What a month it was for robotics. Whether it was learning how former coal miners are becoming mobile robot technicians, iRobot delaying its robot lawn mower or Nuro being approved for driverless delivery tests in California, there was no shortage of robotics stories to cover in April 2020.
Here are the Top 10 most popular robotics stories on The Robot Report in April 2020. Subscribe to The Robot Report‘s weekly newsletter to stay updated on the robotics stories you need to know about.
10. OnRobot Soft Gripper designed for picking challenges, food handling
The OnRobot Soft Gripper uses three interchangeable silicon-molded cups to pick up small objects under 2.2kg. The flexible end-of-arm tooling comes in star and four-fingered configurations. Unlike traditional vacuum grippers, the new end effector requires no external air supply, so it can reduce both cost and complexity. Read Full Story
9. Robotics investments recap: March 2020
The Robot Report tracked 23 investments in March 2020, compared with 43 worth $1.3 billion in March 2019 and 18 worth $1.9 billion in February 2020. The table below lists fundings in millions of U.S. dollars, where amounts were publicly available. Read Full Story
8. How to optimize autonomous navigation through networking
Manufacturers and logistics providers have an immense and growing need for flexibility. Mobile robots with increasingly autonomous navigation and common interfaces can help meet this need. Learn about how Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart, Germany has been developing its NODE technology to improve the navigation of autonomous mobile robots. Read Full Story
7. Savioke, Brain Corp discuss what service robot developers should know
Brain Corp partnered with Savioke to develop a shelf-scanning robot that it demonstrated at the National Retail Federation trade show in January. The Robot Report spoke to both companies about the partnership and the ongoing evolution of service robots. Read Full Story
6. iRobot Terra robot lawn mower delayed due to COVID-19
iRobot delayed the launch of its long-awaited Terra robot lawn mower. And it didn’t specify a future launch date for the product. On its Q1 earnings call, iRobot said it believes “there is substantial long-term opportunity in the robot lawncare market,” but that it is “simply the wrong time to launch this product.” Read Full Story
5. Nuro driverless vehicles approved for delivery tests in California
California granted Nuro permission to test its two of its R2 driverless vehicles in parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Nuro joined Waymo as the only two companies allowed to operate driverless vehicles on California’s public roads. Read Full Story
4. Universal Robots’ ActiNav aims to democratize autonomous bin picking
Autonomous bin picking is a common robotics application, but it is rarely, if ever, referred to as “easy to use.” Universal Robots is hoping to change this with its ActiNav autonomous bin-picking kit, the newest addition to the recently launched UR+ application kits. Read Full Story
3. UL publishes its first autonomous vehicle safety standard
A lack of industry standards has been among the challenges facing developers of self-driving cars. Underwriters Laboratory published UL 4600, its first standard for evaluating the safety of autonomous vehicles. The standard describes safety principles and processes for evaluating fully autonomous vehicles and covers a variety of topics. Read Full Story
2. How former coal miners became mobile robot techs
The eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute is providing a lifeline for former coal miners, helping them switch careers to mobile robot technicians. Learn how former coal miners Matt Neace, Devan Parsons and others landed at AutoGuide Mobile Robots. Read Full Story
1. COVID-19 coverage
The Robot Report is covering how the robotics industry is responding to and being affected by COVID-19. We have shared how robots are working to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and how robots are helping diagnose the disease. Robotics experts have also shared their thoughts on how COVID-19 will impact the future of robotics and autonomous vehicles. Special Coverage of COVID-19
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