Weeknotes 203; humanoids and co

Hi! Hope you have a great vacation. Working in a relatively quiet environment, or enjoying real vacation, or even a ‘workation’, it seems to be a thing becoming more popular as an overflow of the homeworking years…

My week was intense working on the startup I mentioned last week. Intense but rewarding, diving deep in fleshing out the language, applying it and thinking about the product.

For this week, the mix continues working on this and also writing further on the Web3 research document. The field labs are in vacation mode for this week. Events are also not on my planning, so let’s dive in the news of last week right away. Speaking of events, this one is new to me; not really a fit for my budget (and schedule), and I am not near Malmo, but if you are, the speaker’s program is quite nice. The Conference.

Most remarkable maybe the news Amazon is buying the data of your home via iRobot acquisition, leading to memes already on the nosy visitor proposing you should buy new stuff based on its scanning.

Another article praised a lot is a short fiction story by Matt Webb. Normally he does his post more as personal reflections, the fictional story is a nice way to introduce a phenomenon. I think the new form of interacting with our intelligent collaborators as we now start to get used to GTP-3 and Dall-E 2 is based on a ‘prompt-mode’. Conversational interfaces in reverse.

Tesla Robot: News, Release Date, Features, and Rumors
ROBOTICS – Hard to believe Musk will meet a deadline but let’s see… “Unrealistic as it sounds (and might be), a humanoid robot that Telsa CEO Elon Musk says will one day be able to do “anything that humans don’t want to do,” is apparently under development. The company calls the robot Optimus and is expected to show off the prototype this fall.”
Will Elon’s robots bring utopia or tyranny? Why humans must control the future of automation 
AUTOMATION – Billionaires like Musk say automation is a social boon. What they mean is that it maximizes their power and control
Scientists Invent a Tiny Robot With ‘Human-Like Hands’ That Can Lift 1000 Times Its Own Weight!
ROBOT – “Scientists used a 3D-printed resin object with a “unique feature” to create artificial muscles with remarkable strength and flexibility!“
Lightweight bionic zaps muscles to help you walk longer, faster
BOOSTED HUMANS – “The AI-powered Neural Sleeve electrically stimulates the leg muscles to help people with mobility issues walk faster and longer.” 
Danish AI-driven political party eyes parliament
INTEL – The day that would come. “A new political party in Denmark whose policies are derived entirely from artificial intelligence (AI) hopes to stand in the country’s next general election in June 2023.”
Smart Microrobots Learn How to Swim and Navigate with Artificial Intelligence
COBOT – “This work is a key example of how the rapid development of artificial intelligence may be exploited to tackle unresolved challenges in locomotion problems in fluid dynamics,”
Artificial finger can identify what common material things are made of 
ROBOTS – “Smart finger uses sensors to detect substances such as glass, silicon and wood with more than 90 per cent accuracy, which could be useful for robotic manufacturing tasks”
Robotic arms with a brain-machine interface allows partially paralyzed man to feed himself
COBOTS – Nice: “Recent advances in neural science, robotics, and software have enabled scientists to develop a robotic system that responds to muscle movement signals from a partially paralyzed person relayed through a brain-machine interface. ”
The Metaverse Is Not a Place
META – Indeed, VR and even AR are not the defining tech for the metaverse, Tim O’Reilly makes a good case for that here “I totally buy the idea that presence is central. But Meta’s vision seems to miss the mark in its focus on avatars. Embedded video delivers more of that feeling of presence with far less effort on the part of the user than learning to create avatars that mimic our gestures and expressions.”
We Interviewed Meta’s New AI Chatbot About … Itself 
BOT – “BlenderBot 3 learns by chatting with you and tries to ignore the trolls. Like so many of us, it’s very much a work in progress.”
5 Moral Dilemmas That Self-Driving Cars Face Today
AUTONOMOUS – “The ethics of self-driving cars have been questioned for a long time for accident-related instances. Even today, self-driving cars face several dilemmas that need to be addressed urgently.”
Women are far more skeptical of autonomous cars’ safety, according to a new Pew report
AUTONOMOUS – Only about 3 in 10 women say they believe self-driving cars will decrease the number of people killed or injured in accidents. Meanwhile, almost half of men (49%) say automated driving will reduce accidents.
Bringing autonomy to the last-mile sooner than you think
LMV – In the series last mile logistics, a new hip named moving cart in a different format…
Some Cities Are Pushing Back on Sidewalk Robots. Here Are Some Possible Ideas For Peaceful Coexistence
DELIVERY BOTS – “While sidewalk delivery robots promise to help reduce carbon emissions and car traffic on cluttered city streets, not everyone is excited about them”This was to be expected; the sidewalks are sometimes rather cluttered, and who is having the right of way…
Inside Amazon’s robotics ecosystem – The Robot Report
ROBOTICS – “While completion of the transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, the deal expands Amazon’s already extensive robotics portfolio. Here’s a look at the company’s robotics acquisitions and some of its investments and notable robots developed internally.”
Scaling False Peaks 
INTELLIGENCE – We’ll see… “The claim is that AGI is now simply a matter of improving performance, both in hardware and software, and making models bigger, using more data and more kinds of data across more modes.”
Instagram Adds Flow Blockchain NFTs, FLOW Token Pumps 44% 
CRYPTO – “Instagram’s NFT initiative now includes more than 100 countries, including collectibles from the Flow blockchain.” 

Paper for this week

Since we are looking into last mile logistics, storage buffering, and alike in the MUC AMS hub project, I keep an eye on insights on these services. This paper has done extensive litrev as they say. So if you are interested in this field…

“This paper aims to address this issue by providing an extensive literature review of ODL and its enablers. This research, after a thorough explanation of the ODL rationale, its trends, and its effects, analyses possible solutions to its inefficiencies, focusing on enablers and barriers. Furthermore, it illustrates and clarifies the role of external factors in influencing ODL.”

Lozzi G, Iannaccone G, Maltese I, Gatta V, Marcucci E, Lozzi R. On-Demand Logistics: Solutions, Barriers, and Enablers. Sustainability. 2022; 14(15):9465. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159465

Link to full paper

See you next week!

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.