Welcome to Episode 14 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.
This week, we talk to Oliver Mitchell, venture partner at ff Venture Capital. We discuss his approach to investing during COVID-19, advice for robotics startups, and why Oliver isn’t a fan of special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC). For instance, Luminar Technologies recently merged with SPAC Gores Metropoulos.
We also discuss with Oliver the autonomous vehicle bubble, how Detroit’s fear of Silicon Valley led to inflated valuations of autonomous vehicle companies, separating hype vs. reality and the differences between East Coast and West Coast investors. Oliver is from New York, in case you’re wondering.
Gene and I also discuss the FAA granting Amazon a Part 135 air carrier certificate for its delivery drones. What does this mean for Amazon Prime Air, which was announced in 2013? Hint: probably not much. We also discuss cargo drones being developed in China, autonomous flight technology being developed by Reliable Robotics, and introduce you to a coconut-harvesting robot being developed in India.
We also preview this week’s RoboBusiness Direct discussion that airs September 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute – the ARM Institute – examines what’s new and next in robotics for manufacturing. The ARM Institute members will discuss how they select projects to fund, as well as manufacturing automation initiatives across the U.S.
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-:38 Ad Read
:39-3:54: Show Intro
3:55-46:13: Conversation with Oliver Mitchell, Venture Partner, ff Venture Capital
46:14-48:19: RoboBusiness Direct Preview
48:20-55:52: Amazon delivery drones receive FAA certificate
55:53-1:00:13 China’s largest delivery company is testing cargo drones
1:00:14-1:07:21: Reliable Robotics is developing autonomous flight technology
1:07:22-1:12:51 Meet Amaran, a coconut-harvesting robot
1:12:52-1:13:45: Show Outro