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March 1, 2018 Marketing

TechHub: UberAIR vs. Hyperloop, Smart Cities & Manufacturing Robots

UberAIR vs. Musk’s Hyperloop: Who Will Win?

Billionaire Elon Musk has gotten himself into another CEO vs. CEO challenge over Twitter, this time with Uber over air taxis according to GeekWire.

It’s no secret that Uber has been working on electric-powered, air taxis that can carry passengers autonomously — solving problems for traffic-jammed cities like L.A. and Dubai.

Expedia-turned-Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is sold on the idea, whereas Musk isn’t. Instead, he’s convinced the solution lies in creating tunnels for cars and electric-powered pods to zip beneath surface roads — which is exactly what The Boring Company is aiming to achieve with Hyperloops.

The drama was provoked with a single tweet from a journalist, prompting an argument over which form of innovative tech will prevail. It didn’t take long for Musk to respond.

Musk was just granted permission this month to begin digging in Washington D.C. for the beginning phase of a Hyperloop that will connect New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. Whereas Uber plans to begin in-city testing in Dallas and Dubai by 2020. So which tech will prevail? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City

San Francisco is one of the hottest cities in the U.S. It’s full of optimism, innovation and wealth — but it can also feel like a place that doesn’t work quite right. The cost of housing has priced out a large portion of the workforce, making income inequality among the widest in the nation. Traffic is a mess. And local governments are locked in conflict.

There’s a gap between how it functions and how inventors and engineers there think it should, creating an idea: What if the people who build circuits and social networks could build cities, too? Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company, announced last fall the teaming up with a government agency in Toronto to redevelop a stretch of the city “from the internet up,” according to the NY Times.

Source: NY Times / Rob Pybus

Silicon Valley has a dream of utopias with driverless cars, radical property-ownership models, 3D-printed houses and skyscrapers assembled within days. According to the Times, their interest has an “internal logic” to it. The tech industry produces better versions of familiar things, like cheaper phones, smaller computers and faster chips. But cities like San Francisco aren’t evolving into more efficient versions of themselves.

“Humans currently live in cities that are the equivalent of flip phones,” said Jonathan Swanson, a co-founder of the company Thumbtack, which connects consumers to professionals like house painters and wedding officiants. If someone built a better version of San Francisco — the iPhone X of cities — two hours away, people here would demand those upgrades, he said. One new city could benefit millions of others who don’t live there.

“When you have competition, you get iOS versus Android or Lyft versus Uber,” Mr. Swanson said. Without competition, we get cities that are like Comcast or the D.M.V. Creating a collision of people and ideas is sort of the point.

“It could be so much better,” said Ben Huh, who moved to San Francisco in 2016 after running the Cheezburger blog empire in Seattle. “There’s so much wealth. There’s so much opportunity.”

5 Manufacturing Applications for Robotics in 2018

Manufacturers and engineers are beginning to fully embrace the power of robotics and Industry 4.0 in 2018. Next-gen robotics are efficient and easy to use, causing a favorable view of industrial automation in society. According to Manufacturing.net, the top 5 uses of it throughout 2018 will be:


Warehouse Logistics

In the past, robotics have been limited to assembly-line operations. As they become more sophisticated, they’re branching out into use in warehouses. Being able to navigate large storerooms and complex floor plans quicker, safer and more efficiently than humans allow for cutting long-term costs.



Human researchers and development teams are necessary to conceptualize breakthroughs and visualize new blueprints in the aerospace industry, robots have their role of grunt work — making the industry safer for humans by removing risks.


Automotive Manufacturing

The automotive industry has used robots for decades, and the tend is increasing as they’re becoming more affordable and reliable. Factories can easily modify or upgrade new designs to accommodate any tools or hardware they need, including air compressors. They’re making their way away from just the assembly line and into roles of greater scope and accountability.


Woodworking and construction

Construction sites and lumberyards are hectic and fast-paced work environments. To reduce some of the chaos and help cut costs, companies have moved a lot of the work typically done onsite to workshops or manufacturing facilities. Robots can easily build pallets, cut lumber to size and plane wood according to exact requirements. Builders are even bringing robots to construction sites for simple framing jobs, showing what next-gen robots can do.


Home and office furniture

Consumers can save money on new furniture by purchasing it in unassembled kits (think IKEA), which can consist of complex designs that require special tools or hardware that may or may not come with the purchase.

But a lot of manufacturers, like Michigan-based Steelcase, handle most of this work before shipping — thanks to computer-controlled collaborate robots in their production facility. Rather than take away jobs of current workers, they work side-by-side to handle mundane tasks, creating a better end product.


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