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Tag Archives: automation

Next Job On The Chopping Block: Pizza Delivery Guy. Dominos Is Testing A Pizza Delivery Bot


There’s a lot of chatter these days about robotization, automation, and the impact it’s going to have on our lives. The reality is, it already has a huge impact, and it’s going to grow. Dominos Australia is testing the DRU, Domino’s Robotic Unit. It’s an automated delivery bot that can roam the streets all by itself, and bring you your order with no human intervention. To avoid hungry hoodlums stealing your food in transit, the compartment can only be unlocked with a smartphone app or a special code you’re given when you place your order. The company already tested the bot with a few customers in one neighbourhood, and everything went well. Don’t expect to see this at your door tomorrow though, since there are a host of regulatory requirements to meet before a fleet can be expanded beyond the prototype shown above. Still, it’s just a matter of time.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ ]

MiniBrew Makes It Super Easy To Make Beer At Home


Making beer at home can be fun, but it’s also a fairly complex process that takes time and know how. But these days there are enough sensors and tiny processors on the market capable of handling these types of tasks for you. The MiniBrew automates the entire brewing experience, making 5-litre batches of beer with literally no involvement other than getting the machine started. There is very little info on the device, other than to say that it will use “ready-to-brew Ingredient Packs produced by renowned craft breweries from around the world”, and will output a “portable keg that is chilled and ready to tap.” It’s currently in development and will set you back a cool €1950 ($2,175USD) to own, once it becomes available in Q2 2016.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Another Job Lost To Robots: Shelf Stock Checker


When items are running low in your local supermarket, an actual human has to first notice this, and then start the process of re-ordering and restocking. Granted, it’s what grocery stores have been doing since forever, but now thanks to Tally, an autonomous robot from Sembe robotics, the kid in charge of doing this may be out of a job. Tally roams the aisles and scans the shelves, noting stock levels and automatically notifying its human owners if anything is running low or is misplaced. It knows its own way back to a charging station, and can work during normal business hours, rubbing elbows with people and drawing the attention of kids of any age. It’s currently in testing with several North American retailers, but there’s no word on any eventual mass rollout. We say it’s just a matter of time.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Overengineered Growbox Lets Your Grow Your Own Weed At Home With Very Little Know-How


In 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, as well a the 4 where it’s simply legal, you can grow your own weed. Now, you could do this in many ways, from simply planting it in your garden, to creating a professional hydroponic setup. But both of these methods require some TLC from you, as well as a decent amount of know-how. It’s not like you couldn’t, you know, learn, but if you can’t be bothered, Leaf is for you. They call it a Plug-N-Plant device, which is kind of clever because well, it pretty much does everything for you.

The system will monitor everything that your plants need to grow, including light, ventilation, nutrient levels and pH of the soil.

The system will also react to these measurements, meaning that if it senses that your plants are low on nutrients it can dispense more, or if it needs more light it can automatically brighten the environment. Users can also control these variables manually, effectively creating their own grow “recipes.”

The 4′ by 2′ box can grow two plants, which will apparently yield between 4 to 5 ounces of weed. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well… that’s until you see the price: $1,499. That’s a lot of dollars for something you can do for a fraction of that cost, if only you take the time. But we suppose that’s what luxury is all about.

The company says that the machine will technically pay for itself after just a few months, as the “retail value” of 4-5 ounces (one growth cycle) is around $1,200.

Additionally, each grow will cost about $150 in nutrient cartridges and carbon filter refills. However, co-founder and CEO Yoni Ofir said that eventually the company hopes to drop the price of the actual device and generate its primary revenue from refills (à la Keurig).

Perhaps Leaf is then worth reconsidering when or if prices do drop, unless you’re the deep-pocketed early adopter type. If you are, you can reserve one with a $100 deposit, and shipping summer 2016.


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You Don’t Need The Jevo Jello Shot Maker, But You’ll Sure Want One


The Jevo Automated Jello + Edible Shot Maker is a machine that is capable of making up to 20 Jello shots in as little as 10 minutes. It’s a lot like a Keurig machine, except it’s 20-serve, and not single serve. It also uses special gelatin pods that you then combine with your choice of vodka or other liquor to create a wide assortment of shots. It’s being marketed to bars, because it’s unlikely a home user will ever need to make 20 Jello shots at once… but don’t you wish you did? Imagine the parties you can throw with a machine like this! A touchscreen interface, a self-cleaning system, and large 50 ounce liquid holding capacity make this a very desirable machine for a bar owner to acquire. How much you’ll have to pay to get one, and how long you’ll have to wait is still unclear.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ ThatsNerdALicious ]

Kittyo Lets You Creep On Your Cat From The Comfort Of The Interwebs


Do you feel heartbroken when you leave your home because your cat has to stay behind with no one to play with? Kittyo would like to come to your rescue, allowing you not only to see your feline friend from afar, but to play with him, record videos of him, and even dispense treats. Once hooked up to your WiFi, Kittyo can be controlled through a smartphone app. Some of its features include having the ability to make a chiming noise to attract kitty; being able to project a laser pointer that you move around, to entertain your pet; committing your cat’s shenanigans to video so you can bore your friends with a YouTube upload. There’s even a speaker so that you can delude yourself into thinking your kitty knows your voice and can recognize it.

Currently doing the Kickstarter rounds, it’s more than smashed its funding goal and should be seeing the production line soon. Delivery is slated for November of this year, in time for the Holidays. A $120 pledge will get you yours, while Kittyo is expected to cost $180 retail.


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The Popinator Shoots A Popcorn At Your Mouth On Command

Eating popcorn could become a lot more fun, and a lot more choke-y at the same time. The Popinator is an in-house project from Popcorn, Indiana, a company that sells, well, popcorn. This machine is able to pinpoint your exact location from the sound of your voice using a binaural microphone array, and to shoot a corn projectile into it from up to 15 feet away. It’s. Freaking. Cool.

Although the Popinator is not on the market right now, the company says that if everything lines up, they would definitely like to make it available on the shelves at some point, though for how much and when is unknown.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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Hi-Tech Powered Pet Door Gives Your Pooch Freedom

Owning a canine is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, but it is also a lot of work. We’re not going to list the ways owning a dog is hard because frankly, you’re not so dense as to not know what we mean. We’re really just looking for a way to segue onto the above product, the “Powered Pet Door, PX-1.” It’s a door that lets your dog go in or out of the house, but doesn’t simultaneously offer an entryway to any small, limber and motivated robber. The powered door opens when an ultrasonic collar worn by your dog is within range, so only your pooch has access. And it doesn’t just unlock: it actually opens. You can set the range at which the collar activates the mechanism, as well as decide if it works as “out only”, “in only” or both. It accommodates pets up to 100 lbs and can be installed on your existing door. Just cut a hole, screw this in, and you’re set.

We think it’s a rather smart way to give your dog the freedom to do its business, rather than have to get up at some ungodly hour to watch Fido excrete in the backyard.

It’s $270.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gear Patrol ]

The WaterDog Automates Your Pooch’s Water Dispenser

Dogs are funny little animals. Some of them hate water while others will try to attack it coming out of the sprinkler in the yard. If your canine is of the type that enjoys it enough to drink from a fountain, the WaterDog could be pretty a pretty cool item to buy. It plugs into the outdoor hose spigot and features a motion detector. When it senses your dog approaching, it opens up a gentle flow of drinking water; when he’s done and walks away, the flow is cut off. This saves water while letting your dog stay hydrated and not dependent on your remembering to fill up his water bowl.

It’s $70 for the WaterDog. If for some reason you don’t want to plug it right into the hose spigot, there’s a $35 Remote Location kit that lets you place it anywhere in your yard, perhaps right next to Fido’s doghouse if he’s an outdoor pet.

[ Product Page ] VIA [DVice ]