The Download: Automating warehouse duties, and issues with recycling plastics


Before virtually any merchandise reaches your door, it traverses the worldwide provide chain on a pallet. More than 2 billion pallets are in circulation within the United States alone, and $400 billion price of products are exported on them yearly.

However, loading containers onto these pallets is a process caught previously: Heavy hundreds and repetitive actions go away employees at excessive danger of damage, and within the uncommon cases when robots are used, they take months to program utilizing handheld computer systems which have modified little because the Eighties.

Jacobi Robotics, a startup spun out of the labs of the University of California, Berkeley, says it will probably vastly velocity up that course of with AI. If profitable, Jacobi goals to switch the legacy strategies prospects are presently utilizing to coach their bots, whittling down the time it takes to code a paletting course of from months to a single day. Read the total story.

—James O’Donnell

Here’s the issue with new plastic recycling strategies

Look on the underside of a plastic water bottle or takeout container, and also you would possibly discover a brand there made up of three arrows forming a closed loop formed like a triangle. Sometimes referred to as the chasing arrows, this stamp is used on packaging to recommend it’s recyclable.

Those little arrows suggest a pleasant story, portray an image of a world the place the fabric shall be recycled into a brand new product, forming an countless loop of reuse. But the truth of plastics recycling at present doesn’t match as much as that concept. Only about 10% of the plastic ever made has been recycled; the overwhelming majority winds up in landfills or within the atmosphere. 

Researchers have been working to deal with the issue by developing with new recycling strategies, typically referred to as superior, or chemical, recycling. But this new method shares a couple of challenges with different recycling strategies. Read the total story.

—Casey Crownhart



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