Welcome to Episode 11 of The Robot Report Podcast, which brings conversations with robotics innovators straight to you. Join us every Wednesday for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community.
Eugene caught up with Patrick Sobalvarro, co-founder, president, and CEO of Veo Robotics, a Waltham, Mass.-based company making standard industrial robots more responsive to humans so they can work safely side by side. Eugene and Patrick touched on several topics, including the challenges facing manufacturers, what Veo’s FreeMove system means for collaborative robots, going through safety certification, and the impact of COVID-19. Patrick also shares why it was important for Veo to work with investors who have a long-term view, whether re-shoring is really happening in the U.S., and robotics trends to watch.
Eugene and I also take you inside our tele-operation of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot from nearly 3,000 miles away. We controlled Spot via our homes near Boston, taking the quadruped for a walk around Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. We produced a 15-minute highlight video of the experience, but there was much more to the walk than that. Today’s podcast features more of our conversation with Jeff Linnell, founder and CEO of Formant, as we walked Spot.
Formant, a startup building software to analyze and monitor fleets of robots, is giving us and the public an opportunity to tele-operate Spot. We had some great discussion about Spot’s capabilities, Boston Dynamics‘ engineering prowess, potential applications for fleets of Spots, and much more.
Eugene and I also discuss Amazon reportedly looking to buy vacant retails spaces left by several retailers filing bankruptcy, including JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, and Sears. This could have big implications for Amazon‘s micro-fulfillment plans and autonomous vehicle ambitions. We also share our thoughts on iRobot getting extended tariff relief, a delivery robot driving itself into a canal in the U.K., and more.
If you would like to be a guest on an upcoming episode of the podcast, or if you have recommendations for future guests or segment ideas, contact Steve or Eugene. For sponsorship opportunities of The Robot Report Podcast, contact Courtney Nagle for more information.
0-2:00: Show Intro
2:00-41:42: Conversation with Patrick Sobalvarro, CEO & Co-Founder, Veo Robotics
41:43-47:17 Amazon looks to buy vacant retail spaces
47:18-50:41 – Starship delivery robot drives into a canal
50:42-53:31: iRobot gets extended relief from Chinese tariffs
53:32-58:05: Hyundai-Aptiv form new entity
59:08-1:27:08: Tele-operating Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot with Jeff Linnell, Founder & CEO, Formant
1:27:08-1:27:52: Show Outro
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We tele-operated Spot around Golden Gate Park from 3,000 miles away