Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Archive

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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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$18.867 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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Robots may save the global economy

Posted on 12/11/16 by Frank Tobe

A recent article in The Washington Post by Morgan Stanley strategist and author of "The Rise and Fall of Nations" Ruchir Sharma, provides a nuanced overview of the issues of jobs, robots, productivity and income disparity. 

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Liquid Robotics acquired by Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Posted on 12/08/16 by Frank Tobe

In a move consistent with many other recent acquisitions of stars within the robotics industry, Liquid Robotics announced that they sold their company to Boeing's Autonomous Systems for Defense, Space & Security division.

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Beijing World Robot Conference drew big crowds and notable speakers

Posted on 12/06/16 by Frank Tobe

The Beijing World Robot Conference (WRC), sponsored by Beijing City, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the China Association of Science and Technology, was held October 21-25. It was big, long, ran over a weekend, and gave a run-down of the breath of China's fast-emerging robotics industry.

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Self-driving cars, networks, and the companies and people that are stimulating development

Posted on 12/02/16 by Frank Tobe

Intel is establishing an autonomous driving division; hacker George Hotz is open-sourcing his self-driving software in a bid to become a network company; LiDAR and distancing devices are changing. What's it all mean?

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November fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures

Posted on 12/01/16 by Frank Tobe

Seventeen robotics-related companies got funded for a combined total of over $225 million. Four more got acquired. Three went public to raise funds. And one failed.

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Rising need for nursery, indoor and vertical farming

Posted on 11/26/16 by Frank Tobe

To meet rising food demands from a growing global population, over 250 million acres of arable land will be needed – about 20% more land than all of Brazil.

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Let’s hope Trump does what he says regarding robots and robotics

Posted on 11/23/16 by Frank Tobe

In President-elect Trump's interview with the NY Times yesterday, when discussing jobs, closed factories and factories that may leave the country, he was asked: "Are you worried that those companies will keep their factories here, but the jobs will be replaced by robots?

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US auto industry installed 135,000 robots AND added 230,000 jobs

Posted on 11/23/16 by Frank Tobe

In the last six years, (2010–2015), according to the IFR (International Federation of Robotics), US industry has installed around 135,000 new industrial robots. The principal driver is automation in the car industry. During this same period, (2010–2015), the number of employees in the automotive sector increased by 230,000.

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