The User-Friendly Robot that Builds Itself – FRANKA

Franka Logo

It’s an arm that arrives in a box.

This sleek, shiny-white, elegant piece of machinery has the full reach of a human arm. It’s more akin to a Stormtrooper appendage than it is to “Thing” – even though, like the Adam’s family hand-in-a-box, it can hand you a cigar or a phone.

It comes with exchangeable fingertips it can use to assemble its own companions. You can even train it to perform complex strings of tasks.

Now imagine using intelligent automation to make it sensitive. Multiple sensors and seven joints enable the arm to automatically stop movement in response to pressure. Humans can now remain safe even if they get in the way of sharp objects or pre-programmed movements.

Its name is FRANKA EMIKA, and it’s about to be released this year. They plan on leading the way with FRANKA to create innovative human-centered robots for industry.

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Is Your Smart Home Tracking You?


Who’s tracking you?

According to CBC News, Smart TV maker Vizio is paying out 2.2 million dollars to the US Federal Trade Commission and other authorities. The reason? They tracked what viewers were watching without consent. Users of their “Smart Interactivity” feature unknowingly sacrificed privacy in exchange for automatic suggestions based on viewing habits.

Imagine turning on the TV to watch the big game. You turn up the thermostat and grab a cold drink from the fridge. The game is in overtime, and the referee just made a bad call.

With smart new appliances connected in the Internet of Things (IoT), every move you’ve just made could be tracked and shared … from grabbing a brew to yelling at the ref.

And we don’t even notice it. We expect Google to track our searches. However, we don’t think about companies collecting data from our kids x-box, the thermostat, or the fridge.

With mics on Televisions accepting voice commands, even what we say in our homes will be picked up…. think about that one for a sec.

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Hadrian X: The Brick Laying Robot that Builds a House in Two Days

A fast-moving robot is about to change the construction industry.

Fast Brick Robotics is bringing revolutionary efficiency to the art of building with bricks. The Perth-based company’s new robot, Hadrian X, can lay up to 1000 bricks an hour. It’s capable of building a house in 2 days and never requires a union break. That could mean cutting building time by 6 weeks on residential homes.

The truck-mounted robotic arm is part of Fast Brick’s new industrial 3D printing system. First, the design is programmed using proprietary TAD software (The Architectural Designer). Then the robot builds according to the plan. The software can also dole out jobs to contractors, purchase materials, and send invoices. A smartphone or tablet can be used to control the system.

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Hyperloop: The Future is Here


Imagine traveling on land from New York to Chicago in little over an hour … for the price of a cab ride. That’s now closer than ever to becoming reality thanks to the Hyperloop.

In fact, Hyperloop One has already started construction in Dubai and plans to test within months.

The Hyperloop will revolutionize travel. The new system of pods speeding through tunnels will erase distance and create new neighbors. It is planned to reach speeds of about 700 mph – just under the speed of sound and about 100 mph faster than a Boeing 757 at cruising speed. It’s Disney’s World of Tomorrow and Small World After All combined.

A Hyperloop One demo video shows passengers walking into rectangular shaped vehicles. Each is identified as a coach, meeting, or lounge pod. Several units are gathered together in air locked tubes. An electric motor then accelerates all through a larger low-pressure tube. Because of the lack of friction, the pods glide freely using minimal additional energy until it’s time to decelerate.

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Now You Can Hail a Self-Driving Uber


Beginning last September, Uber introduced self-driving vehicles to the City of Steel. The company’s Advanced Technology Center in Pittsburgh has been working to make the city into one of America’s smartest … while creating safer transportation through automation.

Uber’s car of choice is the Ford Fusion. These cars are already “smart,” even without the self-driving modifications. Consumer models include voice-activated tech and touchscreens. Cell phone apps allow owners to check fuel levels and lock or start cars remotely.

If you visit Pittsburgh, you can try it out for yourself through their pilot program

Hailing a self-driving Uber is much like requesting any other Uber

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How Tesla and SolarCity Made this Tropical Island Go Green


The island of Ta’u has gone green. And it’s not just because of the tropical foliage. Ta’u now boasts its own microgrid, thanks to technology from Tesla and SolarCity. The massive million-dollar project allows the island to run almost completely on solar power.

Ta’u is one of the 7 American Samoan Islands and one of 3 making up the National Park of American Samoa. Visitors enjoy lush greenery and breathtaking sea cliffs. Rustic trails wind through the volcanic remnant’s rocky terrain.

Before the microgrid was installed, Ta’u relied on diesel generators. However, the island’s isolated location northwest of Fiji made it vulnerable to shipping irregularities. Imported fossil fuel was a costly and unreliable energy source. When shipments fell behind schedule, authorities rationed power, sometimes restricting energy use to mornings and afternoons.

5,328 SolarCity panels now save the island millions of gallons of diesel fuel per year. Each generator burned 300 gallons of fuel per day; That’s 109,500 gallons of diesel fuel per year PER GENERATOR! The residents now enjoy clean energy, reliable power, and stable fuel costs. In addition, the entire array of panels (1.4 Megawatts) recharges in only 7 hours and a field of 60 Tesla Powerpacks stores the energy. Even with cloudy skies, the system can power the island for 3 days.

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