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Ocado’s Star Wars-style humanoid robots

Ocado’s robot will work collaboratively with human. It resembles Star Wars’ C-3PO

OCADO plans to wheel out Star Wars-style C-3PO humanoid robots at its warehouses as early as 2025. The ‘SecondHands’ robots will pass spanners and move ladders to workers using artificial intelligence and speech recognition.
Ocado has already built a prototype, marking the latest move from the online grocery specialist to cut its reliance on human workers.
In contrast to its main competitors, the company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses. Ocado has been voted the best online supermarket in the UK by ‘Which’ readers every year since 2010. Its  products include own brand groceries from the Waitrose supermarket chain as well as their own Ocado brand, but also a selection of name brand groceries and other items, including flowers, toys and magazines. A range of Carrefour’s products are also sold via Ocado.
In August 2017, Ocado launched an app for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant allowing users to add products to an existing Ocado order or basket via voice command. The company states it is the first UK supermarket to launch an app for Alexa.
The SecondHands prototype resembles Star Wars android C-3PO, but with wheels at its base instead of legs.
It is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems using AI to predict workers’ needs.
The robot listens to commands and interprets human reactions to decide how to help in different situations.
Workers can call out instructions, such as ‘pick up that spanner’ or ‘hold this for me’, and the robot responds with the appropriate action.

Precision or strength
According to Ocado, the robot ‘learns through observation’ to take on jobs that require a level of precision or strength unmatched by human workers.
An Ocado spokesperson told MailOnline that the android’s development will complete in 2020, with the project’s £6.2 million ($8.4 million) cost provided by an EU funding board.
Graham Deacon, robotics research leader at Ocado, said the company’s aim is to develop an autonomous robot that can help in ‘a fluid and natural interaction between robot and technician’.
SecondHands was developed at the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in southern Germany.
Ocado is now working with experts at University College London, Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Sapienza University in Rome to further develop systems that recognise human actions and speech.
* ‘SecondHands’ androids will use speech recognition and AI to help workers
* It is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems
* A prototype follows commands to pass tools and other warehouse equipment
* It marks the latest move to cut its reliance on human workers
SecondHands is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems using AI to predict workers’ needs. The robot (pictured) listens to commands and interprets human reactions to decide how to help in different situations
Ocado delivers groceries for both Morrisons and Waitrose in the UK, and has invested millions of pounds in developing home delivery technology for global grocery retailers.
The firm is currently building a robotic warehouse for French supermarket Groupe Casino as part of a huge international deal.
Its newest depot in Andover, Hampshire, uses hundreds of robots to move boxes of groceries stored in a giant grid.
Ocado is also developing robots that can recognise and grip a range of products, from delicate eggs to toxic bottles of bleach.
The firm’s work with automated warehouse systems, including SecondHands, has led to worries it is phasing out human employees.
An Ocado spokesperson said: ‘The idea of SecondHands is not to replace people, it is to take away an element of a technician’s job that is physically demanding, boring or unpleasant.
‘We are removing the physical labour but you will still need the human. The idea is they work together and are more productive as a pair.’
—Internet

Comment

Ocado’s robot will work collaboratively with human. It resembles Star Wars’ C-3PO

OCADO plans to wheel out Star Wars-style C-3PO humanoid robots at its warehouses as early as 2025. The ‘SecondHands’ robots will pass spanners and move ladders to workers using artificial intelligence and speech recognition.
Ocado has already built a prototype, marking the latest move from the online grocery specialist to cut its reliance on human workers.
In contrast to its main competitors, the company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses. Ocado has been voted the best online supermarket in the UK by ‘Which’ readers every year since 2010. Its  products include own brand groceries from the Waitrose supermarket chain as well as their own Ocado brand, but also a selection of name brand groceries and other items, including flowers, toys and magazines. A range of Carrefour’s products are also sold via Ocado.
In August 2017, Ocado launched an app for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant allowing users to add products to an existing Ocado order or basket via voice command. The company states it is the first UK supermarket to launch an app for Alexa.
The SecondHands prototype resembles Star Wars android C-3PO, but with wheels at its base instead of legs.
It is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems using AI to predict workers’ needs.
The robot listens to commands and interprets human reactions to decide how to help in different situations.
Workers can call out instructions, such as ‘pick up that spanner’ or ‘hold this for me’, and the robot responds with the appropriate action.

Precision or strength
According to Ocado, the robot ‘learns through observation’ to take on jobs that require a level of precision or strength unmatched by human workers.
An Ocado spokesperson told MailOnline that the android’s development will complete in 2020, with the project’s £6.2 million ($8.4 million) cost provided by an EU funding board.
Graham Deacon, robotics research leader at Ocado, said the company’s aim is to develop an autonomous robot that can help in ‘a fluid and natural interaction between robot and technician’.
SecondHands was developed at the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in southern Germany.
Ocado is now working with experts at University College London, Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Sapienza University in Rome to further develop systems that recognise human actions and speech.
* ‘SecondHands’ androids will use speech recognition and AI to help workers
* It is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems
* A prototype follows commands to pass tools and other warehouse equipment
* It marks the latest move to cut its reliance on human workers
SecondHands is designed to assist human engineers looking after Ocado’s handling systems using AI to predict workers’ needs. The robot (pictured) listens to commands and interprets human reactions to decide how to help in different situations
Ocado delivers groceries for both Morrisons and Waitrose in the UK, and has invested millions of pounds in developing home delivery technology for global grocery retailers.
The firm is currently building a robotic warehouse for French supermarket Groupe Casino as part of a huge international deal.
Its newest depot in Andover, Hampshire, uses hundreds of robots to move boxes of groceries stored in a giant grid.
Ocado is also developing robots that can recognise and grip a range of products, from delicate eggs to toxic bottles of bleach.
The firm’s work with automated warehouse systems, including SecondHands, has led to worries it is phasing out human employees.
An Ocado spokesperson said: ‘The idea of SecondHands is not to replace people, it is to take away an element of a technician’s job that is physically demanding, boring or unpleasant.
‘We are removing the physical labour but you will still need the human. The idea is they work together and are more productive as a pair.’
—Internet


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Type 2 diabetes starts in the liver


Scientists have unveiled the link between obesity and insulin resistance in liver cells. Among the detrimental effects of obesity is the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If the strong links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are well known, the cellular and molecular mechanisms were so far poorly understood.
Affecting as many as 650 million people worldwide, obesity has become one of the most serious global health issues. Among its detrimental effects, it increases the risk of developing metabolic conditions, and primarily type-2 diabetes. If the strong links between obesity and type-2 diabetes are well known, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which obesity predisposes to the development of insulin resistance were so far poorly understood. Today, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) unravel the factors linking obesity and insulin resistance, as well as the key role played by the liver in the onset of the disease. By deciphering how the protein PTPR-?, which is increased in the context of obesity, inhibits insulin receptors located at the surface of liver cells, the scientists open the door to potential news therapeutic strategies.

A new therapeutic target?
The metabolic functions of this protein were never characterized; this discovery therefore opens the door for potential new therapies. Previous studies had already studied PTP proteins in search for diabetes treatments, unfortunately to no avail. However, contrary to some of its family members that are intracellular, the protein identified in Geneva is located on the cell membrane. It is therefore of much easier access for therapeutic molecules. Interestingly, the very form of this protein allows for potential inhibition strategies: when two independent PTPR-? molecules are brought together by a ligand, they cannot act any more. The researchers are now working on identifying the endogenous ligand produced by the body, or on developing molecules that could mimic its function.
—Internet

Comment

Scientists have unveiled the link between obesity and insulin resistance in liver cells. Among the detrimental effects of obesity is the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If the strong links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are well known, the cellular and molecular mechanisms were so far poorly understood.
Affecting as many as 650 million people worldwide, obesity has become one of the most serious global health issues. Among its detrimental effects, it increases the risk of developing metabolic conditions, and primarily type-2 diabetes. If the strong links between obesity and type-2 diabetes are well known, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which obesity predisposes to the development of insulin resistance were so far poorly understood. Today, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) unravel the factors linking obesity and insulin resistance, as well as the key role played by the liver in the onset of the disease. By deciphering how the protein PTPR-?, which is increased in the context of obesity, inhibits insulin receptors located at the surface of liver cells, the scientists open the door to potential news therapeutic strategies.

A new therapeutic target?
The metabolic functions of this protein were never characterized; this discovery therefore opens the door for potential new therapies. Previous studies had already studied PTP proteins in search for diabetes treatments, unfortunately to no avail. However, contrary to some of its family members that are intracellular, the protein identified in Geneva is located on the cell membrane. It is therefore of much easier access for therapeutic molecules. Interestingly, the very form of this protein allows for potential inhibition strategies: when two independent PTPR-? molecules are brought together by a ligand, they cannot act any more. The researchers are now working on identifying the endogenous ligand produced by the body, or on developing molecules that could mimic its function.
—Internet


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