Friday, July 28, 2017

2015 Archives

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MS’s Cortana now doing daily morning weather report

Posted on 12/30/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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New Sino-Israeli Robotics Institute gets $20 million initial funding

Posted on 12/28/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Over 100 research reports cover global robotics

Posted on 12/28/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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In China, robotics are progressing according to plan

Posted on 12/20/15 by Frank Tobe

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%."

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Yamaha RMAX crop sprayer gets full FAA approval

Posted on 12/20/15 by Frank Tobe

The FAA granted Yamaha Motor Corp. an Agricultural Aircraft Operations certificate for their RMAX crop spraying remotely piloted helicopters.

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Blue River, Jibo and others get December funding

Posted on 12/17/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Register your drone. It’s the law.

Posted on 12/16/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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2016 will be a pivotal year for social robots

Posted on 12/13/15 by Frank Tobe

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. 

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Study finds that reshoring with robots works

Posted on 12/10/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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The Robot Report’s global directory and map exceeds 4,000 entries

Posted on 12/08/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Passion for utility drove his vision for robotics

Posted on 12/02/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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October/November fundings and acquisitions

Posted on 11/28/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Drone registration Task Force makes 11 key recommendations

Posted on 11/24/15 by Frank Tobe

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:

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‘Rise of the Robots’ receives Book of the Year award

Posted on 11/21/15 by Frank Tobe

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. 

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More than 180,000 robotic cleaners sold on a single day

Posted on 11/20/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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6 predictions, 9 stocks, a, revolution, an apocalypse, and killer robots - oh my!

Posted on 11/09/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Drone maker DJI to set up R&D center in Silicon Valley; Toyota will do the same

Posted on 11/07/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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1,000 workers produce latest batch of 1,000 Pepper robots

Posted on 11/04/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Blue Belt Technologies acquired by Smith & Nephew for $275 million

Posted on 11/01/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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Is the robotics industry over-studied or does it indicate a trend?

Posted on 11/01/15 by Frank Tobe

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.

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