News In Context

Robot + Drone Duo Transform Industrial Site Surveillance

Robot + Drone Duo Transform Industrial Site Surveillance

Israeli drone maker Percepto is launching what it says is a “transformative solution” for remote, fully autonomous, asset monitoring, inspection, and compliance of industrial sites with the help of a $45 million financing round led by the venture arm of Koch Industries and a new partnership with U.S. robotics company Boston Dynamics.

Percepto plans to integrate its drone technology with the US firm’s robot, Spot, an agile dog-like mobile robot developed by Boston Dynamics. Founded in 2014, Percepto says it is evolving its advanced drone-in-a-box solution to the next level, using an Autonomous Inspecting & Monitoring (AIM) platform for its hardware and software. The company operates a fleet of third-party robots alongside its autonomous drone, Sparrow.

Percepto’s AIM platform provides visual data management and analysis to report trends and anomalies and raise alerts about risks. Any employee can request data and Percepto AIM will deploy the most suitable robot independently without human accompaniment to retrieve and stream the required data.

“Percepto AIM addresses a multi-billion-dollar issue for numerous industries and will change the way manufacturing sites are managed in the IoT, Industry 4.0 era,” Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies said in a statement.

Meanwhile, this week Siasun, one of China’s largest industrial robotics companies, and the French company Dassault Systèmes signed a new partnership agreement. Few details were available at press time. In a statement the Chinese company said the two firms “will build a world-class forward R&D system and digital product operation for industrial robots.” The platform will aim to “promote the overall development of China’s industrial robot industry,” according to Siasun.

In other news this week:

MOBILITY

A Mobile Travel Pass To Navigate COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is developing a set of mobile apps to help passengers to navigate COVID-19 travel restrictions and securely share test and vaccine certificates with airlines and governments. IATA, which represents many of the world’s major airlines, plans to pilot the Travel Pass platform by year-end and deploy it for Android and Apple iOS phones in the first half of next year.

Siemens, Deutsche Bahn, Launch Local Hydrogen Train Trial

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn have started developing hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains and a filling station which will be trialed in 2024 with view to replace diesel engines on German local rail networks.The prototype, to be built by Siemens, is based on electric railcar Mireo Plus which will be equipped with fuel cells to turn hydrogen and oxygen into electricity on board, and with a battery, both companies said.

Daimler, Geely Consider China As Production Hub For Hybrid Powertrains

Daimler and Geely Holding said China could emerge as a manufacturing and export hub for hybrid powertrains jointly developed for Volvo and Mercedes-Benz cars. The German car maker plans to cooperate with China’s Geely to build next-generation combustion engines for use in hybrid vehicles.

North American Level 4 Autonomous Delivery Vehicle Startup Raises Funds

 Gatik, a startup developing Level 4 autonomous vehicles for B2B short-haul, middle-mile logistics, raised $25 million in Series A funding to expand its operations across North America. Gatik is using a variety of autonomous vehicles in its fleet, restricting those vehicles to fixed, repeatable routes

HEALTH

Israel-UK Partnership To Develop New AI-Based Approach To Osteoporosis

Israeli AI medical imaging insights startup Zebra Medical Vision  will team with Scottish digital transformation consultancy Storm ID to develop a preventative care solution to identify people at risk of osteoporosis, a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone or makes too little bone.The pair have won a UK-Israel research and development competition with a proposal for a machine learning-based model that aims to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs through early detection and prevention.The companies will collaborate with an international, multidisciplinary team of clinicians, data scientists and computer scientists, who will work together over two years, running clinical trials, implementing the solution in in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, a national health care provider in Scotland and Assuta Medical Centers in Israel.

SUSTAINABILITY

Schneider Electric and Planon Partner On Making Buildings Greener

To achieve net zero, nine out of ten buildings that exist today will need to be digitally retrofitted. To that end, Schneider Electric and Planon, a cloud-based software provider in integrated workplace management systems,announced they will collaborate to deliver a suite of software and services to digitize the building lifecycle for both existing and new buildings. Schneider Electric said it will take minority stakes in Planon.

EU Says It Could Be Self-Sufficient In EV Batteries By 2025

The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, according to the European Commission. As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU wants to boost local production of the building blocks for green industries – including hydrogen fuel to make low-carbon steel and batteries to power clean vehicles.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

European Payment Companies Join Bank-Backed Venture That Aims To Rival Mastercard and Visa

Worldline and Nets have become shareholders in the European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa. Backed by 16 major Eurozone banks, the European Payments Initiative (EPI) is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.
Worldline and Nets are the first non-banks to sign up to the scheme as shareholders, and discussion are underway with other third-party acquirers and strategic stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.

DATA

EU Plans To Open Data To Sharing In Bid To Rival Asia And U.S

In an effort to avoid EU firms and citizens relying on data from Asian and U.S rivals, the European Commission is proposing new rules to allow sharing of public and personal data with businesses and research organizations. The hope is that this could lead to improvements ranging from personalized health treatments, to better tackling climate change or developing precision farming techniques.The Commission proposed a new model based on the neutrality and transparency of so-called “data intermediaries,” which would organize data sharing or pooling, to increase trust.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.