The use of Cortana, an AI personal assistant created by Microsoft initially for Windows phones, has been a big hit in Japan and China. The Mandarin language version, named Xiaoice, is being used daily by a TV station to report the morning weather.
A consortium of Chinese companies, municipalities and investors, including Siasun, the largest robotics firm in China and the city of Guangzhou, have inked a deal to set up a $20 million R&D center in Israel dedicated to developing robot technology that China can use to modernize and automate its industrial base.
The number of research reports covering the robotics industry has grown exponentially in the last few years. 81 have been previewed on The Robot Report thus far in 2015. The latest batch of 28 -- shown below -- brings the total to 109.
The IFR (International Federation of Robotics) estimates that by 2018 one-third of all the industrial robots installed worldwide will be in China and said, "China is engaged on a historically unprecedented effort to catch-up in the race towards automation. The latest figures show that sales of industrial robots jumped to around 57,000 units in 2014 - a rise of 56%."
The FAA granted Yamaha Motor Corp. an Agricultural Aircraft Operations certificate for their RMAX crop spraying remotely piloted helicopters.
Jibo got $16 million from Asian VCs to enable Jibo to speak and sell in Japan and China, while Blue River Technology got $17 million from a group of agricultural VCs to expand product development to new areas, as funding for robotic ventures continues to soar.
The FAA has ruled that everyone who flies a drone must register. Since an estimated 700,000 drones are expected to be sold in the U.S. for the holiday gift-giving season, the registration process is short and online.
1,000 Peppers are selling each month from a big-dollar venture between SoftBank, Alibaba and Foxconn; Jibo just raised another $16 million as it prepares to deliver 7,500+ units in Mar/Apr of 2016; and Buddy, Rokid, Sota and many others are poised to deliver similar forms of social robots.
Two important findings from Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) recent survey of US manufacturing executives: (1) Of those that plan to add capacity, most plan to do so in the U.S., and (2) a rising percentage say they are already in the process of reshoring work from China.
Since its inception in 2008, we've been compiling and vetting companies that manufacture robots or are directly involved in their making. Today that list has exceeded 4,000 manufacturers, integrators, service robot providers, startup companies, ancillary businesses and educational facilities.
I'm saddened to report that Joseph Engelberger, 90, the robot pioneer who helped invent the first American industrial robot, and a man that had a significant impact on my interest in robotics, passed away.
Ten more fundings of robotic companies (47 so far in 2015); three more acquisitions (bringing the 2015 total to 28); and an important strategic partnership all took place in October and November and are recapped below.
After the Task Force agreed that it was outside the scope of the Task Force’s objectives to debate or discuss the DOT Secretary’s decision to require registration, they undertook to develop and recommend a registration process that ensures accountability and encourages a maximum level of compliance. Here are their recommendations:
One of our choices for your summer reading, Martin Ford's 'Rise of the Robots,' won the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award at a ceremony held last week in New York.
On Singles Day 2015, a holiday for the Chinese singles and youth market, Ecovacs Robotics sold $47 million worth of robotic products. Ecovacs only has three robotic products: a line of vacuum cleaners, a window cleaner, and a security and air purification device.
A new 300-page research report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Robot Revolution – Global Robot & AI Primer, and to a lesser extent BSG's report: Man and Machine in Industry 4.0, make for interesting reading and highlight the role of AI and the changing nature of jobs and work in the exponential growth of the robotics industry.
No wonder rents are so high in Silicon Valley. Companies from around the world are setting up research facilities and grabbing talent from the area. The most recent announcements are that Chinese drone maker DJI and Japanese car maker Toyota are creating large R&D centers in the area.
A new batch of 1,000 Japanese-speaking Pepper robots sold out in one minute after they were made available online by Japanese telecom company SoftBank. This brings the total Pepper robots sold thus far to at least 7,000.
As surgeons develop and use ever-more capable robotic augmentation devices for their surgical procedures, many startup companies are being acquired by global medical device conglomerates. Stryker's $1.65 billion acquisition of MAKO Surgical in September, 2013 is an example.
The number of research reports covering the robotics industry has grown exponentially in the last few years. 53 have been previewed on The Robot Report thus far in 2015. The latest batch of 28 -- shown below -- brings the total to 81.