Planning & Strategy.
- Ofo retreated from the US market, laying off most of their US staff.
- Root Ventures, which is behind not only nTopology but a lot of the companies covered in The Prepared, raised a new fund to continue investing in... interesting stuff :)
- According to a memo, Tesla has asked many of its suppliers for retroactive cash discounts on orders going back as far as 2016. "The company called such requests a standard part of procurement negotiations to improve its competitive advantage."
- A map showing the recruitment area of the Dutch East India Company during the 18th century.
Making & Manufacturing.
- SPONSORED - GE's M LINE FACTORY concept, which modularizes their flagship metal printers to allow for economical series production on an industrial scale. In a world where many metal printers are being designed as all-in-one units, it's pretty awesome to see GE optimizing each subsystem's utilization rate and creating a fully lights-out production concept. Make sure you scroll down to watch the video demo, which gives a good overview of how GE is thinking about additive factories in the future.
- I blasted through The Machine that Changed the World, which chronicles the rise of Lean Manufacturing, last week. It was a little humbling to consider the scope of collaboration - and the sheer discipline - that the Japanese auto manufacturers brought to their work, and to be honest it mostly made me consider just how uptight my own habits still are. Recommended.
- How wagon wheels were built.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- "Wave after wave of garbage hits the Dominican Republic."
- A visit to the San Francisco Fire Department's wooden ladder workshop, which builds and maintains wooden ladders for in some cases many decades.
Distribution & Logistics.
- In response to Dan's comparison of AV testing sites last week, Sylvia wrote in: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has a stretch of an unconnected highway that they use to test vehicles. The center is expanding the inventory of rural types of roads available for controlled testing, explicitly designing roads to a 1965 standard that represents 2/3 of roads in the US.
- Uber says they'll spend a million bucks promoting a congestion pricing plan for NYC.
- Nicola Twilley on tariffs and shipments of sorghum.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- Amazon updated their iOS app with a "part finder" feature that uses the phone's camera and attempts to identify fasteners. The tech press is calling this "a fun trick;" I call it totally useless.
- The Public Radio's v1.0 PCB undergoing flying probe testing.
- Fictiv tears down a Coolest Cooler.
- Most humanoid robots are white in color and Caucasian or Asian in appearance, and it turns out that people exhibit implicit racial bias towards robots in the same way they do to other people. "This lack of racial diversity among social robots may be anticipated to produce all of the problematic outcomes associated with a lack of racial diversity in other fields....If robots are supposed to function as teachers, friends, or caretakers, for instance, then it will be a serious problem if all of these roles are only ever occupied by robots that are racialized as white."
- A history of Cherry, maker of mechanical switches for keyboards and industrial applications.
- A pretty remarkable folding bike & folding boat commute across the Hudson River.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.Credit also to Andrew, Karen, Reilly, Rich, Matt, Chris, Mike, Drew, and Ryan for sending links.
p.s. - We should be better friends. Send me a note - coffee's on me :)
p.p.s - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.