Amazon has more new robots

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Here are five tech things that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Amazon’s new robots are unleashing an automation revolution.

Will Knight van WIRED reported on his close-up experience with Amazon’s latest addition to the fulfillment department. Proteus — the robotic assistant that now moves through several of Amazon’s fulfillment centers — is highly sophisticated and “smart enough to distinguish humans from inanimate objects,” Knight reports. Amazon continues to integrate highly agile machines with human workers that shift the division of labor to increase efficiency. Knight describes his first encounter with Proteus: “Playing a chipper tune… eyes that morph into heart shapes…” The robot is configured to make employees feel more receptive to the technology and perhaps even “happy.” (Source: WIRED)

Why this is important for your business:

Amazon is doing what many small and medium-sized businesses will be doing in a few years: using robots to operate their warehouses and production facilities instead of humans. The cost of this robot automation continues to drop dramatically and a handful of my own clients are evaluating their ROI. This type of technology will be commonplace within ten years. In fact, great solutions are already being introduced like…

2 – Bin picker with double robot achieves a record 2,700 picks per hour.

The company founded in Germany Schmalz stated that it achieved a “record-breaking” performance with robots they worked with in a test application. The robots (referred to as “pickers”) were filmed at the company’s headquarters handling various items. They successfully crated them at a sustained rate. The end result was 2700 picks per hour. The robots are programmed with algorithms that adjust their gripping mechanism based on the object. Schmalz has developed “kits” that optimize ivOS – the operating system behind this demonstration. Kits provide “‘plug-and-work’ technology that can be quickly integrated into any bin picking application,” as described in the article. (Source: Drives and controls)

Why this is important for your business:

Do you see what I mean?

3 – Microsoft highlights the impact of AI on small businesses in a new report.

Microsoft received insightful feedback from small business owners on the topic of AI. Are State of Mind Small Business Report surveyed 1,000 small business owners about their readiness and understanding of AI (the sample included people of color and Gen Z demographics). (Source: At MSFT.com)

Why this is important for your business:

The results showed that nearly half of small business owners understand the potential of AI to transform their business. But “everyday tasks” hinder them from the focused time it takes to get to know the technology. The report also indicated that data security is a major challenge, as 43 percent lack the resources to strengthen their operations. Limited knowledge remains a critical stumbling block for small business owners who are aware of the steep learning curve they face as AI continues to evolve.

4 – Dropbox introduces Dropbox Dash, AI-powered Universal Search and Dropbox AI for files.

File sharing and storage service Dropbox has added new AI-powered features. (Source: Drop box)

Why this is important for your business:

The company announced Dropbox Dash – a “universal search tool” where users can find their combined features and content in one place instead of having to access them in different locations. It will also include a “Stash” tool that stores URL links collected from searches where users can easily find and retrieve them. Dropbox AI is supported by generative AI to answer questions or summarize specific content stored in Dropbox folders. The company also founded Dropbox Ventures – an initiative to support AI development and “commitment to using AI responsibly,” as stated on its website.

5 – JustPaid, an AI-powered finance company, launches tools for small businesses.

A new member of online payment systems has arrived. Just paid – a new platform financially backed by the co-founders of Reddit and Dropbox, among others – is an AI-powered platform for SMBs to receive and track payments, access data analytics, and “identify opportunities that are being powered by AI,” the company’s press release said. “I wanted to build a tool to help businesses manage their expenses and recognize their income,” said co-founder Vinay Pinnaka. (Source: decision)

Why this is important for your business:

The company’s platform introduces rules-based payment plans for overdue customers available online or via mobile. You have a choice of easy options to offer customers who can choose a preferred plan for ‘pick and pay’. The interface is user-friendly and professional and designed to not only minimize the time your employees spend on collections, but also maintain relationships with your customers who may be experiencing financial difficulties temporarily, but will be good payers in the future can stay.