News Article | May 4, 2017
Mumbai based Artificial Intelligence start-up, Selekt.in is building an intelligent assistant that can interact, understand and guide customers in selecting products that suit their needs. -- Our shopping queries are endless. And we had always wished for a one point solution where all our queries can be addressed. Be it buying a mobile or a dress for a wedding. For sure there are unlimited resources out there on the internet. But in our busy lives the effort and time required to research and figure out answers are questionable unlike an offline experience where you can seek the help of a store salesman.Mumbai based Artificial Intelligence start-up Selekt.in, is building an intelligent assistant for product discovery. It can interact, understand and guide you in selecting products that suit your needs making it the first of its kind in India. The team consists of Samba Siva Rao (B.Tech from IIT Bombay), Prashanth Sai (B.Tech from IIT Bombay) and Suvindh (IIM Indore)Selekt.in uses a chat interface for interactions. The unique feature of the product is that the interactions can be both human-like as well as technical in nature. A few of the queries which Selekt.in can answer are -Selekt.in depends on a complex category level Knowledge engine which is the Pandora box for all your shopping queries. In addition it uses feature engineering, structured data and machine learning techniques to decide on what information to ask you to make your personalized recommendations better.Most of the recommendation engines currently available are dependent on implicit data which assumes a lot about the user, whereas Selekt.in sees an opportunity to collect explicit data smartly and achieve an exponential difference in recommendation accuracy.– Sai Prashanth, Co-founder & Product HeadSelekt.in has raised seed funding from Kashyap Vadapalli (CMO, Pepperfry), Abhimanyu Lal (CBO, KartRocket), Deepak Gupta (Co-Founder, Equity crest), Anubhav Sonthalia (Co-Founder, Sokrati.com)and Selekt's Founder and Promoter Ravi Sekhar (ex- Head Digital Marketing and CRM at eBay)The Product is currently in the beta testing phase. They have a website ( https://www.selekt.in ) and an Android App. Women's fashion would be the first category that Selekt.in will be launching. The launch is expected by May'17.AI is currently the space to watch-out for and it wouldn't be long until we experience it everywhere including online shopping. We were always fascinated by what computers can do and it would be interesting to see how in the future our best shopping friend would be an AI system like Selekt.inSuvindh Sudevan | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.selekt.in
News Article | May 4, 2017
« Enel, Nissan and IIT launch pilot corporate EV car charging project with V2G chargers | Main | IAV says new version of modular electric drive can boost range 5-10% vs system with fixed transmission ratio » Intel unveiled its Advanced Vehicle Lab in Silicon Valley, providing insight into the company’s R&D efforts underway on autonomous vehicles. The announcement was made during the company’s first Autonomous Driving Workshop held in San Jose, California. At this workshop, Intel—together with BMW, Delphi, Ericsson and HERE—demonstrated progress toward autonomy. The theme of the day was “the data-driven journey”. The company’s Silicon Valley Lab joins Intel’s other labs in Arizona, Germany and Oregon. They have been created specifically to explore and better understand the various requirements related to self-driving vehicles and the future of transportation, including sensing, in-vehicle computing, artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity, and supporting cloud technologies and services. With the slew of information captured by cameras, LiDAR, radar and other sensors, autonomous cars are expected to generate approximately 4 terabytes of data every 90 minutes of operation. Most of this data will be processed, filtered, and analyzed in the car, while the most valuable data will be moved to the data center to update maps, enhance data models and more. Intel’s Autonomous Garage Labs work with customers and partners to come up with new ways of addressing the data challenge inside the vehicle, across the network and in the data center. Engineers at the labs use a variety of tools to advance and test in these areas, including vehicles equipped with Intel-based computing systems and different kinds of sensors that help gather data; autonomous test vehicles that practice real-world driving; partner vehicles and teams that are collaborating with Intel’s research efforts; and dedicated autonomous driving data centers.
News Article | May 4, 2017
« Four China OEMs select Efficient Drivetrains for PHEV systems for buses | Main | Enel, Nissan and IIT launch pilot corporate EV car charging project with V2G chargers » Singapore Airlines (SIA), in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), has started operating a series of 12 “green package” flights over a three-month period on its non-stop San Francisco-Singapore route. The green package flights are the first to combine the use of biofuels, fuel-efficient aircraft—SIA’s Airbus A350-900—and optimized flight operations. CAAS is facilitating the use of optimized flight operations and Air Traffic Management (ATM) best practices which reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the flights. The first of the 12 flights, SQ31, departed San Francisco at 1121hrs (San Francisco Time) on 1 May 2017 and arrived in Singapore at 1910 hrs (Singapore Time) on 2 May with 206 passengers on board. Over the three-month period, flight SQ31 will be powered by a combination of HEFA (Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids), a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oils, and conventional jet fuel. The biofuel, produced by AltAir Fuels, will be supplied and delivered to San Francisco by SkyNRG in collaboration with North American Fuel Corporation (NAFCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aviation Oil (Singapore), and EPIC Fuels. In collaboration with CAAS and air navigation service providers along the flight route, these flights will also employ optimized flight operations, which will reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions. These optimized flight operations include User-Preferred Routes (UPRs), Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure (DARP), 30/30 Reduced Oceanic Separation and Time-Based Arrivals Management. User-Preferred Routes (UPRs) refer to flight routes during the oceanic phase of flight customized based on factors such as weather and aircraft performance. Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure (DARP) is a procedure that allows for periodic modification of a flight’s lateral profile, based on updated weather forecasts, to save fuel. 30/30 Reduced Oceanic Separation refers to measures allowing for reduced separation distance between aircraft during the oceanic phase of flight. Time-Based Arrivals Management refers to traffic flow management procedures and automated decision support automation which reduce holding time in the air for arriving flights. The green package initiative supports efforts under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) 2015 to develop Singapore as a Leading Green Economy, where businesses adopt more efficient and sustainable processes and measures to reduce their resource and environmental impact, and contribute towards a Sustainable Singapore. The flights will also raise awareness of sustainable biofuels for aviation and provide the industry with valuable insight on the economics, logistical requirements and performance of biofuels. Other than the ongoing green-package flights, SIA and CAAS have worked together in recent years on several other carbon emissions-reducing initiatives in international aviation. In January 2010, both organizations participated in the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) program with a demonstration flight from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo which yielded fuel savings of 6%. The ASPIRE program is a partnership between air navigation service providers which share the aim to reduce carbon emissions from fuel burn in all phases of flight, through best practices and initiatives in air traffic management and flight operation procedures. Examples include measures that permit pilots to take full advantage of atmospheric conditions, such as prevailing winds, to reduce separation between aircraft and shorten flight time. In May 2011, CAAS and SIA launched regular ASPIRE flights on the Los Angeles-Singapore route. Over the years, routes to various destinations in the Southwest Pacific, including Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne and Sydney, were incrementally added to the ASPIRE programme, the latest addition being SIA’s ‘Capital Express’ service between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington in September 2016. The series of 12 ‘green package’ flights will also adopt ATM best practices from the ASPIRE program. Singapore Airlines is also a member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG), which was established in 2008 to accelerate the development and commercialisation of sustainable biofuels for aviation, derived from environmentally and socially-sustainable sources.
News Article | May 4, 2017
« Singapore Airlines & CAAS partner on “Green Package” flights; biofuels, optimized operations and fuel-efficient A350-950 | Main | Intel unveils latest autonomous driving lab in Silicon Valley » Enel Energia, Nissan Italia and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) are partnering in a pilot corporate electric car sharing project with V2G chargers at the IIT headquarters in Genoa. The columns installed at the IIT will, for the moment, work uni-directionally for recharging and will be the subject of a pilot development project with IIT, pending the definition of the regulatory framework for V2G in Italy. For car sharing, Nissan has made available to the IIT two LEAFs, as well as an App Management Platform called Glide, while Enel Energia has installed two V2G charging stations at the Genoa headquarters of the Institute. Along with Nissan, Enel has launched in Denmark the first fully commercial V2G hub worldwide, at the Danish utility Frederiksberg Forsyning, which has also bought 10 Nissan e-NV200 zero emission vans and where 10 V2G chargers are installed. Recently, 17 additional chargers have been installed across Denmark. Using V2G technology, electric vehicles can expand the range of services available to future energy management systems. When the vehicles are stationary, the car batteries can inject power into the network, helping to stabilize it and offering grid balancing services to Transmission System Operator Energinet.dk, in return for remuneration. Similar activities are already existing in the UK, where nine V2G chargers have been already installed at Nissan Technical Centre Europe in Cranfield and one in Newcastle University. The pilot project launched in Genoa is also the result of a partnership between IIT and Enel Energia, which was launched in February last year through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Research, Industrialization and Integrated Application of Products, Services and Innovative Solutions in the field of energy efficiency and distributed generation. The application fields mainly concern the production of graphene batteries, more efficient photovoltaic panels using graphene and a new renewable generation system able to exploit the motion of the sea. Nissan and Enel Energia, as well as collaborating on the development of V2G, signed a commercial partnership in June last year and in November 2016 launched “e-go All Inclusive”, the first integrated offer for electric mobility in Italy. “E-go All Inclusive” is a turnkey proposal that includes, at a monthly fixed fee, the box station for domestic recharging (installation included), the Nissan LEAF with a 30 kWh battery and the e-go App, to locate all chargers In Italy and recharge the car.
News Article | February 22, 2017
Scientists have gotten better at predicting where earthquakes will occur, but they're still in the dark about when they will strike and how devastating they will be. In the search for clues that will help them better understand earthquakes, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are studying a phenomenon called ageing. In ageing, the longer that materials are in contact with each other, the more force is required to move them. This resistance is called static friction. The longer something, such as a fault, is sitting still, the more static friction builds up and the stronger the fault gets. Even when the fault remains still, tectonic motion is still occurring; stress builds up in the fault as the plates shift until finally they shift so much that they exceed the static friction force and begin to slide. Because the fault grew stronger with time, the stress can build up to large levels, and a huge amount of energy is then released in the form of a powerful quake. "This ageing mechanism is critical in underlying the unstable behavior of faults that lead to earthquakes," said Robert Carpick, the John Henry Towne Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics in Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science. "If you didn't have ageing, then the fault would move very easily and so you'd get much smaller earthquakes happening more frequently, or maybe even just smooth motion. Ageing leads to the occurrence of infrequent, large earthquakes that can be devastating." Scientists have been studying the movement of faults and ageing in geological materials at the macroscale for decades, producing phenomenological theories and models to describe their experimental results. But there's a problem when it comes to these models. "The models are not fundamental, not physically based, which means we cannot derive those models from basic physics," said Kaiwen Tian, a graduate student in Penn's School of Arts & Sciences. But a Penn-based project seeks to understand the friction of rocks from a more physical point of view at the nanoscale. In their most recent paper, published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers verified the first fundamental theory to describe ageing and explain what happens when load increases. The research was led by Tian and Carpick. David Goldsby, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at Penn; Izabela Szlufarska, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; UW alumnus Yun Liu; and Nitya Gosvami, now an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mechanics at IIT Delhi, also contributed to the study. Previous work from the group found that static friction is logarithmic with time. That means that if materials are in contact for 10 times longer, then the friction force required to move them doubles. While scientists had seen this behavior of rocks and geological materials at the macroscopic scale, these researchers observed it at the nanoscale. In this new study, the researchers varied the amount of normal force on the materials to find out how load affects the ageing behavior. "That's a very important question because load may have two effects," Tian said. "If you increase load, you will increase contact area. It may also affect the local pressure." To study this, the researchers used an atomic force microscope to investigate bonding strength where two surfaces meet. They used silicon oxide because it is a primary component of many rock materials. Using the small nanoscale tip of the AFM ensures that the interface is composed of a single contact point, making it easier to estimate the stresses and contact area. They brought a nanoscale tip made from silicon oxide into contact with a silicon oxide sample and held it there. After enough time passed, they slid the tip and measured the force required to initiate sliding. Carpick said this is analogous to putting a block on the floor, letting it sit for a while, and then pushing it and measuring how much force it takes for the block to start moving. They observed what happened when they pushed harder in the normal direction, increasing the load. They found that they doubled the normal force, and then the friction force required also doubled. Explaining it required looking very carefully the mechanism leading to this increase in friction force. "The key," Carpick said, "is we showed in our results how the dependence of the friction force on the holding time and the dependence of the friction force on the load combine. This was consistent with a model that assumes that the friction force is going up because we're getting chemical bonds forming at the interface, so the number of those bonds increase with time. And, when we push harder, what we're doing is increasing the area of contact between the tip and the sample, causing friction to go up with normal force." Prior to this research, it had been suggested that pushing harder might also cause those bonds to form more easily. The researchers found that this wasn't the case: to a good approximation, increasing the normal force simply increases the amount of contact and the number of sites where atoms can react. Currently, the group is looking at what happens when the tip sits on the sample for very short amounts of time. Previously they had been looking at hold times from one-tenth of a second to as much as 100 seconds. But now they're looking at timescales even shorter than one-tenth of a second. By looking at very short timescales, they can gain insights into the details of the energetics of the chemical bonds to see if some bonds can form easily and if others take longer to form. Studying bonds that form easily is important because those are the first bonds to form and might provide insight into what happens at the very beginning of the contact. In addition to providing a better understanding of earthquakes, this work could lead to more efficient nano-devices. Because many micro- and nano-devices are made from silicon, understanding friction is key to getting those devices to function more smoothly. But, most important, the researchers hope that somewhere down the line, a better understanding of ageing will enable them to predict when earthquakes will occur. "Earthquake locations can be predicted fairly well," Carpick said, "but when an earthquake is going to happen is very difficult to predict, and this is largely because there's a lack of physical understanding of the frictional mechanisms behind the earthquakes. We have long way to go to connect this work to earthquakes. However, this work gives us more fundamental insights into the mechanism behind this ageing and, in the long term, we think these kinds of insights could help us predict earthquakes and other frictional phenomena better." This research was supported by a grant from the Earth Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Ketchup’s sluggish pace as it oozes out of its bottle is a longstanding nuisance — but one that is about to be upended by a new product coming to market. The brainchild of MIT mechanical engineer Kripa Varanasi and his students, a new coating called LiquiGlide is set to make the transition from the laboratory to consumer and industrial markets. LiquiGlide renders a surface highly slippery and allows every last drop of ketchup — or almost any other viscous product, from paint, to glue, to cosmetics — to flow from its container without sticking, saving billions of gallons of product from going waste. “Viscous products sticking to the inside of containers leads to huge losses across industries,” Varanasi says. “For example, in paint manufacturing alone, paint sticking to the inside of mixing and holding tanks costs the industry more than 100 million gallons of lost product and billions of dollars per year in associated waste costs. Using the LiquiGlide platform, we are on a mission to eliminate waste generated across manufacturing applications, in areas ranging from food and agrochemical production to health care and energy, to usher in a new era of sustainable manufacturing.” LiquiGlide, which emerged from research initially funded by an MIT Energy Initiative seed grant and an Innovation grant from the Deshpande Center, is just one in a long line of startling discoveries to emerge from Varanasi’s lab. Most of them involve ways of modifying interfaces. “Interfaces are ubiquitous and a lot of important phenomena occur at them, be it mass, momentum, energy, or charge transfer,” he says. “When I came to MIT in 2009 as a faculty member, my vision was to fundamentally alter interfaces to dramatically improve performance across various industries including energy, water, agriculture, manufacturing, food, and medicine. This required both a deep scientific endeavor to change the paradigm and simultaneous effort in scale-up and manufacturing to translate the technologies to market.” The findings by Varanasi and his collaborators could not only help consumers get those last drops of ketchup, honey, or skin cream out of their jars, they may also enhance many other processes relating to manufacturing and power plants, airplane de-icing, flow in pipelines, water treatment and desalination, and reducing agricultural runoff, to name just a few of the team’s recent research results. For Varanasi, the first step in tackling these big problems was getting a better understanding of exactly how the processes worked. “First you have to understand the problem and ask the right questions. A mechanistic understanding is crucial. If you don’t understand the crucial bottlenecks and rate-limiting steps, then you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Most of the times, significantly larger-than-required effort is expended in running processes. My approach is to develop a rigorous thermodynamic framework that helps identify the true bottlenecks and then figure out efficient kinetic pathways to impart the solution. The exciting part of this is we get the opportunity to learn about multiple disciplines and cross-pollinate our learnings.” Part of that understanding involved finding ways to simplify the mathematical descriptions of what was going on. “If you really understand the phenomena, you can reduce it to a few nondimensional parameters,” Varanasi says. That collapses the complexity into manageable formulas and phase diagrams, “and then we can design new processes, new products, and zero-tradeoff solutions.” That approach, he says, has been “at the heart of the companies we’ve started.” Asking the right questions Varanasi’s choice of a career in science and academia was inspired by a long family history. He grew up in Hyderabad, in southern India, where his father works as an electrical engineer and his mother is a physics lecturer. His grandfathers were teachers. “There was a lot of that in the family — my parents were my first teachers and role models,” he says. He credits his mother Kanthi especially for initiating his ambitions in both science and entrepreneurship, and his father Mohan Rao with helping him to understand mathematics and build science projects. While in school, he was active in science fairs, physics and math competitions, and building various projects starting with a kit of electronic circuits. “My mom got me this amazing kit, and my dad would help me understand how to build stuff with it,” he recalls. After high school in his home city, he went on to earn his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in nearby Madras before coming to MIT as a graduate student to earn his masters and doctoral degrees. “IIT Madras taught me the fundamentals in engineering and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams,” he says. “Coming to MIT was transformational,” he says. Among other things, he says, he learned the importance of “asking the right questions — not just ‘why,’ but then ‘why not?’” It also taught him about “the entrepreneurial spirit and how to apply it to solving real problems.” He then went into industry, taking a job in the research labs at GE, where he worked for about four and a half years before getting a faculty appointment at MIT. He says working at GE helped him understand what it takes to translate an idea into a useful product. In 2015, he earned tenure as an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He met his wife Manasa during a trip home to India after finishing his doctoral work. She came back with him to the U.S. and then pursued a MS specializing in nanoelectronics. They have one son and a daughter. Varanasi says that the original inspiration for LiquiGlide’s application to consumer products came from Manasa’s suggestion that there must be a better way to get honey out of a jar. “She is very much a part and parcel of everything I do here,” he says. In addition to LiquiGlide, Varanasi has launched another startup company, in partnership with MIT professor of chemical engineering and Associate Provost Karen Gleason, called DropWise. The company is developing durable hydrophobic coatings for power plants and other industrial machinery, to boost their overall efficiency. He points out that 85 percent of the world’s electricity generators rely on steam cycles that are mostly powered by fossil fuels, so even a small improvement in their operating efficiency could have a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. “It has been absolutely terrific to be able to work with MIT students, postdocs, and colleagues,” he says. “It is a great pleasure to see the energy and passion that my students and postdocs bring to the table, and I am very thankful for their hard work and efforts — we are like a family solving these important problems and having fun doing so.” “I’m really passionate about entrepreneurship and translating the research findings from my lab to useful products that provide societal benefit and create economic value,” Varanasi says. “Otherwise, the insights from research do not get used; you can create something unique, but then it can get lost. So getting to a proof of product is very important to me — not just a proof of concept.”
News Article | February 21, 2017
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - February 21, 2017) - Nearly one-third of surveyed pharmaceutical companies look to fair-market value (FMV) budget as one their most important criteria for evaluating investigator initiated trial (IIT) proposals, according to a study by business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information. The study, Investigator-Initiated Trial Management: Expedite Approval Timelines and Establish Compliant Funding Practices, found that many drug companies channel IIT submissions through a financial or budget department to conduct an FMV evaluation of the investigator's itemized budget. Scrutiny over investigator fair-market value has increased since the Sunshine Act passed in 2009. The US Physician Payment Sunshine Act requires pharmaceutical companies to ensure that any money paid to a physician for a particular task is done so at fair-market value. And if the proposed budget is not FMV-compliant, the investigator must revise the budget or provide ample justification for each offending expenditure. Moreover, if the investigator does not submit a detailed budget for an FMV analysis, the proposal will be rejected. "The first step toward a quality FMV review actually occurs before the investigator submits the IIT proposal," said Natalie DeMasi, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Medical affairs teams need to effectively communicate the need for an itemized budget to be accompanied with each proposal." However, IIT teams should not expect all new proposals to conform to fair-market value. The study revealed that the most common way of responding to IIT proposals is to send budgets back so investigators can make revisions themselves; 83% of surveyed IIT teams take this approach. A third of surveyed teams send an already revised budget back for the investigator to approve, sign and return to the company. Some teams take an even firmer stance with offending budget proposals. The line-item veto approach is used by 43% of teams, and 13% of teams reject proposals outright -- meaning if the proposal does not conform to FMV or is deemed too expensive, investigators are not given a chance for revisions. Investigator-Initiated Trial Management: Expedite Approval Timelines and Establish Compliant Funding Practices by Cutting Edge Information, available at https://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/product/investigator-initiated-trial-management/, provides performance metrics about IIT evaluation timelines and the number of IIT submissions teams receive, evaluate and approve. The report also examines the structure of proposal evaluation committees and IIT budgets. Highlights from the report include: For more information about investigator-initiated trial management and IIT performance metrics, please download the report summary at: https://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/preview/investigator-initiated-trial-management-data/. FMVConnect, a benchmarking and analysis solution by Cutting Edge Information, provides healthcare companies with the data necessary to build healthcare provider (HCP) relationships and to establish top-notch physician and non-physician fair-market value fee schedules. A team of research experts has worked with thought leaders and pharmaceutical executives to develop a time-tested methodology for identifying and segmenting healthcare professionals and for determining fair-market value for specific thought leader activities. With Cutting Edge Information's FMV services, compliance executives can: FMV data for different thought leader activities are presented in tables and grouped by specialty, geographic region and tier. Our comprehensive database includes information from 115+ countries and 285+ specialty titles, including payer, patient and hospital administrator roles. For more information on FMVConnect, download the brochure at: https://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/preview/fair-market-value-data/.
Iit | Date: 2014-02-18
An ink composition for printing on a substrate is disclosed. The ink composition comprises a conductive material, ethyl cellulose as a binder; and a solvent selected from the group consisting of isoamylacetate and isoamylacetate-water mixture.
Iit | Date: 2014-06-27
A composition for the purification of water and the device using the composition, where the composition contains a transition metal ion M^(n+) releasing compound along with an CO_(3)^(2) releasing compound or an SiO_(3)^(2) releasing compound.
Iit | Date: 2013-10-01
A network capable of being used in a datacenter is described. In some embodiments, the network can comprise a set of optical fiber rings, wherein each optical fiber ring carries data traffic on one or more wavelengths, and wherein each optical fiber ring is partitioned into multiple sectors. A reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) can be coupled to at least one optical fiber in each of at least two sectors. An electro-optical-switch can be coupled to each ROADM in each of the at least two sectors. A set of switches can be coupled to each electro-optical-switch in each of the at least two sectors. The set of switches can comprise a first layer of aggregation switches that is coupled to a second layer of edge switches, wherein the edge switches can be coupled to servers in a datacenter.