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How To Make Your Company More Cash Efficient (Without Firing Anybody

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How To Make Your Company More Cash Efficient (Without Firing Anybody)

The times, they are indeed tough. So tough, in fact, that almost 100,000 businesses have closed down over the last year in the United States according to Fortune magazine. During these unprecedented times, business owners have to find innovative ways of streamlining their spending so that they can keep growing and flourishing – nobody wants to make anybody redundant. Instead, businesses are using some innovative techniques to shrink their budgets down to size. Business belt tightening is nothing new – the ups and downs of the economy have always been largely outside the control of all but a few hyper rich individuals.

Here are a few tactics you can use to save some bucks, keep your business on the up and keep all your staff employed.

Audit Your Water Usage

Every company spends money on water. If you are a business owner in a manufacturing or agricultural field, you will likely be giving a good deal of your annual budget to a water distribution company. Water auditors take a good hard look at how your company is using (and wasting) the stuff of life. They are usually able to suggest ways in which you can cut down on water waste and save a whole load of cash. Companies like Utility Bidder are essentially middlemen: they connect businesses with qualified specialist auditors that work on your behalf to cut water wastage and overspending.

Auditing your water usage is becoming increasingly important as climate change and population growth make water an increasingly scarce and expensive commodity. Unfortunately, the frivolous water usage we are accustomed to in the developed world will not be possible for much longer.

Generate Your Own Power

Solar and wind power are increasingly being used by innovative businesses to curb their reliance on expensive electricity providers. Some of the world’s biggest companies are using solar on a large scale to get off grid. Apple, for instance, generates 75 percent of the daytime electricity used at its headquarters on site using the hot Silicone Valley sun as a source.

While the cost of installing solar or wind powered generators is initially relatively high, the savings in the long run are huge. Interestingly, the use of renewable resources to power businesses is nothing new. The cotton mills of 17th Century England used water wheels that converted the kinetic energy of rushing water into motive power for spinning mules and weaving looms. In tough times, business practice is evolving to reincorporate self-sustenance.

Go Packaging Free

Plastic packaging is terrible for the environment. It can also be terrible for your business’ balance books. Many companies have begun experimenting with reducing the amount of single use packaging that they purchase and use. Food produce companies, for instance, have increasingly started to distribute their products in reusable crates instead of plastic wrap. No matter what you produce, it is prudent to try and implement strategies for reducing the amount of packaging you use. Customers will thank you for it, the earth will thank you for it and your accountant will be especially pleased.

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Hear Startup Alley companies pitch expert VC judges on the next episode of Extra Crunch Live

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We know how much you love a good startup pitch-off. Who doesn’t? It combines the thrill of live, high-stakes entertainment with learning about the hottest new thing. Plus, you get to hear feedback from some of the smartest folks in the industry, thus learning how to absolutely crush it at your next pitch meeting with a VC.

With all that in mind, we’re introducing a special summer edition of Extra Crunch Live that’s all pitch-off, all the time.

On August 4, Extra Crunch Live will feature startups exhibiting in the Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 in September. Those startups will pitch their products/businesses to a pair of expert VC judges, who will then give their live feedback.

Extra Crunch Live is usually a combination of an interview with a founder/investor duo and an audience pitch-off. But as it’s summer, and Disrupt is right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to bring you even more pitches and even more feedback.

On August 4, our expert VC judges will be Edith Yeung from Race Capital and Laela Sturdy of CapitalG. Register here for free!

Edith Yeung started out as an investor at 500 Startups and is now a general partner at Race Capital. She’s an expert on both the China and Silicon Valley investment landscape and has made more than 50 investments, with a portfolio that includes 50 startups, including Lightyear/Stellar (valued $1.2 billion), Silk Labs (acquired by Apple), Chirp (acquired by Apple), Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest), Human (acquired by Mapbox), Solana, Oasis Labs, Nebulas, Hooked, DayDayCook, AISense and many more.

Laela Sturdy is a 10x unicorn operator-turned-investor whose investments are worth nearly $200 billion. She joined CapitalG, the investment arm of Alphabet, in 2013, and her portfolio includes Stripe, UiPath, Duolingo, Gusto, Webflow and Unqork, among many others.

As a special thank you, all attendees of this episode of Extra Crunch Live will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of three free tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt 2021. Following the event, we’ll randomly select three winners and send details on how to redeem their passes. Do you need to submit any additional information to enter the drawing? Nope. All you need to do is register for Extra Crunch Live by clicking here and attend the event on August 4.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/23/hear-startup-alley-companies-pitch-expert-vc-judges-on-the-next-episode-of-extra-crunch-live/

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Extra Crunch roundup: Finding GTM, China’s edtech clampdown and how to define growth

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Early-stage startups tend to claim that their go-to-market strategy is fully operational. In reality, GTM is a stark numbers game, and even with a solid plan in place, it can be easily foiled by common problems like turf battles and poor communication.

Finding GTM fit is a milestone for any startup that includes everything from expanding the engineering team to launching your first media buy. But how do you know when you’ve reached that magic moment?

“You have to consider three metrics: gross churn rate, the magic number and gross margin,” says Tae Hea Nahm, co-founder and managing director of Storm Ventures.

High churn means customers aren’t delighted, low gross margins mean poor unit economics, and that so-called magic number?

“You can calculate it by taking new ARR divided by your marketing and sales spending,” Nahm writes. “But keep in mind that the magic number is a lagging indicator, and it may take you a few quarters to see a positive result.”


Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members.
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.


If you are methodical in your approach to building a larger customer base, it is not difficult to foster steady growth.

Marketers who shift with whichever way the wind is blowing — or blindly follow someone else’s idea of best practices — are less likely to be successful.

“The not-so-secret secret here is that the key to great retention is really simple,” said growth expert Susan Su recently at TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising. “It is building a product that solves a real and especially persistent problem for people.”

In conversation with Managing Editor Eric Eldon, Su delved into several issues, including tips on how founders should discuss growth with investors, and her methods for developing a sample qualitative growth model.

“I firmly believe that every founder should try their hand at growth,” said Su.

Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch this week!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
@yourprotagonist

How we built an AI unicorn in 6 years

An adult wearing a unicorn mask leaps over a chain-link fence

Image Credits: Lucas Knappe/EyeEm (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Few startups go to market with the exact product their founders first envisioned.

Today, Tractable is known for developing tech that allows drivers to upload photos of their vehicles after a collision so its AI can assess the damage. Its first paying customer, however, used Tractable to inspect plastic pipe welds.

And as fate would have it, that customer also fired them just as the founders were raising their first round.

“We struck gold with car insurance,” says co-founder Alex Dalyac, as it was “a huge and inefficient market in desperate need of modernization.”

In an Extra Crunch guest post, he shares several takeaways from the last six years spent scaling a unicorn that have value for founders of all stripes. Step one?

“Search for complementary co-founders who will become your best friends,” advises Dalyac.

The European VC market is so hot it may skip its summer holiday

Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim continued their exploration of the scorching global VC market, this time taking a look at Europe.

For perspective, they analyzed data from Dealroom and spoke to four VCs about the continent’s investment climate:

  • Diana Koziarska, SMOK Ventures
  • Vinoth Jayakumar, Draper Esprit
  • Simon Schmincke, Creandum
  • Javier Santiso, Mundi Ventures

“There’s little indication that what we’ve seen thus far from Europe in 2021 will slow in Q3 or Q4,” Alex and Anna write.

“Even though Europe has a reputation for lengthy summer vacations, investors don’t expect much — if any — slowdown to come in Europe during this sun-drenched quarter.”

Startups and investors are turning to micromobility subscriptions

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

“Amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murky path to profitability for shared electric micromobility, an increasing number of companies have turned to subscriptions,” Rebecca Bellan writes in a roundup about the future of micromobility.

“It’s a business model that some founders and investors argue hits the profit center sweet spot — an approach that appeals to customers who are wary of sharing as well as paying upfront to own a scooter or e-bike, all while minimizing overhead costs and depreciation of assets.”

What Robinhood’s warnings about crypto trading say about Coinbase’s near-term future

After noting that Robinhood anticipates a decline in revenue in the third quarter as a result of slowing crypto trading, Alex Wilhelm got to thinking about what that forecast means for Coinbase.

“The now-public unicorn has lived through crypto ups and crypto downs,” he writes. “A decline in consumer interest in the next few months or quarters is not a huge deal, assuming one keeps a long enough perspective and the crypto-infused future that its fans expect comes to pass.”

But will it?

Dear Sophie: Should we look to Canada to retain international talent?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I handle people ops as a consultant at several different tech startups. Many have employees on OPT or STEM OPT who didn’t get selected in this year’s H-1B lottery.

The companies want to retain these individuals, but they’re running out of options. Some companies will try again in next year’s H-1B lottery, even though they face long odds, particularly if the H-1B lottery becomes a wage-based selection process next year.

Others are looking into O-1A visas, but find that many employees don’t yet have the experience to meet the qualifications. Should we look at Canada?

— Specialist in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley comms expert Caryn Marooney shares how to nail the narrative

Caryn Marooney, right, vice president of technology communications at Facebook, poses for a picture on the red carpet for the 6th annual 2018 Breakthrough Prizes at Moffett Federal Airfield, Hangar One in Mountain View, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (N

Image Credits: MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images (Image has been modified)

Caryn Marooney, a Silicon Valley communications professional turned venture capitalist, spoke extensively on storytelling at TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising.

Throughout her time in Silicon Valley, she helped companies like Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook and more launch products and sharpen their messaging. In 2019, she left Facebook, where she was VP of technology communication, and joined Coatue Management as a general partner.

Marooney uses the acronym RIBS to describe her basic strategy for startup messaging: Relevance, Inevitability, Believability and keeping it Simple.

Canada’s startup market booms alongside hot global VC investment

For The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim looked at Canada’s VC market in the first half of 2021, and if you’ve been reading their work, you know what’s coming.

Canada, like the rest of the globe, was absolutely scorching in the first half.

“Canada’s venture capital results now rival those of the entire Latin American region, with exits and mega-deals coming in roughly on par in the second quarter, and a similar number of total venture capital rounds in the period,” they write.

“That caught our attention.”

Greylock’s Mike Duboe explains how to define growth and build your team

With more venture funding flowing into the startup ecosystem than ever before, there’s never been a better time to be a growth expert.

At TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising earlier this month, Greylock Partners’ Mike Duboe dug into a number of lessons and pieces of wisdom he’s picked up leading growth at a number of high-growth startups, including StitchFix. His advice spanned hiring, structure and analysis, with plenty of recommendations for where growth teams should be focusing their attention and resources.

Last-mile delivery in Latin America is ready to take off

a cardboard box flies through outer space propelled by two thruster rockets

Image Credits: Erlon Silva/TRI Digital (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Thanks to sprawling fulfillment centers, seamless logistics networks and ubiquitous internet access, consumers in many regions can now order groceries and a new set of cookware during breakfast and reasonably expect everything to arrive in time for dinner.

In Latin America, a lack of technology infrastructure makes delivery operations complex, and these supply chains are often managed with spreadsheets, paper and pen.

Algorithms that manage delivery routes or automatically dispatch drivers “are almost unheard of in the Latin America retail logistics sector,” says Bob Ma, an investor at WIND Ventures.

But thanks to growing consumer demand and expanding investment in last-mile delivery startups, Ma says the region is at a turning point.

Since Latin America’s middle class has grown 50% in the last decade and e-commerce constitutes just 6% of all retail, several unicorns have emerged in recent years, with more waiting in the wings.

China’s expected edtech clampdown may chill a key startup sector

China’s edtech industry is estimated to be worth $100 billion, but its leaders are reportedly considering a plan that would require these firms to operate as non-profits.

“When it comes to control, the Chinese government doesn’t mind wiping out a few dozen billion dollars in market cap here and there,” writes Alex Wilhelm in this morning’s edition of The Exchange.

“That’s not a great system.”

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Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/23/extra-crunch-roundup-finding-gtm-chinas-edtech-clampdown-and-how-to-define-growth/

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Last-Mile Delivery Robots Making a Comeback After Initial Bans  

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Last-mile delivery robots are making a comeback with funding by VCs, and with cooperation with local governments to get needed permits. Nuro is working with FedEx on pilot deliveries in the Houston area. (Photo courtesy Nuro.) 

By John P. Desmond, Editor, AI Trends  

The last-mile delivery market for autonomous delivery robots is poised to make a comeback, with startups raising money and partnerships working to get needed permission from local governments.  

The autonomous vehicle delivery market was interrupted in 2017, when the city of San Francisco instituted a ban. Some pedestrians had complained that the delivery robots crowded the sidewalks and posed a hazard to humans.  

About a month after the first bot rolled down the sidewalk, San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee proposed a ban on the use of the technology, citing public safety concerns, according to an account in ZDNet   

“I resolutely believe that our sidewalks should be prioritized for humans,” Yee stated to the San Francisco Examiner. “We do not allow bicycles and Segways on our sidewalks.” (Segways were banned on city sidewalks in 2002, an action criticized as heavy-handed at the time.) Yee did not have the votes to pass the ban, so he settled for strict limitations at that time.  

He had heard from many pedestrians and some community activists about the risks of the delivery vehicles.  

“Sidewalks, I believe, are not playgrounds for the new remote controlled toys of the clever to make money and eliminate jobs,” stated Lorraine Petty, an activist with the community group Senior and Disability Action, at the hearing on Yee’s proposed rules. “They’re for us to walk.”  

“Not every innovation is all that great for society,” Yee stated at the hearing.  

Two years later, in 2019, grocery delivery company Postmates was given the first permit in San Francisco to test sidewalk delivery robots. The company worked with Yee for two years to get it done, according to a report in TechCrunch. 

The Postmates rover, called Serve, is semi-autonomous, with a human pilot monitoring the fleet and able to interact with customers via video chat. The robot, which has Velodyne Lidar sensors and an Nvidia Xavier processor, can carry 50 lbs and travel 30 miles on a single battery charge.  

The company worked on making Serve friendly. “We are spending a lot of time going in and refining and inventing new ways that Serve can communicate,” stated Ken Kocienda, an Apple veteran who had joined Postmates in 2019. (He now is product architect at Humane of San Francisco.) “We want to make it socially intelligent. We want people, when they see Serve going down the street, to smile at it and to be happy to see it there.”  

Daniel Castro, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

The use of delivery service apps surged during the pandemic, as consumers went online to order meals, groceries, household goods, prescriptions, laundry and alcohol. ”In the coming year, robot usage will likely grow substantially to help keep up with demand,” stated Daniel Castro, vice president  of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in an account in Governing. The ITIF is a non-profit think tank in Washington, DC that advises on public policy around industry and technology.  

Virginia Has Rolled Out the Welcome Mat to Robot Delivery Vehicles  

In addition, the rapid evolution of robotics, computer vision and machine learning is creating new opportunities for innovation in the use of autonomous robots for last-mile delivery, he noted.  

Approaches to regulating delivery robots vary by state and local governments, with some places seeking to delay their introduction, and others rolling out the welcome mat. Virginia, for example, updated its laws in 2020 to increase the weight limit of delivery robots from 50 pounds to 500 pounds, allowing operation on the side of the road if a sidewalk is not available.   

“This approach is likely to be the most productive as it focuses on making it possible for businesses to safely deploy the delivery robots while also ensuring the technology does not (literally) tread on humans,” stated Castro.  

Refraction Raises $4.2 Million to Expand Robot Fleet 

The capital markets are also being receptive to delivery robots. Startup Refraction AI, which is currently beta testing its autonomous robots, recently closed $4.2 million in seed funding, according to the RobotReport.  Refraction is working with local restaurants in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to deliver food orders to local residents.  

The company has deployed eight of its REV-1 robots to date and is looking to expand the fleet. Refraction AI and other autonomous robot delivery firms are chasing the market for urban food delivery, which is a more uniform environment with shorter distance runs.   

Refraction AI was launched in 2019 by University of Michigan professors Matt Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan. Based in Ann Arbor, the company continues to work with local restaurants and grocery stores, exclusively for food delivery on campus and nearby neighborhoods. Unlike competitors which are restricted to sidewalks, REV-1 operates on the street and is classified as an electric bike (ebike). The machine perception onboard REV-1 uses 12 cameras to see the world around it, and radar and ultrasonic sensors to increase its awareness. The company had purposefully avoided the use of expensive LiDAR sensors to help keep costs down.   

Luke Schneider, CEO, Refraction AI

“Last-mile delivery is the quintessential example of a sector that is ripe for innovation, owing to a powerful confluence of advancing technology, demographics, social values and consumer models,” stated Refraction AI CEO Luke Schneider.  “Our platform uses technology that exists today in an innovative way, to get people the things they need, when they need them, where they live. And we’re doing so in a way that reduces business’ costs, makes roads less congested, and eliminates carbon emissions.”  

FedEx and Nuro Running a Pilot Program in Houston Area  

More recently, FedEx and Nuro, an AI robotics company, have entered a multi-year, multi-phase agreement to test Nuro’s next-generation autonomous delivery vehicle through a pilot program launched in April in the Houston area, according to an account in FleetOwner. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” stated Rebecca Yeung, vice president of advanced technology and innovation at FedEx. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.” 

Nuro has been developing and testing its self-driving technology for nearly five years, including on-road deployment in multiple cities and industry-first regulatory approvals. The company has established partnerships with companies within grocery, restaurant, and pharmacy verticals. 

“Working with FedEx—the global leader in logistics—is an incredible opportunity to rethink every aspect of local delivery,” stated Cosimo Leipold, head of partnerships at Nuro.   

Read the source articles and information in ZDNet, in TechCrunch, in the RobotReport and in FleetOwner. 

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Source: https://www.aitrends.com/robotics/last-mile-delivery-robots-making-a-comeback-after-initial-bans/

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AI Being Employed to Help Clean, Avoid Collisions with Space Junk 

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AI is being employed in a range of efforts to help clean up and avoid collisions with space junk, useless objects in space that pose a risk. (Credit: Getty Images)  

By AI Trends Staff  

AI is at the center of efforts to clean up space junk—objects in space that no longer serve a purpose and pose risk of collisions with satellites and spacecrafts—from funding from the European Space Agency, to projects involving big tech firms to startup efforts. Here is a review of what’s happening.   

Holger Krag, Head of Space Safety, the European Space Agency

The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, is operating an AI-driven space debris-dodging system. Team members conduct avoidance maneuvers with one of their 20 low Earth orbit satellites, according to Holger Krag, the Head of Space Safety at the European Space Agency (ESA), as reported recently in Space.com. The comments came at a news conference organized by ESA during the recent 8th European Space Debris Conference held virtually from Darmstadt Germany. 

Close encounters in space are becoming more frequent, requiring a multi-disciplinary team to be on call, 24/7 for days at a time in some cases.   

“Every collision avoidance maneuver is a nuisance,” stated Krag. “Not only because of fuel consumption, but also because of the preparation that goes into it. We have to book ground-station passes, which costs money, sometimes we even have to switch off the acquisition of scientific data. We have to have an expert team available round the clock.” 

It’s not only useless debris making space more crowded; greater numbers of useful small satellites are being launched.  

Companies including SpaceXOneWeb and Amazon are building mega constellations of thousands of satellites, lofting more spacecraft into orbit in a single month than used to be launched within an entire year a few years ago. This increased space traffic is causing concerns among space debris experts. ESA reported that nearly half of the conjunction alerts currently monitored by the agency’s operators involve small satellites and constellation spacecraft.  

The ESA reached out to the global AI community to help develop a system that could address space debris in a more autonomous way, reducing the burden on experts on the ground.  

“We made a large historic data set of past conjunction warnings available to a global expert community and tasked them to use AI to predict the evolution of a collision risk of each alert over the three days following the alert,” stated Rolf Densing, Director of ESA Operations, at the news conference.  

“The results are not yet perfect, but in many cases, AI was able to replicate the decision process and correctly identify in which cases we had to conduct the collision avoidance maneuver,” he reported. 

Tim Flohrer, Head of Space Debris Office, ESA

The agency will explore newer approaches to AI development, such as deep learning and neural networks, to improve the accuracy of the algorithms, stated Tim Flohrer, the Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office, to Space.com.  

“The standard AI algorithms are trained on huge data sets,” Flohrer stated. “But the cases when we had actually conducted maneuvers are not so many in AI terms. In the next phase, we will look more closely into specialized AI approaches that can work with smaller data sets.”  

The AI assistance today is alerting the ground-based teams as they monitor each alert of a potential collision course. The next step would be to add more automation to the execution of avoidance maneuvers, which today need to be undertaken by a human operator.  

“So far, we have automated everything that would require an expert brain to be awake 24/7 to respond to and follow up the collision alerts,” stated Krag. “Making the ultimate decision whether to conduct the avoidance maneuver or not is the most complex part to be automated, and we hope to find a solution to this problem within the next few years.” 

Europeans Cooperating on a Space Junk Removal System  

A new project between IT services firm Fujitsu UK, the University of Glasgow, Amazon Web Services and startup Astroscale UK aims to better-enable the removal of space junk.  

The project aims to allow a junk removal spacecraft to efficiently select pieces of space debris, and plan a path to intercept it, at a rate much faster than is currently possible, according to an account in DigitThe project came together after a funding boost from the UK Space Agency to research the cleanup of space debris.  

Fujitsu is incorporating its Digital Annealer, an architecture that emulates the qubits of quantum computers in a digital circuit. This enables faster processing at room temperatures, instead of the extremely cold temperatures required today by quantum computers. The Annealer is said to help to determine an “optimal route” to collect the debris, saving time and, in turn, improving commercial viability. 

“The University of Glasgow has been involved in this project from the very outsetdeveloping the trajectory models needed to effectively remove space debris, as well as estimating the cost of the transfers,” stated Dr. Matteo Ceriotti, a Glasgow Uni Space Systems Engineering Lecturer. “The university has a long history of expertise in space trajectory design and optimization. We were keen to be at the forefront.”  

As part of the project led by Fujitsu, Scottish startup Skyrora is developing a ‘space tug’ to help clean up space junk The Orbit Transfer Vehicle aims to clear debris and remove defunct satellites from orbit. Based in Edinburgh, Skyrora was founded in 2017.  

Ellen Devereux, Digital Annealer Consultant at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, stated, “What we have learned over the course of the last six months, is that this technology has huge implications for optimization in space; not only when it comes to cleaning up debris, but also in-orbit servicing and more. Now we better understand its potential, we can’t wait to see the technology applied during a future mission.”  

Robot Space Cleaners on the Drawing Boards  

The  ESA has contracted with the Swiss startup ClearSpace to develop a robot space cleaner that would ‘snare’ large items of space debris and move them closer to the Earth’s atmosphere, where they would burn up, according to an account in CityAM.  

ClearSpace recently closed on $4.3 million in funding from multiple investors for the project, called ClearSpace-1, with a mission scheduled for 2025.  

“This is a decisive step in a great adventure, and we are very happy to be able to count on the support of such great partners,” stated Luc Piguet, cofounder and CEO of ClearSpace, in a press release.  

Res Witschi, delegate for sustainable digitization for Swisscom, one of the investors, stated, “We are convinced that space debris removal plays a crucial role in enabling sustainable access to space and operations of satellite constellations. We are proud to be supporting ClearSpace on its journey to enable sustainable space operations.” 

Spacecraft engineer Fabrizio Boer outlined in a CityAM account he authored ideas for a spacecraft that would use AI to track and search for space junk, and pull it into itself where it would be destroyed. The Space Debris-fed Spacecraft (DefeS), as it would be named, would ‘swallow’ space junk into an incinerator where it would be vaporized by several robotic-arm-driven lasers. The vapor produced would be used to power the spacecraft thrust. 

“The concept of creating a laboratory within an autonomous AI-powered spacecraft, where a laser can be used safely, is novel,” stated Boer, adding, “Artificial intelligence must drive the operations if continuous debris removal is going to succeed.  

Read the source articles and information in Space.com, in Digit, in a press release from ClearSpace and in CityAM. 

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Source: https://www.aitrends.com/ai-in-science/ai-being-employed-to-help-clean-avoid-collisions-with-space-junk/

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