Robots UPS just redesigned its driver uniforms for the first time in decades. Here’s how the ‘browns’ have looked since 1921.

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Robots UPS Uniform makeover 2

UPS’s 125,000 drivers around the World will wear the new uniform. The new designs were created to increase comfort, safety, and performance.

UPS


  • UPS has unveiled its first major redesign of the “Browns” — its uniform for delivery people — in decades.
  • The new design will be worn by the 125,000 UPS drivers around the World.
  • See the evolution of the uniform, from its early 20th-century origins to the sporty design today.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

UPS has announced a major redesign of its iconic “Browns” uniform, the first refresh since the early-1920’s.

The last significant change was in the early 1990s when drivers began wearing shorts. Now, the new shorts will have reflective brand icons and stripes to increase visibility.

The new uniform also includes a polo-style shirt made out of “performance fabrics” with a three-button collar. The fabrics wick moisture, are breathable and improves the comfort of the drivers who operate in warmer temperatures, according to UPS. They also feature a darker brown color block on its sides.

Read more: Every vehicle Amazon uses to deliver packages in its exploding logistics empire, including autonomous land and air robots

“UPS is in the midst of a company-wide transformation, and a significant part of that effort involves a cultural and brand shift that embraces innovation, speed and relevance,” CMO Kevin Warren said in a prepared statement.

“Our new uniforms have a more contemporary look consistent with the company’s ongoing transformation efforts,” Warren continued.

The company claims it used almost 4 million yards of brown cloth and 2 million yards of brown thread for the 375,000 hats, 405,000 shirts, 375,000 pairs of pants and 290,000 pairs of shorts. The old uniforms will be recycled.

Take a look at the refreshed uniform, as well as the evolution of the “Browns”:

Robots Two years before the official uniform issuing, drivers, such as this one in 1921, were already wearing full “Browns.”

Robots 1923_Los Angeles fleet in front of facility_crop_100 UPS




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Robots This 1922 photo shows drivers with iconic newsboy caps.

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Robots It was almost completely unchanged for almost 50 years, as seen in this 1929 photo…

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Robots …and again in this 1930 photo.

Robots San Mateo Drivers_ca 1930 UPS




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Robots Short sleeves and baseball caps weren’t offered until 1968, according to UPS. The short sleeves update can be seen in this 1973 photo.

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Robots UPS hasn’t had a major redesign of its iconic “Browns” uniform since the early-1920’s, and the last significant change came in the early 1990’s when drivers began wearing shorts.

Robots 1991 Inside UPS_shorts


UPS


Robots UPS’s 125,000 drivers around the World will wear the new uniform. The new designs were created to increase comfort, safety, and performance.

Robots UPS Uniform makeover




UPS



Robots The polo-style shirt has a three-button collar and is made of breathable fabric wicks moisture and improves the comfort of drivers who operate in warm temperatures, according to UPS. The shirts also have a color block on its sides and reflective brand marks and stripes to increase visibility.

Robots UPS New Uniform 2019 18




UPS



Robots The uniform includes a wide brim hat and baseball cap, and pants with easy access pockets, according to the company. The shorts are made with stretch twill and have a lower waist and more “modern fit.”

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Robots Drivers can choose to continue wearing the current uniform. Old uniform pieces will be recycled.

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Robots A former Google engineer warned that robot weapons could cause accidental mass killings

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  • A former Google engineer who resigned from the firm’s Project Maven autonomous drone programme warned that humanity needs to put international laws in place to ban killer robots from warfare before they cause “mass atrocities.”
  • Laura Nolan said fully autonomous weapons could result in mass atrocities, without the right oversight.

  • Project Maven was Google’s contract with the US Department of Defense to enhance its drones using artificial intelligence. The project was canned by Google after mass employee outcry.
  • Nolan said there needs to be legislation in place banning autonomous AI weapons from the battlefield such as there is for chemical weapons.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A former Google engineer who worked on the company’s infamous military drone project has sounded a warning against the building of killer robots.

Laura Nolan had been working at Google four years when she was recruited to its collaboration with the US Department of Defense, known as Project Maven, in 2017, according to the Guardian. Project Maven was focused on using AI to enhance military drones, building AI systems which would be able to single out enemy targets and distinguish between people and objects.

Google canned Project Maven after employee outrage, with thousands of employees signing a petition against the project and about a dozen quitting in protest. Google allowed the contract to lapse in March this year. Nolan herself resigned after she became “increasingly ethically concerned” about the project, she said.

Read more: “Things have changed at Google”: An engineer who quit to protest Project Maven explains why the company’s changing values forced him out

Nolan described her role as a site reliability engineer, and this is why she was recruited to Maven. “Although I was not directly involved in speeding up the video footage recognition I realised that I was still part of the kill chain; that this would ultimately lead to more people being targeted and killed by the US military in places like Afghanistan,” she said, according to The Guardian.

Nolan fears that the next step beyond AI-enabled weapons like drones could be fully autonomous AI weapons. “What you are looking at are possible atrocities and unlawful killings even under laws of warfare, especially if hundreds or thousands of these machines are deployed,” she said.

She said that any number of unpredictable factors could mess with the weapon’s systems in unforeseen ways such as unexpected radar signals, unusual weather, or they could come across people carrying weapons for reasons other than warfare, such as hunting. “The machine doesn’t have the discernment or common sense that the human touch has,” she said.

She added that testing will have to take place out on the battlefield. “The other scary thing about these autonomous war systems is that you can only really test them by deploying them in a real combat zone. Maybe that’s happening with the Russians at present in Syria, who knows? What we do know is that at the UN Russia has opposed any treaty let alone ban on these weapons by the way.”

Robots sea hunter

The autonomous ship “Sea Hunter”, developed by DARPA, docked in Portland, Oregon before its christening ceremony. The US military christened an experimental self-driving warship designed to hunt for enemy submarines,.
REUTERS/Steve Dipaola


Although no country has yet come forward to say it’s working on fully autonomous robot weapons, many are building more and more sophisticated AI to integrate into their militaries. The US navy has a self-piloting warship, capable of spending months at sea with no crew, and Israel boasts of having drones capable of identifying and attacking targets autonomously — although at the moment they require a human middle-man to give the go-ahead.

Nolan is urging countries to declare an outright ban on autonomous killing robot, similar to conventions around the use of chemical weapons.

“Very few people are talking about this but if we are not careful one or more of these weapons, these killer robots, could accidentally start a flash war, destroy a nuclear power station and cause mass atrocities,” she said.

Business Insider has contacted Nolan for comment.



Robots 12 AI startups that will boom in 2019, according to VCs

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Venture capitalists are the startup experts, the ones who have their finger on the pulse of which fledgling companies will boom and which will bust.

As part of Business Insider Prime’s comprehensive coverage of the startups that will strike gold in 2019, we asked VCs to name the startups they think are going to be hot this year. They told us about companies they currently have in their portfolios, as well as ones they haven’t put any money into yet but are at the center of positive news.

And from those discussions, one particular group of startups came up repeatedly: those that specialize in artificial intelligence tech.

From AI robots to software that uses machine learning to automate tasks, Silicon Valley is chock full of AI-focused startups.

Take, for example, Transfix, a freight marketplace that companies use to hire trucks from carriers. The startup is trying to transform the $800 billion trucking industry by using AI to match loads with carriers. It’s raised $131 million so far.

There are hundreds of noteworthy startups focusing on AI today, so BI Prime has gone to the expert venture capitalists to select the cream of the crop and create a full list of 12 AI Startups to Watch that include:

  • A company that automatically audits expense reports
  • A startup that builds self-driving, robot tractors
  • A software bot that helps create other software bots
  • And other startups looking to transform industries through AI


BI Prime is publishing dozens of stories like this each and every day. Get started by reading the full list.



Robots Boston Dynamics’ terrifying, dog-like robot Spot is leaving the lab for the first time

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  • Robotics company Boston Dynamics has begun leasing out one of its robots for the first time ever.
  • It’s leasing out Spot, a dog-like robot which it says could be used for inspecting building sites or oil and gas facilities.
  • Boston Dynamics’ VP of business development Michael Perry told TechCrunch the company’s getting a “deluge” of applications.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Boston Dynamics, the robotics company famous for sending the internet into a frenzy with videos of its disconcertingly life-like robots, is getting ready to foray into the real World.

On Tuesday the company announced it is starting to lease out its dog-like Spot robots (formerly known as Spot Mini). To accompany the announcement, Boston Dynamics made a slick ad boasting of Spot’s capabilities.

With a top speed of 3mph and a battery life of around 90 minutes, Spot is able to go up and down stairs, traverse uneven terrain, and even go out in the rain, according to Boston Dynamics.

Read more: This funny but terrifying parody video about Boston Dynamics shows a robot learning to fight back against humans

On its connection Boston Dynamics suggests Spot could be used to inspect building sites, oil and gas facilities, or “public safety.”

The company emphasised to The Verge that Spot would not be sold for any military application.

“Fundamentally, we don’t want to see Spot doing anything that harms people, even in a simulated way… That’s something we’re pretty firm on when we talk to customers,” VP of business development Michael Perry told The Verge.

In the past Boston Dynamics has developed robots with potential military uses, such as its original Spot robot which was designed to scout for the marines.

via GIPHY

Perry told TechCrunch that the company has already started to ship Spot. “Last month we started delivering robots to customers, as part of an early adopter program. The question we’re posing to these early customers is ‘what do you think spot can do for you that’s valuable?’ We had some initial ideas, but it’s all our thinking and the hope is that this program will enable a whole new set of use cases,” he said.

Boston Dynamics hasn’t put an upfront price on leasing out Spot, prospective buyers have to fill out a form on the company’s connection. Perry told TechCrunch the company was getting a “deluge” of applications — some more serious than others. “Some are legitimate applications, but some just want Spot as a pet, or to get them a beer from the fridge. It would be thrilling to accommodate them, but we’re not quite there yet,” he said.

This is the first time one of Boston Dynamics’ robots has left the lab, a major landmark for the company which has been heavily research-focused since its inception in 1997. Its lack of marketable products is why Google sold the company to Japanese conglomerate SoftBank in 2017.

Robots Take look inside Alibaba’s high-tech ‘hotel of the future,’ which is run almost entirely by robots (BABA)

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Robots Alibaba Hotel


Alibaba


  • Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate, opened a high-tech “hotel of the future” in Hangzhou, China, earlier this year. 
  • The hotel allows guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app and enter rooms using facial-recognition technology rather than a traditional key card. 
  • Robots created by Alibaba’s AI Labs serve food, toiletries, and other sundries. Here’s a closer look at what the experience is like. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alibaba Group is vying to create the hotel of the future. 

Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant opened its FlyZoo Hotel, which it describes as a “290-room ultra-modern boutique, where technology meets hospitality.” The hotel is the first of its kind in that it eschews traditional check-in and key card processes, instead allowing guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app, sign in using self-service kiosks, and enter their rooms using facial-recognition technology.

Additionally, the hotel is run almost entirely by robots that serve food and fetch toiletries and other sundries as needed. 

The hotel was developed by the company’s online travel platform, Fliggy, in tandem with Alibaba’s AI Labs and Alibaba Cloud technology with the goal “to leverage cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry, one that keeps the sector current with the digital era we’re living in,” according to the company. 

Read more: Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma — the richest person in China — is retiring with a net worth of $38 billion. Here’s his incredible rags-to-riches story.

“As smart technology is reshaping industries, the FlyZoo Hotel represents Alibaba’s endeavor to marry hospitality with technology, and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” Andy Wang, CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel, the group operating the hotel, said in a press statement. 

Here’s a closer look at what it’s like inside: 

Robots The FlyZoo Hotel is located in Hangzhou, China.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The design is sleek and contemporary, to appeal to modern international travelers.

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Robots FlyZoo has 290 rooms in total, as well as various amenities like a robot-operated restaurant and high-tech gym.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The hotel project was led by the company’s online travel platform, Fliggy, in tandem with Alibaba’s AI Labs and Alibaba Cloud.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Chinese users with the FlyZoo app are able to book rooms directly from their phone, where they can choose their floor and the direction the room faces.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The app also provides virtual tours of each of the rooms before users make their final selection.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Once a guest arrives at the hotel, they can check in on the mobile app and go directly to their room.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Users can access the app and check in on their phone using facial-recognition technology.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Travelers from outside of China who don’t have access to the mobile app can check in with their passport at one of several kiosks located in the lobby.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Here, Tom Brennan — managing editor of Alizila, the news hub of Alibaba Group — demonstrates how to use the self-service kiosk.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Instead of traditional keycards, FlyZoo uses facial-recognition technology based on images taken during the check-in process.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots By merely looking into a screen, visitors can access elevators and enter their room, without swiping a physical card.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots This is what the interior of an average room looks like.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Each room includes a “Tmail Genie” — essentially Alibaba’s version of Amazon Echo — which can help with tasks like adjusting the room temperature, closing the curtains, and turning the lights and television on and off.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Using voice commands, the device can answer general questions about the WiFi or the weather, as well as communicate requests for items like snacks with the “robot butler.”

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The robot butler was created by Alibaba’s AI Lab and can make food and toiletry deliveries directly to rooms and at the hotel’s restaurant.

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Robots Once a request is made, the robot makes its way to the room. Here, a robot is seen boarding an elevator.

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Robots Almost there.

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Robots Ah, there it is.

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Robots To unlock the items, the guest inputs a passcode sent via text.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots It’s an extremely high-tech way to stay hydrated.

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Robots Another Alibaba robot is seen on the prowl.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The robots also serve meals in the hotel restaurant.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots The hotel includes amenities like a gym with “fun digital experiences” and interactive screens with guided workouts.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Brennan demonstrates what it’s like to use one of the interactive digital fitness activities.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots For check-out, guests can simply pack up and go by their designated time.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots Though the hotel is almost entirely run by robots, there are a few employees on staff to assist as needed.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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“Our use of intelligent facilities coupled with digital management and operational systems means that hotel employees can focus on providing guests with a level of service that goes the extra mile,”  Andy Wang, CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel, said in a press statement. 

Robots Only time will tell if the FlyZoo Hotel model will truly become the hotel of the future.

Robots Alibaba Hotel


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Robots “Signup

Get the latest Alibaba stock price here.

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Robots How Porsche makes the 2020 Taycan, its first all-electric car

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Following is a transcript of the video.

This is Porsche’s first all-electric vehicle, the Taycan. It’s unmistakably Porsche. Aluminum and steel shaped into the downward-sloping roofline and pronounced shoulders of the wings that are the manufacturer’s signature. But under the bodywork, there’s a new element: an electric heart.

For Porsche to strike a balance between electric efficiency and performance, they wielded unique manufacturing techniques and components, like a battery case fully integrated into the structure of the car and two electric machines, one on each axle to power the front and rear wheels, making the Taycan all-wheel drive. This is how the Porsche Taycan is made.

This is the body shop. Inside, machines perform an intricate dance choreographed by humans to mate the all-aluminum outer shell to the Taycan’s body. The Taycan’s body as you see it mainly consists of steel and aluminum. Here, robots attach the side panel to the body. The panel is entirely one piece. A robot applies adhesive bonding to the inside of the side panel. Another maneuvers the side panel to the body, pressing the panel in place. Robots secure the panel in place with a variety of welding techniques. They also use rivets to further secure the panel. The final welds are made before the Taycan moves down the line to be prepared for paint. Inspecting the Taycan bodywork takes a human touch. Staff buff the outer shell while eyeing the car body for inconsistencies. The body is now ready for paint.

The Taycan arrives upstairs at the process areas. Here, the dipping baths await. The Taycan plunges into a bath of water-based, electrically conductive paint. It receives exposure to an electrical field, causing the paint to deposit on the body. Further down the line, the Taycan will reach the body dryer, where Porsche subjects it to direct heating. Firing the paint forms a highly uniform, closed paint surface. This electromagnetic paint method is called cathodic dip painting, or CDP, and it’s highly resistant to corrosion. Before the Taycan moves on to the next step, robots buff the body. Next, the Taycan arrives at the paint booths. Here, robots evenly apply multiple coats of paint, giving the Taycan a finish that protects and beautifies. Multiple coats of paint are applied. The car moves downstairs to the manual work stations, where employees carefully check the paint for imperfections. We’ll see the painted Taycan bodies again soon, but, for now, on to component manufacturing.

We’ve arrived at the plant Porsche uses to produce electric motors and components. A special feature of the Taycan’s electric motors is the hairpin winding. In this process, the solenoid coils of the stator consist of rectangular wires instead of round ones. The manufacturing process of hairpin technology is complex, but, simply put, it allows the wires to be packed more densely. This means that, in the same amount of space of a conventional stator, Porsche engineers were able to squeeze out more power and torque. Other components are assembled here, including the gears and axles. Together, these make the drive units of the Taycan. The components are sent to final assembly, where they will finally be put together.

Painted bodies, electric drives, and components find their way to the production space for final assembly. At this part of the manufacturing process, ergonomics is key. Hydraulic arms and lifts tilt, raise, and pivot the Taycan into place so employees can easily access their workspace. A hydraulic arm helps navigate a heavy dash into place at the front of the Taycan. Assembly uses a similar system to introduce seats to their new homes. The Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo have two electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, thus making the cars all-wheel drive. Here, employees assemble both axles. A panoramic glass roof is moved into position. Porsche makes use of AGVs, or automated guided vehicles, to move the car to different sections of the floor. A floor-transport system is used to move the battery to the underside of the body. The low position of the battery in the car ensures a very low center of gravity. The team attaches the housing to the body using a total of 28 bolts. The team applies Porsche’s signature badge.

The Taycan is complete.

Robots ‘Galactic Builders’ brings students, robotics and ‘Star Wars’ droids together

Robots (CNN)In the first trailer for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth installment in the saga, a new hairdryer-esque droid named D-O can be seen next to fan favorite droid BB-8. And the diminutive droid is a feat of engineering, even in toy form.
Two s…

Robots Inside Samsung’s secretive South Korean headquarters

Robots Im standing inside Samsung Digital City, where some 35,000 employees work, eat, play, and work some more in Suwon, South Korea. It feels like a university campus with green parks, throngs of young people, social clubs and coffee shops. Theres also a massive c…