Arizona can become the first US state, whose residents will soon be able to pay taxes using cryptocurrency. The corresponding bill was passed by the State Senate this week.
16 senators endorsed the bill, 13 legislators opposed it, but in the end, a three-vote margin was enough to pass the document. Now the bill will be forwarded to the Arizona House of Representatives for further consideration.
How can it change the life in Arizona?
The representative of the Republican Party Jeff Waninger noted that changes in the state’s tax law will make Arizona a comfortable place to live for users of new technologies. He also believes that in this way Arizona sends a signal to everyone in the US and the rest of the world that in the future the state will be open to blockchain and digital currencies.
At the same time, the representative of the Democratic Party, Steve Farley, warns that the bill shifts the “load of volatility” of bitcoin prices to taxpayers who will continue to use the US dollar.
“It would mean that the money goes to the state and then the state has to take responsibility of how to exchange it,” said Steve Farley.
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Ford is one of the automotive companies making huge investments in the field of autonomous vehicle. They believe it is going to be an integral part of the future traffic. Recently the company filed an application for a patent. They are going to create an autonomous police car.
Car to Guard the Streets
The patent, called Motor 1, describes an autonomous police vehicle that can independently detect violations committed by other cars on the road in connection with surveillance cameras and road sensors.
A police car operating on AI can report the information on the offender to the office and chase this vehicle. Moreover, it is able to connect to the lawbreaker’s vehicle to communicate with passengers, check the identity of the driver, etc.
In fact, Ford’s patent application contains an algorithm that could determine how severe a driver’s violation of rules is and presume a penalty. The patent also describes how police officers are able to take control of a self-driving vehicle or use a wireless connection to various databases to obtain additional information about a driver who violates the law.
As for now, this is only a patent. Even if Ford gets permission to accomplish this goal, it is not known when it will be realized.
Imagine that you have a little flat in a big city. A little space, too many things, always mess… On the other hand, you will be able to create a table or a bed using just an app or gesture. Spinout MIT Media Lab Ori seeks to make this kind of robofiction a reality. Boston start-up company develops smart furniture. It turns into a bedroom, a study or a big wardrobe to save space in a small apartment.
More than a Smart Home
The Ori is an L-shaped device that is installed along the wall. There is a closet, a folding table, a pull-out bed, drawers and shelves on one side. The other side of the device could be unfolded to become a table. The surface above is a big shelf where one can place the TV. The third side, opposite to the wall, includes more shelves and hooks for hanging coats. Users can control the device through a smart home, a mobile Ori app or assistants like Echo Amazon. The test line of Ori, estimated at $ 10,000, is already being sold.
Developers predict that future apartments can be fully equipped with smart Ori furniture. This tech can be developed for other rooms like kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. For example, a two-bedroom apartment can be transformed into a spacious studio, become three separate rooms or turn into one big hall for a party.
The main task is to solve the problems of urbanization, as nowadays cities are extremely popular places for life. The second new phenomenon is the Internet of Things, so to say, it is a flow of intellectual gadgets, like household goods and furniture intended for connection to the Internet. They are connected to each other and simplify human life serving as gadgets.
Among the smart gadgets presented at CES 2018, there were some really impressive ones. One of them was a robot from Aflac and Sproutel companies. It is developed to help little patients who are experiencing a difficult process of cancer treatment.
A cute robot friend
The name of the robot is “My Special Aflac Duck”. There are five sensors located on the duck. Therefore, when children hug it, the robot will quack. Accessories equipped with emoji are also included. Children can click on any of them to express how they feel this day. Then the robot will adjust its behaviour to their mood. Sproutel CEO Aaron Horowitz says that the aim is to make children feel that they are not alone.
Among the accessories there is also a kit created to simulate taking medications so that children are less frightened about treatment. The fur of the toy could be easily removed for washing. There is also the mode to soothe children and make them concentrate on breathing exercises while the duck’s head is making minor impulses.
The latest RFID invention is a rocket ship. First, children have to choose the favourite destination – a circus, park, forest or garden… The Duck connects with an app and can “move” the children to a happy place through sounds.
What is most attractive about it is minimalism. Technically, it is not “smart” at all. There is no artificial intelligence or integrated voice assistant, it is impossible to play with it, there is no camera. Nevertheless, its functions are enough to calm the children in the bad times.
Aflac says that they intend to provide a robot free of charge for children with cancer in the USA. First of all, they will test a toy at their cancer treatment centre in Atlanta, in partnership with other programs and hospitals. By the end of 2018, they promise to deliver the device to thousands of families.
Yesterday, the company Amazon officially opened its first fully automated grocery store in Seattle without cashboxes and sellers. This became possible due to the developments in the field of computer vision and machine learning. The proprietary control system automatically recognises the goods that the buyer takes from the shelves, adds them to the virtual basket, and then withdraws the final purchase amount from the account. The interested of people was so great that soon after the opening at the entrance formed a big line.
No lines. No checkouts. No, seriously.
The irony of the situation is that the whole essence of the Just Walk Out Shopping concept, which is the basis of the idea of Amazon Go, implies the possibility of quick purchases and the absence of lines and cashboxes. There is even an appropriate slogan on the wall of the store: “No lines. No checkouts. No, seriously. ”
We should note that the lines were formed not in the room itself, but near the entrance to the store. At the same time, there were no complications with purchases, the system worked flawlessly if you look at the reviews of enthusiastic buyers. But you can also find some negative reviews in Twitter.
Smart-Vision EQ from Mercedes-Benz demonstrated its unique opportunities at the recent CES 2018 show in Las Vegas. It was first shown at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Engineers have completed autonomous control systems and connectivity options. The result was a car built on the platform Smart Fortwo, which is capable of winking at pedestrians. Moreover, it has the fifth autonomy level and welcomes passengers by their names.
Thanks to the fifth autonomy level, the car does not have a steering wheel and pedals in the cabin. Mercedes says that the concept is not intended for sale to private individuals. Instead, it will be a part of the fleet of autonomous cars of the future. The company sees that in a few years such cars will come to the destination and greet their passengers by their names. They will get to know all the information needed through to the connection service between cars-taxi data and photos.
As soon as the passenger has been taken to the destination, Smart Vision EQ politely bids him farewell. An interesting feature is the car’s equipment with hygiene products. Therefore, people can, while in the salon, for example, clean their hands or have lunch.
Mercedes has updated the front display with the image of the Las Vegas Strip Boulevard, which was installed by default. During the show, he made several short trips at a distance of about 500 metres. For passengers it was absolutely new and exciting experience riding a car with the fifth autonomy level.
However, the trip was not absolutely autonomous. A technician controlled the car through the remote control. The manufacturer has not risked the safety of people in such a crowded place yet. However, the experiment gave a clear idea of what the traffic would be in the near future.
At CES 2018, Furrion introduced quite a bizarre machine. Guests of the event took her for a fighting robot. Nevertheless, in fact, the machine is not intended for combat. This is a huge exoskeleton, which a person must control within the cabin. The movements of the machine will depend entirely on the human commands. It is known that it is almost 4.5 m in height, 5.4 m in width. Prothesis weighs about 3600 kg. Co-founders Furrion Matt and Aaron Fiedler told CES that the name of the mechanism was Prosthesis. Moreover, they are sure the mech race is going to be a real kind of sport in the nearer future.
A New Kind of Robotsport
They was mulling over the opinion of analysts that the future of sports depends largely on robots for a long time. They are sure that nowadays such giant objects are exactly relevant. So far, the mechanism does not move too fast – less than 36 km / h. Moreover, it depends on how the operator sets the limits. The founders explained that the moves come from the reinforcement of the pilot’s movements, without any control panels or joysticks. The frame is made of chrome steel – a highly effective alloy used in the aerospace industry.
Engineers said they were inspired by the projects of Jonathan Tippett, who had already tried to make a 4,000-kilogram machine move with the human inside it. Then there was no issue of racing. Furrion decided that the next step would be to build the improved mech to run the first trial race.
Furrion is going to continue innovating with the creation of smaller and more flexible mechanisms. The inventors also said that the team would produce a model that could be bought for racing.