Woman killed in industrial-size bakery mixer

A Utah woman died this week after she was pulled into an industrial-size bakery mixer at a suburban Salt Lake City grocery store in what investigators think was a fluke accident.

Carmen “Jackie” Lindhardt, 45, was using the mixer in the bakery of Ream’s Food Stores in Sandy on Wednesday morning when she got caught in the machinery, Sandy Police Sgt. Dean Carriger said.

Lindhardt was putting ingredients in the bowl-like mixer that is 2-feet deep and 2 feet in diameter, Carriger said. Investigators believe she became entangled in the mixer when some part of her clothing got caught as she was reaching over the top, he said.

A co-worker heard her screaming and ran over to turn off the machine. But Lindhardt was pronounced dead at the scene, Carriger said.

“She had already been sucked down into the machine,” Carriger said. “Those things are designed to pull a great amount of torque to knead the various kinds of breads.”

The store was closed after the incident for a brief time.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident to determine if there were any violations.

Early indications suggest it was an accident. But Sandy Police are interviewing store workers who witnessed what happened and awaiting autopsy results before closing the investigation, Carriger said.

The incident happened in a bakery area out of the view of shoppers, Carriger said.

Lindhardt lived in the nearby suburb of Murray.

“I have seen some pretty horrific industrial-type accidents over the years, but none dealing with a bakery,” Carriger said.


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Industrials Sector | Reuters.com

SEOUL, March 3 Samsung Group leader

Jay Y. Lee will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement on

Thursday, a court said, amid a corruption scandal that has

rocked South Korea and led to the impeachment of the president.

SHANGHAI, March 3 China stocks fell on Friday

and saw a streak of weekly gains end at three as investors

awaited an annual parliament meeting that’s likely to send more

signals of painful reform than market-friendly stimulus.

VIENNA, March 3 Austrian engineering group

Andritz reported a higher-than-expected 3.1 percent

increase in its 2016 core profit, driven by increasing demand

for its service business.

ADEN, March 3 Military helicopters and drones

launched a series of attacks on suspected al Qaeda targets in

southern Yemen early on Friday, witnesses said.

1:58am EST


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CES 2015: Robots Take Over Las Vegas

What happens when a bunch of robots go to Las Vegas?

It’s not the plot of a science fiction movie but is instead a reality this week at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show, where some of the most innovative artificially intelligent machines are stealing the show.

Robots may not rule the world yet, but they can dominate in a game of beer pong, as evidenced by a group seen at Empire Robotics’ booth.

A robot tosses a pingpong ball in a round of beer pong at CES 2015.

Intel showed its spider dress, which has a built-in self-defense system. The dress was designed by Anouk Wipprecht and uses Intel’s Edison chip.

When someone gets too close to the wearer’s personal space, sensors in the dress alert its spider-like limbs to expand, putting space between the wearer and perceived threat.

The Bocco Kids’ Robot sits on a table at CES 2015 on Jan. 6, 2015.

Designed by a Japanese company, Bocco is a friendly robot that aims to bring families closer together.

Bocco lets users send a voice message to loved ones at home, which will be delivered by the robot. They can then talk back and the robot will send a voice message reply.

Another feature: Attach a sensor and it can notify someone outside the home when a loved one is home, perfect for working parents whose children go home alone after school.

Grill-cleaning robots were just one type of robot to be displayed at CES 2015.

While having the perfect barbecue may be some peoples’ idea of heaven, the resulting cleanup process is not. That’s where the Grillbot steps in to help.

The robotic cleaners spring into action with the push of a button, using high-powered motors and wire brushes to clean up grill residue in a matter of minutes.

ABC News’ Neal Karlinsky talks to a woman who telecommutes out of state via this remote-controlled robot on wheels at CES 2015 on Jan. 7, 2015.

While some people may enjoy working in another office or even state than their boss, the BeamPro robot allows anyone to be virtually present in an office.

Made by Suitable Tech, the robot lets users “interact with remote locations by coupling high-end video and audio with the freedom of motion to move about a space.”

The result: A more collaborative work experience and the joy of knowing that your boss is watching you, even from across the country.

ABC News’ Neal Karlinsky and Brandon Chase contributed to this report.


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Fast-Food Workers Could Face Robot ‘Armageddon’

For three decades now, the idea that robots will replace fast-food workers has been more of a pipe dream of tightwad business owners than a reality. But a group of engineers claims to have finally found a way to get rid of pesky humans once and for all.

Momentum Machines of San Francisco has invented a fully-automated contraption that can grind meat, slice tomatoes, grill patties, wrap fully cooked burgers and do pretty much anything else human fast-food workers can do. The machine is capable of cranking out 360 burgers per hour, according to Momentum Machines’ website.

The group plans to sell its invention to restaurants and, eventually, open its own chain to sell gourmet burgers at fast-food prices by eliminating the cost of paying line cooks. This, its website claims, will “democratize access to high quality food, making it available to the masses.”

“Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas told Xconomy in 2012. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”

momentum machines

A schematic of Momentum’s invention, which grinds custom blends of meat, then roasts patties, slices tomatoes, assembles the sandwich and even bags the final product.

Momentum, which declined to comment to The Huffington Post, doesn’t offer prices on its website, nor does it have a clear business plan or timeline for the chains it claims it will open.

“Unfortunately we are focused on other priorities at the moment and cannot divert resources to press,” Vardakostas told HuffPost.

A profile of Momentum, published Sunday by the robotics blog Singularity Hub, generated a new wave of interest in what conservative writers have dubbed the “minimum-wage-crushing” robots.

This comes at a time when the humans currently filling fast-food jobs are demanding higher pay and better working conditions, including calls for a $15 minimum wage. Those who oppose raising the lowest guaranteed wage argue that if it becomes more expensive to employ humans, restaurant owners will simply replace workers with robots.

Last year, the conservative Employment Policy Institute took out a misleading full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal showing a hachimaki-wearing Motoman SDA10 cooking food. This, they argued, would be the future of chefs if employers had to absorb the cost of a $15 hourly wage. But the Japanese company that made the humanoid machine told HuffPost last year that the robot “does not have the real capability for” kitchen work.

In fact, the fast-food industry has been inching toward automation for years, with little success so far.

In 1988, a clampdown on hiring undocumented immigrants shrank the pool of workers willing to flip burgers for $3.35 an hour, then the minimum wage. A spate of articles in newspapers, a popular form of distributing information at the time, predicted that pizza chains and burger joints would soon opt for R2-D2, a fictional droid from the Star Wars series, over workers.

“The fast food industry has no alternative; it will have to robotize,” Joseph Durocher, a professor of hotel administration at the University of New Hampshire, told The New York Times that year. “No longer can they afford the luxury of having human workers standing at the beverage bar with a cup or watching hamburger patties on a grill.”

Instead, lately, the trend has been toward more, not fewer, humans: Fast-food restaurants employ nearly 3.8 million people — the highest number in 10 years, according to statistics aggregator Statista.

“Ultimately robots are not going to replace humans in food service,” Darren Tristano, a food industry expert at the research firm Technomic, told HuffPost. “They would likely reduce some of the labor costs, but I can’t believe it’d be significant, even to a burger chain.”

But that doesn’t mean fast-food jobs are safe forever. A 66-page report published last week by the Pew Research Center found that 48 percent of experts surveyed believed that advances in artificial intelligence will displace more jobs than they create by 2025.

“If you look at the two great scourges of the modern world, the first being rampant unemployment and the second being income inequality,” Jerry Kaplan, an entrepreneur who teaches at Stanford University, said during a 13-minute segment broadcast in April on the radio show On The Media, “I think that a major cause of both of those is the accelerating progress of technology in general, and of artificial intelligence in particular.”

Kaplan said that while robot designers become increasingly wealthy by “skimming off the increased economic value they’re adding to society,” both blue- and white-color workers — from fry cooks to lawyers and doctors — will suffer.

“Robot armageddon is going to be economic,” Kaplan warned, “not a physical war.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated with a statement from Momentum.

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ISIS “industrial” weapons production in Mosul with supply from Turkey revealed as Iraq forces advance

As Iraqi army and allied forces push ISIS militants back from Mosul, their last major stronghold in Iraq, the industrial-scale weapons manufacturing capabilities the group has enjoyed are being revealed.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s weapons production was highly organized and sophisticated, relying on a “robust and reliable” supply chain from across the border in Turkey, according to a report by the London-based Conflict Armament Research group (CAR).

“The degree of organization, quality control and inventory management indicates a complex, centrally controlled industrial production system,” the report found.

CAR executive director James Bevan told the Associated Press that ISIS’ loss of ground around Mosul, where they’ve been beaten back from surrounding towns and villages and squeezed into the city center, means the group has lost the ability to manufacture weapons on an industrial scale.

He warned, however, that the terror group has likely already moved most of its senior weapons experts out of Mosul and into their territory across the border in Syria, so the threat still exists.

Any significant supply route from Turkey, to the north, into Mosul has also likely been cut off or seriously impacted as such a route would have to traverse Kurdish territory along the border, and Kurdish militias are among the allied forces beating ISIS back into the center of Mosul from that direction.

CAR noted, however, that some materials used by ISIS to make bombs and mortars were sourced from as far away as western Europe; Sorbital and sugar used in propellants from France and Lebanon, and potassium nitrate from Latvia, for example.

CAR’s researchers went into reclaimed areas east of Mosul with Iraqi forces and found stocked, labeled and ready-to-ship munitions, reflecting the elaborate production process that enabled ISIS militants to remain on the offensive — with bomb and mortar attacks on population centers and targeting security forces — during their now two-year-old insurgency in northern Iraq and Syria.

U.S. military commanders have expressed confidence that Iraqi forces will retake Mosul in the new year, and they are now focusing efforts with European allies on how to help the Iraqis keep ISIS out of Iraq’s second largest city once the militants are evicted.

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Industrials Sector | Reuters.com

SAO PAULO, March 1 About 3,000 trucks carrying

soy beans are backed up on a major road to port through the

Amazon region that has become impassible due to swamps caused by

heavy rainfall, highway police said on Wednesday.

MUMBAI, March 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India needs a

housing law that is rooted in human rights as bulging cities and

rising inequality make housing unaffordable for ever more

people, according to a United Nations official.

* Basic resources, defence stocks also in demand

(Adds details, closing prices)

WARSAW, March 1 A Polish court has opened the

way for the extradition to the United States of the owner of a

file-sharing website to face charges of copyright infringement,

but Artem Vaulin’s defence lawyer said he would appeal against

the ruling.


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Self-Driving Trucks: Automation That Can Save Lives on the Road

Highway workers face many dangers in active road work zones. Despite safety measure, their lives are at risk every day as they perform repairs on our roadways.

Their first line of defense are warning signs and arrow boards for drivers to know of road work ahead. But another important safety measure is the truck-mounted attenuator, which provides a safety barrier between moving vehicles and workers on the road.

Royal Truck & Equipment has created the first autonomous truck-mounted attenuator that promises to add an extra layer of safety.

“In an effort to remove the driver and workers from an unsafe situation, we identified this as an opportunity to try to take drivers out of the truck and replace it with the autonomous technology,” Royal Truck & Equipment CEO Robert Roy said.

Attenuators are designed to be a crash cushion and barrier. They use an aluminum honey comb filled with air or sand to absorb or redirect a colliding vehicle away from the workers and machinery and have been credited with saving lives. The attenuators are mounted on the back of trucks.

The typical work zone safety setup has workers or machinery in front of the manned truck-mounted attenuator. The autonomous truck will add an extra layer of safety since it will be behind the manned vehicle.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 49 road workers were killed by moving vehicles in 2014.

This autonomous technology was developed by Micro Systems Inc., a firm that has provided unmanned vehicles to the military. Micro Systems’ “Multi-Platform Appliqué Kit” has a vehicle-controlled computer that controls motors to let the vehicle know when to turn, accelerate, stop and avoid obstacles while mimicking the exact speed, heading and the direction of the leader vehicle.

The trucks can be retrofitted to be autonomous with mechanical actuators that replicate the leading manned vehicle and replicate steering, breaking and the acceleration from GPS data supplied by the manned vehicle.

“We are pioneering this industry. We are using the latest cutting-edge technology to make work environments a safer place,” said Maynard Factor, the business development manager for Micro Systems.

Royal Truck & Equipment is currently testing the technology and hopes one day to have these trucks on the road.

“Every day, we feel better about what we do and that’s the juice that keeps us going when we built these trucks,” Roy said.

For more stories from our “Finding the Next” series, hit the bell in ABC News’ phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.


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Retail Automation Market – Forecasts from 2016 to 2021: Key Players are Outerwall, Datalogic, First Data Corporation, Honeywell, Pricer, Fujitsu, NCR Corporation and Toshiba – Research and Markets

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Retail

Automation Market – Forecasts from 2016 to 2021″ report to

their offering.

Retail Automation Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth

rate of 14.85% over the period 2016 to 2021. Retail automation assists

retailers to cut down cost and increase efficiency.

Growth in retail industries, enhanced user experience, focus on business

process optimization and availability of cheaper automation solutions

are some of the factors boosting the market growth.

Americas region accounted for the dominant maximum share of global

retail automation market in 2015, followed by Europe Middle east and

Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to witness fastest growth during the

forecast period due to high growth in retail sector and fast growing


Key industry players profiled as part of this section are Outerwall,

Datalogic, First Data Corporation, Honeywell, Pricer, Fujitsu, NCR

Corporation and Toshiba along with others

Key Topics Covered:

1. Introduction

2. Research Methodology

3. Executive Summary

4. Market Dynamics

5. Retail Automation Market Forecast by Type (US $ billion)

6. Retail Automation Market Forecast by Product (US $ billion)

7. Retail Automation Market Forecast by Industry (US$ billion)

8. Retail Automation Market Forecast by Geography (US$ billion)

9. Competitive Intelligence

10. Company Profiles

– Outerwall

– Datalogic

– First Data Corporation

– Honeywell

– Pricer

– Fujitsu


– Toshiba

For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/jh7gxw/retail_automation


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Indian IT industry faces twin challenges of Trump, automation | Reuters

MUMBAI Automation and the new U.S. administration were the big unknowns at the Indian tech sector’s annual shindig this week, with machines threatening to take away thousands of jobs and concerns over possible visa rule changes in the key American market.

But senior executives from the $150 billion industry, which rose to prominence at the turn of the century by helping Western firms solve the “Y2K” bug, said companies with skilled English-speaking staff and low costs could not be written off yet.

The sector, led by Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, is lobbying hard as the new U.S. administration under President Donald Trump considers putting in place visa restrictions.

The administration may also raise salaries paid to H1-B visa holders, a move that could significantly increase costs for IT companies that are already facing pressure on margins.

The longer-term challenge and opportunity for the sector was automation, executives said, as global corporations from plane-makers to consumer firms bet on the use of machines to further cut costs and boost efficiency.

That threatens lower-end software services and outsourcing jobs in a sector which employs more than 3.5 million people.

Summing up the mood at the three-day NASSCOM leadership event in Mumbai ending on Friday, Malcolm Frank, Chief Strategy Officer at Cognizant which has most of its operations in India, spoke of “fear and optimism.”

Even top IT executives were “fearing the machines”, he said.

Some Indian executives, including Infosys’ Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao, said that greater automation was expected to help engineers and developers shed repetitive jobs for more creative roles.

“Some part of the work we’ll be automating 100 percent, you don’t require people to do that kind of work,” Rao told Reuters. “But there are always newer things, where we will be able to re-purpose employees who are released from those areas.”


With rapidly changing technology, Indian IT firms are emphasizing the need for retraining their workforce, in many cases setting up experience centers and learning zones on their sprawling campuses.

Some companies are partnering with universities to design and fund education programs, while staff members spoke of employers laying on training and webinars to help develop skills in automation and cloud computing.

“The threat from automation killing jobs is more than Trump’s anticipated visa rule changes,” a general manager-level employee at a top Indian IT firm said.

NASSCOM chairman and Tech Mahindra CEO C.P. Gurnani said technology would create new roles where “man will manage machines,” even if a fourth of Indian IT jobs were to be replaced by machines over the next four years.

Hiring patterns may also change, with unconventional, high-value graduates likely to be more attractive, to the possible detriment of hiring from India’s engineering colleges.

Infosys, which traditionally recruited only engineering graduates, is considering hiring people educated in liberal arts to add creative skills to its workforce, COO Rao said.

In a first, NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), the leading Indian IT lobby group, delayed its initial growth forecast for fiscal 2017/18, citing market uncertainty.

NASSCOM officials said it had deferred its predictions by three months to give it time to gauge policy announcements in the United States which could make immigration rules tougher.

The industry body aims to announce a firmer growth forecast after the quarter to March when IT companies report annual earnings and give guidance for the next fiscal year.

“A certain level of … uncertainty will continue over the medium-term,” said NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekhar. “And businesses therefore have to take essential decisions on new technology in the face of a certain degree of uncertainty.”

(Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Euan Rocha in Mumbai, Sayantani Ghosh and Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Mike Collett-White)


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