Author Archives: Pluta Oriana

The Frame 2020- your very own art gallery with Netflix

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Personally, I am not really a TV person. Much more frequently I catch myself watching movies or series on a laptop. But when I walked into a Samsung store lately, I have been truly amazed by The Frame. Though it is not a new invention I have never discovered it before. Of course, there was a new version of The Frame released in 2020.

The Frame is a TV that can transform a room into a gallery with a single pilot click. And instead of having a black screen in your house when TV is not being used, you can display beautiful works of art. It is designed to resemble a frame and I have to say that Samsung did a great job, it is thin, elegant, modern and blends very easily into any house. The frame is magnetic; therefore, you can easily change the color by simply attaching wanted bezels to match your room.





Its main purpose is to be hang on the wall but it also comes with a simple stand which you can lean back to mimic a standing frame. It also works vertically which is great for some pieces of art. It can also stand on a tripod giving the interior an even more fancy look.

The Frame with 4K QLed resolution comes in a mix of sizes from 32’’ to 75’’ and costs from 599,99$ to 2999,99$. The display is very sharp and the color range is really wide to give users the best experience. In the Art Mode, the brightness automatically adjusts to the room’s conditions. The TV does not have a soundbar or other high-quality speaker system so the delivered sound is good in standard use, however, it can be insufficient when someone wants this deep bass response.

With just a click on Samsung’s One Remote, we can transfer into an Art Mode where we can either upload our own picture or use one from Art Gallery. For a full experience, one can either buy a subscription to the Art Store for 5,99$ a month or purchase artworks directly via PayPal or a Credit card for 24,99$ a piece. However, with the subscription comes a trick that after expiring the access will be disabled. You can edit your pictures by applying filters and using matting options to make them look more like artwork.

The Frame is equipped with a number of OTT apps and you can also mirror your mobile device. You can control it via Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant. It seems like there is not much missing when comparing with a regular Smart TV.

The remaining question is whether it is worth the price or not. I see many uses and many advantages to it, but I will leave the judgment for you. I believe that this form of TV can be an asset to many rooms and an Art Mode is a great alternative to the empty black screen of an unused TV. I could also think of it as a piece of great equipment in conference rooms as an alternative to the projector or regular TV. It can display presentations and when not needed, switched for your boss’s favorite piece of art.


Mayflower will set sail again- only this time without a (human) captain.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Artificial Intelligence and automation certainly have an impact on the transportation sector; however, it is mainly heard about autonomous cars, busses, and other forms of land transportation. A little is known about the impact of automation on water transport.

Water transportation is a big factor in the world’s economy when it comes to cargo and resource exploitation. And there are also many people involved in the maritime business. A lot of sailors risk their life on a daily basis, working on seas and oceans performing tasks that are often very simple, yet requiring a lot of physical and psychical strength. Apart from not being able to lead a “normal” life on land. Living under the same roof with a sailor I know first-hand how troubling this job can be. And why in the era of AI developed well enough to “drive” cars and perform simple decision making we still need people to navigate ships? We have seen some movement in this sector in 2018 when Rolls-Royce and Finferries demonstrated the first fully autonomous car ferry. Ferries operate simply, perform repeatable tasks, sail the same route so it was high time to introduce an autonomous solution.

Having a discussion with a friend we reached a conclusion that the biggest threat for automobile cars are cars driven by humans because humans are not predictable. So is even more rational to start “testing” AI on the sea, where there is less risk of collision and less risk of putting human life in danger. Of course, there are drawbacks such as very harsh conditions and lack of internet connection. These obstacles seem to be defeated by invented in the 2019 Mayflower Autonomous Ship. The name is not accidental. It is named after the original Mayflower, the ship that took the first British pilgrims to North America. It is also about to sail the same route in Spring 2021, the 401st anniversary of the original voyage. Only with this difference, that instead of carrying 102 people on deck it will have not a single soul on deck.


But the goal of this ship is not only recreating the original Mayflower’s trip, Autonomous Mayflower will aim to collect data about ocean’s conditions such as microplastic contamination, temperature, salinity, depth, measuring whale population, phytoplankton productivity, and ocean chemistry.


In order to fulfill its mission Mayflower needed to be rightfully equipped. Without the human factor, designers did not have to consider the crew’s wellbeing, places to eat, sleep, and shower. The design is entirely devoted to functionality.

Firstly, the system needed to be independent when it comes to the internet connection. For research purposes, there will be the following equipment installed:

  • fluorometer- to monitor fluorescence and detect algae and phytoplankton, because they can indicate the ocean’s state,
  • water sampling array- for taking samples of water for further analysis,
  • underwater noise recorder and microphone- it will be used to research the distribution of whales and other maritime mammals
  • Oceanographic sensors- to measure water salinity, temperature, and oxygen levels
  • Global navigation- GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System)- it will measure sea level and detect currents and surface flow
  • HD video and accelerometer- to measure the energy of waves in real-time, it will provide the information that can be useful to protect shipping and oil rigs. Also, if proved sufficient, wave energy potentially could be a source of renewable energy
  • HyperTaste- which is a system detecting characteristics of liquids.

The research possibilities are impressive, but so is the AI captain. It is able to detect cargo ships, vessels, buoys, and any other obstacle on the way. It can quickly analyze the type of other ship, class, weight, speed, and cargo.  It can make decisions regarding the best actions for Mayflower, analyze possible options, and avoid collisions. The ship is powered with lithium ion-phosphate batteries and solar panels on the exterior. It can hold up to 700kg of ocean scientific equipment.

The Mayflower is designed as a trimaran in order to maintain a low, stable, and dynamic profile. It is made of aluminum and composite materials. It weighs around 5 tones and is 15 meters long.

At the link here you can also track its position and see the mission control panel. . The ones above were taken on 3 December 2020. I believe that if the Transatlantic Crossing will be successful, we will see a turn in autonomous ship development and within a couple of years see implementations of AI solutions in maritime transport. As a person who is somewhat a stakeholder in this sector, I am really looking forward to the outcome.









“Parcel-machines”- a kickoff for e-grocery?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I believe that we are all familiar with Parcel Lockers as this is probably the most convenient way of delivery. For those who never used it, the mechanism of a parcel locker could not be easier . Your order your package online, and the instance it is placed in the locker by the currier you receive a notification about it. Then you can simply go near it, open the locker from a phone app and collect your parcel. Simple as that.

In 2019 there were more parcel lockers than Polish Post facilities, and now there are more than 9000 parcel lockers and their number is still increasing. The polish company that owns them is called InPost and it was developed by Integer, which was directed by Lukasz Nowiński in the years 2008-2012. Meanwhile, Nowinski developed another company known now as Retail Robotics.

Retail Robotics, which produced over 10 000 modules for InPost’s parcel lockers, has recently developed a device, which is basically a “parcel locker” for groceries. It is called Arctan and has from 12 to 15,5 square meters. It has two temperature zones, one for regular groceries and one for frozen food, it can store around 200 grocery orders. It has two or three panels for clients’ and couriers’ usage and from four to six bins where groceries can be collected.

The procedure, like the one of a parcel locker, is very simple, you order products online, receive a message when it is ready for you to collect, scan a QR code or type a code in the machine, and in less than 15 seconds your groceries will be transported to the collection bin. It offers simultaneous consumer pick-up and courier drop-off. And can serve 2-3 customers at a time. One courier can deliver even 200-300 orders a day. It is said it can reduce delivery costs by 70%.

The first Arctan had its premiere in Paris in August 2020. And the company that trusted Retail Robotic is Carrefour. Arctan can be implemented inside dedicated spaces in the city, next to the stores, or, as claimed to be the most efficient, a drive-through.

I, as a regular user of InPost’s parcel lockers, cannot wait for this solution to be implemented in Poland. Recently I have tried ordering my groceries from companies that offer to-house food deliveries, however, the nearest delivery time was in two weeks from that date. Arctan which can offer same-day deliveries would be a solution I will definitely use. However, for Arctan to enter the Polish market we will have to wait some time. For now, Nowiński wants to focus on e-grocery markets in France or England.

(Pickup Hero)

In Poland, we can observe the development of another Retail Robotics product- Pickup Hero. It is a small robotic parcel locker designed for places with limited space. The first one was already placed in one of Żabka stores in Poznań.



The premiere of Arctan in Paris:



Domaradzki K., Forbes, November 2020, “Retail Robotics. Ojciec paczkomatów cyfryzuje “spożywkę”.”

01.07.2020, Komunikat Żabka,  „Żabka testuje automat do obsługi paczek”,


Will cough recognition prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

During the past nine months, have you ever worried about whether your cough is a result of a pandemic, or is it just a clearing your throat mechanism? If so, do not worry because MIT researchers have found that a healthy cough differs from the one resulting from COVID-19. This difference is not recognizable by human ears but it is not a concern because it can be detected by an AI model.

MIT team has been working on cough recognition systems since before the outburst of a pandemic to determine whether they can detect Alzheimer’s disease based on forced cough recordings. This disease is associated with weakened vocal cords and frequent displays of frustration as compared to expressing happiness. They trained the algorithm to determine the strength of vocal cords based on the sound “mmmm” and to detect emotions based on a dataset of actors imitating emotions while speaking. They then trained another neural network to distinguish changes in respiratory performance based on coughs.

The team found out that this AI framework can correctly identify Alzheimer’s disease based on vocal cord strength, sentiment, and lung and respiratory performance.

With the coronavirus onset, they started wondering if Alzheimer’s AI framework will work for Covid-19 diagnosis. With AI that could pick a person’s gender, mother tongue, or emotional states based on cough, there was nothing against trying diagnosing Covid-19.

The MIT researchers collected a database from April till May 2020. They enabled a website where people recorded their coughs and filled a survey on symptoms they are experiencing and whether they have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or not. They collected more than 70000 samples of forced cough. Around 2500 were samples from people medically diagnosed with Covid-19. They used these 2500 samples along with around 2500 samples randomly selected. From these, they randomly picked 4256 samples to train the AI, and 1064 to feed into the model. The model surprisingly accurately identified 98,5% of cough samples. And it accurately identified all asymptomatic coughs.

The tool is meant to distinguish asymptomatic coughs from healthy coughs. The AI framework is not meant to diagnose symptomatic people because of other illnesses that may produce similar effects. The team now partners with several hospitals in order to collect the larger, more diverse group of samples. They are also working on an app based on their AI model.

Imagine how easier it would be for us to simply wake up in the morning, force-cough to our phone’s microphones, and know if we are infected or not. It is a non-invasive, zero cost, real-time, and any-time procedure that could benefit the whole society. I believe it could put the pandemic in the past.


Sources: (accessed 2 October 2020)  (accessed 2 October 2020) 2 October 2020) (accessed 2 October 2020)


Shopping without barcodes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

An Australian tech start-up Tiliter has a thing to brag about as it has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Investec Emerging Companies. One of the investors was also Eleanor Venture and New York’s Cornell University.

Tiliter, started in 2017, now advertises themselves as the developer of the most accurate identification software that by the use of Artificial Intelligence identify products without the need for a barcode. They are already able to recognize products with 99% accuracy in less than a second. What is impressive is that the software is able to distinguish organic from non-organic products, even though there is a little appearance difference between them. There are more advantages to barcode-less product recognition. First, there is a potential of reducing checkout time. Retailers could also limit the number of workers and therefore make cost cuts. Incorrect selections (intentional or accidental) will be removed. Also, there will be no need for packaging on which barcodes are located. I believe that user-experience will also be improved.

The software they are using is pre-trained so the is no need for a learning period. Additionally, the software has self-learning abilities and can add a new product to a database within 20 minutes. The technology is also easy to install and use.

Tiliter has also developed a Scan&Go Scale, which works on a similar principle. It is a scale that automatically recognizes items without the need of entering the name of the product manually. Afterward, a client is supposed to scan the barcode which will add products to a virtual cart. This scale is already used in a number of stores in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.

Tiliter claims to have a price advantage over Amazon which also offers autonomous store solutions. Amazon’s cashier-less technology is called “Just Walk Out” and just started being available to other retailers. Amazon’s technology setup and installation last up to a few weeks, so there is pressure on Tiliter to develop a “plug and play” checkout technology that will be installed quickly.

As the Covid-19 pandemic is not about to leave us any sooner I believe that the founders made a good call backing Tiliter.