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Future farms: Driverless tractors with no cabs and AI-sorted cucumbers

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You hear a lot about the impending arrival of driverless cars on our roads, but check out the fully driverless tractor in the video above for a glimpse of the future where a ‘driver’ doesn’t really play any part at all.

One difference between tractors and cars is that the car’s purpose is to transport people, whereas the tractor is purely a too, meaning you can do away with the bit where the pesky people normally sit altogether, streamlining the design. Y’know, like how tractor manufacturers historically try to streamline their vehicles. Yeah.

Either way, the end result is probably the best-looking tractor I’ve ever seen and one that doesn’t need human intervention, in theory, to trundle around the fields all day and night. Admittedly, Case IH’s is a long way off (around 2018, at the earliest) and because there’s no space for a person to sit (and take control if necessary), there will be even higher regulatory hurdles to overcome if it ever needs to venture out of the fields and onto public roads between sites.

The plan as it stands for the farmer to operate the vehicle remotely if necessary via a tablet or computer, which is where it differs from self-driving tractors and farming equipment already in use in some places. Like cars, those tractors are far more traditional and require a person to be present in the cab.

Aside of that, it’s fully autonomous and uses GPS and an array of sensors to cruise around avoiding obstacles.

cucumber-farmer-9

Ploughing the fields isn’t the only place AI’s being put to work in an agricultural production setting though; a Japanese cucumber farmer has built a home-made AI-powered sorting mechanism to classify the farms produce as one of nine different types of cucumber according to thickness, size, color, texture, imperfections and more.

Apparently, the sorting of cucumbers is a trickier business than you might imagine. Now the family-run farm doesn’t need to do it manually anymore and there’s more time to focus on other jobs.

It probably helped that this particular farmer’s son, Makoto Koike, previously worked as an embedded systems designer when putting all the free Google frameworks together for the project.

I'm a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. 10second.tech is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run SexTechGuide.com.You're welcome to contact me via [email protected] if you have news or anything else to pass along, on twitter at @10sectech or @TheNextWoodsTech startup founders that need media advice or PRs and brands that need content strategy advice should visit benwoodsish.com.

Apple

Every smart home device that works with Apple HomePod

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Apple HomePod

With the launch of Apple’s smart home assistant/speaker combo now official, there’s one really important question to keep in mind: what can it do, and which services does it work with?

Well, luckily for you, we’ve put together this list to point you in the right direction.

It’s worth noting that some of the devices/services in the list below have been announced, but not yet implemented – and other products haven’t yet gone on sale, but when they do, they’ll work with Apple HomeKit and the HomePod.

Deals


Airmate 艾美特

  • Smart Stand Fan

Apismoon

  • Smart Wall Outlet with Meter (Announced)

August

  • August Smart Lock
  • August Doorbell Cam (Announced)

Bryant

  • Bryant Housewise Thermostat

Carrier

  • Carrier Côr Thermostat

Chamberlain

  • MyQ Home Bridge

ConnectSense

  • ConnectSense Temperature & Humidity Sensor (Announced)
  • ConnectSense Water Sensor (Announced)
  • ConnectSense Smart Outlet

Continental

  • Continental therM Hub

De’Longhi

  • Multi Dynamic Heater

D-Link

  • D-Link Omna 180 CAM HD

Ecobee

  • ecobee ecobee3 thermostat
  • ecobee ecobee3 lite
  • ecobee4 Smart Wi‑Fi Thermostat with Room Sensor

Elgato

  • Elgato Eve Light Switch
  • Elgato Eve Energy
  • Elgato Eve Degree
  • Elgato Eve Door & Window
  • Elgato Eve Motion
  • Elgato Eve Room
  • Elgato Eve Weather
  • Elgato Eve Thermo

Enno Panno

  • Enno Panno S All-In-One Controller (Total Home Lighting + HVAC Management)

Eton

  • Eton Blackout Buddy Connect Charge (Coming Soon)

Fibaro

  • Fibaro Single Switch
  • Fibaro Wall Plug
  • Fibaro CO Sensor
  • Fibaro Door/Window Sensor
  • Fibaro Flood Sensor
  • Fibaro Motion Sensor

Fleda

  • FLEDA Smart lightbulb socket

Friday

  • Friday Lock

GE

  • C by GE C-Sleep bulb with C-Reach (Announced)
  • C by GE C-Life bulb with C-Reach (Announced)

Haier (海尔 挂式智能空调)

  • D-air Hanging Smart AC

Heatmeister

  • Heatmiser neoHub (2nd generation)

Honeywell

  • Honeywell Lyric Round™ Wi‑Fi Thermostat – Second Generation
  • Honeywell Lyric™ T5 Wi‑Fi Thermostat
  • Honeywell Lyric™ T6 Smart Thermostat
  • Honeywell Lyric™ T6 Pro Wi‑Fi Thermostat
  • Honeywell Lyric™ Controller

Hunter

  • Hunter Douglas PowerView® Motorised Shades with PowerView® Hub (Announced)
  • Hunter Apache – 54″ Ceiling Fan
  • Hunter Signal – 54″ Ceiling Fan
  • Hunter Symphony – 54″ Ceiling Fan
  • Hunter Douglas PowerView® Hub (Announced)

iDevices

  • iDevices Socket
  • iDevices Wall Switch
  • iDevices Switch
  • iDevices Outdoor Switch
  • iDevices Wall Outlet
  • iDevices Thermostat

iHome Control

  • iHome Control Smart Plug iSP5
  • iHome Control Smart Plug iSP6
  • iHome Control Smart Plug iSP8
  • iHome Smart Sensor

iLuv

  • iLuv Rainbow8

Incipio

  • Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Light Bulb Adapter with Dimming
  • Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Wall Switch (Coming Soon)
  • Incipio CommandKit Smart Outlet with Metering
  • Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Outlet with Metering – China and Australia version (Coming Soon)
  • Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Power Strip

Insignia

  • Insignia Smart Plug with Power Meter (Coming Soon)
  • Insignia Smart In-Wall Switch (Coming Soon)

Kaiterra

  • Kaiterra Laser Egg 2 Smart Air Quality Monitor
  • Kaiterra Laser Egg 2+ Smart Air Quality Monitor

Keenetic

  • Keenetic Smart Outlet (Coming Soon)

Kidde

  • Kidde RemoteLync Monitor with RemoteLync bridge (Coming Soon)
  • Kidde RemoteLync Camera with RemoteLync bridge (Announced)
  • Kidde RemoteLync (Announced)

Koogeek

  • Koogeek Lightbulb LB1
  • Koogeek Light Strip LS1
  • Koogeek Socket
  • Koogeek Dimmer CN (Coming Soon)
  • Koogeek Dimmer Switch (Coming Soon)
  • Koogeek Light Switch (1-Gang)
  • Koogeek Light Switch (2-Gang)
  • Koogeek Switch CN (1-Gang) (Coming Soon)
  • Koogeek Switch CN (2-Gang) (Coming Soon)
  • Koogeek P1 Smart Plug
  • Koogeek Smart Outlet O1EU
  • Koogeek Smart Outlet O1CN
  • Koogeek Smart Outlet O1US
  • Koogeek Smart Plug P1EU
  • Koogeek Smart Plug P2 (Coming Soon)
  • Koogeek Lock (Coming Soon)

Kwikset

  • Kwikset Premis

Leviton

  • Leviton Decora Smart 15A Switch
  • Leviton Decora Smart 600 Watt Dimmer
  • Leviton Decora Smart 1000 Watt Dimmer

Lifx

  • LIFX A19 LED Light
  • LIFX BR30 LED Light
  • LIFX + A19 with Night Vision
  • LIFX + BR30 with Night Vision
  • LIFX + 100mm Downlight
  • LIFX Beam (Announced)
  • LIFX Mini (Announced)
  • LIFX Mini Day & Dusk (Announced)
  • LIFX Mini White (Announced)
  • LIFX Tile (Announced)
  • LIFX Z

Liftmaster

  • MyQ Home Bridge

LightWave

  • LightWave Link Plus (Announced)
  • LightwaveRF Link 2 (Coming Soon)

Logitech

  • Logitech Circle 2
  • Logitech POP Smart Button

Lutron

  • RadioRA 2 by Lutron Connect Bridge
  • Caséta by Lutron Smart Bridge
  • Lutron Caséta Wireless In-Wall Light Dimmer with Caséta Wireless bridge
  • HomeWorks QS by Lutron Connect Bridge
  • Serena Motorised Shades by Lutron with Caséta Wireless bridge

Lux

  • Lux Products KONO Smart (Coming Soon)

Myson

  • Myson Touch 2 Hub

Nanoleaf

  • Nanoleaf Aurora
  • Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm (Coming Soon)
  • Nanoleaf Smarter Hub

Netatmo

  • Netatmo’s Smart Thermostat
  • Smart Radiator Valves
  • Presence outdoor security camera
  • Healthy Home Coach
  • Legrand Celiane with Netatmo (Coming Soon)

Nice

  • Nice IT4WIFI

NousLogic

  • NousLogic Watchman Garage Door Controller (Announced)

Nu-Heat

  • Nu-Heat neoHub+

OneLink

  • Onelink by First Alert Environment Monitor
  • Onelink by First Alert Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Hardwired
  • Onelink by First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Battery powered

Opro9

  • iU9 Smart Lightbulb Socket (Coming Soon)
  • Opro9 iU9 Smart Power Outlet

OPSO

  • OPSO Smart Outlet
  • OPSO Smart Lock (Announced)

Parce

  • Parce Plus (Announced)

Philips Hue

  • Philips Hue Bridge – Enabling Philips Hue Bulbs, Light Fittings, Switches and Sensors

Powertech

  • Powertech Wi‑Fi Smart Plug (Coming Soon)

PureGear

  • PureSwitch

Schlage

  • Sense Smart Deadbolt

Sensi

  • Sensi Wi‑Fi Thermostat
  • Sensi Touch Wi‑Fi Thermostat

Solflex

  • Solfex neoHub

Sylvania

  • SYLVANIA SMART+ A19 Soft White

Tado

  • tado° Smart Thermostat – Starter Kit (v3)
  • tado° Smart Radiator Thermostat – Starter Kit
  • tado° Bridge

UCOMEN

  • UCOMEN Smart Outlet_EU (Coming Soon)

Velux

  • VELUX windows with VELUX ACTIVE (Announced)
  • VELUX ACTIVE (Announced)

VOCOlinc

  • VOCOlinc PM2 Smart Power Strip (Coming Soon)
  • VOCOlinc PM2E Smart Wi‑Fi Power Strip (Coming Soon)

Weiser

  • Weiser Premis

Wemo

  • Wemo Bridge (Announced)

Yale

  • Yale Assure Lock Home (Coming Soon)

Related Products

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Google Home gets one of its missing key skills, but still ‘months’ away in UK

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Google announced today that its Home smart assistant is getting an update today that brings support for up to six individual people in a household, thereby allowing each person to hear their own schedule, music, reminders and other Home-controllable services.

While that’s rolling out in the US from today, it’s due ‘in the coming months’ for owners in the UK, which leaves anyone without voice range of your Home able to hear your schedule. That’s probably not a huge problem for anyone living with their family, versus a shared apartment, for example, but it’s still a frustrating limitation that will quickly see your Spotify playlists and taste profile ruined by general household use.

If you’re in the US, you should (soon, if not already) be able to see a card within the Home app telling you that the option is available. Once each individual voice is registered – and tied to a different Google account – it’ll be able to recognise the different voices and return the appropriate information specific to that person.

Of course, with Home still not able to do things like adding a calendar entry – it can read one back to you, but not add one – supporting multiple people in the home is a necessary, if not meteoric, milestone towards making the device genuinely useful.

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Apps

Best new Early Access Android games to download today

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Finding new games on the Google Play store is a never-ending challenge, so we’ve put the effort in for you to find some of the best new and currently unreleased Early Access games available.

Naturally, as they’re unreleased, you might still find some issues and errors. There shouldn’t be anything too major, but you’ve been warned. This list will be updated over time, so feel free to bookmark it for future.

SUP Multiplayer Racing

Up to 4-person, live multi-player racing with a bright graphical style you’re either going to love or hate. To race your way to the top, you’ll need to upgrade your cars – and once you’ve had enough of everything the game has to offer, you can start creating your own tracks too.

Super Sticky Bros

If platformer games are too frustrating for you generally, try Super Sticky Bros – it’s not easy, but there’s no limit on the number of times you can die and you’ll never have to go back too far when you do.

The controls are ridiculously simple too, with just left, right and jump buttons on-screen. Your goal, ultimately, is to reach the top of the screen, which continually extends upwards. It’s a pretty addictive, free, little time-killer.

 

 

 

Forward Assault

Forward Assault is more of one to watch for future potental than it is one to play right now if you like your games polished. Or finished.

The game is the follow up to the hugely popular (between 5 and 10 million downloads) Bullet Force, and keeps to the first-person shooter genre. With realistic graphics for both locations and weapons, what Forward Assault offers is worth checking out.

Antidote

If facing wave after wave of foes in a tower defense game is more your speed, Antidote is one of the better new pre-launches to hit Google Play.

In essence, you need to defend the body from attacking infections, bacteria and other bodily ne’erdowells by tactically deploying your defenses. With 17 levels and 14 different abilities to check out already, it’s not far from release.

Bonus game!

Battle of Polytopia

This one is no longer an unreleased game, but it’s been taking so much of my gaming time lately that it’d be remiss not to mention it.

Battle of Polytopia is a turn-based strategy game that pits your tribe, with unique starting talents, against other tribes on a square map. When you start, only your own small patch of the map is visible, but as you explore and research new abilities you’ll come up against rival tribes.

How you deal with them is up to you.

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