Skip to main content

Uber Seeks Chinese Tariff Exclusion For Electric Bikes

Uber has asked the U.S government for an exemption from new tariffs on Chinese imports for electric bikes the company is producing in the country. With ambitious plans for its bike and scooter business, Bloomberg says it now churns out nearly 1,000 bikes a day with over $1 billion set for spend on scooters, electric bikes and other transportation alternatives according to Vice President Rachel Holt in a recent interview.

The request filed by Uber was posted this Monday by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. A current 25% tariff is in place for $16 billion worth of Chinese imports including scooters and electric bikes, this incurs more costs for companies like Uber, Lime, Bird and several more who manufacture their scooters and electric bikes in the country.

Uber just recently, unveiled a new Jump Bike with a handful of updates including swappable batteries, a front dashboard, a phone mount and cable lock. These bikes will begin rolling out in existing cities where the Jump b…

UBTECH Robotics has raised $820 million in funding at a $5 Billion valuation (News/Review)

UBTECH'S Cruzr Humanoid Robot
image credit : UBTECH

AI/Robotics company UBTECH which was founded 6 years ago with the aim of integrating 'intelligent robots into the daily lives of everyone in order to create a smarter way of life has raised a whooping $820 million; Capital to grow its leadership in the intelligent service robot industry and to put more funds into Research and Development to heavily improve on its already very intelligent and hugely innovative products.

On this round of funding, It should be noted that UBTECH has now surpassed AI startup Sensetime as the worlds most valuable AI startup by a gap of over $400 million.

Let's take a walk-through on UBTECH's products which we term as "Hugely effective, innovative and awesomely efficient" ;

The company has released a swath of products which include The Lynx, The Alpha, The Jimu and The Cruzr, The company has also partnered with Disney with the release of The Stormtrooper, The company inked another partnership with Tencent which saw it release the Qrobot Alpha with each product coming with different Kit forms.

Its Jimu Robots are available at Apple stores worldwide, The Jimu Robot can be controlled using Apple's Swift programming language in many ways, For example; You can make the Jimu Robot dance using the Swift programming language on its accompanying Swift Playgrounds application, All kits of the Jimu Robot are codable characters which enables them to be controlled by various programming languages and can be used as a programming learning method for both kids and adults alike;

Its kits are the ;

  1. BuilderBots Kit 
  2. AstroBot Kit 
  3. BuzzBot & MuttBot Kit 
  4. TankBot Kit 
  5. MeeBot Kit 
  6. Explorer Kit
  7.  Animal Add-On Kit 
  8. Inventor Kit

The Jimu BuzzBot & MuttBot Kit

The UBTECH Cruzr


The Cruzr is a custom cloud-based intelligent humanoid service robot with makes use of service applications for the accomplishment of a wide range of tasks in industrial and domestic environments.

Features ;

  • Flexible arms which provide users with rich and easy to understand body language
  • Natural Interaction
  • 360º movement

Natural Interaction : With 17 pairs of devices that use error-sensing negative feedback to correct the action of a mechanism, The Cruzr with its Four-Layer Protection System moves like a human and is capable of shaking hands, greeting visitors, moving around, dancing and hugging.

360º Movement :With a posession of damage resistant coupled with the ability of its wheels to receive signals transmitting in all directions, the Cruzr moves smoothly and stable, whilst also being able to turn in any given direction at an instant.

The Cruzr humanoid robot makes use of real-time positioning and mapping technology to avoid obstacles, It also makes use of  multi-modal synergies and coordination systems to make the interaction more fluid and more humanlike which in turn greatly improves the user experience.

The Cruzr comes with special face recognition technology - in this case, Possessing a 98% recognition accuracy which identifies faces within the range of milliseconds, It also allows for the use of third party resources for the effective implementation of emotion detection, age, gender, recognition, ethnicity and a wide range of other characteristics.

It also comes with a video calling system which combines cloud computing and the use of a high definition audio and video which ensures smooth transmission.

Other features consist of;

Right here are its specs;

Size: 1195(H)*521(W)*516(D)mm 

Weight: 45KG

 Color: White + Silver 

Materials: Plastics, Metal

 Battery: 20Ah 24V 

Screen: 11.6-inch touch screen 

Camera: 13MP HD Photo, 1080p Video 

Speaker: Two-channel stereo, Unit: 3 inch*2; Output power: 6W*2; 


 6+0 MIC array in head
 1 Depth-perception camera in waist
 1 Lidar, 
6 Sonar sensors, 
12 IR sensors,
 9-axis IMU in chassis


 1 DoF head
 5*2 DoF (L/R) arms 
1*2 DoF (L/R) hands 
1 DoF waist 
3 Omni-wheels 

Operating System: Android & ROS 

Velocity: Normal speed: 0.3m/s; Highest speed: 1m/s 

Networking: Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G 

Accessories: 1 Recharging dock, 1 power adapter, 1 user manual


image credit : UBTECH

The Lynx is an alexa-enabled robot which can be used to perform a swath of commands and tasks, The Lynx robot can be used for the perfomance of different Alexa commands which include playing of favorite music, checking of current news, weather reports and so many other things of interest to the user.

UBTECH describes it as "The robot designed to get smarter and smarter" just like its Alexa software buddy.

Its features include;
  • Avatar mode which enables anyone to hear, listen and speak through his/her robot from any location in the world
  • Integrated capacitive touch sensors which lets the robots to instantly responds to human touch for taking commands and when in surveillance mode will automatically begin a 30 second encrypted record which would be stored securely for viewing by its owner
  • A voice activated 180°/1080p panorimic camera equipped with facial detection
  • Use of high powered microphones & speakers which enable its voice activaton and response system.
  • Use of Robotic Servo motors to enable different actions such as moving, stretching, dancing and the performance of so many other actions.

    The Alpha

    image credit: UBTECH

    UBTECH's Alpha is a humanoid robot which acts as a companion serving for both learning and entertainment, The Alpha is a playmate and a teacher accompanying the user in everyday life tasks.

    The Alpha might look very familiar because this particular robot appeared in the Transformers 5 movie, The Alpha packs a list of amazing features given that it works out, Takes part in sports and performs yoga.

    The Alpha can be controlled through the use of a smartphone, The robot offers a game which uses programming language to control the robot thereby producing one of the best interactive learning modes out there which enables step-by-step mastering of programming codes.

    The robot can also be programmed through the use of Blockly coding which involves the simple use of already exisiting code modules in the app coupled with adjusted parameters to make the robot perform different actions including dance and display of martial arts skills.

    Actions can also be recorded for the robot to use later, For example you can perform a combination of certain movements which forms into a dance and store the program's name, Next time you interact with the robot to make use of that certain program, It repeats the same dance steps which makes it very fun and amazing to use!

    You can also download the accompanying app which lets you share your moves and action with different people from all around the world in the online community.

    The Alpha is very flexible due to it possession of 16 movable joints which supports its 360° rotation with a movement accuracy of 1°, The robot is built with Matte ABS plastic which is environment friendly and also responds smoothly to touch and is strong enough to withstand huge impacts in case of falls and accidents, The Robot has a very good quality of superior resistance to external obstacles which enables it to last for a very long period of time.

    With this huge fundraising, we will now see UBTECH invest more into Research & Development which will churn out more innovative and awesome products in addition to its super-intelligent line of products already available right now.

    "We currently give UBTECH's products and its company ecosystem a rating of ★★★★★."


    Most Read Posts

    Revolut Obtains European Banking License via Bank of Lithuania

    London based Revolut has obtained a banking license via the Bank of Lithuania, the European country's central bank which has granted regulatory approval for it to operate throughout the European union. This marks Revolut as the first London-based fintech to receive a banking license and puts it on par with the likes of Adyen, Klarna and N26 who have obtained banking licenses in other European nations.
    Revolut plans to launch checking and savings accounts and also go into business and retail lending, expanding from just a no-fee pre-paid debit card provider to an all-round financial technology provider offering broader services including budgeting, currency exchanges and crypto wallets for its users.

    A banking license is required for expansion into broader services for Revolut, a $1.7 billion valued leading fintech startup with more than 3 million customers and 250 million transactions totaling more than 25 billion pounds made on its platform. 
    "Our vision is that retail and bu…

    The Rise of Sebastian Thrun, From Google To Udacity to Kitty Hawk

    At the (2005) DARPA Grand Challenge, the renowned racing event for American autonomous vehicles, Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun led the development of its self-driving vehicle Stanley which took home the prize and has been placed on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

    Thrun also led the development of Junior which emerged second at the 2007 DARPA Grand Challenge, Think that's enough? He also led the development of the Google self-driving car. It's obvious, Thrun is an expert in this field. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. Fast Company selected him as the fifth most creative person in the business world. Thrun has many achievements to his name.

    He kicked off his career at the Carnegie Mellon University computer science department where he joined as a research computer scientist in 1995. Three years later, he became assistant professor and co-direct…

    Daimler Is Bringing These 3 Vehicles To CES 2019

    At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) holding from 8 to 11 January 2019, Daimler says it'll focus fully on the "outlook of the future of mobility". For this, It'll be unveiling the new Mercedes-Benz CLA for the first time at the event, the electric Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV for the first time in the U.S. and the Vision URBANETIC concept also for the first time in the U.S.

    According to Daimler, The new Mercedes-Benz CLA will feature an evolved MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, a product that premiered at this year's CES event with new features added just 12 months later. Daimler dubs it as the "most emotional vehicle of its class" and a "a highly intelligent automotive specimen".

    Features offered in the CLA include the MBUX Interior Assistant which identifies operation requests on the basis of interior movements, augmented reality for navigation and the ability to grasp indirect voice commands.

    At the same time frame, The …

    General Electric Sells Majority Stake in ServiceMax to Silver Lake

    General Electric has announced it's offloading a majority stake in ServiceMax, the cloud-based software provider it scooped up for $915 million to private equity firm Silver Lake. GE will retain a 10% stake in ServiceMax after the deal closes.
    General Electric's software arm, GE Digital has also entered into a reseller agreement with ServiceMax that'll ensure ongoing collaboration between both after this sale to serve joint customers including General Electric’s industrial business unit.

    According to GE, ServiceMax in its two years after acquisition has delivered growth that has outpaced the market and will as a separate company possess the strategic focus required to dig deep into the $34 billion global Field Service Management software market opportunity.
    It's estimated that majority of the 39 million field technicians globally responsible for installation, maintenance  and repair of machines do not have access to Field Service Management software like ServiceMax wh…

    The SIPC Sees Red Flags In Robinhood's Plan to Offer Checking & Savings Accounts

    Just after the unveiling of a checking & savings accounts service stock-trading app Robinhood plans for its users, The Securities Investor Protection Corporation has voiced concerns that deposited funds may not be eligible for insurance even as Robinhood says they will be insured by the SIPC.

    “I disagree with the statement that these funds are protected by SIPC,” SIPC president and chief executive Stephen Harbeck said in an interview. “Had they called us, I would have told them what I just told you in that I have serious concerns about this. This has gigantic ramifications for the banking industry.”

    “I spoke to my colleagues at the trading and markets division at the SEC, and I’m sure they’ll be consulting with the firm today,” Harbeck said. “I believe that, as stated by the firm, there’s some significant legal problems that they have.”

    Robinhood's website says that deposits up to $250,000 in cash for each account are protected by the SIPC should anything go wrong. But Harbec…

    Facebook and Zenimax Settle Oculus VR Legal Battle

    Video game company Zenimax has settled its legal battle with Oculus parent Facebook putting an end to a 4 year clash between both companies over allegations of Oculus using "trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology" provided by Oculus CTO John Carmack who previously was at Zenimax after its acquisition of id Software, the video game developer he co-founded.
    After the $3 billion Oculus acquisition, Zenimax took Facebook to the courts over alleged use of its intellectual property in development of key parts of Oculus technology, It claimed that Carmack helped hire several former ZeniMax/id Software employees who possessed technical knowledge of its VR technology that allowed them to rapidly fine-tune the VR testbed system used in creating the Oculus Rift.

    Zenimax said in its filing that it "invested tens of millions of dollars in research and development" into virtual reality technology and claimed "…

    Postmates Unveils New Delivery Robot, 'Serve'

    Postmates has unveiled a robotic delivery device built from the ground up to deliver small items over short distances effectively. The new autonomous robot, Serve pairs a patented "Socially-Aware-Navigation system" with proprietary Postmates software to join the Postmates fleet of over 350,000 couriers in delivering items to its users.

    It runs on electricity and moves at walking speed, enabling it to route deliveries away from crowded streets and onto sidewalks. "7 years and hundreds of millions of deliveries later — we realized that we are in unique position to create our very own autonomous delivery vehicle" A post from Postmates read..."By developing an in-house, design-first approach, Serve was built to respect cities, meets customer demands, and helps local businesses sell even more."

    The new robot contain advanced set of sensors including Velodyne Lidar and makes use of an NVIDIA XAVIER processor for interaction with the environment. Customers can i…

    Starbucks is Launching a First-Of-Its-Kind Virtual Store in China

    Starbucks is launching what it dubs a "first-of-its-kind" virtual store in partnership with Alibaba which it says "unlocks new levels of engagement unseen in the marketplace today with customers". The new store will provide a one-stop digital experience cross the Starbucks app and mobile apps within the Alibaba ecosystem, including Tmall, Taobao and Alipay.
    Alibaba has developed an online management hub specially for Starbucks for this that integrates its digital services including the delivery partnership between both powered by its delivery arm, social gifting and the Starbucks' Tmall flagship store into a single interface for Starbucks customers and the over 600 million mobile monthly active users on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces.

    Customers making use of the social gifting feature will be able to add physical gifts from the Starbucks Tmall flagship store in addition to purchasing a digital beverage gift card for the first time ever. They can al…

    NIO Sets Sight On Luxury Car Market in China Despite Lesser Sales

    Chinese EV manufacturer NIO continues to eye the luxury vehicle market in China, stating it will continue to be a big one in the country despite lesser sales. “Unlike developed markets such as America where the number of new cars and end-of-life vehicles is almost balanced, China’s auto market growth is still incremental though it is reaching a watershed,” NIO CEO William Lie said to reporters in Shanghai this Sunday.

    “Plus, electric vehicles sales grow fast in China and sales of luxury cars are unlikely to drop.” He said. NIO is facing high competition in the world's biggest auto market from the likes of Tesla, Nissan, BYD, ZhiDou, Shanghai Auto and Zotye.

    Li said the company is carrying out preparatory research about entering international markets, which include legal compliance and the adoption of a business model to tailored for local customers. It's scaling production of the ES8 vehicle, its first commercial product of which Li has pledged to send 10,000 units into custo…

    Blippar Goes Into Administration

    Once high flying AR startup Blippar has announced it's going into administration (i.e. being taken under the management of a court appointed administrator – who must be a licensed insolvency practitioner (IP)) signalling troubles for the company now seeking a buyer for all or parts of the business.

    As part of the administration process, all employees are being layed off with Blippar's services likely to cease once administrators take control of the business and its servers. According to a Blippar blog post, It raised a small amount of funding to further operations but required shareholders' approval to access it, one of which voted against this, effectively blocking the investment required to keep it afloat.

    Blippar says it'll be learning more about the administration process over the coming days and will keep its stakeholders informed. Administrators have been appointed by a U.K. court for this process. "We are proud to be one of AR’s early pioneers, and we will…