E-Hang’s 184 Drone Can Fly a Human | Crunch Report

Apple buys an AI company, Facebook Messenger
can not be stopped, human sized drones show up at CES and more… It’s Thursday January 7th and this is Crunch
Report. Apple’s making more moves in the artificial
intelligence space and has acquired Emotient, an AI startup based on San Diego California.
Emotient, which calls itself the leader in emotion detection and sentiment analysis based
on facial expressions, has been around since 2012 and has raised $8M to experiment with
products like Google Glass and other wearables. In its report about the sale the Wall Street
Journal says Emotient was recently working with advertisers to bake in reaction analysis
into their advertising. Apple confirmed the acquisition but gave TechCrunch its usual
boilerplate response: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and
we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Facebook Messenger now has 800 million monthly
active users, up from 700 million in June, 600 Million in March, and 500 million in November
2014. You know what that makes Messenger? The fastest growing app of 2015, according
to Nielsen, and the second most popular iOS app behind Facebook itself. Messenger is also
now transmitting 10 billion photos per month, and the team is pretty pleased with themselves.
In a blog post today, head of Messenger David Marcus laid out the app’s 2016 strategy, including
replacing the phone number, increasing video messaging, getting people used to texting
customer service, and of course the chat bot platform we told you about yesterday. I’ve now been at CES long enough to get pretty
burned out on drones, however, I can’t help myself with E-Hang’s 184 drone, which is unique
because it’s a a human-sized drone! It fits an actual human inside! EHang, which is a
Chinese company founded in 2014, has raised about $50M in venture funding, and is confident
that the 184 is the future of personal transport. The drone is about four-and-a-half feet tall,
weighs 440 pounds, and will be able to carry a single passenger for 23 minutes at a speed
of 60 MPH, if it actually comes to market, which is iffy, like a lot of cool things at
CES. The 184 also has gull-wing doors and arms that fold up, and EHang says flight will
be totally automated, meaning passengers input a destination and then have no control during
the flight. If that sounds terrifying to you, the company says fail-safe systems include
multiple backups for each flight system, and a feature where the drone will immediately
land if a passenger’s life is at risk. Uh, let’s hope. Samsung is the world’s biggest maker of
Android devices. However here at CES today, the company announced it will be working with
Microsoft to develop Internet of Things, or IoT, devices based on Windows 10. The two
says they’ll work together to develop products that will run on the platform, and integrate
with other companies developing hardware and services on Windows 10. Samsung and Microsoft
do have a history of working together, 30 years on Windows devices, in fact. But when
it comes to mobile, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have run away with the market,
although TechCrunch has been hearing of tensions between Samsung and Google over Android for
some time. We don’t really have a lot of details about this Microsoft partnership, but Microsoft
does want to develop more universal windows apps that work across different devices and
with a single unified security system in place across them, and in the announcement pointed
to Samsung’s TabPro S as a shining example. Do you like to grill things on a grill? If
you’re a human, probably. But do you also like to clean that grill? Probably not, because
cleaning grills sucks. That’s why you may love Grillbot, the robot that cleans your
grill for you. That’s it. It’s a Roomba for grills. It costs $129 and has three replaceable
metal bristles that help the robot clean and also move around. It also has a rechargeable
battery, three electric motors, and a LCD alarm and timer so you don’t have to babysit
the process. However, your grill has to hit a temperature of about 200 degrees before
you can start the cleaner, so you can’t do it immediately after making dinner.. needs
to cool down. And it’s also probably not quite as efficient as rolling up your sleeves and
just doing it yourself, but you don’t like doing that anyway, remember? Help the grillbot
help you. That’s the report for today. I’m Sarah
Lane. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you

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36 thoughts on “E-Hang’s 184 Drone Can Fly a Human | Crunch Report

  1. Almost no one owns a Windows phone! Samsung might as well partner with the Lollypop Guild to design driverless Unicorns. Because this partnership with Microsoft will yield the same result.

  2. When people see a camera they either

    A. Quickly turn the other direction
    B. Stare right at it
    C. Take a photo of the camera

    Literally all three happened in the first minute

  3. The Ehang looks nice. But someone out there really needs to begin work on an actual hover car. Until then all these craft/drones are essentially mini or micro helicopters with much better positioned air foils.

  4. 1:58 you're welcome. I hate video's that show a still of something and the title is for that something, but then a bunch of other crap I don't care about is talked about.

  5. I don't need human emotion analysis computer based software. I do this in real time everyday since I was 4 years old.

  6. If these A.I startup only going to create software that recognizes faces, Sooner or later sentient A.I will think humans and animal body are faces and disembody the heads because it's what it knows best.

  7. This E-Hang 184 will never reach market. Why?

    It is simply too dangerous. The real danger is the top prop plane is in line with the cabin. A disintegrating top prop from a bird, for example, would cause shards to enter the cabin at hundreds of feet per second. Second the props are at ankle and mid thigh level when on the ground. The FAA would require extremely strict takeoff and landing facilities and startup and shutdown procedures, basically tripling the cost to operate.

  8. "Volocopter VC200" is the world's first passenger drone, but both still have endurance issue " flying times" Volocopter is way more safer

  9. that grill bot is fucking stupid.
    those 3 rollers should be put on a automatic handheld cleaner. 1 brush going up, another down, another up.

    3.) makes cleaning the grill fun

  10. the drone will land imidiatly lol yea on top of a car on the edge of a building or clip a tree… yea i prefer manual control thank you very much

  11. Complete digital video nonsense. The thing you see flying is a scale
    model not a full sized aircraft. Simple physics people. Its called
    efficiency and there isn't any with this proposed aircraft. Short of a
    atomic/nuclear battery the weight of the batteries are too great to
    power and maintain flight of an air vehicle that has no wings or other
    lift devices. You simply can't just scale up the quad rotor existing
    platform and add more batteries and expect it to carry a human payload.
    The formula is exponential in nature. Do the math, it doesn't pencil out.

  12. Yes, oh yes. So much potential, just like Martin Aircraft Company: https://twitter.com/FearlessFarang/media

  13. So many stupid people in this world, obsessed with this bullshit 'drone' when the retards don't even know what drone means.

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