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4 Things Industry 4.0 -- April 8th, 2024

4 things industry 4.0 Apr 08, 2024


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Good morning, disruptors! This week’s edition is set to eclipse all others, literally! Amidst tales of tech evolution and digital dilemmas, we're turning our gaze skyward for the main event: the total solar eclipse happening today, April 8th. It's a cosmic reminder that no matter how plugged in we are, nature's spectacles can still steal the show. So, while we dive into the latest in AI and manufacturing, let's not forget to look up and marvel at the universe's own headline act. 

Big Tech Unites to Address AI's Impact on Employment

Big Tech companies, led by Cisco and including Google, Microsoft, and others, have formed the AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium. This initiative aims to explore AI's impact on jobs, focusing on re-skilling and upskilling within the technology sector. Amid concerns over AI replacing jobs, the consortium will evaluate the effects on specific roles and provide training recommendations, with findings to be published in a report this summer.

Musk Teases Tesla Robotaxi Reveal for August

Elon Musk has spurred interest with his recent announcement of debuting a Tesla “robotaxi” on August 8. The announcement indicates Tesla’s ambitious entry into the self-driving ride-sharing sector, combining novel self-driving technology and Tesla’s proven EV expertise. While the tech and automobile industries await additional information on the Tesla project, the announcement demonstrates Tesla’s dedication to the future of public transportation. This author for one, hopes it resembles Judge Dredd's City Cab, so Elon, if you're watching. 

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Varda Advances Space-based Pharmaceutical Production with $90M Raise

Varda Space Industries, focusing on autonomous drug production in space, has secured $90 million in Series B funding, led by Caffeinated Capital. The investment, which raises Varda's total funding to $145 million, will support the transition from demonstration missions to commercial production for biopharma and government clients. The company's microgravity environment offers unique conditions for developing pharmaceuticals not possible on Earth, with plans to launch capsules monthly.

Revolutionizing Manufacturing: The Convergence of Robotics, AI, and AR/VR

The incorporation of robotics, AI, and AR/VR into manufacturing is a move towards superior efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness. This convergence is revolutionizing manufacturing processes, enabling more accurate operations, and enabling an immersive work environment. With the push from AI and generative technologies like ChatGPT, and others, the use of virtual simulations is expanding, further enhancing productivity. This integration is the dawn of a new era in manufacturing, aiming to open up unprecedented possibilities for the design, production, and optimization of products, and showing manufacturers the “art of the possible”.

Industry 4.0 Highlights

Greenlane Unveils EV Charging Corridor Between Los Angeles and Las Vegas 

The 280-mile EV charging corridor that Greenlane has introduced between Los Angeles and Las Vegas represents a significant step towards the electrification of commercial transport. This corridor, set to feature over 100 chargers along Interstate 15, is a key part of a wider initiative aimed at establishing a fast-charging network for commercial vehicles. This effort is expected to lead to new levels of sustainability and innovation in freight transport. 


Manufacturing Sector Hits Inflection Point with Technological Integration

The manufacturing industry is currently experiencing a defining stage in its evolution, forced to modernize operations amidst challenges like the global pandemic and supply chain disruptions. With a considerable number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employing millions, the sector is disproving outdated stereotypes by adopting technologies such as AI, automation, and AR. Coupled with massive investments and a trend towards reshoring, the manufacturing sector is poised for a potential supercycle of growth and innovation, painting a promising future.


Hesai Revolutionizes Autonomous Safety with Lidar Manufacturing Leap 

Hesai is looking to lead the way in the manufacture of lidar for autonomous driving and robotics, marking a revolutionary shift in safety and precision. Through its investment in manufacturing research and development, Hesai aims to establish unprecedented safety standards in ADAS, autonomous driving, and robotics. This initiative highlights the indispensable role of lidar technology in the future of autonomous systems and demonstrates Hesai's dedication to transforming the safety and reliability landscape in these areas. 


GE's Fall: A Tale of Strategic Missteps and Leadership Void 

The over one-hundred-thirty-year history of General Electric, marked by its rise as an icon in American manufacturing, encountered near life threatening challenges due to strategic missteps. Originally thriving through innovation and expansion, GE's diversification strategy eventually led to financial difficulties, prompting a major restructuring into three separate entities.  This downfall of a once revered industry icon illustrates the risks of corporate strategy misalignment, lack of transformative leadership, and the importance of adapting to the changing market environment.

Learning Lens

Kubernetes and AI: Navigating the Future of Cloud-Native AI Integration

As Kubernetes and AI intersect, the tech community is deciding how to utilize Kubernetes in relation to AI. Over the years, Kubernetes has been a DevOps instrument; it is time to talk about adjusting it to AI and machine learning requirements. The debate centers on positioning and changing Kubernetes to be the control plane in AI applications. If Kubernetes continues to grow towards AI functionalities, it will reorient its usage within the ML and AI environment, leading to questions about whether the cloud-native computing of the future will work as AI workload support. For a deeper dive, click here


Byte-Sized Brilliance

Feeling Buzzed? The Reality of Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Have you ever felt your phone vibrating, but after checking it, there were no new notifications? This universal experience, known as “Phantom Vibration Syndrome”, is a testament to our deep reliance and connection to our devices, to the extent that our minds process the sensation of phone buzzes even when they don't happen. Freaky.  

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