May 28

Tech Weekly: Amazon Launches Home-Patrolling Robot

Editorial Staff
Oct 1, 2021

Welcome to the Tech Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of key developments in the food and mobility tech industries.

This week’s highlights:

  • Amazon has unveiled an autonomous robot designed to patrol the home, part of a suite of new technology products that could alarm digital privacy advocates. The almost knee-high robot, named Astro, was described by the tech group’s device chief Dave Limp as a “beautiful illustration” of advancements in artificial intelligence. (Financial Times)
  • A National Labor Relations Board judge is expected to review a complaint Wednesday that Amazon last year illegally fired two corporate employees who had been vocal critics of the company. An administrative law judge is scheduled to hear the charges, which were filed with the NLRB in October by a local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Washington State. (CNN)
  • The ecommerce giant said it would delist bitcoin mining equipment from its platforms after the renewed China ban of Bitcoin. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba will delist bitcoin mining equipment offers from its platforms and prohibit their future selling after the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a renewed and reinforced ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency on September 24. (Nasdaq)
  • British drivers have been panic buying gasoline in recent days, leading to lengthy lines and gas station closures. Despite the chaos, Uber told CNBC that “there has been no direct impact on the service” as a result of the fuel issues. Uber driver Nader Awad said that it’s been “challenging,” adding that he has been wasting time looking for a gas station to fill up at, and then sit in a long line. “Given we are self-employed, when you waste time trying to get diesel or petrol, you’re losing money,” he said. (CNBC)
  • Deliveroo is taking its first step into “rapid” grocery deliveries, opening its own “dark store” in London in partnership with supermarket chain Wm Morrison. The new service, called Deliveroo Hop, will be available to residents in and around Vauxhall and Battersea in south London within 10 to 15 minutes. (Financial Times)
  • China’s electric carmakers are darting into Europe, hoping to catch traditional auto giants cold and seize a slice of a market supercharged by the continent’s drive towards zero emissions. (Reuters)
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has energized Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem, with increasing numbers of companies attaining unicorn valuations while closing in on IPOs. This has attracted venture capitalists looking to seed promising next-generation startups that might become the next Grab or Gojek. (Nikkei Asia)
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