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Quadcopter can inspect damaged nuclear reactors without putting workers at risk

“In a paper published on the preprint server Arxiv.org, they describe an autonomous quadcopter designed to inspect the interior of hazardous sites” writes Kyle Wiggers for venturebeat.com. In the aftermath of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan’s Honshu Island in 2011, primary power and cooling systems at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were knocked offline. Source: venturebeat.com

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Autonomous system uses quadcopters to help wheeled robots climb steep cliffs

“The two robots communicate over wireless and funnel information through Robot Operating System (ROS), an open source robotics middleware” writes Kyle Wiggers for venturebeat.com. Sheer cliff faces present a traversal challenge for most wheeled robots on the market, but researchers at the University of Tokyo say they’ve developed a two-robot framework that works pretty reliably in their testing.Moreover, in a field test, they say the two robots together “successfully” navigated through a field, detected an anchor, attached the tether to said anchor, and climbed a cliff — despite a few…

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Waymo Seeks Funding To Boost Valuation

“However, while the funding would help limit costs, Waymo parent company Alphabet does not want to give up too much equity in the business” reports pymnts.com. Waymo is looking to raise outside capital for the first time to boost its valuation past that of Cruise, the General Motors-owned autonomous vehicle business worth almost $15 billion.California will join our driverless testing program that’s already been happening in Phoenix, Arizona since last year,” the company wrote in a blog post at the time.Since then, we’ve driven over 10 million autonomous miles on public…

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How John Deere’s autonomous vehicles are besting self-driving concept cars

“Stone discusses how the latest models of autonomous vehicles are revolutionizing farming practices and decreasing stress on laborers” writes Pete Pachal for mashable.com. While self-driving cars are waiting for legislation to catch up with technology, these off-road vehicles are the new normal and have improved productivity industry-wide. Source: mashable.com

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Waymo will make money outside of just self-driving cars by selling its laser technology to other markets

“These alternative use cases could include warehouse robots, security systems, and autonomous tractors, though lidar applications outside of self-driving cars only account for a tenth of the market today, according to a Bloomberg report” writes Nick Bastone for businessinsider.com. The company has already piloted its autonomous driving services in Arizona and hopes to launch there later this year.On Tuesday, Waymo said it would begin selling its lidar sensor s — honeycomb-looking devices that use lasers to created detailed 3D maps of the surrounding environment — to customers who don’t compete…

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BMW and Daimler deepen their alliance, say they will pool resources and share development costs of automated driving technology

“Daimler will pursue a separate development alliance for level 5 robotaxis between its luxury brand Mercedes-Benz and supplier Robert Bosch” writes Min Read for reuters.com. FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Daimler and BMW deepened their alliance on Thursday to share spiraling development costs for highly automated driving technologies, even as each carmaker pursues separate efforts to develop fully self-driving cars.They said on Thursday their new partnership will center on so-called level 3 and level 4 automated driving technologies, including cars that still require steering wheels and drivers. BMW, for its part, continues…

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