University of The Arctic: PAME Launches Arctic Shipping Database. “The Arctic Council’s Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) launched a comprehensive Arctic shipping activity database on February 7, 2019. The launch is a significant milestone in PAME’s work to improve knowledge of historical Arctic ship traffic activity and various factors that affect such activity, such as sea ice extent, meteorological and oceanographic conditions, and international regulations. The database will allow authorized users to analyze vessel traffic patterns, fuel use, and air emissions, among other economic and environmental conditions.”
Packaging Europe: FFI Launches International Cardboard Database. “The German Folding Carton Association ‘Fachverband Faltschachtel-Industrie e.V.’ (FFI) launches the implementation of an online cardboard database that will be available in German and English. This database is intended as a repository of all folding carton boards used in the industry together with their corresponding specifications and certificates.”
Google filed a patent for an energy kite. “Like the past, using the sail to harness wind energy to propel a ship could be a solution. There are some problems that render this solution unfeasible for cargo vessels, however. First, these cargo ships demand energy in megawatt range and second, unpredictable nature of wind could make a ship arrive on a port late than its scheduled time which it strictly needs to adhere to. A recent patent filed by Google seems like solving both of these problems. Instead of a sail, it suggests using its flying energy kites Makani to propel engine of a ship.”
Speaking of vehicles, Google recently got a patent related to delivery from self-driving trucks. “Google’s patent outlines what it calls an ‘autonomous delivery platform’ for delivery trucks. The trucks would be fitted with a series of lockers that could potentially be unlocked with a PIN code sent to the person waiting for the delivery before the truck arrives at their location.”
This morning I stumbled on the blog for the Lloyd’s Register Digitization Project. Lloyd’s register has to do with ships and shipping; as it has both modern and historical components I will refer you to Wikipedia for a full overview. Anyway, the blog post I linked to above discusses the first project, how the different records are stored, and how the records are being tracked and organized. An interesting peek into what looks like a huge project.