Seen & Heard: Robot pizza delivery, NavIC rising

July 30, 2019  - By
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“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.

Photo: Nuro

Photo: Nuro

Hey, R2, Where’s my pizza?

Domino’s pizza will start using Nuro’s R2 unmanned vehicles for delivery in Houston, Texas, later this year. Once customers have opted in, they can track the R2 vehicle via the Domino’s app and will be provided with a unique PIN code to unlock a compartment to get their pizza. Nuro is already at work in Houston delivering goods from dinner to dry cleaning.

Screenshot: BBC

Screenshot: BBC

Drone Attack

A BBC documentary has sent the drone industry into a tizzy. “Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones” begins with the December 2018 Gatwick Airport incident when two drones entering airport airspace led to a disruption of operations for three days. Dronemakers dislike the documentary’s thrust that drones are a threat to public safety and a tool for terrorists, while barely mentioning their positive contributions in fields such as search and rescue, plant inspections and agriculture.

Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

NavIC Rising

The Indian Space Research Organisation is in talks with chipmakers Qualcomm and Broadcom to substitute GPS in Indian mobile phones with its own satellite system (NavIC). The Times of India noted that cellphones hold the biggest commercial potential for NavIC, with more than 650 million mobile users in India. ISRO and the Indian Air Force are also working to equip fighter jets with the navigation system, and commercial vehicles registered after April 1 are mandated to have NavIC trackers.

Photo: Monitum Pty Ltd.

Photo: Monitum Pty Ltd.

Infrastructure sensors are Mthing

Internet of things (IoT) project Mthing is researching GNSS monitoring sensors to record near-real-time measurements of infrastructure construction. The 18-month project in Brisbane, Australia, aims to develop GNSS IoT sensors that will provide cost-efficient, constant and high-precision monitoring that will connect to cloud services and provide instant alerts. Mthing aims to produce low-cost sensors with broad market potential. The research team includes Queensland University of Technology, survey company Monitum, and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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