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14th July 2020

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Straws from coconut leaves, bags global orders worth Rs 6 crore

Saji Varghese, an associate professor at the Dept. of English, Christ University, Bengaluru first came across the thought of making straws out of coconut leaves when he noticed several dry coconut leaves lying on the campus ground. Thatched roofs, woven bags, brooms and even toothpicks — there are innumerable uses for coconut leaves as a natural alternative to other products and his innovation from coconut leaves can potentially eradicate one of the biggest environmental hazards — plastic straws. In just two years, he developed unique coconut leaf straws that sell at a Rs 3-10/straw. He claims to have received orders for more than 20 million straws from over 10 countries since he introduced the product in the market. The straws received a patent in 2018 and are now sold under the brand name, Sunbird Straws. Initially, the college funded his innovation but soon several corporates like Accenture and HCL in association with Ahmedabad-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India helped with the funding to take the project forward. They started receiving orders from countries like Malaysia, the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines.Today the straws have received almost 20 million orders and been creating impact in more ways than one.

Straws from coconut leaves


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MIT's soft-fingered robotic gripper that can tie knots & sew stitches
 
MIT's soft-fingered robotic gripper that can tie knots & sew stitches.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has shared the results of a new project in which it built a two-fingered robotic gripper, which has soft pads for dedicated and fine manipulation of objects like cables, sheets and more. The robot’s design is based on how humans use their fingers to do things like untangle wires and tie knots. The team, led by MIT post-doc student Yu She said that the goal, is to create a robot that can handle this delicate work in order to provide a safe alternative when having a human do the same would be potentially dangerous, as well as “repetitive” or “dull.” Like many robotics endeavors, you can see how creating a robot that can handle this kind of work could free up human time to focus on more complex or advanced tasks. The team intends to look at applications in the auto industry first — a good target not only because automation is already a key part of automotive manufacturing, but also because wiring and threading cables represents a significant portion of remaining manual work in car production.
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The connection between Apple, App Store & Salesforce:
 
The connection between Apple, App Store & Salesforce:

An interesting short story by Lemonop's founder Swaroop Chand
  • App Store (2008) by Steve Jobs & Team Apple, was not really the first successful "App Store"
  • Salesforce's App Exchange came 2 years earlier, in 2006
  • Salesforce & Marc Benioff wanted to call it App Store but customer feedback made them change to App Exchange
  • Marc Benioff also owned the domain "AppStore.com"
  • But if you hit "AppStore.com" now, it takes you to Apple's iTunes!
On a parting note...

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” ~ Albert Einstein

see you soon
 
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