Tech Friday (25 – 31 Dec 2020)

Updated: Jan 10

Weekly Tech News related to Charger Exclusion with Mi 11, Effective Training Model for Robots, Indian Startups Raising $9.3 Billion In 2020, Tesla Debut in India Next Year, Volkswagen’s Electric Car-Charging Robot with Eyes, Spontaneous Robot Dances

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Won’t Come with Charger After It Mocked Apple for Not Including A Charger


Source: The Verge 26 Dec 2020


Lei Jun, the CEO of Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, has confirmed that its upcoming Mi 11 phone will not come with a charger, citing environmental concerns. While that’s a legitimate argument against providing yet another hunk of plastic that resembles all the other chargers people already have, Xiaomi joined other phone makers who poked fun at Apple a few short months ago for not including chargers with the iPhone 12.


Original written by: Kim Lyons

2. More Effective Training Model for Robots


Source: U.S. Army Research Laboratory 27 Dec 2020


New Army research reduces the unpredictability of current training reinforcement learning policies so that they are more practically applicable to physical systems, especially ground robots. These learning components will permit autonomous agents to reason and adapt to changing battlefield conditions, said an Army researcher.

3. Indian Startups Raised $9.3 Billion In 2020


Source: Tech Crunch 28 Dec 2020


Compared to their record $14.5 billion fundraise last year, Indian startups are ending 2020 with about $9.3 billion. This is the first time since 2016 that startups in India, one of the world’s largest startup communities, has raised less than $10 billion in a year, according to consultancy firm Tracxn.


Original written by: Manish Singh

4. Tesla to Make India Debut ‘Early’ Next Year


Source: Tech Crunch 28 Dec 2020


Tesla will begin operating in India in “early” 2021, India’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday, a day after the tech-centric carmaker said it was confident it would enter the world’s second most populated market next year.


Original written by: Manish Singh

5. Volkswagen Teases an Electric Car-Charging Robot with Eyes


Source: The Verge 28 Dec 2020


Volkswagen says it’s made a prototype of the electric vehicle charging robot concept it first showed off in proof-of-concept form in late 2019, and that it plans to keep developing the idea. The giant German automaker apparently liked the concept so much that the prototype charging robot looks almost identical to the concept version, complete with blinking digital eyes and R2-D2 noises.


Original written by: Sean O'Kane

6. Spontaneous Robot Dances Highlight a New Kind of Order in Active Matter


Source: Georgia Institute of Technology 31 Dec 2020


Researchers have proposed a new principle by which active matter systems can spontaneously order, without the need for higher level instructions or even programmed interaction among the agents. And they have demonstrated this principle in a variety of systems, including groups of periodically shape-changing robots called "smarticles" — smart, active particles.


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