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The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many defects in our society, but chief among them may be the fragility of our supply chains. From toilet paper to bicycles to lumber, the virus has shown that even relatively minor disruptions to the chain can cause long-term shortages of important goods.

In Los Angeles, a San Francisco-based autonomous trucking company is carrying out a new pilot program with computer hardware giant HP Inc. In the next couple of years, the startup wants to reduce emissions and transit times in HP's supply chains. And if it's successful, expand the model to other companies.

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Amazon and other industry giants have long used robots to replace warehouse workers and ship off more packages per day.

Starting at $4,000 a month, inVia Robotics' Picker robot and management software is still more expensive than a minimum wage worker, but the Westlake Village-based startup and Rufus Labs think it will help smaller manufacturers keep up.

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Former Cisco executive Shaun Cooley's two-year-old Los Angeles startup is creating a platform to make buildings smarter.

Mapped, which just raised $6.5 million led by Allegion Ventures and MetaProp, helps commercial real estate companies operate their buildings remotely.

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