Most Read This Week: NASA Gets Closer to Deploying Humanoid Robots in Space, Walmart Expands Drone Delivery

Also inside, flying vehicle company signs deal with drone maker and the latest robotic news from CES

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

January 19, 2024

4 Min Read
NASA's Valkyrie robot

Here are the most read stories in IoT World Today this week:

NASA One Step Closer to Deploying Humanoid Robots in Space

NASA is one step closer to sending humanoid robots to space, with the agency’s humanoid design, Valkyrie, sent for its final testing phases at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

According to the agency, the tests are bringing them closer to the long-term goal of sending Valkyrie for off-planet missions.

Shaun Azimi, NASA Dexterous Robotics team leader, said the goal is not to replace human crews but to “relieve them of mundane, dangerous tasks,” with these humanoid robotic assistants taking on increasingly dexterous and intricate tasks aboard a spacecraft so human astronauts can spend more time on exploration and discovery.

Read more about NASA’s mission >>>

Walmart Expands Drone Delivery to 1.8M More Texas Households

Walmart is expanding its drone delivery service in Texas, with a new partnership with on-demand drone delivery providers Wing and Zipline that will offer drone delivery to nearly 75% of residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

According to the company, the update will give it “the largest drone delivery footprint of any U.S. retailer.”

Under the partnership, drone delivery will expand to stores in more than 30 area towns and municipalities. 

Related:Most Read This Week: Flying Cars Featured at CES 2024

Both Zipline and Wing have received Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly delivery drones longer distances without visual observers and Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of Zipline, says autonomous delivery is finally ready to scale nationally.  

Read more details on the project >>>

Flying Vehicle Company Signs Deal With Drone Maker

Japanese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker SkyDrive has signed a memorandum of understanding with Marut Drones, an Indian agricultural drone manufacturer, to develop futuristic air transportation in India.

The partners said they plan to jointly explore relationships and networks in India, working across product development, engineering, manufacturing and digital services, and allowing SkyDrive to tap into the engineering ecosystem of talent and technology in India.

SkyDrive has been expanding its flying vehicle presence in both Indian and Japanese markets,

The company recently signed a deal with global intelligent engineering and technology company Cyient in India for the joint development of its flying vehicle in that country.

Read more about the deal >>>

Samsung, Segway, Doosan Robotics and More Robotics News from CES

From Samsung’s roaming companion robot to Doosan Robotics’ trash-sorting robot, we rounded up some of the best robots on display at CES 2024.

Samsung brought its wheeled home robot Ballie to the show, designed as a mix of a roaming security robot, pet carer and companion for your home, while Segway Robotics showcased its new wireless robotic lawnmower.

Ottonomy and Mobinn debuted the latest roaming delivery robots at the show, while Shift Robotics launched their robotic shoes to help warehouse workers work more efficiently and safely.

See the full roundup >>>

Google Cloud Introduces New Generative AI Tech for Retailers at NRF 2024

Google Cloud also unveiled several new generative AI-powered technologies for the retail industry at the NRF retail show this week.

Google said the announcements respond to a growing need to make retail operations more efficient and personalized, with consumers coming to expect tailored shopping experiences. 

Retailers can personalize online shopping experiences, modernize operations and “transform in-store technology rollouts,” with the AI-enabled tools.

Among the new tech on display was Google Cloud’s new conversational commerce solution, which allows retailers to embed generative AI-powered virtual agents on their websites and mobile apps. These virtual assistants can suggest products for customers based on individual preferences and engage in full conversations using natural language. 

Google Cloud also introduced a new customer service modernization solution which similarly deploys AI-based agents to support personalized experiences.

Read more about Google’s tech >>>

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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