Uber is a wildly unprofitable company with no conceivable path to profitability in any universe, under any circumstances, but the company's founders and early investors (having already taken massive write-downs on their investments) are hoping to get at least some of their money back through the time-honored "greater fool" methodology. Specifically, they're floating the company on the stock market and hoping that naive investors hoping to wring above-inflation gains out of their 401(k)s and avoid being made into dog-food in their old age (we're waaaaay past the era in which impoverished old people get to eat dog-food) take their shares off their hands.
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E-scooter sharing companies Scoot and Skip scooted and skipped their way to the head of the permit approval processing line in San Francisco, but the city flipped the bird at Bird and left Lime feeling sour. Word on the street is that San Francisco is peeved that Bird and Lime deployed their scooters without securing permits, and retaliated by denying their applications and while accepting Scoot and Skip's, which have headquarters based there.
Meanwhile, Santa Monica gave the green light to Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Uber's electric bike pilot programs.
Axios has more.
Image: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Read the rest
And they said the Segway would change the way we moved through cities! Video of pallet skating in Bratislava, Slovakia by Tomáš Moravec.
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Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released an interesting demo of blending rigid and soft materials during 3D printing to create hybrid robots with enhanced performance for tasks like jumping and landing. Read the rest
The fields of bioinspiration and biomimetics look at animal evolution to improve machine function. Chen Li at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL Lab found that an oval cockroach shell atop a small robot helps it squeeze through tight spaces more easily. Read the rest
The 2015 DARPA Robotic Challenge (DRC) is upping the ante, making the ATLAS robot used in competition self-contained and redesigned from the knees up. The robot that best completes a series of difficult physical tasks wins $2 million for the team. Read the rest