Minneapolis Boy Launches Tech-Savvy Initiative For Black Youth

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Via KMSP/Fox 9

“MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) – Donning black-rimmed glasses and a bright red tee, 12-year-old D.J. Comeaux of Minneapolis beamed as he sat inside the A Mill Artist Lofts Sunday. Just hours earlier he had launched a new initiative called Afro Bot Boyz, pairing his love for robotics with the goal of inspiring young black men and women to pursue careers in technology. “I want it to become something everyone can rely on,” he said, working to explain his signature brand.”

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Minnesota Barn Deploys Robotic Grunts

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By Nora G Hertel, AP / St. Cloud Times

“MELROSE, Minn. — Isaak Hinnenkamp wasn’t going to become a farmer. That’s what he said growing up in Melrose on a legacy dairy farm. Hinnenkamp, 34, left for college and stayed away for several years. But he came back to his family’s farm and to an industry plagued by uncertainty. Milk prices are low; changing trade and immigration policies affect farmer.”

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Proto Labs Expands In Minnesota With New Brooklyn Park Building

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Via News Release

“MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Protolabs (NYSE: PRLB) has purchased a new manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, Minn., the latest step the digital manufacturing company has taken to expand its prototyping and low-volume production capacity. The company has also recently invested in additional manufacturing equipment for both its American and European facilities to support business growth.”

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Local AgTech Startup Rowbot Will Represent COCO At The Next Google Demo Day

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Via News Release

“Each year, Google Demo Day brings a diverse group of startups from across North America to Silicon Valley to showcase their technology and meet investors and mentors. One of the finalists comes out of a local coworking space, COCO.

The project that comes out of this Google Entrepreneur Tech Hub is Rowbot, who aims to redefine what’s possible for farmers by using robotics. Their winning concept is a small, self-driving, multi-use platform that travels between rows of corn, removing height constraints imposed by a rapidly growing crop.”

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The MOA Is Using Robots To Lure Customers Into Stores

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By Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

“During Super Bowl week, a handful of sassy robots playfully posed for selfies, simulated throwing a football and quizzed Mall of America visitors on sports trivia.

Meet Pepper, who with a tablet mounted on its chest is one of the latest technologies shopping centers are testing to keep customers interested in coming to physical stores. MOA also now uses chatbots on its website and mobile app to answer customers’ questions.”

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Dem-Con In Shakopee Turns To AI Robot For Labor Shortage

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Eric Roper, Star Tribune

“Dem-Con, a waste firm in Shakopee, has become a testing ground for cutting-edge robotics technology that uses artificial intelligence to sort through municipal waste.  A recycling robot recently moved into Shakopee. And it has a craving for cartons. A new robot at Dem-Con Companies’ recycling facility is being used to detect and remove milk containers and other cartons from the recycling stream, the first of its kind in Minnesota.

Backers of the project say the technology could soon become commonplace nationwide in facilities that sort recyclables.”

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Tesla Buys Brooklyn Park Factory Automation Firm Perbix

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Via Associated Press

“DETROIT (AP) — Electric car company Tesla Inc. is buying Perbix, a Minnesota-based maker of highly automated manufacturing equipment. Perbix has been a supplier to Tesla for three years. It has built custom machinery for Tesla’s Fremont, California, assembly plant as well as its battery plant in Nevada. Perbix will continue to be based north of Minneapolis. It currently employs 150 people, but Tesla says it will recruit more.”

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