The end of 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 — the stunning mission to send astronauts around the moon in preparation for the lunar landing seven months later. An excellent documentary on PBS’s NOVA, (based in part on my book Digital Apollo) captured the risky nature of the mission, NASA's bold decision to leap several steps ahead in the space race (winning it), and the importance of the digital computer as a partner to the crew.
Flexible factories, automated ports, and smart warehouses are leaving a great deal of value on the table: the full promise of productivity gains and cost savings won’t be achieved until we blast through the limitations of legacy navigation.
Topics: Spatial Intelligence Platform
Nothing illustrates the benefits of precision navigation better than the New York City subway system — colloquially known as the MTA. More than a century old, the subway system is on the verge of collapse under multiple burdens, including mismanagement, increased ridership and underinvestment in infrastructure. At more than a billion dollars per mile, building new track is mostly out of reach. The MTA has estimated that replacing its signaling system could take fifty to a hundred years!
It’s a thrill today to announce that our company, Humatics, has just acquired 5D Robotics and its subsidiary, Time Domain, radically accelerating the Humatics vision to enable more fluid interactions between people, robots, and infrastructure. Locate, navigate, collaborate.
In this world of boundless information, we still don’t really know where anything is. Yes, GPS is a miracle and can locate you on the face of the earth, but only within a box several meters large — about the size of a two-car garage. Even so, GPS created its own reality and a host of applications that were inconceivable before it — from personalized weather reports to catching rides via Uber. The catch? It doesn’t work indoors and often can’t tell which side of the street you’re on.