Car maker BYD in China has developed the world’s longest electric bus ©BYD Electricos
Car maker BYD in China has developed the world’s longest electric bus ©BYD Electricos

From sporty robots to bendy buses: a world of innovation

Where supply chains make a difference

UK

A third of all food produced for human consumption never makes it onto a plate, according to the UN. A new smart bin is using machine-learning to reduce food waste. Algorithms calculate the cost of food waste to allow chefs to plan menus. It could cut waste by up to 8% per year, according to British producer Winnow Solutions.

France

A groundbreaking mix of 3D laser technology and digital photography captured by the late art and architecture historian professor Andrew Tallon will be used to help restore the Notre Dame cathedral, severely damaged by fire in April. In 2015 Tallon meticulously mapped the cathedral with 5mm-accurate tripod-mounted laser scanners.

Germany

An old sewer channel is being replaced with glass-fibre reinforced plastic pipes made from thermosetting plastics and reinforcing agents. The pipes, made by Amiblu, can be produced economically by applying reinforcements only according to need.

Japan

Could robots be the sports stars of the future? Toyota engineers have developed a basketball player robot. Named Cue 3, the 6ft10in machine uses visual feedback from sensors on its torso, and adjusts motors inside its arm and knees to give shots the right angle and propulsion.

China

Long waiting times for the bus may soon be over. Car maker BYD in Shenzhen has developed the world’s longest electric bus. The bus creates zero emissions and will be able to carry up to 250 people. Each bus can save the equivalent of 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Israel

Holographic imaging developed by Israeli start-up RealView Imaging has enabled cardiologists at a Toronto hospital to perform the first live real-time procedure using 3D medical holography technology, which could revolutionise the treatment of heart disease.

US

The world’s largest plane has taken off from the Mojave Air & Space Port in California with an aim of making satellite launches easier and faster. Stratolaunch Systems’ aircraft will carry satellites to 36,000 feet and can act as a mobile launch pad by releasing them into orbit.

Switzerland

Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak is to launch a collaborative artificial intelligence and human manufacturing plant. Machines will be able to communicate with each other as well as with the digital systems of the operation. Tetra Pak has been working with partners including Microsoft, ABB, SAP and the automated logistics solutions provider Elettric80.

Crunching the numbers


10%
The downturn in investment in clean energy over the past year according to the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Fostering Effective Energy Transition report, which said change had slowed to its lowest rate for five years.

97%
The percentage of stock accuracy at River Island using radio frequency identification (RFID). The fashion retailer’s use of RFID tags has boosted sales and massively increased the accuracy of stock counts.

95%
The amount of food waste now recycled by South Korea, which has risen from 2% over the past 14 years thanks to a compulsory government food waste recycling scheme using biodegradable bags.

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