This page includes many service-related industries that do not yet justify a separate page. They emphasize the wide range of industries and services that are impacted by technology.
Included are: Accounting, Bartending, Childcare, Education, Fashion, Gardening, Government, Hotel, Industrial design, Janitorial, Landscaping, Military, Personal care, Policing, Recycling, Religion, Remote monitoring, Research, Search & Rescue, Security, Sports & Fitness, Storage, Tour guides, Translation, Travel, and Underground exploration.
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Autonomous hotel room picks you up at home, and takes you to your hotel (Hotel/AI – 2019-01 – CNet)
A tour of the world’s first robot-staffed hotel (Hotel/Robotics – 2019-01 – Wall Street Journal)
The world’s first digital super-model (Service-Fashion/AI – 2018-09)
Blockchain to enable storage sharing amongst competitors (Service-Storage/Blockchain – 2018-07 – TechRepublic)
Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to help customers buy cosmetics (Service-Personal Care/AI-Augmented Reality – 2018-02 – TechRepublic)
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Transforming robot will mow fields and shovel snow (Landscaping/Robotics - 2019-09 - ZDnet)
Left Hand Robotics makes an autonomous mobile robot for cutting grass on large fields, such as baseball diamonds, and that transforms into a snow clearing robot in the winter.
Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral (Religion/Robotics - 2019-09 - Vox)
Robot priests are delivering sermons (Buddhist, Japan), performing rituals (Hindu, India), giving blessings (Protestant, Germany), and quoting the Bible (Catholic, Italy). In the Middle Ages, Christians designed automata to perform the mysteries of Easter and Christmas.
AI defeats top players at six-person no-limit Texas hold’em poker (Service/Games/AI - 2019-07 - Gizmodo)
Researchers at Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a card-playing bot (‘Pluribus’) capable of defeating some of the world’s best players at six-person no-limit Texas hold’em poker. When pitted against professional human opponents with real money involved, Pluribus managed to collect winnings at an astounding rate of $1,000 per hour. Details were published in Science.
How 2 bots work together to clean a room (Personal Care/Robotics - 2019-05 - TechRepublic)
iRobot has used its new design, software, and data science strategies to let iRobot’s new vacuum tag-team with the company’s latest robot mop to clean a room. When Roomba finishes a vacuum job, it notifies Braava to start mopping. The two robots share maps of the home.
Using telepresence robots with remote human operators (Personal Care/Robotics - 2019-05 - The Verge)
Japanese Mira Robotics will have a low-cost robot in 2020, able to carry out a variety of household tasks, including cleaning, cooking, emptying a washing machine, and folding clothes. The robot will be controlled remotely by a human, who could be located anywhere. The current version moves slowly and, instead of humanlike hands, is equipped with a pair of robotic pincers with limited capability.
Inspection robots are climbing the walls to monitor safety conditions in hazardous locations (Safety/Robotics - 2019-05 - TechCrunch)
In Christchurch, New Zealand, a team of roboticists at Invert Robotics has commercialized an inspection robot that uses tiny suction cups on a series of treads and a specialty chemical to create a technology that has robots literally climbing the walls. In Pittsburgh, USA, Gecko Robotics has a wall-climbing inspection robot using high-powered magnets. Plant inspections in the food, chemicals and aviation industries are dangerous, and robots can improve quality assurance while eliminating the danger.
5 coming breakthroughs in energy in the next 5 years (Energy - 2019-05 - Singularity Hub)
First “1 cent per kWh” deals for solar and wind signed; Solar and wind will reach >15 percent of US electricity, and begin to drive all growth; It will be cheaper to build new solar/wind/batteries than to run on existing coal; ICE car sales have now peaked, and all car sales growth will be electric; New storage technologies will displace Li-ion batteries for tomorrow’s most demanding applications.
Google’s AI can now translate your speech while keeping your voice (Language Translation/AI - 2019-05 - MIT Technology Review)
Google’s AI can now translate your speech while keeping your voice. The new system, the Translatotron, has 3 components: 1. Uses a neural network trained to map the audio spectrogram in the input language to the output language. 2. Converts the spectrogram into an audio wave. 3. Layers the speaker’s voiceprint into the final audio output.
This virtual security guard looks like an anime character (Security/AI - 2019-05 - Futurism)
Japanese security company, Secom, and multiple ventures have created a life-sized, artificially intelligent guards, in either male or female form, that appear on a large stationary mirror that can be placed in a building’s entry way. The guards can scan visitors, looking for suspicious items or signs that the person is trying to conceal their identity, or serve as receptionists, or provide emergency services. Anything the virtual guards “see” is monitored by a human guard.
Eva the photography robot shoots her first professional wedding gig (Photography/Robotics - 2019-04 - TechRadar)
UK-based company Service Robots has droids for hire or purchase, and one of those is a photographer robot called Eva. The humanoid robot uses facial recognition technology to identify people before asking them if they would like to have their picture taken.
Robots that can sort recycling material (Recycling/Robotics - 2019-04 - ScienceBlog)
Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a robotic system that can detect if an object is paper, metal, or plastic. The system includes a soft Teflon hand that uses tactile sensors on its fingertips to detect an object’s size and stiffness. The system was found to be 85% accurate at detecting materials when stationary, and 63% on a simulated conveyer belt.
Real estate buying and selling could be reduced from 3+ months to 3- weeks (Real Estate/Blockchain - 2019-04 - CoinDesk)
Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, enterprise blockchain firm R3, and others have completed a successful blockchain trial. The trial used test data to carry out simulated property transactions over a distributed ledger system over a 5-day period. This demonstrated that real estate buying and selling could be reduced from >3 months to <3 weeks.
The UK’s first digitized end-to-end residential property transaction (Real Estate/Blockchain - 2019-04 - UKTech)
As part of the UK Land Registry’s Digital Street R&D project, Mishcon de Reya has successfully completed the UK’s first digitized end-to-end residential property transaction. The project is looking at ways of improving the home buying process in the future.
Meet Tengai, the job interview robot who won't judge you (Human Resources/Robotics - 2019-03 - BBC)
The world’s first robot designed to carry out unbiased job interviews is being tested by Swedish recruiters. Tengai is the brainchild of Stockholm’s Furhat Robotics. Measuring 16in tall and weighing 7.7lbs, the head sits on a table across from the candidate. The goal is to offer job interviews that are free from any of the unconscious biases that managers and recruiters can often bring to the hiring process.
Your next personal trainer could be a robot (Sports & Fitness/Robotics - 2019-02 - ZDNet)
A new study from ETH Zurich, Switzerland demonstrated that people learned new rowing skills faster when a robot taught them how to do it using behavior feedback. This simple concept could also be applied to other examples of motor learning.
India just swore in its first robot police officer (Policing/Robotics - 2019-02 - Futurism.com)
India just swore in its first robotic police officer (‘KP-Bot). The animatronic-looking machine was granted the rank of sub-inspector and will operate the front desk of Thiruvananthapuram police headquarters.
Your babysitter could be a robot (Childcare/Robotics - 2019-01 - Leapsmag)
The iPal from China’s AvatarMind Robot Technology is a $2,500 child-sized humanoid robot with a round head, expressive face and articulated fingers, which can keep children engaged and entertained. iPal talks, dances, plays games, reads stories and plugs into social media and the internet, adapting to a child’s likes and dislikes.
Robotic lawn mower trims your grass autonomously (Gardening/Robotics - 2019-01 - EnGadget)
iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba, will introduce the Terra, a robotic lawn mower, in 2019 in Germany and the US. You set boundaries with wireless beacons, and drive Terra around the perimeter once. Terra will operate on a schedule with mowing parameters, and will return to a charging base whenever necessary.
How Al in accounting and auditing can help your business reduce costs (Service-Accounting/AI - 2018-04 - GreySuits)
Financial services firms are investing in AI to reduce costs and improve efficiency. AUDITING: Machine learning analyzeS thousands of documents, quickly developing summaries, and producing useful information and criteria. AI speedS up tedious tasks, such as checking debit and credit entries. ACCOUNTING: AI can analyze broad trends, revealing financial insights that help develop better long-term strategies. AI can maintain a constant focus on regulatory compliance and reporting, and can assist in risk management.
Robot bartenders are starting to be used (Service-Bartending/Robotics - 2018-07 - Wall Street Journal)
The mixologist at the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas is a two-armed robot, able to shake, stir, muddle and garnish, that makes <120 cocktails an hour.
Japan set to deploy English-speaking robots to schools (Service-Education/Robotics - 2018-08 - ZDNet)
Japan’s education ministry will deploy 500 English-speaking robots to the country’s schools from next year, with the aim of improving students’ English-speaking skills.
Fashion designers using 3D software to create prototypes, and halve time from design to store shelf (Service-Fashion/Additive Manufacturing - 2018-10 - Wtop)
Clothes and shoe designers are sketching on high-resolution tablets, and emailing 3-D renderings straight to factories. The goal is to reduce the time it takes to get to store shelves from a year to six months or less.
The world’s first digital super-model (Service-Fashion/AI - 2018-09 - KurzweilAI)
Shudu is the world’s first digital super-model. There are an increasing number of digital fashion models. Some have millions of Instagram followers — and brands and retailers are starting to show interest.
Blockchain-based platform used for New South Wales' new digital drivers licence (Service-Government/Blockchain - 2018-09 - ZDNet)
Australian data security company Secure Logic is launching a blockchain solution to support the digitisation of government services, including motor registration, birth and death certificates, medical records, and property titles. New South Wales is using the platform in its trial of a digital drivers licence.
New South Wales Land Registry to trial blockchain for conveyancing (Service-Government/Blockchain - 2018-10 - ZdNet)
Under a New South Wales state government directive, applying to the start of the 2019 financial year, all mainstream property transactions must be lodged electronically using a blockchain-based eConveyancing system, and all paper-based Certificates of Title will be cancelled.
Robots are being used in hotels for room delivery and concierge services (Service-Hotel/Robotics - 2018-09 - Miami Herald)
Robotic concierge roam through hotels, hospitals and casinos, giving directions, serving snacks and beverages, using the elevator, and performing bellhop duties. The machines are fully automatic, using digital mapping to travel to and from rooms at 3 mph. Singapore manufacturer Techmatics has robots in casinos and hospitals at over 100 venues. Santa-Clara technology company Savioke has robots in >70 hotels across the world.
AI system provides optimum industrial design options (Service-Industrial Design/AI - 2018-08 - FastCompany)
MIT researchers have created a tool that automatically generates product design options for designers who work with computer-aided drafting software. The tool can optimize a design for any object, based on a combination of metrics, and can then create dozens of design options, each tuned to different optimal efficiencies.
Walmart is introducing 360 autonomous floor cleaners (Service-Janitorial/Robotics - 2018-12 - Bloomberg)
Walmart is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots made by San Diego start-up Brain Corp. in some U.S. stores by the end of January 2019. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around. Initially the machines are operated by humans, who “teach” the layout of the space that needs cleaning. The robots already scrub floors at 4 U.S. airports.
Window washing drone can be used to clean buildings and extinguish fires (Service-Janitorial/Drone - 2018-11 - The Telegraph)
A drone, created by Aerones, a San Francisco company, can wash skyscraper windows 20 times quicker than manual cleaners. It can also extinguish fires, and will be in operation in 2019. Weighing about 200 lb, it is tethered to the ground with a hose supplying water and electricity.
Autonomous flight could change the face of combat (Service-Military/AI - 2018-11 - MIT Technology Review)
The US military is pumping $12 billion a year into a race to develop planes, helicopters, and drones that can fly without a human pilot. There are three main benefits to unmanned aircraft: they take people out of danger, they don’t have the size and speed constraints necessary to accommodate a human pilot, and they promise to be better than humans in combat. An autonomous helicopter could deliver food and supplies to troops, for example, and an autonomous drone could map out unknown enemy terrain. The trouble is it’s also much easier for adversaries to capture and reverse engineer these technologies, then modify them to make autonomous weapons. The United Nations is now considering a ban on such weapon systems, but the US, China, and Russia have yet to sign on. As the Pentagon continues to fuel autonomous technology development, unresolved ethical questions loom overhead.
The British Army is carrying out a massive test of military robots and drones (Service-Military/Drone - 2018-11 - MIT Technology Review)
The British Army is testing out over 70 new technologies, including unmanned vehicles and surveillance drones, in a four-week experiment on one of its biggest training grounds.
Teaching robots to be more reliable teammates for soldiers (Service-Military/Robotics - 2018-07 - Science Daily)
Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new technique to quickly teach robots novel traversal behaviors with minimal human oversight.
Culturally-sensitive robots will care for the elderly (Service-Personal Care/Robotics - 2018-09 - Futurism)
Researchers want robots to help elderly people with everything from staying active to remembering their medications, and to do so with a sense of cultural norms.
Stanford's polite, pedestrian social robot (Service-Personal Care/Robotics - 2018-09 - Technology.org)
Stanford researchers are designing a social robot that can manoeuver closely around humans, operating as a generalized personal helpers: delivering packages, cleaning house, and grabbing a snack from the fridge.
New social robot will be likable and appear fond of people (Service-Personal Care/Robotics - 2018-09 - Technology.org)
A team of researchers from 3 German universities plan to develop a new social robot, specially designed to generate likeability and social resonance. Their goal is to create a vibrant character who appears fond of people.
Robot puts hospital gown on a person (Service-Personal Care/Robotics - 2018-05 - Futurism)
Researchers from Georgia Tech are working on a robot that can help a person get dressed. So far, it can successfully thread one sleeve of a dressing gown onto a person’s arm.
Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to help customers buy cosmetics (Service-Personal Care/AI-Augmented Reality - 2018-02 - TechRepublic)
Sephora lets retail customers personalize their shopping experience by trying on makeup virtually using AR, matching their skin tone to a foundation with AI, and to try on thousands of shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, false lashes, and other makeup.
High-tech policing tools (Service-Policing/AI - 2018-06 - Wired)
A brief review of how police departments are using technology: self-guided drones to investigate alerts from gunshot-detecting sensors; tattoo recognition; Bodycam data; Red Light recorder data; etc.
Robots and autonomous police cars can handle many policing functions (Service-Policing/AI - 2018-01 - TechRepublic)
A Ford patent describes an autonomous police vehicle that uses sensors to identify traffic violators and give out tickets. Dubai plans for robot police officers to make up a quarter of its police force by 2030.
New garbage-sorting bots are as reliable as humans and much faster (Service-Recycling/Robotics - 2018-04 - NBC News)
Trash-sorting robots are being used in recycling plants, using cameras to recognize specific objects, and robotic arms with suction cups or oversized tongs to flick them into bins of different materials. The robots are already just as accurate as human workers, and up to twice as fast.
Utility drone market to hit $539M by 2023, driven by demand in hazardous work settings (Service-Remote Monitoring/Drone - 2018-07 - TechRepublic)
A new report from MarketsandMarket predicts the market share for utility drones to grow from US$110.2 million (2018) to $538.6 million in 2023, due to increased demand in hazardous work conditions.
Robots are being used in science labs to conduct tests (Service-Research/AI - 2018-04 - Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
In a Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh lab, a robot arm lifts a bottle filled with chemical reagents and carries it over a bank of test tubes, dispensing a precise number of drops into each one, and carrying out multiple tests. Soon, machines won’t just run the experiments—they’ll devise them, too. AI software designed to identify and sort patterns has been deployed across a wide swath of science, from marine biology to astronomy.
Researchers design drones for subterranean search and rescue (Service-Search & Rescue/Drone - 2018-10 - ScienceBlog)
Researchers from Boulder, Denver and Boston have partnered to design autonomous teams of drones that can explore underground environments like subway tunnels, mines and caves, for 2-3 hours. Completion date is late 2021. Flying and rolling drones willo work together to search through dark and dangerous environments to find human survivors of earthquakes, chemical spills and more.
Autonomous drone can evacuate wounded soldiers and disaster victims (Service-Search & Rescue/Drone - 2018-05 - Digital Trends)
Tactical Robotics’ Cormorant drone can be deployed for a wide range of military, industrial, and civilian rescue and evacuation applications. The unmanned Cormorant is a compact, single-engine VTOL aircraft. Internal lift rotors allow the drone to land and take off in a large SUV-sized horizontal surface.
The Blockchain Security Revolution (Service-Security/Blockchain - 2018-04 - Stansberry Research)
Hacking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise, costing the global economy $450 billion in 2016. Applying blockchain technology to various encryption, cybersecurity, and digital identification activities could help end many hacking schemes. Illinois is piloting a blockchain-based system for recording birth certificates. 63% of other US States are considering how to implement blockchain.
Robot shows visitors around the Smithsonian while telling factoids and answering questions (Service-Tour Guides/Robotics - 2018-04 - CNet)
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC is using interactive 4-foot-tall humanoid robots, created by Softbank, which donated 30 robots to the museum in 2017. Pepper is programmed to answer commonly-asked questions, and tell stories. The robot can react and make gestures and is equipped with an interactive touchscreen.
Facebook adds 24 new languages to its automatic translation services (Service-Translation/AI - 2018-09 - FaceBook)
FaceBook is handling nearly 6 billion translations per day, and aims to translate each post into the reader’s language. It has recently added 24 new languages to its automatic translation services; now able to handle a total of 4,504 language pairings.
How AI, VR and AR will change how you vacation (Service-Travel/AI-Augmented Reality - 2018-05 - Big Think)
Virtual Reality (VR) is changing travel. There are 360-degree cameras, capturing absolutely everything, and producing photos and videos that a visitor can immerse themselves in. VR helps consumers ‘try before you buy.’ Destinations compete with resorts and other destinations that are providing potential customers with in-depth, immersive looks into what it’s like to stay there.
Ground-breaking robotic solutions in subterranean deployments (Service-Underground/Robotics - 2018-10 - Technology.org)
A team of international researchers from Nevada, Zurich, California, Berkeley, and Lausanne are developing robotic solutions in subterranean deployments, with a system of walking and flying robots, equipped with multi-modal perception systems, navigation and mapping autonomy, and self-organized networked communications that enable navigation, exploration, mapping, and object search in complex underground settings.
3D-printed hydrogel humanoid goes for an underwater walk (Service-Underground/Robotics - 2018-05 - New Atlas)
Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a smart gel that can be 3D-printed into a variety of shapes, and electrically-activated to make it “walk” underwater, grab and move objects.