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‘Flying Sports Car’ Could Be the Smallest in the World

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Futuristic vehicles are not new, but one man’s small “flying sports car” is the latest tech innovation to dominate social media feeds.

According to Tech Insider, Kyxz Mendiola, a Filipino inventor, invested millions of his own pesos to develop and build this high-tech ride over the past six years. Dubbed “Koncepto Millenya,” this flying sports car uses a combination of drone and computer technology to work. With 16 motors, 16 propellers, and 16 onboard computers, the vehicle can propel itself skyward, fly in the sky, and land smoothly.

Flying cars, such as Mendiola’s model, could help ease urban commutes in the future. In major metropolis areas worldwide, including Manila and New York City, traffic congestion is one of the top issues for residents. If people were allowed to fly these “car-like drones,” they might be able to get to places in a shorter period of time. Until then, it will be interesting to see what other flying cars pop up, as people continue to reimagine how technology can make our lives (and commutes) easier.

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Amazon Is Discounting Your Favorite Roomba Robot Vacuums

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Keeping a tidy home isn’t always easy, but Amazon wants to make your cleaning dreams come true with Roomba robot vacuums.

On Wednesday, Amazon dropped prices on many Roomba models, including the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum, the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum, and the iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum. Amazon didn’t disclose how long the sale will last, but you’ll save at least $50 on select Roomba robot vacuums.

Each Roomba comes with high-tech features, including Wi-Fi connectivity, floor mapping, automatic docking and charging, and advanced suction for stubborn allergens and pet hair. Plus, some Roomba models can be pre-programmed with a smartphone for personalized cleaning settings. Roomba robot vacuums don’t always come cheap, however now’s your chance to buy one without dropping major bucks.

Are you ready to step up your cleaning routine? Here are the noteworthy devices you should add to your “shopping cart” from Amazon’s Roomba robot vacuum sale.

Save $15 on the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum

Photo Credit: Amazon

A three-stage cleaning system and dual multi-surface brushes make the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum a great pick for tougher home surfaces, including carpets and hardwood floors.

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Take $50 off the iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum 

Photo Credit: Amazon

At $449, the iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum offers major perks: Power-lifting suction provides high-tech pick-up of debris, a high-efficiency filter captures 99 percent of allergens and dust, and it can connect with Amazon Alexa for customized tidying.

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Save $25 on the iRobot Roomba 650 Automatic Robotic Vacuum (Certified Refurbished)

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Unlike other Roomba models, the iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum offers similar tidying benefits at a fraction of the price. You’ll get a virtual wall for off-limits areas, dirt detect technology, and convenient scheduling for only $214.99.

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Save 20 Percent on the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum

Photo Credit: Amazon

Sleek design, a three-stage cleaning system, and hands-free cleaning make the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum a good fit for larger homes. Amazon is offering a major discount on it as well: You’ll save $75 off the original price of $374.99.

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iRobot Roomba 640 Robot Vacuum and Virtual Wall for $289.99

Photo Credit: Amazon

You wont get Wi-Fi connectivity with the iRobot Roomba 640 Robot Vacuum, but at $289.99, it’s one of the cheapest Roomba models available on Amazon. The vacuum comes with a virtual wall barrier for off-limits zones, dual multi-surface brushes, and an auto-adjust cleaning head to effectively pick up debris from carpets and hardwood floors.

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Futuristic Hotel Fires Most of Its Creepy Robotic Staff

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The Henn na Hotel, Japan’s famous high-tech hotel with room service bots, just fired most of its AI staff.

The Japanese hotel chain, which has locations in Sasebo and Tokyo, hasn’t had a good reputation lately with customers, who complained that the chain’s bots were malfunctioning, The Wall Street Journal reported.

To date, the hotel has removed more than half of its 243 droid employees, including robotic garbage bins and doll-shaped automated assistants.

Photo Credit: Henn na Hotel/Facebook

Henn na Hotel didn’t initially start with 243 droid workers: The hotel launched with 80 robots, including humanoids and dino-bots at reception, but there were more demands to entertain guests. According to Takeyoshi Oe, general manager at the Henn na Hotel in Sasebo, that’s when the AI staff started to cause trouble.

“Churi,” a cute robot assistant placed in guests’ rooms, was an annoyance. The device, which had a tulip-shaped head, handled simple conversations and adjusted room settings with some commands, however, it wasn’t up to speed like Alexa or Siri. Guests were frustrated when Churi couldn’t answer questions about nearby theme parks or other tourist attractions. The Henn na Hotel eventually axed Churi, and replaced her with human staff members.

Photo Credit: Henn na Hotel/Facebook

Other robots at the hotel also caused issues: Humans had to help the dino-bots at the check-in desk with passport information and robot luggage carriers are not working anymore because they can’t travel on many indoor or outdoor surfaces.

Despite these mechanical mishaps, the Henn na Hotel has challenged people’s assumptions about AI. In 2016, the Henn na Hotel, also dubbed “Strange” Hotel,  was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the “first robot-staffed hotel,” Fukuoka Now reported. Following this milestone, the Henn na Hotel has attracted thousands of guests over the past few years.

For now, the Henn na Hotel is focusing on improving customer experiences and increasing human employees at all locations. It’s likely that the hotel chain will replace their droid staff with more advanced models in the future.

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Nike Unveils Adapt BB Self-Lacing, iPhone-Controlled Basketball Sneaker

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“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation, said in the press release. “During a normal basketball game the athlete’s foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow, and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience.”

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum wearing the Nike Adapt BB sneakers. (Photo Credit: Nike)

Here’s how the Nike Adapt BB works: When a basketball player steps into the Adapt BB, the shoe’s custom motor and gear train adjust themselves to keep the foot snug. Nike claims that the underfoot lacing’s tensile strength can pull 32 pounds of force to keep the foot secure. Next, FitAdapt tech helps the Adapt BB mold to the shape of the player’s foot: The player can use the Nike Adapt app or manually touch the shoe to add different fit settings and change the sneaker’s LED colors. These steps enable the sneaker laces to loosen or tighten during game play.

“Being one of the first athletes to wear the shoe and being picked as a representative of the future of Nike basketball means a lot,” Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics’ small forward, said in the press release. “That the app allows the ability to put the shoe on and touch the button, change the colors, see the percentage on the battery…it’s just cool.”

Visit Nike’s Adapt BB website page to learn more about specifications, sizing, and shipping information.

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