Google recently announced it was becoming a new company named Alphabet, but there is just one problem: Someone already owns the trademark and Internet domain. The New York Times reported that BMW is the current owner, and the company doesn’t want to sell.
A spokeswoman for BMW told the Times the company has no plans to sell the domain, and that the website is a very important part of its Alphabet business.
Other conflicting Alphabet companies include Alphabet Funds, Alphabet Energy, Alphabet Records and Alphabet Plumbing, as well as a number of preschools and restaurants with some form of the name, according to the Times.
G may be for Google, but Alphabet is for BMW.
Robots work together
Researchers from MIT’s CSAIL have developed robots that work together in unpredictable environments.
To demonstrate their work, the researchers took a PR2 robot and two TurtleBot robots and had them work in a bar situation. The TurtleBots took and delivered orders, while the PR2 served as the bartender.
Normally, this type of interaction poses limitations because robots can’t always communicate with each other, and they don’t always have accurate information about their location or the location of things around them. To solve this problem, the researchers developed complex planning algorithms that would help the robots decipher their location, status and behavior.
The researchers see this interaction benefiting hospitals, disaster situations, and even restaurant and bars.
“Almost all real-world problems have some form of uncertainty baked into them,” said Chris Amato, a research scientist at MIT, who worked on the experiment. “As a result, there is a huge range of areas where these planning approaches could be of help.”