Sunday, September 25, 2016

GoPro unveils long-awaited Karma stabilized drone system and kit

GoPro fans and the financial world have been looking forward to GoPro's new Karma since GoPro announced last December that it was working on building its first drone. When they delayed the release from early summer until now, it only served to raise expectations.

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Posted on 09/24/16

46 research reports analyze the robotics industry and autonomous vehicles

As autonomous cars begin to hit world markets in pilot tests and other ways, and before the International Federation of Robotics clarifies whether those vehicles are robots or not, two research firms have combined those vehicles with other robots. Their results are highlighted in yellow below.

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Posted on 09/23/16

Pittsburgh and Singapore are now pilot sites for self-driving car services

Two self-driving car events of note: Uber just began operating a fleet of Volvo self driving cars in Pittsburgh, and nuTonomy launched the first autonomous pilot taxi program last month in Singapore. (Both still require a driver although he/she will be as hands-off as possible.)

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Posted on 09/14/16

InterDrone 2016 vs. 2015: the trend is towards professionalism

InterDrone just concluded their 2nd annual trade show and conference in Las Vegas. The differences between the 2015 event and this one reflect the rapid changes in the industry and can be seen as a predictor for the next few years.

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Posted on 09/14/16

Integrators are dead; long live the integrator

For many years integrators have engineered, built and installed automation machinery for their manufacturer clients. As manufacturing has begun to move from mass production to mass customization, the integration process has required more flexibility and increasingly used robots as part, if not all, of the solution.

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Posted on 09/13/16

Advances and commercial uses in prosthetics

“When the greater public thinks about exoskeletons, they generally think of the robotic suits you might find in a Marvel comic,” said Samantha, COO of Open Bionics. “The reality is that with exoskeletons, we are just scratching the surface of this technology!"

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Posted on 09/13/16

Top 10 technologies in precision agriculture

PrecisionAg's editor Eric Sfiligoj has prepared a list of the top 10 technologies that are shaping precision ag today. Most involve some level of robotics, navigation, sensors and variable rate dispensing. Check them out!

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Posted on 09/09/16

Case IH displays new cab-less concept tractor

Case IH (Case New Holland International Harvester) displayed their new cab-less tractor at a farming show in Iowa. The presentation was to show off what they hope will be the future: an autonomous tractor without a steering wheel, pedals or a cab for the driver.

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Posted on 09/04/16

August fundings and acquisitions

August was another big month for funding robotic startups. 18 deals. Almost $430 million (bringing the year-to-date total well over $1 billion)! Plus another $1 billion paid in August for four acquisitions.

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Posted on 09/02/16

Two LiDAR makers each get big funding

In anticipation of the need for LiDAR devices in cars with assisted steering and other self-driving technologies, both Velodyne and Quarnergy received funding. Quanergy raised $90 million and Velodyne got $150 million.

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Posted on 08/25/16

News bureaus and networks setting up drone divisions

CNN just inaugurated their new drone division. So have many other news organizations. Network providers are also setting up drone operations for a variety of purposes.

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Posted on 08/20/16

As Ford sets a date, Jibo retracts theirs

Bringing a complex product to market is an intensive process fraught with problems. Getting hardware ready for manufacturing is often the easy part; it's the software and regulatory compliance that's often the most challenging. Here are three examples: Ford Motor Co., Velodyne LiDAR and Jibo.

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Posted on 08/17/16

Midea’s masterplan to become China’s robot powerhouse

Chinese consumer manufacturer Midea, after having spent over $4 billion to acquire 94% of German robot maker Kuka, is planning to spend an additional $1.5 billion to turn itself into China's preeminent robot powerhouse.

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Posted on 08/17/16

IDC awards 5 warehouse robotics innovators

International Data Corporation (IDC) has awarded five pioneering players in the warehouse robotics market with the 2016 IDC Innovators Award. Companies selected met the following criteria: revenue of less than $50 million with an innovative technology, or a groundbreaking new business model, or both.

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Posted on 08/16/16

What happens when a robot company sells off a division?

Spin-offs are disrupting but often necessary. Here are two recent examples: iRobot sold off its Defense & Security Business Unit to a private equity firm, and Harvest Automation sold the IP and work in process of its warehousing robot group to a new venture-backed startup.

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Posted on 08/10/16

As Intuitive Surgical continues to shine, competitors are entering the fray

Robotic surgery has long been dominated by Intuitive Surgical which has placed more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals around the world. Nevertheless, an increasing number of new players are entering the marketplace.

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Posted on 08/04/16

July fundings, acquisitions and failures

Despite all the high-profile billion-dollar acquisitions, eg: ARM by SoftBank, KUKA by Midea and Uber China by Didi Chuxing, M&A are down 19% this year according to both Forbes and CB Insights.

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Posted on 08/02/16

Singapore to begin testing on-demand robot taxis

Delphi Automotive, the global provider of vehicle electronics components, will begin testing 6 phone-dispatched autonomous taxis in Singapore that will go point-to-point based on customer requests with a goal of providing no-driver-in-the-car service by 2019 and cars without steering wheels by 2022.

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Posted on 08/01/16

Swiss startup makes good on Broadway

Flying robots perform 100th show on Broadway, using new localization technology and algorithms designed and created by Verity Studios of Zurich in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil for their new show PARAMOUR.

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Posted on 07/29/16

AUTOMATICA 2016: digitalization and collaborative robotics

AUTOMATICA 2016, held in June in Munich at the massive Messe tradefair facility, is a gigantic show focused on automation, mechatronics, robotics and emerging technologies as they relate to the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

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Posted on 07/24/16

Midea now owns 85.69% of KUKA’s shares

Since the announcement of the month-long tender offer by Midea to buy 49% of the shares of German robot maker KUKA AG - and private negotiations - Midea now has 85.69% of the shares.

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Posted on 07/20/16

SoftBank jumpstarts IoT by buying ARM for $32 billion

Today's announcement that SoftBank will spend $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings means the Japanese firm is buying the most important company in the world of mobile processors for smartphones and Internet of Things devices.

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Posted on 07/18/16

“Deep learning is the most fundamental advance in AI research since AI started in 1956”

Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital and private equity firm, said, "It is absolutely non-controversial that deep learning is the most fundamental advance in A.I. research since the start [of A.I.] in 1956."

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Posted on 07/14/16

Coming very soon: robots from Sony, robot-made hamburgers, mobile robot deliveries

Re-joining the ranks, Sony announced a return to robotics. Momentum is opening a robot hamburger shop. And Starship is beginning to delivery food to 3 cities in Europe.

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Posted on 07/11/16

62 market research reports study robotics industry

The number of research reports studying the robotics industry is growing exponentially. To date in 2016 there have been 109 on subjects ranging from overly broad to very drilled-down views of the industry. Prices range from $800 to $6,500.

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Posted on 07/10/16

Logistic companies Swisslog, Dematic, Egemin and Intelligrated have all been acquired

First the KION Group acquires Dematic for $2.5 billion and a week later Honeywell acquires Intelligrated for $1.5 billion. Earlier KION acquired Retrotech and earlier still Egemin while Kuka acquired Swisslog. What's going on?

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Posted on 07/03/16

June fundings, acquisitions and failures

Six months worth of funding deals thus far in 2016 indicate that investments in robotics - equity fundings, and acquisitions - are accelerating, particularly in big deals involving Chinese money.

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Posted on 06/30/16

What’s happening in robotics? Five trends to watch

Industrial robots used to be dumb, somewhat inflexible, and mostly blind - but also fast, precise and very efficient. As the cost of components, sensors and vision systems has been dropping, vision-enabled robots are becoming more prevalent and capable, and the industry is dramatically changing.

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Posted on 06/27/16

4,000 student clubs to use Dash and Dot robots in global contest

Wonder Workshop is finding success in teaching computer programming to young students through collaboration and with the use of Dash & Dot robots. 4,000+ student groups have registered for this year's Wonder League Robotics Competition, up from 1,000 in 2015.

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Posted on 06/26/16

FAA announces commercial drone regs

The highly anticipated rules governing commercial operation of small UAS (sUAS) were announced by the FAA and will take effect in late August. Until that time, commercial operators may continue to operate under Section 333 exemptions.

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Posted on 06/23/16

Industrial robot sales for 2015 set new record in spite of troubles in China

Worldwide sales of industrial robots set a new record: 248,000 units sold in 2015, 12% more than 2014. 66,700 units sold in China of which 20,400 were made in China.

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Posted on 06/22/16

Unmanned combat robots beginning to appear

IAI's RoBattle unmanned, heavy duty, highly maneuverable, combat and support robotic system (UGV) is being shown at the Eurosatory 2016 international air land defense and security exhibition in Paris this week.

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Posted on 06/14/16

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Chinese investors keep buying international robotics companies

The latest acquisition is Gimatic, an Italian pneumatic and electric grippers, sensors and positioners maker, by Agic Capital. The Financial Times reported the sale price to be between $112 and $169 million.

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Posted on 06/13/16