ShinyShiny snippets: Dyson working on home robots for household chores

Dyson is moving beyond vacuum cleaners and hand driers and will try to develop robots capable of helping with household chores. The company has announced plans to create a major robotics centre at its facility at Hullavington Airfield, in Wiltshire, that will work on new types of domestic robot. The site will be home to 250 robotics engineers. Dyson already produces robotic vacuum cleaners. Founded in the UK, the company is now headquartered in Singapore. Dyson says it is investing heavily in developing new technology – and half of the 2,000 people to have joined the company this year are engineers, scientists or coders. BBC 

Although the long-rumored Pixel Watch has finally arrived, there’s still no sign of Google’s mysterious folding phone — and we likely won’t see it for another year. According to reports from Korean industry site The Elec and supply chain analyst Ross Young (via Android Central), the release of Google’s rumored folding phone has been delayed until next spring. Google was originally expected to reveal the device in 2021, but that prediction was pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2022. This most recent delay could explain why we didn’t see the device at Google I/O earlier this month alongside the brief tease of a future Pixel tablet. The Verge

Twitter’s board has been thrown into turmoil after investors ousted one of Elon Musk’s key allies while Jack Dorsey stepped away. Shareholders voted against the re-election of Egon Durban, co-chief executive of Silver Lake Partners, who partnered with Mr Musk in his $44bn (£35bn) bid to take Twitter private.  Speculation has mounted that Mr Durban may provide financing for the Tesla boss’s buyout offer. Meanwhile, Mr Dorsey’s term expired, meaning he will no longer have a presence on Twitter’s board for the first time since founding it in 2006. Telegraph

Campaigners say the avatar of a 21-year-old researcher was sexually assaulted in Meta’s virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds. Corporate accountability group SumOfUs, for whom the researcher works, says it shows Meta needs better plans to mitigate harms in the metaverse. Meta’s annual shareholder meeting takes place on Wednesday. The company told the BBC there were safety tools in Horizon Worlds to help people have a “positive experience”. Noting that Meta had not yet seen the full SumOfUs report, a spokesperson told the BBC the firm wanted everyone in Horizon Worlds to access the safety procedures “and help us investigate and take action”. BBC 

DuckDuckGo may face a user backlash after security researchers discovered a hidden tracking agreement with Microsoft. The privacy-focused company offers a search engine that claims not to track people’s searches, or behavior, and also doesn’t build user profiles that can be used to display personalized advertising. Search engine aside, DuckDuckGo also offers a mobile browser(opens in new tab) of the same name, but this has raised concerns, as although this promises to block hidden third-party trackers, some from a certain tech giant are allowed to continue operating. Tech Radar 

In the not-too-distant future, your vehicle might help you avoid speeding tickets by slowing down on its own. Ford is currently testing technology that automatically matches speeds in designated virtual speed zones, all without reading signs or receiving any input from the driver. It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, but it’s not very complex, either. The tech is called Geofencing Speed Limit Control, and it relies on multiple systems to function. Obviously it requires a vehicle with advanced connected systems and some measure of driver-assist functionality. From there, special software taps into the geofencing system for GPS tracking.


Chris Price