Dancing Machines Video – A Choreography of Two Thousand Robots Set to Music

“Rhythmic acrobatic… she’s a dynamite attraction,” these lines  the song, “Dancing Machine”,  are coming to life in a new video where 2,000 robots and 1,700 factory workers are moving in unison to build a car body in just over one minute.

The robot ballet takes place in a SEAT sheet metal workshop in Spain where several different types of dancing machines are featured in the mechanical performance. It isn’t just machines, the dancing robots join the efforts of the employees, and final verifications are carried out by the factory workers. People and machines together are able to put together one car body every 68 seconds!

 

 

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A Virtual Waiting Room Added to Services at the APA Adoption Center

IMG_20180417_004229 (1)Some visitors first stop is to see the dogs and cats looking for homes at the APA Adoption Center. It is fun, rivaling the birthday parties, pet showers, or some of the educational classes and workshops at the center.

My first stop at the center in Brentwood, Missouri near Saint Louis is usually the wellness clinic. One of the busiest areas of the adoption center, it serves over 10,000 pets each year.

IMG_20180214_123057The wellness clinic is where veterinary staff perform health screenings, vaccinate against disease and spay or neuter each pet prior to adoption. The APA wellness clinic is open to the public offering low-cost exams and vaccinations for pets.

I’ve found it to be a great place to meet adorable animals and great pet parents while they wait to see the veterinarian or pick up medication. The clinic reception area is a favorite hunting ground in my search for interesting stories about animal adoptions and the role pets play in their daily lives. Many owners like to share what makes their pet special. No matter how hectic life gets, our pets are there for us.

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I’ve seen fewer people and pets in the APA Wellness Clinic reception and intake area. It isn’t that there are fewer pets and people visiting, they just aren’t sitting and waiting as long anymore.

Technology is helping to take the wait and crowded waiting room out of the APA Wellness Clinic. Anyone can get in a virtual line to see a veterinarian.

It is easy to join the virtual queue from home, the office, or on the run using your phone. You’ll receive text updates and notifications on forecast wait times so you and your pet can wait where you want.photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9a

The QLess platform in use now at the APA clinic helps people around the world every day to avoid wasting time in line at license offices, hospitals, and businesses.

“We give time back to millions of people who otherwise would have to waste time standing in line,” explains Dr. Alex Bäcker, CEO of Qless.

This technology makes it simple to get in line at the APA Wellness Clinic from home, the office or even on-the-go using your phone. The text notifications allow pet parents to stay updated about estimated wait times and when they are next in line.

“With the QLess App we’re always looking for ways to incorporate technology and improve customer service. By reducing time spent in our waiting room we can better serve people and their pets,” says Kim Brown, APA Director of Operations and Vice President.

unnamedIt is easy to join the line, just send a text message “APA Clinic” to 417-720-2235. APA clinic clients will receive a text confirming your place in the queue.

Or pet owners may join the line via a computer by visiting APA website and the virtual waiting room at https://apamo.org/pet-services/virtual-waiting-room/.

The QLess notification is not an appointment time or reservation, but a way to give APA Wellness Clinic clients freedom and flexibility to wait wherever they want.DrD

The clinic’s hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. The APA is centrally located in Saint Louis County at 1705 South Hanley Road with easy access to interstates 64 and 40.

Learn more about the many community programs at the APA Adoption Center or how to bring home a furry friend at https://apamo.org/

 

A Smart Car Window Displays View to Blind Passengers

gateway-arch-426492__340I live in a city filled with reminders of epic travelers from the historic journeys of Lewis and Clark to the cross country treks in automobiles along Route 66. There are still many icons around Saint Louis and across Missouri modern travelers can visit today.

From Missouri’s rolling hills and natural wonders explored by Lewis and Clark to the kitschy man-made attractions that helped make Route 66 a favorite for family road trips, the unique views make a Missouri road trip memorable.

For blind travelers, this is a part of the trip they miss. A new prototype smart car window aims to change the experience by enabling blind or partially-sighted people to visualize passing scenery through touch.

The smart car window named Feel the View takes pictures that are turned into high-contrast monochrome images. These images are then reproduced on the glass using special LEDs.

By touching the image, different shades of grey vibrate with a range of 255 intensities, allowing passengers to touch the scene and rebuild in their mind the landscape in front of them.

Feel the View was conceived and developed by Ford in Italy in collaboration with Aedo, a start-up that specializes in devices for the visually impaired.

“We seek to make people’s lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving. The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones,” explained Ford representative Mac Alù Saffi in a written statement.

See how Feel the View may give visually impaired travelers epic journeys in the future in this video:

The Expanding World of Robotics

More manufacturing operations have robots working on the line today. The army of robots is growing rapidly as 1.7 million new industrial robots are projected to be in operation by 2020.

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The automation of production is accelerating around the world: 74 robot units per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries.

Robotics are no longer reserved for a few manufacturing applications. The International Federation of Robotics says between 2015 and 2016, the average number of robot workers globally increased from 66 units per 10,000 human workers to 74.

Robots are at work in a wide range of industries including transportation, retail, medicine, agriculture and much more. The nation with the most robots at work is South Korea with 631 robots per 10,000 human workers. The International Federation of Robotics says this is due to the large number of robots at work in automotive and electronics manufacturing.

Singapore follows, with 488 installed robots for every 10,000 people. About 90% of robots in Singapore are installed in the electronics industry according to the International Federation of Robotics.

Germany is Europe’s most automated country, ranking third worldwide. It has 309 robot workers per 10,000 people.

The newest robots and automation manufacturers from all over the world will be on display at automatica 2018 June 19th through the 22nd in Munich. You can delve into the world of automation and learn more about automatica 2018 online at https://automatica-munich.com/index-2.html

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Yesterday’s Science Fiction is Today’s Reality – Human Robot Collaboration at automatica 2018

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The way we work is rapidly changing. When I started working in television, there was an operator on every camera in the studio. That soon changed as robots moved into local television stations. Automation improved efficiency with one employee operating multiple robotic studio cameras. The technology rapidly spread into even small television operations. Broadcasters have been working aside robots for decades.

The interaction between humans and machines is on the rise in a wide array of industries. The future smart workplace will combine human dexterity with digital assistant systems to achieve a new level of performance.507552_Robot

“The combination of man and machine is particularly powerful. As a result, jobs become more ergonomic and more interesting than ever before,” explains Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director, VDMA Robotics + Automation.

One event, automatica 2018, focuses on how people should be integrated into an ever-changing digital environment, what challenges have to be tackled and what opportunities this development will offer for current and future jobs.

The newest robots and automation manufacturers from all over the world will be on display at automatica 2018 June 19th through the 22nd in Munich. But you can get a preview now in this video with a father and son discovering some of the intelligent technology to be on display. After all, the upcoming generation will use smart machines intuitively. For these “digital natives,” robots are a matter of course, and operating them is child’s play.

You can delve into the world of automation and learn more about automatica 2018 online at https://automatica-munich.com/index-2.html

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A Free App Bringing Sight to the Blind and Visually Impaired

226541_2066754712732_918981_aMaking a big difference in someone’s life can be as easy as pulling out your smart phone for a few minutes every day. Really! A not-for-profit app makes life easier for those with vision problems by connecting them with sighted helpers through a smartphone app. Be My Eyes allows the blind to handle big and small tasks, while sighted volunteers get the joy of helping someone else in an easy and informal way at their convenience.

Be My Eyes harnesses the power of technology and generosity to connect visually impaired users with sighted volunteers through a live video connection. Volunteers lend their eyes to assist visually impaired users with a wide range of tasks, both large and small. For example:

  • Matching colors and clothing
  • Distinguishing between household or kitchen products; cans, cleaning products, shampoo, etc.
  • Determining departure or arrival of public transportation
  • Navigating in unfamiliar surroundings

The app is available for Android and Apple products. The Be My Eyes community is growing with more than 900,000 users across 150 countries helped by hundreds of thousands of sighted volunteers. Microsoft has also joined the effort offering Be My Eyes users a direct connection to receive technical assistance from the Disability Answer Desk, a free consumer service for Microsoft’s customers with disabilities.

This video demonstrates how Be My Eyes works.

Want to learn more about lending your eyes and stay connected with this awesome app? Be My Eyes is on Twitter and Facebook. Plus you should check out the website at http://www.bemyeyes.org/. Please consider following me on Twitter too.

Check out this great way to help visually impaired people

Check out this great way to help visually impaired people

Smartphone App Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Locate Missing Pets

2010_tyd_photowinner_louiseTechnology is at work to help pet owners looking for lost animals. A cell phone app called Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) issues alerts for missing pets. The PiP app uses facial recognition technology to find a missing pet. The owner can upload a picture and description of their pet. When the pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP alert. The alert is sent out to veterinarians and local animal shelters. The alert will trigger PiP technology to watch social media outlets for postings of pets that have been found. It uses a facial recognition system to find a positive match to a found pet in the database.
PiPPhones-1 The PiP app is a free download for all Smartphone users.  At the moment a pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP “amber alert” and immediately broadcast to animal control/animal rescue agencies, veterinarians, social media outlets, and other app subscribers within the local area that their pet has been lost. Simultaneously, the amber alert will trigger PiP’s technology to watch social media outlets for any posting of a found pet.
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Thank goodness, my dogs have not gone missing so I have not tried the PiP app; I opt for the old-school dog tag with my contact information and microchips on both of my dogs.

Pet microchips are available at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, most veterinarian offices and many animal shelters. A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. It only takes a few minutes to have a pet microchipped and your information can be updated during the life of your pet.

Want to learn more about Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) technology? Check out this video including some feedback from animal owners and rescue experts. Please take a moment and fill out the poll below.