In a mock warehouse stocked with granola bars, breakfast cereal, sponges, and other household goods, a worker plucks items from shelves and places them in a plastic bin. The bin is set atop a small wheeled robot that follows the employee’s every step like a puppy.
Google Inc. will start testing a delivery service for fresh food and groceries in two U.S. cities later this year, stepping up competition with online retailer Amazon.com Inc. and start-up Instacart Inc.
In 2010, when Netflix was still early into its shift from DVD rentals to online movies and shows, it started using Amazon Web Services, the retailer's cloud computing division. Now that Netflix streams 100 million-plus hours of video every day, it's sticking with Amazon partly because of Amazon's scale and features, and partly because switching vendors "would be a significant multi-year effort," says Yury Izrailevsky, Netflix's vice president for cloud and platform engineering.
In June this year a robot crushed a man to death in a Volkswagen factory in Germany. The 22-year-old maintenance worker became trapped between a large robotic arm and a metal plate, in an area usually off-bounds to humans.
Diebold CEO Andy Mattes can't just stroll down the hall at his company's headquarters in Canton, Ohio, to confer with his top executives over coffee. That's because many don't work there. His chief strategist works and lives 2,100 miles away in San Jose; his chief marketing officer is in Boston.
Planning for a pickup in sales, some small manufacturers borrowed money from their larger counterparts to ramp up production. Now, a growing number can't pay for the investments as their forecasts aren't panning out, with energy-related companies being among the hardest hit.
Artificial trans fat will be banned from the U.S. food supply over the next three years under a ruling by regulators that the products pose health risks that contribute to heart disease, the leading killer of Americans.