Toyota Research Institute experiments with robots that hang from the ceiling and unfold to clean the kitchen
Researchers are using fleet learning and simulations to train robots to navigate one of the most complex environments: A home.
Working in a factory is easy for robots with the structured environment and repetitive tasks that come with that job. Helping with housework is a much bigger challenge. Scientists at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) are taking on that challenge by building new domestic robots and training them in a mock home.
Gill Pratt, the CEO of TRI and Kelly Kay, the Institute’s executive vice president and chief finance officer, gave a virtual tour of the TRI labs on Thursday. Max Bajracharya, the vice president of robotics and Steffi Paepcke, the senior user experience leader, explained the research and development process for building
Removing leaves from the yard is a task that homeowners must perform each fall. Thousands upon thousands of leaves can drop from a single tree. Multiply that by the number of trees on a property, and it’s no surprise the task of leaf cleanup can seem so daunting. Furthermore, not all leaves are shed at the same time, so several cleanup sessions may be necessary before the last leaf is banished from the yard. Just like removing snow, leaf cleanup can be a taxing job if done by hand. For people unaccustomed to exercise, cleaning up leaves can turn into quite a workout.
According to the Discovery Health Calorie Counter, raking leaves for one hour can burn nearly 292 calories. Shoulders and arms will feel the burn. Raking leaves is considered moderate physical activity, similar to brisk walking. Those who find themselves straining or out of breath should
LANSING — Bills to expand clean energy loans in Michigan could see changes to beef up consumer protections. Bipartisan legislation recently before a state House committee would extend Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans to residential property owners.
“There’s such savings to be had out there,” said bill sponsor, Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor. “And this tool, it’s just a great one for communities to have in their toolbox.”
But some groups are divided on whether the bills go far enough to protect the people they are aimed at helping. Mainly, low income residents.
Local governments would be able to provide financing to residents to adopt property assessment programs and create districts to promote the use of renewable energy systems and other energy efficient improvements and environmental projects. The loans would then be repaid, and include a lien on the owner’s property. Communities would have to opt in
SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — If one didn’t already know, it would be hard to believe that what was at the beginning of the year a vacant former Walgreen’s drug store is the same building that now houses the ultra-modern CLEan Express Auto Wash.
That car wash, at 4365 Mayfield Road, is now hopping as, after its grand opening Thursday (Sept. 10), it is operating at full capacity because of its opening promotion.
“We’d like everyone to try us and now’s a good time,” said Express Wash Concepts CEO John Roush. “We’re offering a free car wash to everyone who comes in — our best, $18 CLEanest car wash.” The offer extends through Sept. 20 and, Roush said, all that is asked is that customers consider a donation to Cleveland nonprofit The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning.
Roush, through the three brands that make up Express Wash Concepts, seeks to
We’ve seen plenty of, as well as smart lights that sync with , with , or with . But how about a smart light bulb that promises to disinfect your phone, or even your bathroom?
That’s the latest pitch from, a major smart lighting brand based in Australia. The company tells CNET it’s preparing to release a new Lifx Clean LED in North America later this year, billing it as “the world’s first antibacterial, germicidal smart light that works as a disinfectant.”
Designed for life – festival highlights
London Design Festival was one of the first design events post-lockdown to commit to running on its scheduled September dates. The festival programme reflects the events of 2020. This year there’s a new Virtual Design Destination by Adorno hosting work by European designers unable to travel to the UK. The exhibition theme is The New Reality and all the work has been inspired by, or created in response to, the pandemic.
One LDF landmark project is the Hothouse, a greenhouse created by architects Studio Weave and planted by gardener Tom Massey. The exotic jungle within features tropical plants that will be able to be grow in the UK climate by 2050 if global warming and the climate crisis continues. There will also be a series of talks and seminars in association with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to start a long-term project looking at the