News roundup: Autodesk Instant app expands workplace mobility

In this week's news, learn about Autodesk's group messaging app, 3D System's Digital Lab and the latest in drone delivery.

Autodesk brings group messaging to workplace

Autodesk, a maker of 3-D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced the release of its Autodesk Instant mobile application this week. The app is designed to improve mobile communications in the workplace by enabling group messaging for both iOS and Android devices.

Users of Autodesk Instant can start mobile conversations with anyone in their address books and anyone who has an email verified through the app. Autodesk has pledged to allow integration of this app with other web-based programs in the future, potentially expanding Autodesk Instant's use cases beyond the office.

3D Systems forms partnership with US government

3-D printer company 3D Systems is partnering with the White House, the Department of Defense and UI Labs to support its new Digital Lab for Manufacturing. According to 3D Systems, the purpose of the Digital Lab is "to transform the American manufacturing chain, to ensure the secure integration and communication of digital manufacturing data and allow companies of any size to adopt emerging innovations in the space."

The Digital Lab, located in Chicago, is a 3-D printing research institute dedicated to the development, demonstration and deployment of digital manufacturing across various industry verticals. 3D Systems is one of the dozens of industry vendors and academic, government and community organizations providing research and technology to the Digital Lab.

Florist pulls ahead of Amazon in drone delivery

A Michigan florist may begin delivering orders via drone well ahead of Amazon, perhaps the most well-known proponent of drone delivery. FlowerDeliveryExpress.com of Wesley Berry Flowers was experimenting with drones this past February when an order by the Federal Aviation Administration forced the company to cease its tests.

This past week, a Federal judge ruled in the florist's favor, stating that the FAA lacked the authority to stop some types of drone flights. In the wake of that ruling, Wesley Berry Flowers may return to its drone tests, which were being used to determine the weight limits and range possible for delivery.

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