Tech Talk

Technology Matters-Flippy and Steve

    This is Flippy, the burger-flipping robot.  The 60-thousand-dollar robotic chef was being tested at a California burger joint.

    Thermal imaging, cameras and 3D optics sensed when to flip and remove the patties.    Flippy was grilling 150 burgers an hour.

    Cheese and toppings still required human help.

    You could say Flippy is all about turnover, but he's been shelved for now.  The humans couldn't keep pace with the robot.

    Lyft is doubling down on helping patients get rides to the doctor.  
    Its partnering with Allscripts, so doctors and hospitals using Allscripts can request a Lyft concierge.
    Passengers receive a text alert about the scheduled ride which is usually paid for by the business provider.
    Lyft counts thousands of health care companies among its partners...including Blue Cross Blue Shield.

    Lyft also testing a program to sell rides in bundles, though they haven't officially announced this.

    A monthly fee ranging from 199-to-399-dollars a month would get you up to 60-rides a month.  The rides can't cost more than 15-dollars.

    From Lyft to flying taxis.

    Google cofounder Larry Page's flying taxi project is cleared for take off.

    Kitty Hawk is the Silicon Valley startup backed by Page.  Its building and testing electric vertical take-off and landing products in New Zealand.

    No word on when this might be ready for the public.

    Finally, meet Steve.  That's Steve.  A dazzling atmospheric phenomenon.  An aurora.

    Citizens scientists in Canada spotted Steve.  Steve stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.  But you knew that.  I did.  No I didn't.

    Steve is special because it occurs at much lower latitudes than most of the Northern Lights.

    The NASA-funded project called Aurorasaurus is asking skywatchers to report Steve sighting so they can learn more.

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