Weekly 'Pulse' Issue 49
Rise Of The Sewbots
Automation and artificial intelligence continue to infiltrate every aspect of commerce, however up until this point the fashion industry has lagged somewhat behind. In part, because a human’s ability to adjust to slight stretches and distortions that naturally occur in the production of clothing has been impossible for machines to replicate... that is until now.
SoftWear’s newly developed LOWRY sewing robot, or ‘sewbot’, uses machine vision to identify and react to these anomalies at a pace and quality that we just can’t compete with. Working under the guidance of a single human handler, the LOWRY system can make as many shirts per hour as 17 production line workers. The technology has already attracted attention from producers for the likes of Adidas and Armani.
How else could automation increase the efficiency of production... and what impact will it have on traditional models of working?
At Your Service
Air New Zealand and the Commonwealth Bank have just completed a trial program using a social robot to improve the travel experience. The robot, known as Chip, was on hand at various locations around the airport, assisting with check-ins and assisting passengers during boarding. Chip is capable of understand and responding to human conversations to assist with a variety of customer questions and problems.
It is hoped that this early experiment will pave the way for the introduction of more advanced robots that facilitate a simpler, more efficient and more personalised service experience.
How else can we augment or replace face-to-face human interactions to improve and streamline customer experiences?
Functional accessory brand Slughaus has just launched a new backpack for adventurous folk that is capable of repairing itself when ripped. If a small cut or puncture is made in the fabric, the owner can simply rub the hole with their bare hands and the heat and friction allows the fabric to fuse back together, allowing the bag to retain its strength and water resistance.
This solution significantly increases the bag's durability and longevity by preventing minor damage from sabotaging its overall use.
How else can we improve the resilience of products to increase their longevity and utility?