HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
Innovative electric motor +++ Traffic forecasts +++ Empathic robots +++ Maglev trains +++ Tech visionaries
Electric // Innovation
Linear Labs, a father-son company, could revolutionize the basic electric motor concept. The “Hunstable Electric Turbine” has four rotors that interact with a variable number of coils (video) to modify the strength of the magnetic field. This enables the motor to adjust power and torque without a gearbox, making EVs lighter and more efficient – assuming it works in practice.
AI // Cities
Traffic simulations by startup Immense allow municipalities to look 30 to 60 minutes into the future. Using real-time data, an AI creates detailed models of cities and their traffic flows. Not only does this enable forecasting, it also helps in extreme situations such as storms. The software can simulate various traffic control scenarios and suggest the most appropriate action.
Robotics // AI
Zenbo is a robot companion. It can entertain people by dancing, making faces or telling jokes. Canadian students are now teaching it how to empathize. They are showing it how to use facial and vocal cues to recognize individual moods and react accordingly – by saying something encouraging or calming, for instance. This could be useful in providing care for the elderly.
Source: Global News Canada
Cities // Public Transit
In Munich, another attempt is being made to establish magnetic levitation trains as a local transit option. A feasibility study is examining three possible routes. Manufacturer Max Bögl believes the technology offers an alternative to subways. Compared to the failed Transrapid project, distances should be shorter, speeds lower – and construction considerably cheaper.
Source: Business Insider (German)
Heise Technology Review has announced the ten winners of the “Innovators under 35” competition. Among the award-winning ideas: A process that converts climate-harming emissions into useful hydrocarbons. A computer model that predicts the performance and residual value of EV batteries. And a modular robot that can be assembled in various ways, depending on the application.
Source: Heise Technology Review (German)
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