Monday, February 20, 2017


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Have you written any recent reports about stocks in the robotics industry?

Posted on 02/15/17 by Frank Tobe

I am often asked this question because I used to research and write 30+ articles about publicly-traded robotics companies each year. In addition to interesting stock activity, I also tabulated and charted the movement of those companies and reported and analyzed the results.

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Ford Motor to invest $1 billion in Pittsburgh startup Argo AI

Posted on 02/12/17 by Frank Tobe

Argo AI, a Pittsburgh startup, has sold a majority share of their company to Ford Motor Co. which has agreed to invest $1 billion over a five year schedule but will immediately become the majority shareholder. Both companies declined to disclose further details.

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Robotic cleaning market growing exponentially

Posted on 02/10/17 by Frank Tobe

The International Federation of Robotics forecast that unit shipments for the global market for vacuum cleaning robots, lawn-mowing robots and other household cleaning robots will grow at a CAGR of 33% through 2019. Other research reports say revenue for the market will reach $2.5 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 15%.

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Fight devasting ignorance with a fact-based understandable world-view

Posted on 02/09/17 by Frank Tobe

Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor who worked in public health in Africa for many years and then for the U.N. developing and presenting world health statistics, died at 68 from cancer.

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Lady Gaga, 300 Intel drones, and the Super Bowl

Posted on 02/06/17 by Frank Tobe

Three hundred drones flashed their colored lights and created a flying American flag as Lady Gaga sang a blend of "God Bless America” and "This Land Is Your Land" to 160 million viewers of the Super Bowl. Oh... and two football teams played into overtime and the final score was 34 to 28.

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January 2017 fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures

Posted on 02/01/17 by Frank Tobe

January fundings for robotics-related startups totaled over $123 million - a reasonable start for the new year. For acquisitions, three of the six companies acquired reported that $390.5 million traded hands. All in all another strong month for robotics.

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Deciding what NOT to do is as important as deciding what TO do

Posted on 01/29/17 by Frank Tobe

Business maturity is what startups often need when they ask for an 'adult' to come and manage their company. That was certainly the case with Danish startup Universal Robots as they sought funds and a new CEO in 2008.

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CBS News shows how using robots created 140 jobs

Posted on 01/24/17 by Frank Tobe

By investing $6 million in robots, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) was able to take back 10% of their manufacturing from China and place it into a new factory in Manning, South Carolina employing 140 new workers.

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$250 million awarded to new Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Posted on 01/17/17 by Frank Tobe

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, the new institute is made up of governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations from across the country. Combined they have contributed $173 million that will be fused with $80 million in federal funding.

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Travel Planning: 2017 Robotics Events Calendar

Posted on 01/16/17 by Frank Tobe

2017 offers a variety of informative robotic events. Some take extra time to get visas, tickets and coordinate with friends and associates. Here are the main upcoming robotics-related events:

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Parrot struggling, Lily fails and Google closes Titan Project as drone industry disunites

Posted on 01/12/17 by Frank Tobe

Entertainment, camera, moon-shot and military drones are all becomming more distinct as the drone industry gets commoditized. Prices are dropping even as impressive new features are added. It's a difficult time for drone makers.

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Rethink Robotics raises another $18 million

Posted on 01/12/17 by Frank Tobe

Rethink Robotics, the Boston-based maker of the Baxter and Sawyer robots founded by iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks, raised an additional $18 million in an unfinished $33 million Series E round led by private equity firm Adveq. 

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21 research reports forecast double-digit growth for robotics

Posted on 01/09/17 by Frank Tobe

After reading all the press releases for this batch of 21 research reports, one can see that although they vary widely in their forecasts they almost all agree that the robotics market is expected to grow at a double digit pace through 2022.

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Over $19 billion paid to acquire 50 robotics companies in 2016

Posted on 01/05/17 by Frank Tobe

2016 was a banner year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 50 sold; 11 for amounts over $500 million; five were over a billion. 30 of the 50 companies disclosed transaction amounts which totaled up to a colossal $18.867 billion!

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2016 best year ever for funding robotics startup companies

Posted on 01/02/17 by Frank Tobe

It was a busy and abundant year for seed, crowd, series A,B,C,D and VC funding of robotics-related startups. 128 companies got funded, some multiple times. $1.95 billion, 50% more than 2015 which was also a phenomenal year with over $1.32 billion  funded.

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December fundings, acquisitions and IPOs

Posted on 12/30/16 by Frank Tobe

Ten robotics-related companies got funded in December for a combined total of $94 million; down from $225 million in November. Four more got acquired. Over $2 billion was involved. No companies went public.

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Views and forecasts about robotics for the ag industry

Posted on 12/27/16 by Frank Tobe

At RoboUniverse in San Diego in December, agricultural robots and the labor shortage were quickly identified as the biggest issues facing the industry today. Water scarcity and field health were other key issues mentioned, but it’s labor that keeps farmers up at night and robotics that could come to their rescue.

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Jibo look-alike appears on Chinese websites

Posted on 12/22/16 by Frank Tobe

For all of us who participated in the Jibo IndieGoGo crowdfunding and are anxiously awaiting delivery - which has been delayed again - this Chinese knock-off came as quite a surprise.

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KUKA AERO sold to comply with US objections of sale to Chinese Midea

Posted on 12/21/16 by Frank Tobe

Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) will acquire KUKA Systems Aerospace North America (KUKA Aero), in a carve-out transaction to comply with U.S. regulators who objected to KUKA's sale to Chinese consumer products manufacturer Midea.

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Big year for acquisitions: Latest is Teledyne Technologies acquiring E2V Technologies

Posted on 12/13/16 by Frank Tobe

It's been a big year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 48 have sold thus far in 2016. Eight involved amounts over $500 million and five were over a billion; KUKA's acquisition by Chinese consumer products giant Midea was the biggest at $5.11 billion.

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