Cute Automated Delivery Robot Unveiled

Annie Palmer wrote . . . . . . . . .

Your next Starbucks latte might be delivered by an adorable roving robot.

Postmates, the food and grocery delivery company, has debuted its new autonomous delivery robot, named ‘Serve.’

The four-wheeled rover closely resembles a brightly colored cooler, except it has huge, saucer-shaped eyes and an array of cameras meant to help it navigate the streets.

For now, Postmates will dispatch the first Serve robots in Los Angeles before it plans to roll out more robots in several cities across the U.S. over the next year.

The firm says Serve will replace human deliverymen when items only need to be delivered short distances, such as a couple blocks around the corner.

When a user places an order, a Serve might be dispatched and show up at their door.

From there, they’ll either enter a code on the device’s touchscreen or use their phone to unlock the latch at the top of the device.

They simply reach in, grab their food item and then Serve is on its way.

Serve is ‘all-electric,’ can carry a payload of up to 50lbs and can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge.

The robot uses a combination of cameras and LIDAR technology to get around town.

‘Using Lidar and the most advanced sensors of any automated delivery rover, Serve creates a virtual picture of the world in real time,’ Postmates explained.

‘An interactive touch screen is a part of how Serve communicates.’

It also moves at ‘walking speed’ so as to not get in anyone’s way while rolling down the sidewalk.

There’s several flashing strips of LED along the sides of the device that act as turn signals and will flash if it changes directions.

A touchscreen on top of the device acts as a way for customers to interact with it.

Serve is meant to appear human-like, with huge eyes that blink and it’ll even play music like a pseudo-ice cream truck.

The display is equipped with video chat software in case of an emergency, while a ‘Help’ button on the device can also be triggered if a user has a question.

Even though it’s semi-autonomous, a human is always monitoring the device from a remote control room and is able to take over operating Serve at any time using a game controller.

Postmates created Serve with the community and regulators in mind. It faces stricter regulations in cities like San Francisco, where tech companies must obtain a permit before they can test robots on the streets.

The firm describes Serve as a ‘respectful member of the community’ that yields to pedestrians and won’t hog the sidewalk.

‘Serve safely walks alongside pedestrians, navigates around fire hydrants, and respects our sidewalks,’ Postmates said.

The firm said it hopes Serve will help cut costs and save time on deliveries.

And in the future, Postmates envisions even more capabilities for the roving robot.

‘It could patrol the neighborhood,’ Bastian Lehmann, Postmates’ co-founder and CEO, told Wired.

‘Or you could use it for evil things, like it could write parking tickets.’

Source: Daily Mail

Chinese-style Steamed Duck Breast with Pineapple and Ginger Sauce


2 boneless duck breasts
4 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
8-ounce can pineapple rings
5 tablespoons water
4 pieces drained Chinese stem ginger in syrup, plus 3 tablespoons syrup from the jar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed to a paste with a little water
1/4 each red and green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
salt and ground black pepper
cooked thin egg noodles, baby spinach and green beans, blanched, to serve


  1. Strip the skin from the duck breasts.
  2. Select a shallow bowl that will fit into your steamer and that will accommodate the duck breasts side by side. Spread out the chopped scallions in the bowl, arrange the duck breasts on top and cover with baking parchment. Set the steamer over boiling water and cook the duck breasts for about 1 hour or until tender. Remove the breasts from the steamer and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Cut the breasts into thin slices. Place on a plate and moisten them with a little of the cooking juices from the steaming bowl. Strain the remaining juices into a small saucepan and set aside.
  4. Cover the duck slices with the baking parchment paper or foil to keep warm.
  5. Drain the canned pineapple rings, reserving 5 tablespoons of the juice. Add this to the reserved cooking juices in the pan, together with the measured water. Stir in the ginger syrup, then stir in the cornstarch paste and cook, stirring until thickened. Season to taste.
  6. Cut the pineapple and ginger into attractive shapes.
  7. Put the cooked noodles, baby spinach and green beans on a plate, add slices of duck and top with the pineapple, ginger and pepper strips. Pour over the sauce and serve.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Source: Asian Cooking

In Pictures: Food of 360 Restaurant in Toronto, Canada

Continental and Canadian Cuisine

The Revolving Restaurant at the CN Tower

Sweet and Salty: Donair Cupcakes Highlight National Donair Day

Anjuli Patil wrote . . . . . . . . .

There have been donair pizzas, donair soups, donair donuts and now — donair cupcakes.

Customers lined up at Susie’s Shortbreads bakery in Halifax to get a taste of the latest creation inspired by the city’s official food.

“It’s an interesting sweet and salty, it’s a nice combination,” said Porsche Hughes, a baker at Susie’s Shortbreads.

Hughes said the owner of the bakery, TJ Peach, came up with the recipe inspired by the sweet and savoury wraps.

The cupcakes are made with donair meat mixed in vanilla cake batter, donair sauce in the buttercream frosting and sprinkles of candied donair meat on top.

The cupcakes were created to celebrate the third annual National Donair Day, an event first marked by the Halifax donair shop King of Donair.

King of Donair is selling donairs by donation at their Quinpool Road shop with all the proceeds going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The business also hosted its second annual donair-eating contest.

The meat and sauce in the cupcakes are from KOD.

Hughes said there has been plenty of interest. She said the bakery made about 300 of the cupcakes and expect to sell out.

“We have an entire fridge filled with orders just for the donair cupcakes,” she said.

The bakery said it will hold on to the recipe in case demand grows.

Source: CBC

The Donair – Halifax’s official food

Nearly Two-thirds of People at High Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke Have Excess Belly Fat

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 7 December 2018: Nearly two-thirds of people at high risk of heart disease and stroke have excess belly fat, according to results of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) EUROASPIRE V survey presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.1

Excess fat around the middle of the body (central obesity) is a marker of abnormal fat distribution. This belly fat is bad for the heart, even in people who are not otherwise overweight or obese.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Europe. Each year in Europe there are more than 11 million new cases of cardiovascular disease and 3.9 million deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.2 Elimination of risk behaviours would prevent at least 80% of cardiovascular diseases.3

The study also found that less than half (47%) of those on antihypertensive medication reached the blood pressure target of less than 140/90 mmHg (less than 140/85 mmHg in patients with self-reported diabetes). Among those taking lipid-lowering drugs, only 43% attained the LDL cholesterol target of less than 2.5 mmol/L. In addition, many participants not taking any antihypertensive and/or lipid-lowering therapy had elevated blood pressure and elevated LDL cholesterol. Among patients being treated for type 2 diabetes, 65% achieved the blood sugar target of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) less than <7.0%.

Professor Kornelia Kotseva, chair of the EUROASPIRE Steering Committee from Imperial College London, UK, said: "The survey shows that large proportions of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease have unhealthy lifestyle habits and uncontrolled blood pressure, lipids and diabetes."

EUROASPIRE is a series of cross sectional surveys on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in ESC member countries.4 The results of the primary care arm of EUROASPIRE V are reported today. The study was conducted in 2017 to 2018 in 78 general practices in 16 primarily European countries.5

Each general practice enrolled consecutive individuals under the age of 80 years with no history of coronary artery disease or other atherosclerotic disease, but who were at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. High risk was defined as having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes; the study therefore recruited individuals who had been prescribed antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and/or anti-diabetes treatments (diet and/or oral hypoglycaemics and/or insulin).

Participants were retrospectively identified using medical records and invited to an interview and clinical examination. Questions were asked about smoking, diet, physical activity, blood pressure, lipids and diabetes. Measurements included height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. The primary outcomes were the proportions of participants achieving targets for cardiovascular disease prevention in the 2016 European guidelines.3

A total of 2,759 participants were interviewed and examined using standardised methods and instruments. Nearly two-thirds (64%) were centrally obese (waist circumference 88 cm or greater for women and 102 cm or higher for men). Some 37% were overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25 to 29.9 kg/m2) and 44% were obese (BMI 30kg/m2 or above). Nearly one in five participants (18%) were smokers and just 36% achieved the recommended physical activity level of at least 30 minutes, five times per week.

Professor Kotseva said: "GPs should proactively look for cardiovascular risk factors so that comprehensive treatment and advice can be given. She added: "GPs need to go beyond treating the risk factors they know about, and always investigate smoking, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. People are often unaware that they need treatment – for example they visit their GP for their diabetes but do not know they also have high blood pressure. In our study, many participants with high blood pressure and cholesterol were not being treated."

She continued: "These data make it clear that more efforts must be made to improve cardiovascular prevention in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Our analysis highlights the need for health care systems to invest in prevention."

"Public health initiatives will also help to prevent heart disease and stroke," Professor Kotseva highlighted. "This includes smoking bans, taxing foods high in sugar and saturated fat, and providing areas for exercise."

Source: EurekAlert!

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