Finding koalas with heat seeking drones

Heat from animals can be identified using high tech sensors in cameras flown in drones. Artificial intelligence algorithms are used to analyse the thermal imagery to determine what’s seen and can identify koalas. Field tests after the heat-sensing camera work showed it was 100 per cent accurate. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/heat-seeking-drones-find-brisbane-s-hiding-koalas-20181003-p507km.html

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Personalised cancer therapy

CAR-T is a novel way of treating cancer that is “personalised”. It involves giving patients genetically modified immune cells. Cells are taken from a sample of the patient’s blood and reprogrammed in the lab to create ones that are genetically coded to recognise and destroy the cancer cells. It has been shown in trials to cure some patients, even those with advanced cancers where other treatments have failed. It is the first in what is expected to be a rapidly expanding class of personalised cancer therapies available, initially for children, on the NHS in the UK. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45407514?

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A cotton shirt you don’t have to iron

Imagine a shirt with the soft, natural feel of cotton but it doesn’t need to be ironed. Imagine as well active wear that breathes and is not smelly. While some synthetic fibres can do this, they are made from petrochemicals and every time you wash them, tiny microfibers of material are pulled free and enter our waterways. These fibres do not break down and can build up in the food chain. When you wash cotton, fibres are also shed but these are biodegradable and will break down rapidly. Some 100 % cotton products currently don’t need ironing but these tend to have been treated with chemicals to give them their special properties. CSIRO is working on the solution. https://blog.csiro.au/best-of-both-whorls-cotton-with-the-benefits-of-synthetics/

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World first melanoma blood test

Australian scientists have developed a world-first blood test capable of detecting early stage melanoma, which could save thousands of lives each year. The test works by detecting antibodies in a person’s blood, which develop to fight off cancerous cells, and highlight if a person may have melanoma. www.9news.com.au/national/2018/07/18/06/52/australian-melanoma-blood-test-early-stage-detection-cancer-prevention

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An automated restaurant experience

At one of Alibaba’s high-tech Hema grocery stores in Shanghai you can enjoy an automated dining experience. As you enter a quick QR code scan shows you your table and automatically notes your seat in the system for Hema’s robotic waiters. You can look at a fresh array of seafood and handpick your own ingredients, paid for in-app. A raised highway of robot pods has replaced human waitstaff with humans mostly left to the greeting and cooking. www.axios.com/alibaba-robot-restaurant-shanghai-china-automation-41348039-2540-4a42-8495-f0991db71574.html?

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Organs on chips to replace animal testing

Emulate uses organs-on-chips to accurately test drugs on individual, human organs. In the future, these could be your cells on a chip, tested with treatment after treatment until the right one sticks, offering personalised medicine tailored exactly to your genetic makeup. The micro-devices work by recreating the tissue interfaces of human organs inside a transparent polymer “chip”, so the behaviours of bacteria, drugs and human white blood cells can be easily monitored through a microscope. https://emulatebio.com

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Order a tailored shirt online

While many people order clothes online, this is based on a process of trial and error where you try different sizes and return the unwanted ones. Original Stitch has solved this problem for shirts. Their solution, called ‘Bodygram’, involves you selecting from different styles then taking 2 photos of yourself, one front on and one side on. Bodygram then uses AI, computer vision and machine learning to develop an analysis of your required shirt sizing with almost (99%) accuracy. www.originalstitch.com

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An automated warehouse of the future

Imagine a huge warehouse with groceries going in one end and shopping orders coming out the other. Humans do the unpacking and packing, while in the middle, robots sort and rearrange this vast inventory 24 hours a day. This is the latest highly automated warehouse of Ocado, a British online-only supermarket that also sells its technology to other global grocers. This algorithmically designed warehouse maximizes available space while digitizing some of the more arduous, complex and dull aspects of warehouse work. And by licensing and selling its automation technology to other companies, Ocado monetises the research and development needed to consistently disrupt itself.  https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/8/17331250/automated-warehouses-jobs-ocado-andover-amazon?

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First human-free bank branch

The China Construction Bank, China’s second-largest bank, has opened a branch in Shanghai run entirely by technology. A humanoid robot answers customers’ questions and directs traffic, and human client relationship managers remotely interact with customers via videoconference. Customers can pay to engage in small interactive augmented reality games to make the experience more of an occasion rather than just a branch visit. A virtual reality machine is also available to showcase CCB’s latest home rental offerings. This virtual reality, artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology is expected to support 90 percent of customer demand. https://m-scmp-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/m.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2141203/meet-new-face-branch-banking?

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An in-car delivery service

Amazon has partnered with GM and Volvo on its new In-Car Delivery service for Prime members, which launched this month in 37 U.S. cities. Prime members with eligible GM or Volvo cars simply select In-Car Delivery at checkout. Amazon couriers do not have direct access to the car — the unlock command is issued through the car’s connected systems (i.e. OnStar or Volvo on Call) as part of an authentication process. This service complements the Amazon in-home service launched last year.

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