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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 31,461

Journal Archives

This Robotic Trash Can Takes Itself to the Curb

Automation is coming into areas that we never even considered. This is just one example.

A major appeal of automation in this era of rapidly developing tech is increasing accessibility and autonomy for disabled individuals. Scientists have created impressive exosuits and robotic gloves for people with limited mobility and motor skills. But for all the advantages of these flashy advancements, they remain pricey, complex and hard-to-use, while, as some critics point out, failing to address critical infrastructure upgrades, like ramps and accessible transportation, needed to improve disabled folks’ daily lives.

Even still, some companies are striking a balance between flash and function, finding small ways to use robotics to make everyday tasks less monumental for people who aren’t able-bodied.

One such invention is the SmartCan: a motorized garbage can and app that takes the trash to the curb for you. SmartCan, the first product developed by the Massachusetts-based company Rezzi, just won ProtoLabs’ Cool Idea award, which provides grant funding to “innovative thinkers” for building prototypes and accelerating the process of bringing inventions to market. With assistance from ProtoLabs, the SmartCan team slashed nearly six months off their production schedule, and the manufacturer fabricated the entire prototype.

SmartCan is essentially a pair of robotic wheels that are compatible with any municipal-issued trash receptacle. Initially, those wheels were programmed to travel from a docking station at a person’s residence to a second docking station at the curb. (They’ve since eliminated the dock at the curb to accommodate local laws and pedestrian safety.) SmartCan is also synced to an app that can be scheduled for the time and day of your neighborhood’s trash pickup.


Measuring equity: New project tracks regional racial disparities

How are we doing? In terms of racial equity, that is. That question was often asked a couple of months ago around the 5-year anniversary of the onset of the Ferguson unrest. Now the Regional Equity Indicators Dashboard, STLEquity.org, strives to provide data sets to answer that question and track future progress over time.

The dashboard, or graphical user interface, was created as a response to the Ferguson Commission’s Signature Calls to Action for a way to quantify the state of racial equity in the region. It’s an expansion of the City of St. Louis’s Equity Indicators Baseline Report released in late 2018.

It consists of 72 indicators organized into three main themes drawn from the Ferguson Commission report – Youth at the Center, Opportunity to Thrive, and Justice for All. They measure quality-of-life factors such as child wellbeing, education quality, educational attainment, financial empowerment, health and safety, neighborhoods, policing, court reform, and civic engagement.

The dashboard currently measures indicators for the City of St. Louis and St. Louis, St. Charles and St. Clair (Illinois) counties.


Andrew Yang joins ABC News Live to discuss debate performance

Andrew Yang talks about what he calls 'the 4th industrial revolution' post October 2019 Debate

Andrew Yang on Wealth Tax October Debate 2019

Andrew Yang on Automation Revolution October 2019 Debate

Andrew Yang on Opioid Crisis October 2019 Debate

Andrew Yang Opening Statement October Debate

Discussion of Yang making 5th Debate from The Hill


Black Journalists to honor Living Legends

Three veteran journalists – producer Ruth Ezell, food columnist Cleora Hughes and photographer Odell Mitchell Jr. – will be recognized by the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists (GSLABJ) as Living Legends for their outstanding careers on Saturday, October 19, at IL Monastero, 3050 Olive St. in Midtown.

Ezell, award-winning senior producer of Living St. Louis at the Nine Network, also has served as host for Channel 9 specials. She has served as vice president and in many other capacities with GSLABJ over the years.

A founding member of GSLABJ who also served as its president, Hughes was the first African-American editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s entertainment section. She was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2017.

Mitchell began his professional career as a staff photographer at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He retired after 25 years from an award-winning photography career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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