Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics

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Jason Ramshaw, Commercial Manager for Caterpillar Construction Digital & Technology, demonstrates the Cat Command remote control console to operate a 320 excavator at Caterpillar’s Construction Industries

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Question: How can a company like Caterpillar CAT.N try to counter a slump in sales of bulldozers and trucks during a pandemic that has made every human a potential disease vector?

Answer: Cut out human operators, perhaps?

Caterpillar’s autonomous driving technology, which can be bolted on to existing machines, is helping the U.S. heavy equipment maker mitigate the heavy impact of the coronavirus crisis on sales of its traditional workhorses.

With both small and large customers looking to protect their operations from future disruptions, demand has surged for machines that don’t require human operators on board.

Continue reading… “Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics”

Virus turns caterpillars into zombies using a single gene

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The caterpillar zombies are coming!

Think that zombies are just fiction? Not for caterpillars, it isn’t: there’s actually a virus that can turn healthy caterpillars into zombies.

The biology of the disease is quite fascinating as researchers found that all the virus had to do is modify a single gene in the caterpillar’s genome to turn it into a zombie..

Continue reading… “Virus turns caterpillars into zombies using a single gene”

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