffic and daydreaming about how easy life would be if your car could just fly over the half-mile of honking metal in front of you? Well, those dreams could soon come true, sort of. The solution could be air taxis, which are basically exactly what they sound like: flying vehicles that are capable of taking a small number of passengers on short-range trips. Although it may seem like one of those futuristic ideas that are perpetually five years away, air taxis are already here, and some major companies have bought into the idea.


One of the most recent air taxi acquisitions was by United Airlines. The airline has already put down a $10 million deposit as part of a staggering $1 billion partnership with air taxi manufacturer Archer Aviation. The down payment will go toward the initial 100 air taxis United has ordered. Production on those aircraft is expected to begin in 2023, and the $1 billion deal could see United acquire 200 air taxis in total. In a statement, Archer Aviation CEO celebrated what he called the industry’s “first real cash commitment,” according to Popular Science.

United isn’t the only airline interested in air taxis and the possibilities they might bring. American Airlines and Boeing are also investing heavily in the concept. According to The Wall Street Journal, Boeing is throwing $450 million into a joint venture with Google co-founder Larry Page. If the Boeing/Page effort bears fruit, you could be whizzing around a city in a self-flying air taxi within the next few years. American Airlines has chosen to back Vertical Aerospace, a similar company to Archer Aviation, to the tune of $25 million.

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Decentralized Insurance Built on the Blockchain is a Game Changer

Decentralized insurance built on a transparent, blazingly fast, and efficient blockchain with the community in mind is something to think about, says Adam Hofmann, the CEO of Nimble.

Let’s face it – crypto, Web3, blockchain, whatever you want to call it – is growing fast. As a result, there are concerns and skepticism around the volatility and safety of digital assets, including investor funds. Would you put your hard-earned money into anything without some sense of safety and security?

If we are going to be honest with each other, and we certainly should be, it is absolutely logical that companies are skeptical to put big money into a decentralized system.

In both the fast-evolving DeFi space and the “Normalverse,” there is always the risk of hacks or exploits. Enter: decentralized insurance.

“There have been innumerable cases of smart-contracts hacking, cyber-attacks on exchange platforms etc. that have caused huge loss of investor funds,” Blockchain Simplified states on Medium. “Even the magnanimous DAO could not prevent a malware attack on its platform that resulted in loss of billions. Decentralized Insurance has plenty of use-cases that can help prevent such consequences from occurring.”

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Montana becomes first state to OK 3D-printed house walls as replacements for concrete masonry units

An Apis Cor 3D printer for building houses and other structures. Apis Cor

Montana has become the first state to approve 3D-printed walls as an equivalent replacement for walls made from concrete masonry units (CMUs) or standard cored concrete blocks.

The approval was granted to Tim Stark, a contractor based in Billings, Mont., after filing documents, specifications, and testing reports developed by Apis Cor, a Melbourne, Fla., construction company that 3D-prints houses and buildings.

“In so many states, regulations are getting in the way of building more homes,” said Stark. “I’m proud of my home state of Montana for being so forward-thinking and leading the way with this approval of 3D printing as a modern construction method on par to CMU block construction, which opens the door instead of closing it.”

A finished home printed with an Apis Cor printer can cost up to 30% less than a traditionally built concrete block or wood-framed house.

The company has completed multiple pilot homes in the United States and in the United Arab Emirates.

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