Left Column Top Stories
Rethink Robotics’ Baxter and Universal Robots Succeeding
Posted 05/14/13 at 05:11 PM
... Almost all industrial robot makers have or are working on lightweight and human-friendly robot arms, but none are offering them at low cost, or with user-friendly training, or plug and play and safety features. There are other robot startups in the SME marketplace - and on the horizon - but none are as far along as Rethink Robotics and Universal Robots.
... Rethink Robotics’ Baxter robots are being produced and sold at a rate of 500+ units for 2013.
... Universal Robots is building 100+ UR5 and UR10 robots a month of which approximately 25-30% are for customers in the U.S.
... Click to see a review of each robot’s features and a couple of examples of how they are being used.
Othermill: a new high quality CNC circuit board fabricator
Posted 05/13/13 at 03:12 AM
... Otherfab, a spin-off from San Francisco-based Otherlab, an engineering, energy, education, math, computation and design research facility, surpassed their Kickstarter goal and is well on their way to produce their new CNC device.
... Originally developed to revive shop class in American schools by providing a very capable CNC fabricating machine but stalled by government funding delays, Otherfab’s new CNC Othermill and simple software is designed for ease of use and flexible operation.
... It’s not too late to subscribe to the Kickstarter campaign.
A conversation with Henri Seydoux
Posted 05/03/13 at 07:20 PM
... Armed with €40 million for acquisitions, Parrot S.A. founder, Chairman and CEO Henri Seydoux said that the success of the AR.Drone and AR.Drone 2 proves that there is a large consumer market for the entertainment side of aerial drones.
... Now he and Parrot are going after the professional side: providing mapping and georgraphical information for surveying, construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, environmental observation and protection, and town planning using aerial drones and sophisticated cameras and software.
... Read the details here.
Upcoming Robotic Events
Posted 05/01/13 at 06:30 PM
... Bay Area Maker Faire, May 18-19, San Mateo, CA
... ROS-I Basic Developer’s Training Class at Southwest Research Institute, June 4-6, San Antonio, TX
... AUVSI Driverless Car Summit, June 11-12, Detroit, MI
... Global Future 2045 Congress, June 15-16, New York, NY
... Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, June 22-25, London, UK
... China Intl Robot Show (CIROS), July 2-5, Shanghai, China
... Automation, Robotics and the Supply Chain conference, July 16-17, Pittsburgh, PA
... AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2013, August 12-15, Washington, DC
... AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems Europe 2013, October 15-16, Köln, Germany
Online job postings for robotic positions up 10% compared to the same 90-day period in 2012
Posted 05/01/13 at 04:01 PM
... More than 14,000 jobs were advertised online requiring knowledge or use of robotics in the U.S., according to WANTED Analytics™, a source of real-time business intelligence.
... The most commonly advertised job titles requiring use or knowledge of robotics: Maintenance Technician, Controls Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Physician Urology, Registered Nurse, Electrical Engineer, Software Engineer and Urologist.
All Eyes on Intuitive Surgical Suit
Posted 04/19/13 at 08:36 AM
... For continuing coverage of not only the court case but also the FDA probe, the JAMA article, and the new class action suits, click here.
... Intuitive Surgical’s marketing director testified that they focused on a category of urologists who have “basic or limited laparoscopic skills who currently perform” traditional prostate removals and that group is “where 80 percent of your clinical [marketing] time should be spent.”
... Intuitive released their first quarter results showing surprisingly high profits and revenue. But Intuitive also narrowed their 2013 revenue projections slightly. The stock market responded with a $21.00 drop in price (4.25%).
... In first day of trial in State of Washington, in their opening arguments, lawyers stated their cases:
[Plaintive] that Intuitive Surgical designed a watered down training program to make it easier for them to sell systems to hospitals thereby compromising surgical quality which, in this case, led to complications which caused a man to die.
[Defendent] that injuries suffered by the obese and medically-troubled patient occurred after the robotic system was unplugged and not in use; the injuries happened after the robotic surgery was completed. Trial details here.
... A suit alleging injuries tied to the robot surgery system in a 2008 procedure to remove a patient’s prostate claims that the surgeon was not adequately trained and that the results of that lack of training caused mistakes which led to kidney failure, brain damage, permanent incontinence, the need to wear a colostomy bag, and ultimately, heart failure and death.
... An attempt by Intuitive to have the case thrown out was denied because the state’s product-liability laws require medical-device makers to properly train physicians who buy their products.
... There are 12 suits of this type pending trials. But there is also a JAMA article which shows that although the number of robotically assisted procedures is up, their effectiveness is the same as laparoscopic methods but their costs are about $2,000 higher per procedure. However, when reductions in hospital stays and post-recovery work from traditional surgery are added into the mix, robotic surgery is the most cost efficient.
... Also, the FDA has initiated an ongoing probe asking surgeons at numerous hospitals to identify complications with the da Vinci machines.
Blimp-in-a-box contract causes acquisition
Posted 04/05/13 at 04:00 PM
... Global Telesat Corp (think Globalstar, inmarsat and Iridium), and Lighter Than Air Systems, were awarded a DoD contract to provide the Army with two Blimp-in-a-Box systems.
... In order to fulfill that contract and to benefit from future collaborations of a similar nature, Lighter Than Air Systems agreed to be acquired in an almost all-stock transaction worth about $1 million by World Surveillance Group.
... All three companies are Florida-based defense contractors.
... Blimp-in-a-box is designed to provide real-time day/night high definition footage for ISR, IED detection, border security and other governmental and civilian uses. The system is packaged in a crate, mounted to a trailer, and can be rapidly deployed within minutes by a two man crew.
Updated Robotics Roadmap Presented to US Congress
Posted 03/23/13 at 08:25 AM
... The Roadmap’s pdf is a must-read, full of real information, and can be downloaded here.
... Six sectors were reviewed: (1) Manufacturing, (2) Medical Robots, (3) Healthcare Robotics, (4) Service Robots (both professional and domestic), (5) Space and (6) Defense were all discussed.
... Congress was asked to invest in core science challenges stimulating development and solutions across all six sectors - challenges like robust 3D perception, planning and navigation, dexterous manipulation, intuitive HRI, and safe robot behavior.
Which companies provide robotic systems to the military?
Posted 03/20/13 at 10:14 AM
... As awareness of the use of robotic drones on borders and by police departments across America is rising, a debate is taking place as to their value, potential misuse and future.
... My friends at Robohub are running a week-long series of focused stories on the subject and, in an attempt to add to the conversation, The Robot Report has provided a list of 29 of the publicly-traded companies worldwide that produce these types of robotic devices along with a sobering quote from President Dwight Eisenhower.
... As we sit today on the cusp of allowing potential spy drones into our civilian airspace—along with all the good that commercial aerial robots can also provide—it seems that we will have to live with some misuse. In 2009 Hong Kong police arrested burglars who were casing prospective condos by sending camera-studded aerial drones up to the windows for a look-see.
Management Shakeup at Adept Technology
Posted 02/25/13 at 03:35 PM
... Rob Cain replaces John Dulchinos as CEO of Adept Technology. Cain has worked with Adept for the past few months as an advisor and representative of Hale Capital Partners and crafted a restructuring plan approved by the company and it’s financial partners.
... Adept reported poor sales and lower than expected gross margins for the first two quarters of fiscal 2013. This after suffering a net loss and reduced margins for FY 2012.
... Adept’s stock took a hit last November when it became known that the company would initiate a restructuring plan and a second recent hit upon notice of the change in leadership.
Oshkosh and Lockheed Capitalizing On Demand For Military AGVs
Posted 02/21/13 at 01:39 PM
... The Oshkosh TerraMax UGV (right) is capable of tele-operations, being a leader or follower, and fully autonomous operation. The Marine Corps are evaluating it as part of their Cargo UGV initiative.
... Lockheed Martin’s SMSSs (squad mission support systems) (left) are rolling off the line for deployment in Afghanistan after winning the Army Project Workhorse competition. The SMSS has the capability to be remotely operated via satellite link. It can also carry 1,100 pounds of cargo and serve as a remote surveillance unit.
Is this the cheapest floor robot?
Posted 02/16/13 at 02:32 PM
... O-Duster is an O-Cedar product from Channell Chemical Company, a division of the Freudenberg Group, a German conglomerate.
... The O-Duster has an auto-navigation feature and mops an area similar to the way other robotic vacuums do.
... The O-Duster will be available at U.S. retailers including HEB, Publix, ShopRite, Target, Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie for $39.99. Electrostatic pad refills are available in packs of 20 for $8.99.
Automate and ProMat in Freezing Chicago: A Recap
Posted 01/28/13 at 08:25 PM
... Automate 2013 held last week in Chicago seemed all about integrating vision capabilities into robotic tasks. The epitome of this was the Industrial Perception robot quickly choosing and grabbing randomly sized and stacked boxes from the back of a truck.
... The new collaborative cage-free robots from Rethink Robotics and Universal Robots drew large crowds.
... Another crowd-pleaser was Adept’s new mobility platform, Lynx, which doesn’t require floor or ceiling markings for it to safely guide itself from place to place.
... The vendors at ProMat don’t call their robots robots; they referred to them as being automatic or autonomous material handling devices and systems.
... Read more.
Intuitive Surgical’s stock jumps 11% in two days; iRobot is up 9% in a single day
Posted 01/23/13 at 04:31 PM
... 4th quarter earnings were 23% higher than last year’s Q4 and income rose 16%. That’s 15 straight quarters beating analysts expectations. 2012 revenue was $2.178 billion. Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) expects revenue growth to be 16%-19% for 2013.
... iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) didn’t report earnings or expectations. It announced that it’s autonomous platform used by InTouch Health in their new RP-VITA remote presence robot had received FDA approval to move from point to point within a hospital. This form of autonomous movement is a big thing because it doesn’t require floor markings and certifies that iRobot’s mobility and sensoring technologies are safe in the hospital environment.
GA Tech’s Henrik Christensen Gives Keynote Speech at Automate 2013
Posted 01/21/13 at 06:55 PM
... In keynote, Dr. Henrik Christensen, Director of Robotics, GA Tech, described the technologies, advancements and myriad evidences of dramatic movement in robotics.
... The Roadmap for U.S. Robotics is being revised to reflect these changes and advancements—and will be presented to Congress in March.
... Christensen cited as a significant evidence that Foxconn, Apple and Lennovo are all building new factories—in America!
... Chicago is having a severe chill but Automate and ProMat are well-attended and lively.
... Details and highlights will follow after show closes.
Leap Motion gets $30 million for new Kinect-like device
Posted 01/07/13 at 05:50 PM
... Hot new Leap Motion Kinect-like product gets another $30 million (bringing the total to $44 million).
... Leap Motion controller senses individual hand and finger movements so you can interact directly with your computer.
... Device covers range of 8 cubic feet of 3D interaction space.
... Sales price of $70. Available in the spring.
... Bye bye mice.
Big 4 Robotic Stocks Outperform Dow Jones
Posted 01/03/13 at 01:09 PM
... All the projections suggested that industrial robot stocks would perform well this year (and for the foreseeable future), and they did.
... KUKA’s stock did particular well on expectations that their extensive movement into the Chinese marketplace (with new offices and factories in China) would yield significant rewards.
... Click to enlarge.
Center Column Featured Links
Airware Gets $10.7M from Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures to Build Autopilot Systems for UASs
Posted 05/15/13 at 06:16 AM
... Airware, a Newport Beach, CA start-up offering autopilots for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) enabling UAS manufacturers to rapidly develop diverse and price competitive solutions while maintaining their intellectual property.
... Airware made it into Y Combinator’s Winter 2013 class. The company’s $10.4M Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures is the biggest post-Demo Day round in YC history.
... Airware will be competing with 3D Robotics’ PX4FMU, an open source high-performance autopilot targeted towards high-end research, amateur and industry needs. PX4FMU is for fixed wing, multi rotors, helicopters, cars, boats and any other robotic platform that can move, and Dreamhammer’s Ballista control system, a commercial version of their drone control software already used by the military.
ROS Industrial celebrates one-year anniversary
Posted 05/13/13 at 01:56 AM
... ROS-I is developing and promoting a manufacturer-independent open-source library of drivers and the transfer of established components from research to industry - not just h/w interfaces and MS, IOS and Android support, but legal and standardization issues as well.
... Interchangeability of h/w components through standardized interfaces and intelligent software components for flexible production are the benefits.
... With centers covering The Americas (located at SwRI in Texas) and for Europe (located at Fraunhofer IPA in Germany), ROS-I is looking for a partner to cover Asia.
... A one-year video montage shows some industrial robotics applications made possible by ROS-I. One can see ROS-I controlling robots by ABB, KUKA, Fanuc, Adept, Universal Robots, and Yaskawa-Motoman.
13 robotic innovations among 2013 Edison Award winners
Posted 05/07/13 at 07:50 AM
... The Edison Awards, created by the American Marketing Association in 1987 but now a self-sustaining non-profit, jury-selects and annually awards for innovation and innovators in technology.
... 2013’s winners include 13 robotic companies and 4 more that came from the fields of automation or sensing. Rethink Robotics’ Baxter, iRobot’s Looj and Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider all won gold medals in their respective categories.
... All 17 companies are profiled here.
KUKA acquires US integrator and toolmaker
Posted 05/05/13 at 01:21 PM
... For an amount “in the low double digit million Euro range,” KUKA has acquired the engineering services, toolmaking and integration divisions of US-based Utica Enterprises. 300 people are involved in the acquisition.
... “With this acquisition KUKA Systems is leveraging its technologies. Our customers will benefit from an expanded manufacturing footprint, talent pool and knowledge base with greater economies of scale” said Lawrence Drake, CEO of KUKA Systems North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KUKA AG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of robotics and plant and systems engineering.
Robo-Stox™ Y-T-D country-by-country results confusing
Posted 05/01/13 at 08:23 PM
... Japan robotics companies are rebounding quite well, helped by recovery from the twin disasters of 2012 and the value of the yen going down.
... Israel service robot companies, particularly medical and defense related, are also doing well.
... US and EU companies are doing about as well as the DJIA and NASDAQ indices.
Rethink Robotics and Aldebaran both launch robots for research, teaching and custom development
Posted 04/26/13 at 10:14 AM
... Rethink Robotics just launched a version of their Baxter robot armed with a new SDK providing educators and researchers with almost limitless capabilities at an affordable cost. Using ROS and the new SDK, educators and researchers have the ability to share innovations and build on each other’s work and know-how. Read their press release.
... Aldebaran Robotics’ launched their ASK NAO (Autism Solution for Kids) initiative for use in special education and for children with autism. More humanoid than Baxter, NAO is kid-sized, the new program provides educators with planning, monitoring and analyzing interactions to help set up lessons with NAO. Read the press release.
... Although Baxter and NAO have different capabilities, the ability for researchers and educators to easily program applications - and share those apps with others - is hoped by both companies (Aldebaran and Rethink) to accelerate new capabilities and apps for commercial use.
iRobot stock jumps 14% on Q1 earnings and 2013 projections
Posted 04/24/13 at 10:42 AM
... iRobot’s stock (ISRG:NASDAQ) jumped 14% today on yesterday’s earnings report which exceeded analysts’ expectations for both the quarterly earnings and the annual projections.
... “We kicked off 2013 with an outstanding quarter,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive of iRobot in a statement. “The results and outlook for our home Robot business are excellent.”
... Domestic home robot revenue grew 44% in Q1 representing 14% year-over-year increase. International home robot revenue was $61.3 million (66% of total for quarter).
... “The DoD announced a $14.4 million order for FirstLook robots during the quarter which gives us confidence in achieving our full year expectations.”
New Report Shows That Robots CREATE Jobs
Posted 04/09/13 at 11:11 AM
... At an International Federation of Robotics (IFR) CEO Round Table held at Automate 2013, in Chicago, IFR executives presented a recap of a new research report on the positive impact of industrial robots on employment.
... The report, prepared by British market research company Metra Martech, updates a 2011 report on the same subject with three conclusions:
1. Only robots can produce precision and consistency standards at an affordable cost demanded by the global economy.
2. Although the recession has temporarily reduced attention to unsatisfactory work conditions, enhancing work conditions is a driving force for using robots.
3. Robots are a critical factor in re-balancing of world manufacturing economies by reducing the threat by low labor cost countries (off-shoring).
... Based on IFR data through 2011, the report projects potential job creation by robotics between 2012 and 2020 to be 1.9 to 3.5 million jobs. This is the sum of new robotic products (.55 to 1.4 million), current industry expansion (.45 to .70) and downstream jobs (.90 to 1.4).
... The report also projects an additional 2-3 million jobs from downstream activities.
... The updated report, which can be downloaded here, is sufficiently transparent such that one can readily accept their position regarding projecting 2-3.5 million new jobs from 2012 to 2020.
... But the report is seriously unsubstantiated in the effects of offsets for jobs displaced and in the multiplier effect of downstream jobs. Details of the review can be read here.
Year-to-date Robo-Stox™ Results
Posted 03/30/13 at 12:18 PM
... The robotics industry as a whole appears to have fully recovered from the stock market crash in 2008 and, in most cases, has returned to or surpassed their highs of 2007.
... Some of the country-by-country results are slightly skewed because of dramatic stock increases by a few performers in volatile sectors: Mazor Surgical (MZOR:IL), MDA (MDA:TSO) and the 3D printer manufacturers 3D Systems (DDD:NYSE) and Stratasys (SSYS:NASDAQ) are cases in point.
... Although the industrial robotics sector is still down from 2007/2008, the big four are doing quite well—click here to see the chart.
Quadcopters Advertising New Star Trek Movie
Posted 03/24/13 at 09:15 AM
... A squadron of 30 LED-studded Ascending Technologies quadcopters hovered above Potters Fields Park near London’s Tower Bridge and, in conjunction with Earth Hour, formed a three-dimensional Star Trek logo in the night sky - a treat slash advertisement from Paramount, the producer of the new movie “Star Trek - Into Darkness” which will be released in May.
... Similar in theatrics to the Kmel Robotics and Saatchi & Saatchi show last year at the Cannes Film Festival, the Ars Electronica Futurelab Paramount swarming quadcopter light shows in London and Linz, Austria took to the outdoors, away from overhead control sensors, and into the wild beyond to produce a wildly interesting and colorful flight show.
... Videos of the Cannes show are here; videos from London and Linz are here.
Liquid Robotics Gets $45 Million To Continue Double-Digit Growth
Posted 03/19/13 at 09:35 AM
... Liquid Robotics today is a far cry from it’s initial goal of recording whale songs. Today that function and those recordings are the domain of the Jupiter Foundation and Liquid is focusing on making wave gliders for industry, government and science.
... Liquid Robotics just received a $45 million “E” round of funding and adds Riverwood Capital (of GoPro fame) to their stable of VCs. Total funding since 2005 is $85 million.
... 200+ Liquid Robotics Wave Gliders are at work on the seas in one of three areas of oceanography: (1) monitoring oil and gas operations, (2) assisting naval ops with classified activities, and (3) providing scientific, weather and other oceanographic data for commercial and scientific purposes.
... Liquid plans to expand their marketing and sales staff and to double their fleet by the end of 2013, hence the need for the additional capital. “Approximately half of the fleet is involved with the Schlumberger oil and gas joint venture,” said Steven Springsteel, Liquid’s new COO/CFO. Springsteel also said that the vast majority of Liquid’s activities are profit-making and profitable.
... Springsteel commented that the new funds will be used to grow the business to a sustainable profitability without having to go public.
Foxconn Foxbot Update
Posted 03/07/13 at 01:27 PM
... Ilian Bonev, a robotics prof at the ÉTS in Quebec, blogged “The truth about Foxconns Foxbot industrial robots,” and included a 2008 Foxbot brochure which shows the specs for their entire robotics product line. Also included is a video showing a row of Foxbots handling, grinding and sanding what appears to be iPad back covers.
... Click to see the Foxbot brochure.
... Prof. Bonev thinks that with their present line-up of Foxbots, Foxconn won’t be able to meet Chairman Gou’s timetable to deploy 1 million robots by 2015 and in fact were only able to produce and install 15-30,000 Foxbots in 2012.
... The WSJ also reported on Foxconn’s lack of robot deployment progress in an article entitled: “Hon Hai Hits Obstacles in Push to Use Robots”.
… But, according to Liu Kun, a spokesman for Foxconn, “We have canceled hiring entry level workers, a decision that is partly associated with our efforts in production automation.” This is what Foxconn Chairman Gou said would happen when he began the massive robot deployment program in Foxconn factories.
Eight robotic toys and gadgets hitting the market this year
Posted 02/26/13 at 02:45 AM
... Eight new gadgets, gimmicks and toys will hit the market this year.
... Shown above is the new Grillbot; others include a little robot to clean your iPhone or iPad screen; WowWee’s new robot that can replace it’s head with your iPhone and you can remotely operate it; the new sleekly styled Romo; a new updated version of Lego’s Mindstorm kit which takes advantage of new sensors, cameras and capabilities; and a few more.
... Read the article..
Robot Vision Systems Providers Doing Well
Posted 02/21/13 at 02:48 PM
... In a recent $4,650 research report by Market & Market, a TX-based research firm, they projected that machine vision systems and components will grow at an annual rate of 8%+ for 2013 to 2018. They attribute this growth to increased processing power, reduced costs and growth in robotics and automation thereby increasing the scope and need of machine vision technology in a wider range of production applications.
... Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX), one of the largest providers in the machine vision industry, just set new records for 2012 revenue. Net profits were 21%!
Grishin Fund Invests In Hardware Incubator
Posted 02/20/13 at 10:19 AM
... Grishin Robotics continues it’s formulaic long-term investment strategy in robotics by partnering into the start-up mechanism. In this case its a new hardware incubator called Bolt located in Boston and connected with local robotics angel investors Colin Angle, Mick Mountz, Brad Feld, Semyon Dukach, and many other VCs.
... Bolt, a Boston-based hardware incubator (and not to be confused with Bolt Technology of CT), plans to help robotic and other connected device hardware startups with seed capital, an extensive mentorship program, and access to manufacturing DFM and DFA expertise as well as a shop full of metalworking, electronics, model-making and other prototyping equipment.
... Boston already has 5 Hackerspaces, and 10+ incubators but none as robotically focused as the new Bolt. We wish them well!
Willow Garage Changes Direction
Posted 02/11/13 at 10:56 PM
... Willow Garage announced today that they are changing direction and deciding to focus on additional commercial opportunities that can become self-supporting.
... The generous funding from founder Scott Hassan will stop within 3 months and WG employes have been notified.
... PR2 robots around the world will continue to be supported as will ROS and its libraries through the Open Source OpenCV Foundation.
... Details can be found here.
Open Source Vet Simulation Center
Posted 02/07/13 at 10:11 PM
... Dental students have robotic simulators, med students and surgeons have theirs too, and now Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has one. They have a simulation center with two fully equipped exam rooms, two rooms for live video-feed observation and debriefing, and two robotic pets - a dog and a cat.
... Cornell’s Dr. Dan Fletcher says, “Through the use of these new facilities we can enhance CPR scenarios and can simulate a slew of other conditions.”
... Using open source hardware and software, Fletcher and his team developed their system and share it with other universities and veterinary centers.
... Click photo to enlarge.
GE and Verizon Advertise using robots
Posted 02/03/13 at 10:37 PM
... Verizon TV advertisements feature VGo Communications mobile telepresence robots streaming large amounts of data through their 4G LTE network. One ad shows a young home-bound student remotely attending and participating in a class; the other shows how kids, far away from the ocean, participated in a field trip to an ocean aquarium.
... GE’s TV ads feature a variety of brilliant machines (robots and smart jet engines) for transforming the way we work.
... Both ads are positive, favorable, and stimulate the public’s imagination about the value of robots in everyday life.
... Click to see videos of the ads.
CBS News’ 60 Minutes Provides New Definition of Robots
Posted 01/14/13 at 12:50 PM
... UPDATED 3/6/2013 to reflect 5 critiques and objections to the CBS segment on robotics.
... CBS New 60 Minutes did a segment on robots, robotics and jobs Sunday evening.
... They coined a new definition of robotics: “The broad universal definition is a machine that can perform the job of a human. The machine can be mobile or stationary, hardware or software.”
... They also presented the viewpoints of MIT professors Brynjolfsson and McAfee whose book “Race Against the Machine” was referenced in the report.
... CBS 60 Minutes also provided interviews with Adept CEO John Dulchinos and ReThink Robotics CEO Rodney Brooks along with plenty of interesting video showing Tessla Motors robots, Adepts, ReThink Robotics, VGo Communications, Aethon’s tugs and InTouch Health and iRobot’s RP-VITA remote presence robot.
$100 million P-P-P suggestion for healthcare robotics
Posted 01/07/13 at 11:14 PM
... Op-ed piece suggesting $100 million be invested in developing eldercare robot similar to the robot in the movie “Robot & Frank.”
... EU is already funding a similar project called Companionable with their robot named Hector.
... If America doesn’t lead in robotics, they will continue to be a buyer of robots made in Germany and Japan.
... America launched the industrial robotics industry but all but one of the major robot manufacturers are offshore. $100 million invested in a public-private-partnership to develop, design, engineer, manufacture and market home health and elder care robots could change that dynamic.
... Read more.
2012: Filling a need or feeding a diversion?
Posted 01/02/13 at 12:13 PM
... 2012 has been a year of really great inventions, silly ones, temporary solutions (like the new tethered drone from CyPhy Works), and diversions. All happening seemingly simultaneously, without moderation, guidance and little direction. And most are transitional (or at least incremental) with better solutions in the labs or courtrooms waiting for breakthroughs.
... But there are also toys and other robotic items that have withered because the developer didn’t want to be diverted into a business when all he/she wanted was to build something fresh and fun. Many of the tele-presence devices getting crowd-funding in recent months are fun-tech gimmick products with no long-term business plan or even interest in having one.
... One could make a case that with strategic guidance and management, robotic development could happen quicker. That we could truly fill a need instead of feeding a diversion. Read more....