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The Psychology of Unmanned Cars

Unmanned cars are not just the future of car technology, they are currently being made and operated in the present. In Pittsburgh, Uber released a fleet of self-driving cars in summer of 2016 that have already made their way to the streets. These cars may have the ability to drive by themselves, but there is always a human being in the driver’s seat, supervising the actions of the car. While it will probably take decades before unmanned cars overtake the roadways as the majority, the introduction of these vehicles has its own problem: us. According to a recent study taken March 2016, 75% of drivers fear riding in an unmanned car.

 

The car industry has made incredible strides in creating and implementing new technologies that take some of the control away from the driver. These features include cruise control and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that help the driver with complicated tasks like parallel parking or increases the safety of passengers and pedestrians by alerting the driver of possible threats. While these features are automated and, on the whole, safe, the control of the vehicle is always in the hands of the human being operating the car.

 

Driverless car manufacturers assure the safety of the passengers and even promise better fuel efficiency, but the success of these technologies will hinge on our ability to take a backseat and allow the car to do the driving. There is no doubt that the technology will be developed, but there is a significant doubt in whether or not people will be comfortable in letting the technology take them safety from point A to point B.

 

One major concern is how with a driverless car will react in a time of crisis. For humans, our reactions are oftentimes based on emotion, but how would a robot respond to a crisis situation where there are two outcomes: either the car will hit a pedestrian or the car will put the safety of the passengers in the car in jeopardy? An interesting article was published on Car and Driver, about the algorithm Mercedes Benz’s algorithm they programmed into their vehicles because it would make the safety of the passengers of utmost importance. Debates about these implications will inevitably arise about unmanned cars in the future because it’s unclear how exactly these cars should be programmed.

 

This technology has the opportunity to reshape the way our roads our constructed, allowing for better productivity and efficiency. How these technologies will be implemented remains to be seen, but how people think about unmanned cars and what they believe will ultimately decide whether these cars are successful or not.

Top Podcasts for Business-Minded Professionals

Podcasts have become increasingly popular in the era of Bluetooth and smartphones. The Cloud is making it easier to connect devices than ever before and people are tapping into this technology revolution. Many cars now have Bluetooth and can easily connect to your phone or computer. With this easy access to the internet, you can listen to podcasts from virtually anywhere. You can also find a podcast about nearly any topic and there are hundreds out there related to business. Whether you’re a seasoned podcast listener or only starting out, here are the top podcasts for professionals that are business-minded.

 

Entrepreneur on Fire

 

This podcast is incredibly popular in the business community and also as a podcast in general, so you might want to make it the first on your list. Each day, the host, John Lee Dumas, releases a new episode. Dumas addresses personal finance matters and also features some of the leading names in business for interviews and addresses many topics that relate to business.

 

This is Your Life

 

Michael Hyatt created this podcast about five years ago and has established himself as an author, mentor, and business expert. Hyatt talks about many different business topics, but dedicates his podcast to “intentional leadership.” He wants to help others work toward their goals, in business and personally, and hopes that his podcast can help listeners reach their own goals in their lives.

 

BBC Business Daily

 

The BBC is usually a great source for general news and current events, but this podcast focuses exclusively on business. As its name implies, a new episode is released each day and discusses global business issues and news. Some of it’s a bit more technical, but a lot of the podcast is geared toward helping people understand different events and concepts. The podcast also features a segment where BBC reporters offer updates on business news around the world.

 

EntreLeadership

 

This podcast is hosted by various business leaders, so you’re constantly getting a fresh perspective and information. You also receive a variety of topics, about managing employees, encouraging workplace productivity, and many other useful insights about business and related topics. Dave Ramsey is usually on the podcast and is known for writing incredibly successful books on business and is an expert in the business industry.

 

The Broad Experience

 

Many people know Ashley Milne-Tyte, who hosts this podcast. She’s discussed the business world for decades and highlights the various ways men and women behave at work. She focuses on dynamics in business in ways that most people can understand. This podcast also occasionally focuses on the bigger picture and how listeners can align their actions with working toward it.

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Robots are Helping in the Fight Against Climate Change

Most people are aware of the large amounts of waste humans, especially those living in developed countries, produce each year. In the U.S., there are thousands of landfills, many of which secrete damaging methane gas that goes out into the environment and harms the atmosphere. Last year, 50 billion plastic water bottles were used in America and over 80 percent of those ended up in landfills instead of being recycled. Even when garbage is recycled, most plants don’t have the capability or money to use industrial spectrometers for sorting garbage and must rely on human labor, which is inefficient and costly.

What’s being done?

Currently, a few companies are working on developing robotic technology that makes this sorting process much easier. A company out of Finland, ZenRobotics, is “the world’s leading supplier of robotic waste separation technology.” This company uses robotic arms that utilize machine learning and computer vision to pick out recycled materials from conveyor lines. The AI quickly learns what types of materials it needs to pick out and can self-teach. They’ve even made a trailer and film that gives insight into this technology and what it can do. These robots function completely independently and require no human supervision or interference when sorting the recyclables.

 

Another company working on similar technology is Sadako Technologies, which is Spanish-based. They’ve also created a short video about their technology, which can be viewed on their website. Like ZenRobotics, the company works on AI garbage sorting technology, but on a smaller scale than ZenRobotics. Sadako’s website claims that their technology is already doing better than human workers and predicts that trash sorting will be a completely automatic process in a few years, as long as technology costs can be lowered.

 

A final company, AMP Robotics, has yet to release a video of their product, but they’re working on an inexpensive solution while using software and robotic technology that’s easier to access. AMP Robotics’s focus is on the U.S.’s trash industry, hoping to offer a solution for the large amount of recyclable materials that go to waste. Their goal is reducing the amount of trash that goes into landfills and offer a concrete solution that doesn’t depend on costs of hardware going down.

 

Once these companies streamline their technology, it’s estimated that significant amounts of money will be saved in the waste industry, allowing that money to be put toward other departments and projects.

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Innovative Watch Could Make Life Easier For Diabetics

The company, PKvitality, which specializes in wearables to be used for health and sport, recently revealed their K’Track Glucose wrist-worn tracker that can measure blood sugar and lactic acid levels without causing excessive blood or using large needles. This device could be useful for athletes, but also completely revolutionary for diabetics who need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels. The device is no larger than a typical men’s watch and has a modern look so it can be worn at any time without appearing out of place. It can even be worn during exercise, which is a critical time when glucose levels can fluctuate. It even tracks steps and calories burned, making it multi-functional.

 

What is it?

This tracker is $149 andabsorbs fluid that contains [glucose and lactic acid] through the underside of the device”. Though the price tag may seem a bit expensive for a single tracker, it’ll save diabetics significant amounts of money because they won’t need to continuously purchase testing strips and other supplies that are needed to test glucose levels, while also worrying about cumbersome devices that are needed to test their glucose.

 

How does it work?

While K’Track Glucose is painless and uses significantly less supplies than traditional testing methods, needles are still used to test blood sugar levels. The difference is that these needles are less than half a millimeter in diameter and only penetrate the outer layer of skin. Fluid from immediately under that outer layer is absorbed into the tracker and it then gives accurate readings using the K’apsul unit, which can be viewed in K’Track’s app. The app will also show the levels of glucose over time. A single button needs to be pressed on the tracker in order to measure and display blood sugar levels. Check out this article for a diagram of how the process works.

 

Is it available?

Currently, PKvitality is awaiting approval from health regulators on whether or not it can actually sell this device to consumers, a process that could take a significant amount of time. Meanwhile, start saving up. In addition to the initial cost of the tracker, the K’apsul unit is around $100 and must be replaced every 30 days, though it may work out to be more cost effective (and definitely less of a hassle) than traditional ways to measure blood sugar. These prices do not account for any assistance insurance companies may provide.

Digger D3 terminates active landmines.

4 Ways Robots are Making the World a Better Place

When some people think of robots, visions of Terminator and The Matrix might come to mind, but the truth is, robots are making positive changes in our society every day. The fear that is associated with robots overtaking and destroying humans one day is outweighed by the fact that robots are saving lives and offering help to people today.

Military

The armed forces were one the first groups to adopt robots to protect soldiers. Countries that experienced wars have an untold number of landmines buried just beneath the surface. At this time, there are millions of landmines around the world that are unaccounted for. These landmines get more dangerous the older they are and being near them poses an extremely dangerous situation for soldiers. The Digger D-3 is a remote controlled robot that looks more like a tank than a robot, and it takes away some of the risk by detonating them away from humans. There is a large chain attachment on the front of the Digger D-3 that pummels the ground. When a landmine is found, the robot takes the brunt of the explosion with little to no damage to itself.

Medical

The Da Vinci Surgical System performs minimally invasive surgeries on patients every single day, which translates into over 3 million surgeries since it was created. A surgeon controls the movements of the robot by simulating the surgical procedure, which the Da Vinci replicates the movements but they are more calculated. The robot is controlled by the surgeon at all times, but it probably won’t be too long until we see these robots performing surgery independently.

Clean Up of the Oceans

There are many problems facing our oceans like garbage, oil spills, and radioactivity. A self-steering robot called Protei is currently being designed to help clean up our oceans. The design for the small ships that are a few feet long, have a tail attached to the end that absorbs the oil and radioactivity in the water. These ships are unsinkable and react to the changes in the water.

Radiation

Speaking of radiation, robots were used after the Fukishima-Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown in March 2011. During and after the meltdown, additional work needed to be done as far as clean up so the situation wouldn’t spread or escalate. The radiation levels were too extreme for any human to go in safely, so robots that look like RC cars were used to keep the situation from getting worse.

 

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Robots and Humans in the Workplace

The days where humans and robots regularly work alongside each other are becoming closer everyday, and for some places it’s already a day to day occurrence. It’s definitely a major concern for many people that their job will be replaced by a machine sooner or later, but it certainly doesn’t seem like that’s the case for most industries. What seems most impressive are the workplaces where employees are working alongside these new robots. There are several companies and industries that utilize robots, but also still rely on the invaluable services of a human being.

Hospitals and medical facilities are currently taking advantage of new technologies in robotics that allow for better service and care for their patients. At this time, the daVinci robot performs minimally invasive surgery on more than 3 million people worldwide. The da Vinci robot is able to perform surgery on delicate tissues without the human error associated with a human doctor. The robot is not affected by lack of sleep or a poor diet, and their ability to execute a surgery with the skill of a seasoned surgeon.


Staying in the healthcare industry,an autonomous medical robot named TUG has been released by the thousands in hospitals nationwide. TUG delivers linens, medicines, and meals to hospital patients and has sensors around it doesn’t run into unsuspecting hospital visitors.

In Tokyo, over 140 human-like robots named Pepper are in mobile Soft Bank locations. These robots are used to greet visitors and explain new services being offered by SoftBank. One of the defining characteristics of Pepper is his ability to perceive and react to human emotions. Depending on how the person greets Pepper, he will adjust his response accordingly instead of having the same exact greeting for everyone who enters the establishment.

When it comes to robots in the industrial industry, they typically do not work alongside people because of the danger that goes with large, heavy robots moving at high speeds. Most industrial robots are large, move very quickly, and have the potential to seriously harm or even kill a person. For this reason, they are normally kept behind cages. Recently, there is a growing need for robots who have the ability to collaborate with humans, or co-bots. Co-bots, like Baxter, are designed to be an assistant to the human in a safe, controlled way. They aren’t able to do the intense work of an industrial robot, but they are able to stand alongside humans without being in cages.

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This is Nick Yates’ blog where he will focus on technological innovation, especially robotics. Visit again soon.

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