On-Demand Fuel Services Deliver Direct to Cars

Has your car ever run out of gas? Has it ever “run on fumes” while you search for a nearby gas station? For most people, these events have likely happened a few times. Wouldn’t it be nice if your car automatically had its tank filled up without needing to take it to a filling station? And maybe get oil changes and wipers replaced without needing to spend hours at a repair shop? Well, a new company named Yoshi has the answer to this dilemma.

Yoshi is an on-site refueling and car maintenance service that brings gasoline and other services directly to your car. Using an app, drivers can schedule fuel deliveries and select maintenance services. Yoshi’s trained mechanics pump the gas and handle maintenance while the car is parked at work or at home.

Refueling can be scheduled once ($7/delivery), or on a regular basis ($20/month). Additional services include oil change, car wash and detail, repairs, windshield fluid, wiper blade changes, window cleaning, and tire air check and fill. The service is currently in 12 cities and is also used by companies to keep their car fleets fueled up and ready to go.

Fill ‘er up.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Poll students. Ask who would be interested in a system to automatically refuel their cars.
  3. Show Yoshi’s site: http://www.startyoshi.com/
  4. Show video of the service: https://youtu.be/xmqrZ2DvwVE
  5. For Yoshi, what is the target market? Consumers? Corporations?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Yoshi. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  7. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Harlow, T. (1 March, 2018). New on-demand fuel service will allow Twin City drivers to skip the gas station. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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No More Shedding Hair

If you have a dog, you are probably familiar with having pet hair pretty much everywhere. Floors, furniture, cars, and clothing – all of these attract pet hair! While it is certainly a nuisance, pet hair shedding can also be an irritant and cause allergic reactions. But unless you have a hairless dog (such as the American Hairless Terrier) home life with dogs requires constant dusting, vacuuming, and lint rollers. Or does it?

Enter the Shed Defender. The one-piece leotard keeps pet hair contained and protects furniture and clothing from shedding hair. The body suit keeps the hair inside until the owners wash it out. Available in different sizes and colors, the Shed Defender helps reduce the spread of canine dander and other allergens. Fido can even go visit friends who love dogs, but have allergies to them.

It’s not just for containing shedding hair. The product also helps keep pets calm by keeping them warm and wrapped. And, it can replace the dreaded “cone of shame” that many pets have to wear to keep them from biting and licking wounds.

It might be time to put the lint roller away.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of defining a target market.
  2. Show the Shed Defender Web site: https://sheddefender.com/
  3. Videos can be found at: https://youtu.be/gpDZK0Xouno
  4. For Shed Defender product, what is the target market?
  5. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Shed Defender. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  6. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Bender, K. (10, Jan. 2018). End dog shedding – and get great Instagrams – with this hilarious dog leotard. People.

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The Robotic Dog that Can Open Doors

Robotic technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. But the ultimate in robotic technology today undoubtedly comes from Boston Dynamics, a spin-off from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (previously owned by Google; now owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank). The company has a variety of robots with two legs, four legs, and wheels. These robots seem to be able to do nearly anything. They can run, leap, fly, walk, and climb buildings.

The newest robot is SpotMini and it has the ability to open doors. While that might sound pretty simple, it is actually a very complicated robotic task. And, in a recent video highlighting SpotMini, having a human wielding a hockey stick makes opening a door even more complicated! (Spoiler Alert: Spot eventually gets the door open.)

In this case, the robot does almost all the moves autonomously. A human handler drove the robot to the door, then commanded it to open the door. The robot was able to automatically correct for the forces of hockey stick and tail-pulling. While Spot has very limited abilities, robotics are entering into areas such as security, food delivery, as well as answering questions and interacting with humans in public places.

Before you worry about robots taking over the world though, remember that they are designed to help humans. Even if we shove them with hockey sticks.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com,
  3. Show the latest video of SpotMini opening doors: https://youtu.be/aFuA50H9uek
  4. Other videos are on Boston Dynamics’ YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vVhkEfw4nOGp8TyDk7RcQ
  5. Make sure to watch Atlas do a back flip! https://youtu.be/fRj34o4hN4I
  6. Using Boston Dynamics, illustrate the concepts of products, product lines, and product mix.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team come up with an example of other companies and state the products, product line, and product mix.

Source:  Simon, M. (20 Feb. 2018). Watch a human try to fight off that door-opening robot dog. Wired.

 

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