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An army of robots to sort parcels

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Chinese delivery firm Shentong is leading in automation. Orange robots at the company’s sorting stations are able to identify the destination of a package through a code-scan, virtually eliminating sorting mistakes. They can sort up to 200,000 packages a day, and are self-charging, meaning they are operational 24/7. Shentong estimates its robotic sorting system is saving around 70-percent of the costs of a human-based sorting line. http://m.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/04/18/shentong-express_n_16087678.html

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Clean water and power for remote communities

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For a few cents a day, people in remote communities can access clean water and clean power at a conveniently located box unit. Inside the box is a five-stage micro-filtration tank that takes in dirty water and makes it drinkable. Each box has solar panels sufficient to allow 300 families battery packs that hold enough power to run three LED lights for four hours and to charge two mobile phones. Grid Box plans to install units in 18 villages in Rwanda. https://www.fastcompany.com/40449777/this-simple-box-serves-up-running-water-and-clean-electricity-in-remote-locations?

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A robot that can deal with lawn, leaves and snow

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The world’s first 3-in-1 autonomous robot can mow the lawn, clean up leaves, and remove snow. It cuts and mulches the lawn a fraction of an inch every time, picks up the leaves before they pile up, and removes snow a few inches at a time while it’s still falling. It has a rechargeable battery and will automatically dock itself in its charging station when it needs a power boost. www.thekobi.com

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A shower toilet

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In Japan, toilets that offer showers are commonly called washlets, and include many advanced features rarely seen outside of Asia. The features commonly found on washlets include bidet washing, seat warming, and deodorization. The washlet isn’t cheap yet, in Japan, they are everywhere. In fact, compared to plain, old, featureless toilets, washlets are in the majority of restrooms. https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www.engadget.com/amp/2014/05/09/westerners-guide-to-japanese-toilets/

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A dishwasher for your brain

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Research shows that lymphatic vessels extend to the brain and this has significant implications for a wide variety of brain diseases, including dementia, multiple sclerosis, stroke and traumatic brain injury. This system, called glymphatic, is said to be a dishwasher for the brain. Previously the brain was seen only as a bunch of nerve cells or as a computer. This finding relates to research showing the importance of sleep to help your brain function well. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/when-scientists-saw-the-mouse-heads-glowing-they-knew-the-discovery-was-big/2017/05/19/f33cc574-246a-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html?

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The restaurant menu of the future- 3D

The restaurant menu of the future

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Robotic eye surgery

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Remotely operated robots have recently been used to perform eye operations. These robots were able to produce better results than traditional methods, signaling a turning point in the future of robot-assisted surgeries. Robots can provide steady heads and hands, which will be especially useful for clinical treatments that require precision and stability. Testing such systems by operating on eyes, which are very sensitive, yet not vital human organs, seems like an ideal step forward. https://futurism.com/for-the-first-time-ever-a-robot-performed-an-operation-inside-a-human-eye/

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Airless bike tyres

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Punctures are the bane of all cyclists, and Bridgestone might be on the verge of eliminating them for good. The company’s new tyre is called the “Air Free Concept”, and is an evolution of the airless car tyres Bridgestone announced back in 2011. https://www.springwise.com/next-gen-bicycle-tire-deliver-air-free-concept?

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A salad-making robot

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When you order a salad from Sally the Salad Robot, you can make a custom combination or choose from a handful of signature salads created by Chef Charlie Ayers, who’s known for being the first executive chef at Google. The menu rotates as seasonal ingredients become available. http://uk.businessinsider.com/sally-the-salad-robot-chowbotics-2017-4?r=US&IR=T

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A supermarket with rescued food

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This trial grocery store moves beyond sell-by and use-by labels to combat food waste and its impact on the environment and to combat hunger. It’s the first of its kind in Australia. Everything is free for those who can’t afford to pay for it. Or you can donate an amount you choose. Ozharvest rescue food that can’t be sold by supermarkets and food retailers due to being past its display by date but is still perfectly good to eat. They also rescue products which are surplus for a variety of commercial reasons, such as change in packaging or incorrect orders. www.ozharvest.org

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A hotel room that floats on water

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You’ll soon be able to sleep on a bed in a floating capsule and look into the stars while it drifts to an island overnight. That’s the experience a major theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture plans to offer you by the end of this year. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/06/business/huis-ten-bosch-inn-boast-spheric-sleeping-capsules-drift-isle-attactions/

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Making your environment interactive

Lightform is a new technology that’s able to project different patterns and content onto individual surfaces. It turns any surface into a video screen-augmented reality without the headset. You could wrap a movie around your living room wall. Or cast one pattern on a vase and another on a chair. In one demo, Lightform technology projects glowing menu items onto a blank blackboard. https://lightform.com

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London tests driverless shuttle service

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The UK’s Transport Research Laboratory is testing a driverless shuttle service in the London borough of Greenwich. The vehicle will ferry participants up and down a preset route. It can travel at speeds of up to 10 mph and is capable of seating four. The UK government is hoping these sorts of autonomous shuttles will play a big part in the country’s public transport, especially in areas not served by bus, train, or tram routes. http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/5/15188650/london-driverless-shuttle-service-pod-greenwich

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An agri banking app with wifi for rural areas

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ICICI Bank has launched a mobile banking app that allows users to access banking services as well as information on agricultural services. To further aid quick download of the app, the bank said it will introduce ‘Wi-Fi enabled posters’ in rural and semi-urban areas. Anyone including non-ICICI Bank customers can download and use the app which is available in eleven Indian languages. https://www.google.com.au/amp/m.timesofindia.com/business/india-business/icici-bank-launches-mera-imobile-banking-app-for-rural-customers/amp_articleshow/57737386.cms

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More secure passwords

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Instead of requiring a typed password or a fingerprint, new security software asks the user to speak or mouth a password directly at a device’s camera. Because this verification method is based on two things — lip motions and the correct password content — the system is doubly secure. https://futurism.com/lip-reading-computers-could-spell-the-end-of-passwords-as-we-know-them/

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