What a month it was for robotics. Whether it was Anki’s patent portfolio going on sale, Teradyne adding to its robotics portfolio or the new Sawyer Black Edition cobot from Rethink Robotics GmbH, there was no shortage of robotics stories to cover in October 2019.
Here are the Top 10 most popular robotics stories on The Robot Report for October 2019. Subscribe to The Robot Report‘s free weekly newsletter to stay updated on the latest robotics stories you need to know about.
10. Mobile YuMi robot demos future of healthcare robotics
ABB showcased a number of concept technologies when it opened its first global healthcare research hub on the Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus. But a mobile YuMi robot that assists with laboratory and logistics tasks in hospitals stole the show. The dual-arm, mobile YuMi will be able to sense and navigate its way around its human co-workers autonomously, while learning to find different routes from one location to another. It has the potential to undertake a wide range of repetitive and time-consuming activities. Read Full story
9. Realtime Robotics raises $11.7M for collision avoidance tech
Realtime Robotics, a Boston-based startup developing responsive motion planning for robots and autonomous vehicles, closed a $11.7 million Series A round. It will use the funding to accelerate the development of more commercial products and expand its team. The Robot Report named Realtime Robotics one of 10 startups to watch in 2019. Read Full Story
8. Startup Profile: Cleo Robotics
Manual inspection of pressure vessels for oil and gas production is not a glamorous job. Just ask Omar Eleryan, who had to this as part of his job after he graduated from the University of Calgary with a mechanical engineering degree. This led Eleryan to co-found Cleo Robotics in 2016. The Boston-based startup is developing the Cleo Dronut, a compact and rugged drone designed for safe operation indoors and in confined spaces for reconnaissance and inspection applications. Read Full Story
7. Algorithm speeds up planning process for robotic grippers
MIT engineers found a way to speed up the planning process required for a robot to adjust its grasp on an object by pushing that object against a stationary surface. MIT found a compact way to solve the physics of these manipulations, in advance of deciding how the robot’s hand should move. They did so by using “motion cones,” which are essentially visual, cone-shaped maps of friction. Read Full Story
6. TRI teaches mobile manipulator with VR, simulation
A major challenge for making robots smarter has been the massive amounts of data that they need to be trained on. TRI claimed that its methods, which include using simulations and virtual reality (VR) to train a robot to conduct certain tasks, require less data.
TRI’s mobile manipulator uses a combination of off-the-shelf and custom hardware. It includes four Intel RealSense cameras and two 5-megapixel Basler cameras for a wide field of view. The robot also has an ATI mini-45 force/torque sensor and runs on an 18-core Intel i9 CPU and an Nvidia TitanV graphics processing unit running Linux. Read Full Story
5. Teradyne acquiring AutoGuide Mobile Robots
Teradyne Inc. is strengthening its robotics portfolio by acquiring AutoGuide Mobile Robots, a Chelmsford, Mass.-based developer of autonomous mobile robots. North Reading, Mass.-based Teradyne will pay $58 million net of cash acquired for AutoGuide. The price of the acquisition could increase another $107 million if AutoGuide meets performance targets through 2022. Read Full Story
4. Anki patent portfolio for sale
The patent portfolio for Anki, the once-popular consumer robotics company that closed in April 2019, is up for sale. The sale includes, among other things, 45 issued utility patents for the Overdrive, Cozmo, and Vector product lines. Hilco Streambank, which is handling the sale, will be accepting offer through November 21, 2019. Read Full Story
3. Diligent Robotics launches Moxi hospital robot
The Moxi service robot is designed to retrieve hospital supplies and be friendly to humans. Moxi uses machine learning for object recognition, grasping, and learning tasks in real time. It was built on a mobile base and navigation software based on the Robot Operating System from Fetch Robotics. Read Full Story
2. Sawyer Black Edition debuts from Rethink Robotics
Rethink Robotics GmbH updated the Sawyer collaborative robot. As part of its plan to apply “German engineering,” Rethink Robotics GmbH has addressed some of Sawyer’s design challenges. Sawyer Black Edition includes “higher-quality” components, making it “significantly” more reliable, more durable, and quieter, said the company. Read Full Story
1. 5 ways construction robots are disrupting the industry
While manual labor will likely always be a huge component of modern construction, technology has been steadily improving since the first pulleys and power tools. Robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and exoskeletons are beginning to help get the work done. With low U.S. unemployment and shortages of skilled labor, automation is key to meeting demand and continued economic growth. Read Full Story
Which of these robotics stories will you remember most? Share your thoughts in the comments.