Saturday, April 19, 2014

2013 Archives

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Protecting jobs by adding robots

Posted on 12/26/13 by Frank Tobe

Two different points of view about adding robots to stay competitive. The A3 (Association for Advancing Automation*) has a new website and a video on the subject: “Why I Automate,” which shows in detail why it was necessary and how it was done for one steel basket-making manufacturer. Before automation, Marlin Steel was bending steel by hand and suffering a high rate of workman’s accidents. Today a robot tends a bending machine and the company has gone 1,687 days without an accident. Equally important, they are selling their baskets world-wide, even into China!

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Japanese Team Schaft Gets Highest DRC Score

Posted on 12/24/13 by Frank Tobe

Recent Google acquisition, Schaft, a spin-off from Tokyo University, attained the highest score in the DARPA Robotics Challenge trials and wins $1 million to work towards the final challenge at the end of 2014. Read details in DARPA Robotics Challenge story below.

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Top Stories from the 2013 Archives of The Robot Report

Posted on 12/24/13 by Frank Tobe

Top robotics-related stories for 2013 - as reported in The Robot Report and detailed in our blog Everything-Robotic.

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DARPA Robotics Challenge

Posted on 12/20/13 by Frank Tobe

The DRC is a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. The winner gets $2 million. It is sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and is fodder for the global roboticist community eager for a glimpse of breakthrough technologies.

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Google makes 8 big robotic investments

Posted on 12/19/13 by Frank Tobe

In a revealing NY Times interview with Google's Andy Rubin, some heretofor unknown things came to light: Google is now in the robotics business.

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Google makes 8 big robotic investments

China’s Moon Landing and Rover Tip of Iceberg

Posted on 12/19/13 by Frank Tobe

Yutu (“Jade Rabbit”), China's rover-like robot was soft-landed on the moon earlier this month. China's plans to become a global leader in robotics and space exploration are just beginning to be seen.

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KUKA buys 51% of Reis Robotics with option to buy remainder

Posted on 12/18/13 by Frank Tobe

In a surprise move, KUKA, one of the global big four robot manufacturers, signed a letter of intent to acquire 51% of the shares of Reis Robotics, a 57-year old family-owned Germany-based robotics provider and systems integrator.

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Foxconn plans factory in PA and funds robotic research at CMU

Posted on 12/16/13 by Frank Tobe

Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision will fund $10 million for robotics and advanced manufacturing research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

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KUKA opens Shanghai factory and announces orders

Posted on 12/15/13 by Frank Tobe

KUKA cut the ribbon at their new factory outside of Shanghai. The factory will begin employing 350 and produce the QUANTEC line of robots and controllers and will be able to produce 3,000 robots and controllers annually. Although KUKA has had sales and service facilities in China for the past 9 years, this is the first manufacturing factory.

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Rethink Robotics downsizing: 23% lay off

Posted on 12/14/13 by Frank Tobe

The Boston Globe reported that Rethink Robotics, maker of the $22,000 Baxter 2-armed robot, has cut 21 jobs from their staff of approximately 90.

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Amazon isn’t the only delivery service testing flying robots

Posted on 12/05/13 by Frank Tobe

Amazon isn't the only delivery service testing flying robots. DHL and microdrones are testing drones that could be used to deliver urgently needed goods to hard-to-reach places, eg, medicines to remote sites.

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos interviewed by Charlie Rose

Posted on 12/04/13 by Frank Tobe

Bezos said the secret to Amazon's success is trial and error: "We are on our 7th generation of fulfillment centers - and we've gotten better every time. Amazon is a symphony of people, a symphony of software and a symphony of robots."

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos interviewed by Charlie Rose

Apple buys Israel’s PrimeSense for $350 million

Posted on 11/29/13 by Frank Tobe

Famous from being the synchronized depth perception system inside the Microsoft Kinnect, PrimeSense, a venture-funded company based in Tel Aviv, was just acquired by Apple for $350 million.

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Apple buys Israel’s PrimeSense for $350 million

Global Machine Vision market to grow at 9.4% CAGR

Posted on 11/25/13 by Frank Tobe

New report by Research and Markets, Global Machine Vision Market 2012-2016, a $2,500 report, forcasts global machine vision market to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% to 2016.

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Global Machine Vision market to grow at 9.4% CAGR

8 Robotic Gifts for the 2013 Holiday Season

Posted on 11/25/13 by Frank Tobe

Romotive's Romo App-controlled pet and WowWee's RoboMe robot kit, both for the iPhone; iRobot's new Roomba 880 vacuum cleaning robot; and Modular Robotics' Cubelets Kit, offer interesting choices for adults buying for kids (or themselves).

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8 Robotic Gifts for the 2013 Holiday Season

Medical/Surgical Simulation

Posted on 11/24/13 by Frank Tobe

As the need for training on new-tech devices increases, virtual and physical simulation systems are in demand at medical schools and hospitals worldwide. One novel new robotic invention is Patrick, the robotic prostate exam mannequin. Developed by a MD and a virtual experiences research team, Patrick is being trailed at two hospital teaching centers in the US.

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Medical/Surgical Simulation

Mazor Robotics on a roll

Posted on 11/24/13 by Frank Tobe

Mazor Robotics' stock (NASDAQ:MZOR and TASE:MZOR) has steadily rolled up 260% year-to-date.

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Mazor Robotics on a roll

3D scanners coming down in price

Posted on 11/17/13 by Frank Tobe

3D Systems new Sense 3D scanner, at $399 including software, is a serious competitor for Makerbot's $1,400 Digitizer scanner.

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3D scanners coming down in price

New TV show: Have co-robots gone too far?

Posted on 11/08/13 by Frank Tobe

In a new TV series on the Fox Channel, set in 2048 and entitled "Almost Human," every cop is paired with a highly evolved human-like android partner.

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New TV show: Have co-robots gone too far?

Two Boston Notables Get More Money

Posted on 11/08/13 by Frank Tobe

Cyphy Works, the UAV developer with the tether solution, raises $7 million from VCs and angel investors.

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Two Boston Notables Get More Money

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