Following hurricanes Irma and Maria, millions of Puerto Rico residents were left without electricity and it’s expected to take months for power to be restored. Well one person mused on Twitter whether Elon Musk could help out by rebuilding the island’s electricity grid with solar and battery systems and Musk responded that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Like he said in his tweet, Musk and his companies have done this before. After Tesla acquired SolarCity last year, the company revealed that it had converted the island of Ta’u from diesel generator-based power to solar energy using thousands of solar panels and Tesla Powerpacks for energy storage. Tesla also brought its solar power and energy storage system to the Hawaiian island of Kauai as well as California earlier this year. And these systems don’t take terribly long to get up and running. In the case of California, the Ontario station only took three months between groundbreaking and running.
The potential must have sounded appealing to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello who tweeted at Musk that they should talk. Tesla has already shipped hundreds of its Powerall battery systems to the island and maybe that will be just the beginning. We could hear more very soon since it looks like Rossello and Musk will be talking today.
Source: Puerto Rico governor will discuss Tesla solar systems with Elon Musk
Michigan’s struggles have played out on the world’s stage. Just after the turn of the century began what’s referred to as the state’s lost decade, the economy faltered, oil prices skyrocketed and the housing market crashed. Nearly a million jobs left the state between 2000 and 2013, many of them in manufacturing and the automotive industry. For a state of just under 10 million people, the impact was devastating: Unemployment was higher than the national average by more than four percent.Bailouts for Chrysler and General Motors were followed by Detroit’s record-setting municipal bankruptcy, but through grit and determination, Michigan started clawing its way back from the brink. Now multimillion-dollar investments in the city from tech titans like Amazon, Facebook and LG make headlines with startling frequency, and a host of tech startups have begun to fill the gaps left by plant closures. CLICK BELOW FOR FULL STORY
Source: Michigan’s manufacturing past is fueling its tech future
We know what Star Wars fans will be wishing for this Christmas — aside from Sphero’s R2-D2 and BB-9E toys. Ubtech, the company behind the dancing Lynx robot, is releasing a Stormtrooper bot. Although it can’t teach you yoga, you can use voice commands to instruct it to ward off intruders (hopefully not with an actual blaster). Its facial recognition tech also allows it to store up to three faces in its memory bank. That way, it can shout at any uninvited guests that keep barging into your room. And, its accompanying mobile app packs an augmented reality game that lets you fight off the Resistance and launch First Order attacks. The robot is available for pre-order from Ubtech right now, and will ship in November. It will set you back $300.
Those keen to snap up the Stormtrooper should be aware that its manufacturer has previously come under fire from the security community. In August, cybersecurity firm IOActive claimed that Ubtech’s Alpha series models did not encrypt the data they stored, making it easy for hackers to steal the info. Tinkerers even managed to turn the cute little bots into screwdriver-wielding, stab-happy maniacs. Not exactly stocking filler material, then. But, no such claims have been made about the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper.
Source: Stormtrooper bot with facial recognition guards against intruders
This is not about trump or the mayor of San Juan. This is not about government officials getting their feelings hurt and getting in a twitter fight over who did what when. I don’t care. I care about the millions of Puerto Ricans in dire need of food and supplies. Please put your petty arguments to the side and concentrate your efforts to helping those in need.
People have asked why weren’t they prepared? The government had a plan in place for dealing with this but let’s be realistic. This is not a typical situation. Our island was hit by Cat 5 and Cat 4 hurricanes back to back. Infrastructure was devastated, roads impassable, power transmission and distribution decimated, potable water nonexistent. Some estimates indicate 70% of police force is not reporting, the majority of government workers and first responder are unaccounted for. Not because they don’t want to report, but rather because most cannot. They are taking care of their families and communities.
FEMA and the government are doing what they can with the personnel and resources they have available. Even if they had the manpower from the start to do everything they needed and even if all the roads were passable and all communities accessible it would take weeks to get back to normal because we’re talking about an island 100’X35’ but with a population of over 3 million people. Everything needs to be shipped in by Air or Sea. Now consider the conditions of the island, it’s roads, infrastructure and destruction left behind by Irma & Maria. The help of the US armed forces was desperately needed form the beginning. Continue reading
Hello everyone! Many people have asked me how they can help after the devastating pass of #huracanmaria over the island of Puerto Rico. There are many agencies mobilizing rescue efforts in Puerto Rico especially the Red Cross.
There are also many private groups gathering resources and donations in order to travel to Puerto Rico to deliver supplies and offer expert help to the people of Puerto Rico 🇵🇷. I have created a domain to help link to a local group that are spearheading an effort to get aid to the island http://ayudameplease.com
As you figure out how you can help please keep in mind that there will be many trying to take advantage of this difficult time so please be careful.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all those in need. As to my family and friends still on the island please stay safe especially my parents Ilia Ramos Garcia and Carmelo Torres we love you very much and we hope to hear from you soon.
Matternet has long used Switzerland as a testing ground for its delivery drone technology, and now it’s ramping things up a notch. The company has revealed plans to launch the first permanent autonomous drone delivery network in Switzerland, where its flying robot couriers will shuttle blood and pathology samples between hospital facilities. The trick is the Matternet Station you see above: when a drone lands, the Station locks it into place and swaps out both the battery and the cargo (loaded into boxes by humans, who scan QR codes for access). Stations even have their own mechanisms to manage drone traffic if the skies are busy. Continue reading