JIBO, a 2013 Boston start-up, launched an IndieGoGo campaign last week and is off to a rousing start, lots of favorable press, and, as of the time of this writing, has raised more than $700,000 over their $100,000 goal.
77% of all agricultural workers in the U.S. are foreign born and about half of those are undocumented (1). These low-wage workers have helped keep American food prices reasonable - especially for growing, harvesting and processing fruits and vegetables.
UPDATED 7-3-14: Once again Google-X Labs' roboticist entrepreneur Travis Deyle has released his compilation of robotics-related venture funding for 2013. The results show a 32% increase over 2012 and $250.7 million for 19 start-ups.
34,500 visitors from more than 100 countries came to Munich this June to visit AUTOMATICA 2014 and examine the robotics-related wares of 731 exhibitors from over 42 countries.
The latest creation from Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper, is designed to live with humans. It doesn’t clean or cook but it talks, is mobile, can read emotions, and reacts autonomously to "make people happy."
A recent Business Insider article, Beyond Factory Robots: Market Forecast and Growth Trends for Consumer and Office Robots, concludes that for the period from now until 2019, consumer and office robots will grow at a 17% CAGR - 7 times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.
Maker Faire, held at the San Mateo Event Center May 17-18, was the biggest Maker Faire Bay Area to date with over 1,100 makers exhibiting their projects, hobbies, products, and innovations.
Foreign Policy Magazine's recent examination of "The Looming Robotics Gap" by University of Pennsylvania International Relations Associate Professor Michael C Horowitz, and recent Pentagon insider on national security issues, is an up-to-date review of the world-wide state of military robotics.
Steadily the service robotics movement is gaining traction. Contracts are being given, funding is arranged, companies are expanding, partnerships are happening and all the while a stream of youths are inspired to enter STEM career paths.
CIROS, the China International Robot Show held last week in Shanghai had record crowds, record numbers of exhibitors, 168,000 sq ft of exhibition space, and exuded confidence in a thriving up-and-coming Chinese robotics industry.
When you see a slick robot - say for instance the new Aldebaran Pepper robot - you can easily be distracted by the design, the gestures, the interaction, the cuteness. But AUTOMATICA reminds you that there's a whole lot of "stuff" going on inside that robot.
In a recent newsletter from Harvest Automation, the start-up company that produces robots that move potted plants at nurseries and greenhouses, HA cites two very revealing trends regarding migrant workers.
In a crowded back room at AUTOMATICA 2014 in Munich, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) sponsored a panel of prominent robot users explaining their needs to a panel of executives representing the major robot manufacturers.
The biggest funding was announced at AUTOMATICA 2014: The Partnership for Robotics in Europe launched SPARC - a €2.8 billion public-private program to increase Europe's share of the global robotics market. Two smaller fundings in the Service Robotics space also occurred.
Robotic Arts, a Las Vegas designer and integrator of robots used in novel ways for entertainment purposes, and Royal Caribbean International, are working together to provide a unique hi-tech robotic entertainment for their newest cruise ships.
In Finland, there's an army of robots sorting, selecting and processing trash, while in Cincinnati bactobots are targeting and neutralizing bacteria in waste water. Here's a review of what is happening in the commercial world of cleaning and waste:
One of the most talked about theories in robotics is Professor Masahiro Mori's uncanny valley - the graph he developed from his experiences with various types of arm/hand prosthetics and coverings.
An adage in tech funding is, "It's not what you know, it's who you know?" Aaron Horowitz (left) and Hannah Chung (in the bear suit on the right) boost that concept - and their visibility - by wearing bear suits resembling their teddy bear robot Jerry to conferences. It certainly raises their Klout score.
Entertainment users of robots include movie studios (e.g., “Gravity”), entertainers (e.g., Blue Man Group), rides (Disney Epcot Center), resorts (Wynn) and bartenders (Bicardi and Coca Cola).
First came Ekso Bionics with an alternative public offering that netted $30.3 million; then Cyberdyne let its stock be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange; and last week the WSJ reported that ReWalk Robotics had filed an IPO and planned to raise $57.5 million.
One of robotics' most colorful proponents is Drew Greenblatt, President of Marlin Steel. In a recent NY Times article he vividly describes how he has used robots to automate basket-making to a precision - and competitive - artform.
A recent $4,800 Transparency Market Research report forecasts that for the period from now until 2019, the global mobile robotics market will grow at a 12.6% CAGR.
The UK Government Patent Office, in a global study of recent patents, has identified 8 technologies which they believe will propel future growth across the world.
BP, the oil and energy company, received the first FAA early-use approval to fly Puma UAVs in and around Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
At a press conference this morning at AUTOMATICA 2014 in Munich, International Federation of Robotics (IFR) President Arturo Baroncelli announced that 179,000 industrial robots were sold in 2013, a 12% jump from 2012 and the highest number of units sold ever.
"sUSB Expo 2014 showed signs of a maturing drone industry," said Antoine Martin of Unmanned Vehicle Systems Consulting.
Titan Medical, a publicly-traded Canadian start-up company developing a robotic surgical system for minimally-invasive surgeries, announced the completion of two rounds of public offering totally $34.8 million.