Author Archives: Valerio Pettinicchi

In Dubai the first rotating skyscraper: reality or fantasy?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We can view Dubai as the home of many man-made wonders: we can find the largest artificial island in the world, the largest shopping center in the world, the tallest building in the world. However, some extravagant projects have never been realized and we do not know if these will be realized. These include, for example, the International Chess City but the project was quickly shelved, we can mention also the Dubai City Tower, a 400 floor mega-scraper, or we can still remember the Anara Tower but the project was shelved soon after. We do not know if in this list we can also insert the Dynamic tower by David Fisher.

This project, first announced in 2008 before being put on hold, nowadays was rekindled. According to the ‘‘daily mail’’ the Rotating Dubai skyscraper will be built in 2020 and will allow guests to turn their rooms to 360 degrees. It will host a hotel and sky villas where residents will have also a car parks on each floor.

As we have seen the idea is by architect David Fisher. In fact, a few years ago, he thought that looking out of the Olympic Tower in New York from a certain area of the tower you can see both the East River and the Hudson River but turning the floor, everyone could see them.

Immagine correlata

What seems like a science fiction theme could soon become a reality. This is a tower 400 meters high that can change its shape according to the wishes of the occupants. In the skyscrapers designed by the Italian-Israeli architect David Fisher there is nothing of static: thanks to particular construction techniques these should be able to move and constantly change their shape. For example, to follow the movement of the Sun or wind or, more simply, to offer those who occupy them always new landscapes. Basically, each floor of these towers is autonomous and can rotate on itself 360 ° regardless of what happens above or below. The result is that, seen from the outside, these skyscrapers are real sculptures hundreds of meters in continuous movement.

How would it work? According to Mr. Fisher, each apartment would be able to rotate independently of 360 degrees, with adjustable speed. The floors will rotate at a speed of 6 meters per minute: a complete rotation will take 180 minutes. The construction of these futuristic buildings uses innovative technologies: each floor of the tower is a set of prefabricated modules that are built inside factories with industrial processes.

Basically, the project is based on three fundamental concepts:

  • It is dynamic because each floor can rotate
  • It is industrially produced being made of prefabricated modules. About 90 percent of the building will be prefabricated and then assembled on the central core
  • It is green because it will use the energy of the wind and the heat of the sun to produce useful energy.

Risultati immagini per dubai dynamic skyscraper

As we can see from the picture before, a fixed core would be built containing the elevator, with the apartments connected to the center. All the systems, the subdivision of the internal spaces and the finishes are made previously in the factory and customized according to the indications and wishes of the customers. After that the modules must be assembled together, overlapping one another and hooked to the reinforced concrete supporting structure, which houses all the mechanisms necessary for rotation, the elevators, the stairs and the central systems.

Therefore, it should be the world’s first prefabricated skyscraper, where individual units will be built off site, including hydraulic and electrical connections, before being hung from the central core. Aluminum, steel and carbon fiber should be widely used for the construction of the modules: thanks to these lightweight and resistant materials and to the construction technique, the dynamic high-rise buildings will have a high seismic resistance. But not only, they can also be built with less manpower compared to the traditional building and 30% faster. According to the project video, residents would get a series of views because the room would rotate slowly during the day and could be controlled by the voice command. Thus, they will be able to control rotation speeds and prevent their apartment from rotating with voice commands. They can decide when and how to rotate.

Here is how it should work:

Furthermore, the interested aspect is not only that the Fisher’s Rotating Tower project is innovative in design and architecture, but it is that recognizes the attention to the environment and the industrial production process as key points in the city of the future. In fact, the towers will be equipped with wind turbines positioned horizontally between each of the rotating floor and the other and with solar roofs that will guarantee to each floor, and therefore to the whole building, the total energy autonomy. “It’s a green power plant, it will power the whole building,” said Fisher. More, he add that they could generate up to 1,200,000 kilowatt hours of energy each year. Solar panels should cover the roof and the top of each floor. The skyscraper will therefore be completely self-sufficient from an energy point of view, so the inhabitants will not have to worry about the electricity bill.

Immagine correlata

Solar panels will be installed on the roof, and 48 individual wind turbines will be hidden in between the floors to provide power. According to the architect, the building will generate up to 10 times more energy than it will use.

We must consider that the project is not very current (it should have been completed in 2014) and that it is not certain that it will be realized by the year 2020. Despite the modernity of the city of Dubai and the already present majestic works, this invention generates many doubts and perplexities. Moreover, we have little certainty about its realization. Details on when the project could start and where it could be located have not yet been provided. Finally, the price. According to Futurism magazine, Dubai tower is expected to cost around £355 million. Furthermore, this plan provides for the construction of similar buildings in cities such as London, Paris, New York and Moscow. But how many people could afford an apartment like this? Could this ambitious project become a real work? Now skepticism prevails: the project still looks like a “vision of the future” rather than a real construction plan.

However, we are indeed destined for change. Mr. Fisher said: “the current state of the houses of today does not reflect the real life of people, where everything is constantly changing”

We should not be surprised if then in a not so distant future in the biggest cities we could admire buildings like these.





Reading Time: 4 minutes

Will it ever be possible for a robot to know our tastes and even to get wishes for our birthday? Can these taking care of our health? Can these remember our commitments? All this is possible today. Robots have somehow become part of our lives and will be more and more present in our homes. Two exemples of this are Jibo robot and Pillo robot.

Jibo is a sort of social robot designed to help the family stay connected in the home and it is aimed at living with humans. Home is its natural habit, it can recognizes faces and voices, can takes photos, makes video calls, reads and sends messages, remembers an appointment, and interacts with family. It can recognize the persons of the family thanks to  thanks to two high-resolution cameras and a 360 degree sonic microphone. It’s only 28 inches tall and weighs just over 2 kg. These features allow it to easily move it to the rooms in the house where it serves. In 2014 Jibo raised more than $3 million from excited backers.

Jibo is composed by a white orb that moves around the screen, it blinks and it smiles at you. The design is realistic, the voice sounds like a 10 years old boy. It is full of sensors and speakers. During the setup it teaches you the phrase: “Hey Jibo” which you always have to say to get his attention. It is special because it can learn habits and preferences of all members of the family. If a blue ring around his waist lights up, you know it worked. When it doesn’t know something it apologizes to you. He can’t yet order food through apps, browse the web, play music, initiate video chats or give you recipes. Those are just a few skills they promised.

Risultati immagini per jibo robot

In the following video is shown how they can change our daily actions thanks to social robots like Jibo. In this case an example of how to order a pizza.

The price is 749$ but it is not ever available to buy. We need to book it before to buy. We are going to have a new open market where many developers can develop and create amazing apps.

Similar to the latter but with different functions there is Pillo. Pillo is a small nursing robot who takes care of our family and our healty. It can to deliver the medicines at the right time and with the right dosage, it is possible to have a direct contact with the doctor who appears on the screen and evaluating our physical condition. In fact inside the round head has a medicine container while facial recognition allows him to understand who’s in front to give him the right pills. It is also important that it can also see who has forgotten to take the medicines and remind him.

In the social robot market this is an innovative product that was lacking in the sanitary field, the purpose of which is to bring care directly to the home, avoiding clogging hospitals and making long queues from the doctor. Anyway it must be understood as long as it can be useful without replacing the doctor in his main tasks. It does not have to replace the doctor but be a link to this. Pillo will have an app store and in a shortly time will have many more functions. An ambitious pills dispenser robot as Pillo is not cheap, with a final $ 599 retail price. However, if you support the Indiegogo campaign, you can get a $ 269 pre-prepay bonus plus shipping cost and is shipped Worldwide. However Pillo and Jibo are not the only social robots on the market. We can think for example at Amazon Echo or at the next Apple Homepod.

We are preparing to live in a world not only more technologically but with robots who will live with us, will replace some of our functions and will be part of our lives. Probably will come a time not far off that we will start thinking about these robots more like a person than an appliance. Is it fair, for example, that a robot replaces the mother in her son’s growth example reading a fairy tale? I do not think so. Probably it meets limits. However A robot can not replace a doctor, can not take part in our social life. These robots should play in a family a role don’t isolating people, like smartphone and tablet screens tend to do, but even encourage growth mindset and inquisitiveness in children. We need to understand where technology can go and what are its limits.

Summing up, the question is:

Risultati immagini per pillo robot





Reading Time: 3 minutes

Drones are tired to fly just to take photos and videos. Lately also want to bring the humans on board and they do so thanks to Volocopter VC200. Electric, steering and autonomous driving. It is the taxi produced by the german startup Volocopter, from which the invention is also named. It is a robot helicopter as a giant drone named AAT, acronym for Autonomous Air Taxi. It wants to “make every man’s dream of flying and helping cities solve their mobility problems”.

Real debut for AAT was not far from Jumeirah Beach Park in Dubai. A new page of mobility history has been written. It is the first test of a non-pilot helicopter designed to transform tomorrow’s movements has been completed. The giant drone-like vehicle has two seats, 18 rotos, and is powered by nine batteries. It has a 30-minutes autonomy and reaches a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The vertical take-off model will serve as a taxi, and can be booked through a simple app.

It looks like a vision from the future but Volocopter is already a reality. Last September, the first flight test was conducted in Dubai thanks to an agreement with the local transport authority (RTA). The helicopter flew for 5 minutes, about 200 meters high, without passengers, waiting for all safety measures to be completed. The automated electric drone takes off as a standard consumer drone: vertically, like a helicopter would. This allows it to land in tight spaces, as opposed to requiring a runway. In this first phase, the drone is only running low-altitude flights at a maximum speed of 13 knots (25 km / h), but they are already studying how to take it to higher altitudes and up to 54 knots (100 km / h).


The Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, was on hand to press the launch...

The first taxi of the future, according to forecasts, could come on the market already next year. It is not yet known how much a “run” on Volocopter will cost. To date, the company has raised 25 million euros in investment. Investors include Intel and the Daimler automotive company.

The investor Lukasz Gadowski has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: ‘‘the flying car has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”

CEO of Volocopter, Florian Reuter, claims that the current model is capable of flying based on GPS tracks, and that the company aims to “implement full sense capability” moving forward. Basically this would allow for sophisticated obstacle avoidance and anti-collision measures to be in place, further strengthening the argument for safety. However could result from this invention problems such as regulation of air traffic, identification of areas forbidden to such vehicles and mapping of vehicles. It is also important to ensure the safety of the flights. All this will be not a simple work. In addition, the incompatibility with the current transport market has to be noted. These could claim because a large number of customers might prefer the new market to the traditional one. Currently Volocopter is not yet ready for use. This is due to reliability issues, battery autonomy, low speeds that would lead to preferring the traditional taxi. It’s important to note also the high costs of ‘‘taxiplane’’ installations. How many cities will be able to install and take advantage of this service in a short time? It’s hard to say but surely only a few big cities will be ready to adopt this solution in a shortly time.

The Volocopter in its current form can fly for 30 minutes at a time

However already in 2030 in the most famous of the seven emirates that make up the rich gulf state, the authorities aim at 25% autonomous mobility, between road and air. The price of a vehicle is not very low. The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial price of the Volocopter will be €250,000, the price for the 18-Rotor Electric Helicopter is €600,000 in Crowdfunding and the ultimate goal is for the price to go down. The era of personal flight is only at the beginning but the premise is more than good.


The revolution in recognition: a new approach in our choises

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cameras will be the big battlefield of the coming years in the mobile market. It is not only to shoot better selfies or capture breathtaking views but it will enters in many different field: building, furniture, web and urban browsing, exploration. This is an extremely large market, Apple and Google are the most important players and no one intend to lose points. The main innovation is the ability to unlock the phone using an infrared sensor that recognizes the face of the user.

The iris scanner is integrated into the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple has also came in the scene with the new iPhone X and has introduced this new login system in the iPhone X. Phone’s all-glass front leaves no room for a home button, Apple is giving up Touch ID in favor of a facial recognition system.

Apple says its version of this technology uses more sensors to map your face in 3-D, an infrared light illuminates your face and then a projector projects infrared dots on the screen. The iris scanner will soon be the new biometric sensor to unlock and protect the contents of the phone: only your face is the obstacle to overcome and extremely difficult to replicate. Its Face ID feature should be very secure. There’s a one in a million chance that someone could spoof you. Generally the accuracy of it depends on factors such as the quality of the image of your face at authentication time, light conditions, time between the enrollment image and verification, and visibility of occluding objects like a scarf or sunglasses.  Let’s see how it works:

Everything will go through a smartphone, an item that everyone has in their pockets. This is the reason why the potential of this technology is of great interest to companies and developers. An example is IKEA Place, an application made by the renowned Swedish chain of home and furnishing stores. The décor becomes virtual and real at the same time. Just choose a product (an armchair, bed, bedside table) and using the smartphone camera this is placed anywhere we want. But the applications, as said, can be many. Another example is the exploration of urban environments: pointing the camera to a restaurant, a hotel or a museum will be enough to have immediate opening and closing times, ticket price and possibly user reviews.

Not in a long time, millions of people will soon depend on face recognition to check their e-mail, send a text or make a call, it will be fast and easy to use. Nowadays face recognition is already used around the world to examine, investigate, and monitor. In China is used to identify and publicly shame people for the crime of jaywalking. In Russia, face recognition has been used to identify anti-corruption protesters. In the United States, more than half of all American adults are in a face recognition database. It can be used for criminal investigations. Governments are not the only users of face recognition. In daily life we can have examples of face recognition. Retailers use the technology in their stores to identify suspected shoplifters. Social media applications increasingly integrate face recognition into their user experience.

Risultati immagini per face recognition

All smartphones will probably include sensors for face, iris, and fingerprint recognition which were a rarity shortly time before. A lot of people in the coming months will use a face recognition scan every time they want to check the weather, draft a tweet, or make a rare actual phone call.  But even as we embrace its conveniences, we should remain suspicious of the many ways face recognition is used today. Infact as we choose to explore the conveniences face recognition can offer, we must be vigilant to its risks.

It can change the way we see things around us and make more actions quicker in our daily lives. However has the facial recognition systems been easily fooled by photos or masks? Also if even though Apple and other developers have reassured us about this, there may be risks related to the privacy and security of the collected data, which is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to handle, even because of the lack of common standards. It may be a major privacy concern, and one many users don’t think about it until it’s too late. Philip W. Schiller, vice president of Apple for marketing claimed the system required the user’s attention to properly function, saying, “If your eyes are closed, if it’s not lined up, it’s not going to work.” The iPhone X refuses to unlock as long as the subject’s eyes are closed. Moreover if you are kidnapped by criminals, they won’t be able to guess your password, but they would be able to hold the phone up to your face until you pass a Face ID scan. However we can say that what does not interest in Apple is instead the interest in gathering data and mass targeting infact this feeds most of the web companies.





Reading Time: 3 minutes

The home delivery sector of ready-made food or food products has become one of the most vibrant investment areas for venture capitalist around the world for a couple of years from now. Today the market is in the wake on the United States as well as in Europe, so much so to speak of a fight for supremacy in the delivery sector. In this already saturated market will soon come also Facebook.

Risultati immagini per facebook delivery food

Facebook ha just annunced that users in the USA can now order food for takeout or delivery using the Facebook mobile app and the websit. Facebook hasn’t created its own answer to the most important food delivery apps.

The company is partnering with existing services GrubHub,, DoorDash, ChowNow, Zuppler, EatStreet, Slice, and Olo, and will now link out to those food ordering businesses for restaurants that support them. Ordering a takeaway is pretty simple: we should search the ‘order food’ tab in the Facebook app or website. This will bring up a selection of restaurants in your local area that offer delivery or pickup services. Hit ‘start order’ and you’ll be directed to food delivery services. So we can order the food and then pay it.

Here is how it works:

Why order a takeaway through Facebook? The most important reason is that probably people are already on Facebook anyway, figuring out what to eat and seeing what friends say about local restaurants. The speed which you can order food through Facebook goes against the idea of being in touch with people through Facebook messenger. What’s important for Facebook is that people will be more likely to spend a little more time on the platform than before. Facebook is so working to capture another piece of our attention and of our time.

Facebook’s entrance into a market that is not its own could create problems for the smaller startups that are growing up in this field, especially if Facebook makes arrangements with the major startups. Furthermore we must consider that this is a fairly saturated market. The entry of Facebook could cut away some minor players as happened with Maple. So this is not a new situation, already some years ago Maple shutted down because of  the entry into the market of startup like Deliveroo which can offers a cheaper food in a less time. Are we sure the quality offers it is better? Unlike Maple, which prepared its own dishes, Deliveroo delivers food made in restaurants. Maple’s owners said about that: “they have a shared vision in reference to delivering great food to your door, and fast.” They would not comment further.

Finally it is clear that Facebook is increasingly part of our lives and it is now present in the most of our actions. It does not surprise me that it can now also be used for delivery food. It is clear how with this novelty Facebook could take the place of other minor palyers who are currently on this market. But the negative aspect in my point of view is that in this way, focusing on food, puts an extra step in its all-encompassing strategy, aimed at getting us out as little as possible from the site!

Instead, I think that detaching ourselves from “virtual” life sometimes would not be bad.