Friday, August 1, 2014


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10,000 robots to be used on new iPhone 6

Posted on 07/24/14 by Frank Tobe

MacRumors has done a roundup of iPhone 6 rumors and reported that the new phone will come in two models: 4.7” and 5.5” and be released starting this September.

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JIBO: a game changing social robot

Posted on 07/20/14 by Frank Tobe

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 $1.175 million over their $100,000 goal.

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Robots for entertainment - Part II

Posted on 07/19/14 by Frank Tobe

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).

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China International Robot Show (CIROS) a BIG hit

Posted on 07/16/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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3 Exoskeleton Companies Go Public

Posted on 07/13/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Will agricultural robots arrive in time to keep fruit and vegetable costs down?

Posted on 07/10/14 by Frank Tobe

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. 

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2013 Robotics Funding Up 32% From 2012

Posted on 07/03/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Top 10 take-aways from AUTOMATICA 2014

Posted on 07/01/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Keeping jobs in-country, Part II

Posted on 06/30/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Migration from Mexico to U.S. tapering off

Posted on 06/25/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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12.6% CAGR forecast for mobile robotics market

Posted on 06/20/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Why was this man smiling at AUTOMATICA?

Posted on 06/16/14 by Frank Tobe

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. 

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Global robotics and autonomous systems patents tripled in last 10 years

Posted on 06/14/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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BP gets first FAA approval to use commercial UAVs

Posted on 06/11/14 by Frank Tobe

BP, the oil and energy company, received the first FAA early-use approval to fly Puma UAVs in and around Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. 

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IFR Maker/User Panel at AUTOMATICA

Posted on 06/10/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Recent Fundings

Posted on 06/08/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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SoftBank + Aldebaran = Pepper

Posted on 06/06/14 by Frank Tobe

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."

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IFR reports record 2013 industrial robot sales

Posted on 06/04/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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17% CAGR forecast for home cleaning, remote presence and home entertainment robots

Posted on 05/31/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Biggest Maker Faire held at San Mateo Event Center, May 17 - 18

Posted on 05/29/14 by Frank Tobe

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.

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