TECH NEWS REVIEW Week 27 April – 3 May 2020 , by Stelios Iordanis


The world’s largest meat producer, is preparing to install robots in slaughterhouses to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among human employees working on the production line.

S SA has closed two US meatpacking plants due to the virus outbreak. There have been at least 22 plant closings in the US. Closures have resulted in a 25% reduction in pork-processing capacity and beef by 10%. This has crushed farmers with overcapacity as they have limited options in selling livestock, resulting in mass cullings and plunging livestock spot prices. As for the consumer, soaring food inflation and shortages have been the result of plants reducing output or closing. 

The extinction of blue collar jobs seems to accelerate due to the coronavirus crisis, and we will observe quantum leaps that would have been hesitated in the near past.

Universal Basic Income seems to be the only way forward in the near future, as aggregate demand will plummet significantly. This would normally lead to deflation, however inflation outbreaks in certain product segments such as meat are guaranteed.


Agile Robot Dog That Costs Less Than $10k – IEEE Spectrum

The “Agile Robot Dog “ as envisaged in the article, could have countless application despite appearing as a toy at first sight; telepresence, surveillance, remote control, delivery capabilities are feasibles by plugging in actuators, increasing size or combining multiple such robots in series and parallel, as it is demonstrated in videos.


This Virus-Proof Suit Lets You Vape, Have Sex

Micrashell | Production Club

According to the company, “Micrashell was born as a socially responsible solution to safely allow people to interact in close proximity. Specifically designed to satisfy the needs of nightlife, live events and entertainment industries, Micrashell is a virus-shielded, easy to control, fun to wear, disinfectable, fast to deploy personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows socializing without distancing”. A very bizzare proposed technological innovation, borderline absurd, appears quite nowadays, in this new status quo.


A Brain Implant Restored This Man’s Motion and Sense of Touch | WIRED


According to a press release, it’s the first time both motor function and sense of touch have been restored using a brain-computer interface (BCI), as described in a paper published in the journal Cell. Technological breakthroughs like these are one of the few with no unintended negative consequences or any controversy whatsoever.



Scientists Engineer Gorgeous Glowing Plants That Shine Bright Their Entire Life Cycle

Although caffeic acid is not native to animals, autonomous luminescence could also be enabled in animals, according to the researchers involved in this experiment; this is just a small demonstration of what is feasible in the near future due to genetic engineering.


Scientists Find New Way to Inject Plants With Medicine, And It May Help Save Our Crops


The new method makes use of microneedles which are able to hit a plant’s circulatory system directly. Pesticides, in contrast, might travel between the root system and the leaves.

Scientists have genetically engineered a plant with not just a visible glow, but a self-sustaining glow that lasts for the duration of the plant’s life cycle, thus delivering micronutrients, orto change the gene expression of the plant.

Such sophisticated interventions in nature appear very harsh, but they are so much safer than pesticide and hormone abuse, that takes place nowadays.


Linking Self-Driving Cars to Traffic Signals Might Help Pedestrians Give Them the Green Light

Linking Self-Driving Cars to Traffic Signals Might Help Pedestrians Give Them the Green Light

This is a truly pragmatic solution to make autonomous vehicle use realistic in modern cities.

Drivers and pedestrians often use nonverbal communication to negotiate safe passage at crosswalks, though, and cars without drivers can’t communicate in the same way.


A Chinese Startup Is Selling Glasses for Virus Detection to US Businesses

T1 glasses can measure temperature for up to 200 people in 2 minutes, and could thus be used effectively even in crowded spaces like malls or train stations.

Privacy breach concerns are not severe, while the company claims that it will not collect or store information from the glasses in its own databases; the real problem is that temperature as a sole indicator of Covid-19 infection isn’t reliable.



Nuclear Fusion – ITER | Tokamak Fusion Reactors

Fusion Energy Gets Ready to Shine—Finally | WIRED

Three decades and $23.7 billion later, the 25,000-ton International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is close to becoming something like the sun, a dream perennially called delusional, impossible, and “always 20 years away.”, which ironically still applies, with an envisaged operation in 2035. Even so, this a vision million times more realistic than space travel or Mars colonies.