Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 Archives

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Baidu loses A.I. star Andrew Ng

Posted on 03/22/17 by Frank Tobe

In a surprise move which shook Baidu's stock, Andrew Ng, Baidu's Chief Scientist and partner with Baidu's founder Robin Li Yanhong in expanding Baidu's AI activities into machine learning, driverless vehicles, and to power AI usage in advertising, maps, takeout delivery, and voice-activated search, resigned.

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Robot stars in UK play

Posted on 03/20/17 by Frank Tobe

In a poignant play traveling throughout the UK on tour, a robot is the co-star as companion to the wife of the robot builder, a woman who is developing Alzheimer's.

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Bosch and Nvidia partner to develop AI for self-driving cars

Posted on 03/16/17 by Frank Tobe

Amongst all the activity in autonomously driven vehicle joint ventures, new R&D facilities, strategic acquisitions (such as Mobileye being acquired by Intel) and booming startup fundings, two big players in the industry, NVIDIA and Bosch, are partnering to develop an AI self-driving car supercomputer.

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Intel to acquire Mobileye for $15.3 billion

Posted on 03/13/17 by Frank Tobe

Intel announced plans to acquire Israel-based Mobileye, a developer of vision technology used in autonomous driving applications, for $15.3 billion. Mobileye share prices jumped from $47 to $61 (the tender offering price is $63.54) on the news, a 30% premium. The purchase marks the largest acquisition of an Israeli hi-tech company ever.

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Robotic science may (or may not) help us keep up with the death of bees

Posted on 03/09/17 by Frank Tobe

In 2006, beekeepers became aware that honeybee populations were dying off at increasingly rapid rates. Scientists are also concerned about the dwindling populations of monarch butterflies. Researchers have been scrambling to come up with explanations and an effective strategy to save both insects or replicate their pollination functions in agriculture.

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February 2017 fundings, acquisitions and IPOs

Posted on 03/01/17 by Frank Tobe

February fundings for 16 robotics-related startups totaled over $313 million - another solid month for the new year. Acquisitions also continued to be substantial with Ford's acquisition of Argo and Midea Group's purchase of Servotronix. Plus there were two IPOs.

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2016 funding and acquisitions updates

Posted on 02/27/17 by Frank Tobe

Although the original articles (2016 was best year ever for funding robotics startup companies) and (Over $19 billion paid to acquire 50 robotic companies) have been updated to reflect the omissions of 2016 fundings and acquisitions, listed below is a recap of those updated transactions:

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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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