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IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 10th November 2016

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Welcome to IBM’s weekly IoT round-up: the latest news in the connected world of the Internet of Things. This week, GoPro recalls its ill-fated Karma drone, placeholders for 100 new Pokémon are discovered in the Pokémon GO code, and scientists from Oxford University develop a lip-reading AI machine. Read on for the latest stories.

New Pokémon appear in GO code

Newly added code within the files of Pokémon GO suggests another batch of Pokémon will shortly arrive on the scene, in response to fans of the game who wanted more characters. There are placeholders for 100 new Pokémon, and a new “TRANSFORM” move for Ditto (who has yet to make an appearance in the game.) The new Pokémon won’t be available in the game right away, but we hope they’ll be seen in the wild soon enough.

GoPro recalls Karma drone within days of its release

On Tuesday, GoPro issued a press release recalling its Karma drone, which spent just 16 days on the market. GoPro says the reason for the recall is a power loss malfunction, which raised safety concerns, and is working to investigate the issue as quickly as possible.

AI-enabled machine can lip read ‘better than humans’

Scientists at Oxford University have developed a machine that can match mouth movements to text with 93% accuracy. By contrast, professional (human) lip-readers are only able to correctly decipher a person’s speech around 60% of the time. LipNet was trained by exposure to nearly 29,000 three second videos, each labelled with the text, and each following a set grammatical pattern. The system has so far been tested only by watching a video of a person speaking, and has not yet been trialed in real-life situations.

NXP’s new driving products include self-driving trucks

NXP Semiconductor unveiled a series of products related to self-driving vehicles this week. A new microcontroller for use with vehicle radar is set to improve performance for radar detection features such as automatic braking, cruise assist and lane change. A second new product, developed with DAF Trucks, Honda and Siemens, improves reaction time for connected truck platoons when compared to human-controlled vehicles.

Connected LED wall panels make Aurora smart art

Aurora, from smart-lighting startup Nanoleaf, is a set of triangular, smart LED panels doubling as both wall art and lighting. Each panel can be individually controlled by an app, through which you can adjust colour, brightness and speed. Aurora is compatible with Apple HomeKit too.

Robot solves Rubik’s Cube in record time

The Sub1 Reloaded robot has just set a record for the fastest-solved Rubik’s Cube, solving the puzzle within just 0.637 seconds, beating the previous record of 0.887 seconds, which was set by an earlier version of the same machine. The robot analysed how the cube had been scrambled, then transmitted its solution via commands to six motor-controlled arms, which spun the cube so that each face showed a single colour. Infineon, the robot’s makers, staged the attempt at the Electronica trade fair in Munich.

IoT-enabled robotic farmers could optimize global food supply

A vast lettuce farm under construction in Kyoto, Japan will be almost entirely tended to by robots. In the SPREAD vegetable farm, humans will plant the seeds, but robots will control the temperature, humidity, light and CO2 levels, tend the crops, and eventually, pick 30,000 lettuce heads per day. It is hoped that using IoT-enabled robots will address the rural labour shortage and help increase food production.

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