Scroll down for this week's short takes from Council members…
Qualcomm taking robotics to the next level
A Computerworld report touts Qualcomm's plans to roll out a robotics platform next year that would allow developers to create robotic apps and, as author Erika Morphy explains it, bring some unity to what is a very fragmented industry still in its infancy. Robotics is nothing new to Council Lead Partner Qualcomm, which has its Snapdragon processors, which are found in hundreds of millions of smart devices worldwide. (Watch a video about its Snapdragon Rover robot pictured here.) Also, the company recently announced a mentor-based program focused on robotics and intelligent machines. The robotics platform idea came via a Qualcomm program started three years ago to encourage a culture of innovation and collaboration at the company. Computerworld says the platform is the baby of three engineers whose day jobs have nothing to do with robotics.
Ooredoo launches 'Freedom' packs for customers with disabilities
Council Lead Partner Ooredoo, a leading communications company in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, introduced a new prepaid package in Oman called 'Freedom' and specifically designed to support government initiatives to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in the Sultanate. Ooredoo customers with an Omani Disability Card issued by the Ministry of Social Development can receive reduced call rates of 19 Baiza per minute for national voice and video calls at any time of day -- more than 50% less than regular tariffs, and 100 MB of mobile data every month. "The new 'Freedom' packs aim to bring a new sense of independence to people facing challenges in their daily life," explained Feras Al Shaikh, Ooredoo Director of Sales. "Designed specifically for customers with physical disabilities and those with vision and hearing impairments, our new bundle is to help empower people with disabilities, keeping them as connected as anybody else to their families and friends and up to date with the latest technology."
Black & Veatch CFO tapped for U.S – Africa campaign
With a focus on advancing President Obama's Doing Business in Africa Campaign, 15 global business leaders from the finance, infrastructure, communications, energy, healthcare and aviation fields were selected by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to begin efforts to strengthen the commercial engagement between the United States and Africa. Among them is Black & Veatch Chief Financial Officer Karen Daniel, who joins a team of senior executives that will advise the President on facilitating U.S. business participation in Africa's infrastructure and business development. "Selection to the President's Advisory Council is a great honor and privilege," said Daniel. "The United States and Africa have significant opportunities to build strong economic partnerships in the coming years. As leader of Black & Veatch's Africa Growth Initiative, I look forward to working with the Council to develop and strengthen the relationships that will benefit people across the region as well as here in the United States for generations to come." Black & Veatch, a Council Associate Partner, has been developing infrastructure projects in Africa for nearly 50 years, according to Chairman and CEO Steve Edwards.
Schneider Electric and Awesense target grid losses
The two companies announced plans to develop joint offers, combining their expertise to design and propose solutions that help utilities reduce ongoing grid losses and recover lost revenue. A Council Associate Partner, Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries. "This agreement will create a complete loss reduction solution, bringing together our complementary offers and enabling utilities worldwide to increase grid efficiency by analyzing data from smart meters against data from suspicious network assets through losses audits,” said Frédéric Abbal, EVP of Schneider Electric’s Energy Business.