Automation: adapt or disrupt? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 49)

Automation technologies are starting to take hold in many environments of our daily lives. It’s not just the factory floor, the whole world is getting permeated by tech that makes short work of menial tasks. But how is this changing the way we think about these spaces? The factories of the future are often envisioned as highly technical spaces, with every nook and cranny tailored to the task at hand, aimed at making it easiest for the robots in place to do their jobs. However, most advanced automation technologies at our disposal are capable of navigating complex environments, react according to outside stimuli and thus safely traverse almost any workspace they find themselves in. Cobots (collaborative robots), autonomous vehicles or even Amazon warehouse handling and dispatch robots are perfect examples of this. The interesting dichotomy here is in how we can optimally plan spaces, public, private or industrial, to drive performance and flexibility. Does flexibility go in the way of peak performance layout? Or are intelligent, adaptable systems going to be the best option to keep operations agile?


The checkout line’s death knell

We’re all only about ten years away from sauntering into stores, grabbing whatever it is we want, then quick-stepping out like we stole it. It’ll be possible because many shops will be ringed with machine vision-enabling cameras and sensors that keep tabs on what you take while inside and then charge it to the corresponding app as you leave.

Read the full article (and watch the great video!) here.


Walmart is ‘secretly’ testing self-driving floor scrubbers, signaling that more robots are coming

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Walmart has been quietly testing out autonomous floor scrubbers during the overnight shifts in five store locations near the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. A spokesperson for Walmart told FOX Business that the move, which was first reported by LinkedIn, is a “very small proof of concept pilot that we are running” and that the company still has a lot more to learn about how this technology “might work best in our different retail locations.”

Read the full article here.


Cities Should Not Design for Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous cars are likely to be better off relying on each other than on fixed infrastructure. As autonomous vehicles capture a larger share of road traffic, they will be able to crowdsource extremely-detailed, real-time maps of urban roads. Each member of the network will benefit from the information provided by other vehicles and would likely provide its own data in exchange for access.

Read the full article here.


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