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Excessive Heat Sweeping U.S.; Austin`s Apptronik Launches Humanoid Robot Apollo. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired August 25, 2023 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up lovely people. I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN 10, and it`s finally Friday, Friyay. Almost time to unwind, to relax

the mind as we creep into the weekend. But before we get there, let`s keep seeking to finish this week strong.

It is hot out there, right? For a huge portion of the country right now. And chances are, you might be trying to keep it cool. Excessive heat

warnings the most severe form of heat alert currently span 1100 miles and are impacting more than 20 states. Temperatures in some places are 20

degrees higher than normal this time of year. This week more than 65 million people will have experienced a temperature above 100 degrees

Fahrenheit. And the heat is causing significant challenges.

Listen to this, tragically, nearly two dozen cattle died from excessive heat in Nebraska, and more than 100 residents from a nursing home in Kansas

City had to be evacuated due to temperatures reaching 119 degrees. And one other thing to let you know, just how hot it`s been in ice cream shop in

Iowa had to shut down because the building couldn`t stay cool enough to keep the ice cream frozen. The heat wave is especially remarkable for this

already record-breaking summer. The scientific cause is called a heat dome, which is a strong area of high pressure that traps and intensifies hot air

at the surface. And the heat is predicted to persist. So we may see even more heat records across central and Southern parts of the country.

The record high temperatures are even impacting students in classrooms. In Denver, Colorado, 16 elementary schools, and a middle school ended classes

early due to the soaring temperatures. Milwaukee public schools were closed entirely. In other districts, outdoor activities have been postponed. And

even in classrooms where air conditioning is working. Well, the schools have had to make accommodations to avoid subjecting students to sweltering

bus rides to get there. Our meteorologist Ms. Allison Chinchar is here to break it all down for us. Ally, it is smoke and hot out there?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That`s right, Coy. It has been a brutally hot week and it`s all thanks to a heat dome. Now, essentially what

we`ve had set up this week is a high-pressure system essentially parked over the central U.S. Now, normally we all know heat rises, but under high

pressure, that`s actually pushing that air back down towards the surface, essentially acting like a giant lid, trapping that heat, keeping all of it

back closer to the surface. And what that does is it allows a lot of this same area under that high pressure to just be dealing with incredibly hot

temperatures. And in some cases prolonged periods of time because that high pressure system simply doesn`t move.

Now over this week, we`ve had over 400 locations break, record temperatures. Again, all the way from Texas up into Minnesota and back over

towards the Atlantic side of states like Georgia and Florida. Now, we are still going to continue to see those heat records continue. A lot of

excessive heat warnings and heat advisories still in effect for the day Friday. But I have some good news and that is cooler temperatures are on

the way, especially across the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast once we get into the latter half of the weekend and into next week.

WIRE: Ten second trivia.

R.U.R. was a play published in 1920, introducing the concept of what?

Robots, Records, Radio or Radon?

If you said robots, put your hands up. Rossum`s Universal Robots was a check play about machines taking over.

The next time you have to do chores like taking out the trash or doing the dishes. What if you could have a robot do it for you? It sounds like

science fiction. It sounds like the future, but the future is apparently near. The team at Austin-based robotics startup, Apptronik believes their

human like droid helpers will soon become the norm. We caught up with them to find out what all they are capable of and the potential downsides.



JEFF CARDENAS, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, APPTRONIK: Apollo is our latest humanoid robot. Sometimes you`ll hear us called a general-purpose robot. This is

something that is going to be your friend. You`re going to rely on these things to do all the things you don`t want to do.

STRICKLAND: So what are some of its capabilities?

DR. NICK PAINE, CTO & CO-FOUNDER, APPTRONIK: We`ve designed Apollo with roughly human morphology, human range of motion, the same height, the same

weight as a human.

CARDENAS: We need to make robots much more versatile than what they are today. The reason that it`s humanoid is because we`ve built the world for

humans. We have a big labor shortage here in the U.S. So where Apollo`s going to start is in warehouses. Like you kind of see here, it can lift

about 55 pounds. It operates on about a four-hour battery and you can change the battery out so you can keep it running 22 hours a day is what

we`re targeting.

STRICKLAND: What would you say to people who are watching this? They see Apollo and they`re worried. Apollo could take my job?

CARDENAS: If we compare humans with robots, then the robots can take the portion of the work that drives people out of those industries. So instead

of you unloading trucks in the hot Texas sun, you`re managing a fleet of robots that`s unloading the trucks for you. And you`re learning new skills

that become applicable across a range of different industries, but where we hope it to ultimately go is one day versions of Apollo could be in your

home or eventually on the Moon or Mars.

STRICKLAND (voice-over): To help with those cosmic aspirations, Apptronik has teamed up with NASA.

SHAUN AZIMI, DEXTEROUS ROBOTICS TEAM LEADER, NASA JSC: My hope and my dream is that we will have general purpose robots fielded in space within

the next 10 years.

STRICKLAND: But the biggest obstacle right now combining and refining mobility and dexterity, the co-founders of Apptronik are no strangers to

that. Having worked on NASA`s Valkyrie robot a decade ago.

AZIMI: Valkyrie capable of extra manipulation and -- and walking, carrying items, opening doors, but there are limitations. For example, being able to

move very quickly and precisely. We really need systems that have more than one skill that are flexible and adaptable.

STRICKLAND: Apptronik isn`t alone in the rush to build a humanoid robot. Tesla has a humanoid bot of its own. And Hyundai-owned Boston Dynamics has

Atlas. But Atlas relies on hydraulics for its movement.

CARDENAS: Hydraulics are very powerful, but it`s not safe to be around. So our bet at Apptronik was that electric humanoids were going to be the

future. So the first phase for us was to focus on performance of electric motors or actuators, and try to get them up to par with what you see with a

lot of hydraulic systems.

STRICKLAND (voice-over): And they`re aiming for this everyday robot to have an everyday price.

(On camera): What would you say is the price point for Apollo?

CARDENAS: The goal is for it to be less than the price of your standard car. These have to be affordable. They have to be accessible.

STRICKLAND: What would you envision a future Apollo being capable of doing?

PAINE: The next step is to build a more hardened version of this that is really kind of designed for scale manufacturing.

CARDENAS: I think 20 years from now much like the computer, we`re going to look back and think, how do we ever get by without the help of these



WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10 is creating quite the hoopla. A top basketball shooting coach named Chris Matthews traveled to Japan to

take on a Japanese robot in a hoop shooting contest. Let`s call it "Labot James." Get this the robot beat Matthews in the first challenge. Then they

put a smaller hoop inside the rim to up the stakes. This time Matthews beat Labot.

Toyota engineers built this Yana`s robot that can hoop a lot in 2017 and it`s already broken Guinness world record for consecutive free throws by a

humanoid robot, more than 2000 in a row.

Happy Friday, everyone. Keep in touch over the weekend. I`m @coywire on Insta, Snapchat and TikTok where CNN 10 on YouTube subscribe and comment

with your special shout out request.

Today`s shout out, goes to Vista Middle School in Ferndale, Washington. Remember, you are more powerful than you know. I`m Coy Wire. This is CNN

10. It`s been a blessing to spend this week with you.