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Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica


Smart Business SMART Companies Smart Companies London: Starship Technologies The pizza robot is on its way Janus Friis Robot delivery in congested urban areas can be tricky Ahti Heinla Autonomous deliveries will take on sooner than many expect Your next home-delivery pizza may very well come to your doorstep by robot. Starship Technologies aims to make on-demand delivery more efficient by having robots complete deliveries in congested urban areas, where driving can be challenging. The company claims its autonomous couriers can finish deliveries in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, traversing the streets of Silicon Valley with ease. Founded in 2014 by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, two of the original investors in Skype, the London- and Tallinn-based startup has built the delivery robot to navigate busy sidewalks. Sounds crazy? While drones need to fight new regulations (and gravity), Simple as pie Customers can open the robotic storage bin by entering a code and pressing a button Starship has been running tests in 16 countries, partnering with the likes of Just Eat and Domino's Pizza, and raised £13.4m (€15.1m) in funding. Tests in Hamburg, Germany, started last summer using what Starship calls its “personal delivery devices,” the sixwheeled autonomous vehicles that speed along at 6 kph and can carry loads of up to 18 kg. Retailers and restaurants in many countries are still unsure how robot delivery technology will pan out. In the US, legal requirements are still under discussion in many states but Virginia and Idaho have leaped ahead with their own set of rules. Some countries only allow self-driving delivery on an exemption basis. While Starship’s microvan deliveries may currently be seen as a marketing gimmick for the likes of Domino’s, auto nomous deliveries could start to motor a lot sooner than many industry pundits expect. 34

Chicago: Uptake Assisting the elderly Most of America’s old industrial base is decrepit and decaying, or so many believe. What it needs is a shot in the arm, preferably youth serum – which is exactly what Uptake intends to provide, namely a way to improve some of the nation's oldest industries. Based in Chicago, Illinois, Uptake uses analytics and predictive software to increase safety and enhance performance for companies in industries like construction, rail, aviation, and mining, according to Forbes. Uptake was started by Brad Keywell, one of the original founders of the collective buying platform Groupon. He believes that the rise of connected technology, commoditized sensors, massive storage capacity, and growing processing power means every asset in every industry can generate extremely valuable data at incredible scale. This key information can answer the most critical questions across an operation and open the door to unprecedented business advantages, but he says he feels that companies are not making effective use of this wealth of data. “Do you know that, according to [the consultancy] McKinsey, less than one percent of industrial data is being used today?” he asks. Keywell set himself the goal of creating purpose-built products to ingest and analyze sensor and enterprise data, transforming it into actionable insights and immediate outcomes. This, he believes, can generate real business value and set new standards for productive, secure, safe, and reliable operations. “Machines don’t have to break,” Keywell maintains. With its focus initially on safety and allowing construction, transportation, and manufacturing to use data to enhance performance, the company is well on its way to achieving its goal. The construction industry machinery behemoth Caterpillar has become a Brad Keywell Creating real business value with the help of sensors and data backer and Uptake is growing quickly. Formal recognition by some august institutions followed quickly. The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers community hailed Uptake as a leader in its field in 2016, inviting it to participate in the Forum's events, activities, and initiatives alongside larger companies like Airbnb, Google, Kaggle, Kickstarter, Scribd, Spotify, Twitter, and Wikimedia. Operating hospitals is one area where Uptake has been making headway by increasing efficiency with better data usage. Keywell explains that hospital fluid delivery infusion pumps often sit idle in hospital back rooms waiting to be used, and MRI machines are often sidelined for days awaiting replacement parts. These are just two common examples of the inefficient use of medical equipment. According to Becker's Hospital CFO Report 2016, hospitals spend $93bn on life-cycle costs for medical equipment, yet they have almost no insight into how medical equipment is being used and how much value it drives. With limited visibility into existing assets, hospitals are losing money, wasting resources, and putting security at risk, he believes. Some of the symptoms of today’s broken processes in many areas of industry and business include the problem of only being able to report issues after they have occurred. By understanding how individual assets are used, engineers and administrators can gain insights into asset equipment availability and performance, and dive much deeper into providing the value opportunities that surface. The best way to avoid downtime is to create clear visibility into equipment. Enterprises must be able to collect data directly from existing hardware and incorporate it into a centralized asset management system, he says. Over time, progressive, data-driven organizations with robust equipment visibility will be rewarded handsomely with massive cost savings from reduced downtime and optimized operations, he concludes. 35