They may not be the futuristic humanoids of a sci-fi movie, but Austin is awash with robots.
In different shapes and sizes, here are some bots in town that Austinites are using or will soon use for learning, leisure or convenience.
From Refraction AI: Food delivery bots
You might've spotted these small little guys on South Congress. A small, 10 machine fleet of three-wheeled robots have been making food deliveries around Austin since the summer.
It started with pizza delivery for Southside Flying Pizza in Travis Heights and the Central Business District. Now, Michigan-based company, Refraction AI is using their bots for deliveries with Tacoly Moly, Chivata, Two Hands and others. The devices, known as REV-1s, allow for contactless delivery. It works by sending texts confirming the robot is en route, along with an estimated arrival time and a code that can be used to unlock the robot and retrieve the order.
While the bots can go up to 15 mph, you'll see someone scootering behind them since the company is still in the pilot program. Eventually, the device's artificial intelligence will learn to navigate Austin.
Argo AI/Ford/Walmart: Robotaxi Groceries
In August, Argo AI and Ford announced their debut for robotaxi grocery deliveries would be at the East Ben White Boulevard Walmart. The partnership with the retail giant will later involve deliveries in Miami and D.C. At the time, Walmart said "this collaboration will further our mission to get products to the homes of our customers with unparalleled speed and ease, and in turn, will continue to pave the way for autonomous delivery."
SISU: C31 cinema robotSISU claims their C31 cinema robot is the easiest to use and cheapest on the market. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
Coming in with a wingspan of 20 feet and hand-guided motion technology that is "miles ahead of the competition," the C31 cinema robot from Austin-based robotics company SISU is on a mission to disrupt the film industry.
The robot can be programmed to take a set path and capture smooth and steady shots while moving. It also has a much greater range of motion and moves much faster than a mortal form. While Cinema robots are not a new concept, SISU says that almost anyone can operate the bot after only an hour's worth of training and that its "cutting-edge" cinema robot is the most user-friendly on the market.
St. David’s Healthcare: Robotic assisted surgery
At St. David's HealthCare, medical teams use robotic-assisted technology to perform cardiovascular treatments, colorectal procedures, gynecologic surgery, surgeries to treat the reproductive system, and urologic surgery.
Here's how the tech works: a surgeon controls a robotic arm from a console. The arm is strapped with surgical tools like an endoscopic camera, a scalpel, and other instruments. As one of the largest health systems in Texas, the team boasts that these technologies allow surgeons to operate with a higher degree of accuracy and control. And patients can expect better outcomes, including less blood loss, minimal scarring, shorter hospital stays, and more.
Gensler Austin: Robotics arena
Last year, architectural and design firm Gensler Austin announced a robotics arena for Cedar Park. The firm told Community Impact that "in addition to hosting robotics competitions, the arena will also be open to the public as a 'Topgolf style' venue for gamers and robotics enthusiasts."
With that, it'll be a space to unwind with food and drinks. Robotics enthusiasts will be welcome to bring their own robots or drones, or they can be rented on site.
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!