The Google Home Max smart speaker is finally available for purchase but in very limited quantity and only in the US. The Google Assistant-powered speaker is listed in Verizon’s store (in Chalk) as well as at BestBuy (Charcoal and Chalk) at its standard price of $ 399. Google’s own store has a waitlist set up. The Google Home Max is the largest smart speaker by Google – sitting above the Home Mini and the Home. Its extra size provides extra punch thanks to dual 4.5-inch woofers. Sound is accentuated by custom tweeters. The Home Max can also adapt to its surrounding and tune its…
French start-up Exotec Solutions is working with e-commerce giant Cdiscount to test a scalable, speedy autonomous robot network that could take order fulfilment to the next level.
Ferrying items from one side of a warehouse to another is well within the operating parameters of many industrial robots. In fact, from online retailers such as Amazon to groceries from Ocado, the brute-force side of the order fulfilment process is increasingly dependant on nuts and bolts, AI and autonomous machines.
However, the final steps of picking, placing and packaging require a level of dexterity that only humans are capable of – although that too is changing. Ocado’s robots are getting smarter and events like Amazon’s Picking Challenge are enabling researchers to test out new techniques in real-world scenarios.
For now though, with the orders mounting up, online retailers are keen to speed up the process in any way possible.
French AI robotics start-up Exotec Solutions is today launching Skypod Robots, an autonomous system designed to improve order processing speed and, according to the company, work two times faster than its rivals.
French e-commerce company Cdiscount has been testing the Skypods at its Bordeaux warehouse and seen order processing speed rise by a factor of four. The Skypod system is making an impact for three reasons.
First is the ability of the ‘3D mobile robots’ to scale shelves as well as roll around at ground level. Second is speed. Scuttling about at 10 mph, the robots can quickly transfer goods in the warehouse to human operators who handle packing and shipping. Third, according to Exotec, the robots’ laser scanner navigation system allows them to travel anywhere in the storage area, while carrying boxes weighing more than 60 pounds.
Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec Solutions, suggests that a flexible, scalable system is best positioned to disrupt e-commerce logistics. “To respond to today’s market requirements, companies are putting the emphasis on deployment speed and flexible deployment capability rather than heavy fixed infrastructure in order to best respond to rapid fluctuations in demand,” he said.
“The Skypod addresses the needs of a new generation of customers who are looking for high performance and high-density systems that can be modified every two years.”
“From inception, the system has been designed to ensure fast deployment and full scalability. Skypod’s free navigation allows the robots to travel anywhere within the system, something the competition can’t offer today,” said Renaud Heitz, Exotec’s CTO and co-founder.
“The system’s software is powered by the latest artificial intelligence, allowing us to deploy on site within days instead of weeks.”
In December last year, Exotec raised $ 3.5million from 360 Capital Partners and Breega Capital.
Amazon’s paid music streaming service, Music Unlimited, has been live for a little over a year. Since its launch in the US, it has rolled to a few additional countries like the UK, Germany, Austria, and Japan, but today marks its largest expansion to date: 28 countries are getting Amazon Music Unlimited.
I know you’re looking for the list, so before I babble on about what Music Unlimited is, here are the countries getting AMU:
If you live in one of these countries and you’re wondering what you get with Music Unlimited, here’s the quick rundown: 40 million songs, unlimited ad-free streaming, personalized playlists and stations, new releases, new worldwide playlists, with the options to listen on the web, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Echo devices, and FireTV.
If you’re a tightwad like me, you’ll probably agree when I say food delivery services are a bit of an indulgence. But when there’s a promo going on, especially during a chilly time of the year, it becomes a lot easier to justify such an extravagance. Enter DoorDash, which is offering free delivery for anyone who makes an order via its Android app and uses the “Pay with Google” payment option during the month of December.