Intel aims to streamline supply chain logistics with new DWS lidar software

Intel Corp. today introduced DWS, a new software product that promises streamline the supply chain operations of companies such as retailers by automating the labor-intensive chore of measuring packages’ dimensions and volume.

Intel, best known for its chips, also has a presence in a few other markets. Among others, the company sells a line of enterprise-grade depth cameras under the RealSense brand that can be used for tasks such as equipping industrial robotics with computer vision capabilities. The new DWS software announced today works with the RealSense L515 (pictured), a lidar depth camera introduced last December that Intel touts as the world’s smallest high-resolution lidar camera.

Measuring packages is an important part of running a modern supply chain. Delivery companies need to accurately log items’ size and volume to determine how best to allocate cargo capacity in their trucks. An e-commerce company, meanwhile, can use volume measurements of merchandise in its warehouses as a metric for evaluating inventory availability. These types of measurements also play a role in billing.

The challenge is that packages’ dimensions and volume typically have to be logged manually, which creates inefficiencies for large logistics firms processing millions of items per year. Enter Intel’s DWS software. A warehouse operator or delivery company can pair DWS with a number of RealSense L515 lidar cameras, deploy the cameras in its facilities and automate the measurement process.

Intel says DWS takes less than two seconds to glean a package’s dimensions and volume. It’s accurate to the millimeter, according to the chipmaker, and can measure objects ranging from small boxes measuring a few inches across to full-sized pallets. The RealSense L515 cameras DWS uses to capture this data produce images by gathering up to 23 million so-called depth points per second within their field view.

Besides speeding up measurements, Intel

With $300 Million In New Funding, Zymergen Aims To Sustainably Transform The $3 Trillion Chemical And Materials Industry

By making better, greener alternatives to petrochemistry, Zymergen sees a huge economic and environmental opportunity

As the smoke from a dozen wildfires darkened San Francisco, Josh Hoffman took his two children outside to see the surreal morning sky. It looked like a dystopian scene from Blade Runner 2049.

“My kids were scared because the sun never rose, and when it did it looked like a dying planet,” says the CEO of Zymergen, a biomanufacturing company. In the apocalyptic skies, Hoffman saw the end of times that so many warn about if we don’t get a handle on climate change. “It’s not going to be solved with gentle nudges to use a little bit less power. We need real technology-based innovation.”

Warmer, drier conditions, increased drought, and a longer fire season…these are just a few potential results of climate change. But by making better, greener alternatives for the $3 trillion petrochemistry-based chemicals and materials industry, Zymergen sees a huge economic and environmental opportunity.

Investing in the future of manufacturing

Investors see the opportunity, too. In September, Zymergen announced one of the largest deep tech investments of 2020 — $300 million — to accelerate its pipeline of high-performance chemicals and materials. The investment includes initial Series D funding led by Baillie Gifford, Baron Capital Group, Perceptive Advisors, and a number of current investors. Zymergen expects to raise additional capital in Q4 as part of the Series D round.

Hoffman says about 60% of Zymergen’s cash is going to new pipeline

New Online Learning Website Mentorwolf Aims To Make Everyone A Teacher On World Teachers’ Day

Combining the power of the web, the gig economy, and
distance learning, Mentorwolf a new peer to peer educational
website with a twist, launched today just in time for World
Teachers’ Day. The site connects tutors (mentors) with
learners (mentees) worldwide.

Mentorwolf is not an
online university and encourages its’ members to think
beyond the scope of traditional academic subjects like math
and science, urging them to be more creative and have fun
with their education. “Most anything can be taught and
learned on the platform from re-upholstering ones dining
room chairs to repairing a vintage vehicle’s carburettor,
to learning how to make Rocky Road ice cream – we want
people to explore and learn from each other.” says founder
and CEO Kaspur Franke, an entrepreneur from New York who
found himself travelling in New Zealand when the global
Coronavirus pandemic struck. “It’s about democratising
and redefining what online education means for everyone and
expanding the idea of who can teach and what can be taught
and learned when passionate enthusiasts come together.
I’ve always been a passionate autodidact and felt that
everyone is skilled at something. That’s why I wanted to
create a dedicated learning platform for people to be able
to come together and learn from one another. I began working
on the creation of Mentorwolf well before the pandemic
struck but when it hit, I saw an even greater need for the
space.”

Mentor registration is open
now.

Signing up as a Mentorwolf mentor is free and
mentors make their own schedule, set their own prices, and
are not subject to paying exorbitant fees to use the
platform.

Learner registration is coming
soon.

Learners are free to browse and take as many
courses with as many different mentors

Exclusive: Airbnb aims to raise roughly $3 billion in IPO – sources

(Reuters) – Home rental company Airbnb Inc is aiming to raise around $3 billion in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO), people familiar with the matter said on Friday, taking advantage of the unexpectedly sharp recovery in its business after the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the travel industry.

FILE PHOTO: A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie/File Photo

Airbnb will be one of the largest and most anticipated U.S. stock market listings of 2020 which has already been a blockbuster year for IPOs, featuring the likes of record label Warner Music Group WMG.O, data analytics firm Palantir Technologies PLTR.N and data warehouse company Snowflake Inc SNOW.N.

Airbnb said in August it had filed confidentially for an IPO with U.S. regulators.

The company’s current plan is to make its filing publicly available in November after the U.S presidential election and is targeting an IPO some time in December, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the plans are private.

The sources cautioned that the timing is subject to change and market conditions, in particular volatility that could come from the election.

A spokesman for Airbnb declined to comment.

The company could achieve a valuation of more than $30 billion in the IPO, the sources added, again cautioning this was subject to market conditions.

This would be substantially higher than the $18 billion Airbnb was valued at in April when it raised $2 billion in debt from investors. Airbnb’s most recent independent appraisal of the fair market value of its stock pegged its worth at around $21 billion.

The push to go public and the growth in its potential valuation underscores Airbnb’s dramatic recovery from earlier this year when

AeroVironment Aims To Disrupt Industry With New Loitering Missile

Californian company AeroVironment
AVAV
aims to disrupt the multibillion-dollar tactical missile industry with its new SwitchBlade 600 loitering missile. Such missiles, sometimes termed kamikaze drones, are propeller-driven, and fly slower but with greater endurance than traditional missiles. Unlike traditional missiles, they can cruise over the battlefield for an extended period looking for targets; if a target proves to be invalid when seen at close range, they can be waved off and go hunting for another. AeronVironment’s small SwitchBlade has proved highly effective in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Now the company is upsizing with a bigger, faster, and more powerful version able to take on a wider set of targets at longer range.

AeroVironment’s existing SwitchBlade loitering missile is one of the U.S. military’s best-kept secrets. It’s a five-pound, tube-launched weapon that can locate, identify, and destroy a target from several miles away while the operator remains securely behind cover, watching via video feed. Thousands have been used, often against “high-value targets” (aka insurgent leadership) but few details have ever been released. The small warhead delivers a focused blast of shrapnel which can take out a group of individuals or a pickup truck; it can dive vertically to hit targets in trenches or foxholes. But the generally secret nature of the operations it is used in means there are more pictures circulating even of the shadowy six-bladed Hellfire R9X ‘Ninja missile’ than SwitchBlade.

The existing SwitchBlade now becomes the SwitchBlade 300, with the unveiling of the bigger SwitchBlade 600. This is a 50-pound weapon, launched from a ground vehicle, drone or helicopter, with a forty-minute flight time and a top speed of 115 mph. It can travel 50