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IoT weekly round-up: Tuesday 27th June 2017

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The IoT weekly round-up is back! A lot has happened this week – from flying cars at the Paris Air Show and an autonomous wheelchair at MIT, to updated pet-recognition smarts for Kuri, domestic robot and one of the stars of CES earlier this year. Read on for the latest.

Spotlight on autonomous flying tech at the Paris Air Show

Flying cars, passenger-carrying drones and autonomous aerial vehicles all made a showing at the biennial Paris Air Show last week. Airbus and Boeing both presented IoT-related offerings, as Airbus trialed its VSR700 Optionally Piloted Vehicle, and Boeing announced its commitment to study autonomous flying tech in advance of the Show opening. Also on display: the AirQuadOne passenger vehicle concept from Neva Aerospace, and Kitty Hawk’s Flyer – a prototype ultralight aircraft designed to hover over water.

MIT tests self-driving wheelchair

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has been testing its self-driving wheelchair around the MIT halls. Packed as they are with obstacles a-plenty in the form of wandering students, the halls are an ideal real-world test space. The chair features a system comprised of LIDAR scanners and mapping technology that creates a 3D map of the landscape around it, while a smaller scanner takes care of obstacles in the chair’s immediate path. As yet there’s still emergency brake back-up in the form of an Xbox-controller-wielding human being, but perhaps not for long.

Autumn will see Navya driverless shuttles transporting University of Michigan students

Meanwhile at the University of Michigan, Navya will deploy two of its autonomous shuttles to ferry students sans driver between the North Campus Research Complex and the Lurie Engineering Center two miles away. The vehicles can carry 15 passengers, and feature GPS cameras, WiFi and LiDAR in their technological arsenal. They’ll be tested on how well they share the road with other users, and on passenger reaction.

IoT ‘Trust continuum’ from partners Intercede and Imagination

Global technology company Imagination has partnered with Intercede, digital identity experts, to offer an ‘trust continuum’ for IoT Security. The partnering companies demonstrated at BT’s Innovation 2017 event how architecting systems-on-chips (SoCs) for home gateway routers would ensure their status as secure hubs for IoT devices, and ensure connected devices are running manufacturer-installed software operating on a trusted path.

Domestic robot Kuri can recognize pets as well as humans

Wall-E-esque home robot Kuri has got a bunch of updates since its debut at CES this year. The cute robot’s visual intelligence system could already identify family members, and now it can add pets (dogs and cats, at least) to its recognition roster. A souped-up video system with 1080p HD camera means that Kuri can stream super quality live images and capture photos and video, even while interacting with its owners.

IBM and the Air Force Research Lab are working together on TrueNorth chips

On Friday, IBM and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory announced a collaboration on a supercomputing system that will be powered by a 64-chip array. The chips are part of the TrueNorth Neurosynaptic System – designed to enable deep neural-network learning, thanks to advanced pattern recognition and sensory processing. So far, it’s thought that the chips’ low power consumption could bring value in applications such as mobile phones or autonomous vehicles.

DeepMind Health’s 5-year NHS app deal forges ahead despite controversy

AI company DeepMind Health has created another services agreement with the UK’s National Health Service, enabling deployment of its alerts and messaging app, Streams, to a Taunton hospital. The news will be unwelcome to some, coming as it does amid an ongoing ICO investigation over the sharing of 1.6 million patients’ medical records with DeepMind by the Royal Free NHS Trust. The Streams app has already been deployed in the Royal Free’s hospitals, despite failure to inform patients or gain their consent.

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