How Rogue Ales Makes a Great Beer from Wet Hops, Clean Water and Innovation

Rogue beers

The challenge is local and global. The world has a major perishables problem. A full 30 percent of all perishable produce and products never make it all the way from the farm to the table. For Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore., that means that some of their hops can’t be used in the best way possible, which means they can’t produce the best beer possible.

Intel has become a key ingredient in delivering fresh goods through more efficient supply chain tracking tools and management.

For the US and the world, that means less theft, less rotting and better food. For Rogue, that means fresher hops and better beer.

Hoppy Hazards

Fresh goods and efficient supply chain

Rogue produces hops meant to be used in brewing “fresh hop” or “wet hop” beers. In other words, the hops are not dried in the field but are shipped quickly for immediate use in breweries. In fact, these hops have to be dropped into a vat of beer within 12 hours of harvest, or they start to go bad.

And fresh hops can be more hazardous than you might expect. If they overheat, the volatile oils with which the brewer infuses them can infiltrate the beer and produce an “off” flavor. Think about how lovely compost smells as it decomposes. Who’d want to drink that?

Connected Reporting

Hops being shipped

Enter the Intel Connected Logistics Platform. Rogue learned that this platform is used in the shipping of 1.1 billion units of products to 24 warehouses in 68 countries worldwide. Logistics experts rely on Intel technology because the platform brings clear visibility on each shipment, helping them see exactly where the freight is and what condition it’s in.

Intel’s multifaceted tracking strategy empowers shippers to look at data on each shipment, immediately react to that data, and optimize around that data, helping future shipments arrive on time with minimal losses. All these insights are driven by Edge Intelligence, powered by a quad core processor inside of each gateway, which can deliver data whether it’s connected or not.

Saving the Hops

Using the Intel Connected Logistics Platform, Rogue set out to collect temperature and humidity data on its shipments of hops, at every stage between the hop yard and the brewery. Intel’s sensors tracked each shipment’s location via GPS and noted whether temperature or humidity rose above or below acceptable boundaries.

With the help of nearly real-time data on each step of the transit process, Intel Connected Logistics Platform has given Rogue the power to take diligent care of each shipment of wet hops. After the hop harvest process, each shipment gateway is tagged with three tags per bin – one at the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom – to ensure comprehensive tracking from the harvest all the way to the brewing vat.

As a result of Intel’s in-depth tracking, Rogue’s shipments of hops now stay more consistently fresh. The proof is in the hops: Take a taste, and see for yourself.

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Could hackers force industrial cobots to go rogue?

Could hackers force industrial cobots to go rogue?

Recent work by researchers at IOactive has revealed worrying vulnerabilities in today’s commercially available collaborative robots.   

One of the biggest arguments in favour of collaborative robots, or ‘cobots’, is that they pose way fewer dangers to their human co-workers than traditional industrial robots, as well as being smaller, less costly and highly adaptable to different tasks.

But recent work conducted by researchers at IOactive, a cybersecurity and penetration testing specialise, suggests otherwise. In fact, its authors say, cobots available on the market today are riddled with security vulnerabilities that might be exploited by hackers to cause physical harm to workers.

This builds on previous work conducted earlier this year by the two researchers, Cesar Cerrudo and Lucas Apa, in which they identified almost 50 vulnerabilities in industrial collaborative robots, from companies such as Rethink Robotics and Universal Robots. Since then, they’ve published a blog post that provides more details on how machines might be tampered with remotely, altering safety configurations that prevent them colliding with human co-workers, for example.

Read more: IIoT and the rise of the cobots

Safety first?

These safety configurations are typically used to control such aspects of a cobot’s function as its speed, clamping force, tool orientation (to prevent sharp edges of tools being pointed towards a human operator) and its workspace (so it can move only within a predefined area). As the two researchers have demonstrated, it didn’t take them long to make changes to these settings.

But could these cobots really harm a person? Yes, say the IOactive researchers, pointing to a study by the Control and Robotics Laboratory at the Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETC) in Montreal, Canada, which showed that even a relatively small UR5 model from Universal Robots is powerful enough to seriously harm a person. “While running at slow speeds, their force is more than sufficient to cause a skull fracture,” the blog post reports.

Read more: Tennplasco recruits collaborative robot to fill human labor gap

Patchy response

In accordance with IOActive’s responsible disclosure policy, the researchers contacted cobot vendors with their findings, “so they have had ample time to address the vulnerabilities and inform their customers.” But the response has been patchy, to say the least: only in the case of Rethink Robotics were major problems quickly patched. Other cobot makers have yet to respond.

“Our goal is to make cobots more secure and prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited by attackers to cause serious harm to industries, employees and their surroundings,” Apa writes. “I truly hope this blog entry moves the collaborative industry forward so we can safely enjoy this and future generations of robots.”

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