Day: June 14, 2020

Crunch time for China’s robot startups as pandemic brings pain and opportunities

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – With glowing blue eyes and trusting feline features, a new robot cat by Chinese startup Elephant Robotics seems happily oblivious to the worries of CEO Joey Song as he shows it off at the company’s lab in Shenzhen.

A Youibot engineer, wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, works on one of its automated guided vehicle designs in the robotics company’s engineering laboratory in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China May 25, 2020. REUTERS/David Kirton

Elephant Robotics’ main business is the automation of factory assembly lines but revenue has plunged by a third this year due to the coronavirus, leading the company to cut staff by a fifth.

“It’s tough,” said Song. “Before, we had more than 30 people.”

Due to the downturn, the firm is putting more energy into the robot cat project funded on Kickstarter in December. Readying its first large batch of

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Germany says coronavirus tracing app ready to go

FILE PHOTO: German Health Minister Jens Spahn gives a statement ahead of a session at the lower house of German parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s smartphone app to trace coronavirus infections is ready to be launched this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday.

After delays to ensure the bluetooth technology would work at the correct distance, the government says the app will be a vital tool to help avoid a second wave of infections.

“It’s coming this week,” Spahn told ARD television, but he declined to confirm German media reports that the app would be launched on Tuesday.

The app uses bluetooth short-range radio to detect and contact people at risk of infection by coronavirus and does not rely on a centralised database. Deutsche Telekom and software company SAP are

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