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NASA’s first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, layoffs and a vintage robotics documentary starring William Shatner captured your attention in July 2022.
Here are the 10 most popular robotics stories on The Robot Report in July. Subscribe to The Robot Report Newsletter to stay updated on the robotics stories you need to know about.
10. DoorDash shuts down Chowbotics
DoorDash is shutting down Chowbotics, a subsidiary of the company that produces the Sally robot. Chowbotics was founded in 2014 and acquired by DoorDash in February 2021 for an undisclosed amount. At the time, DoorDash was looking to bolster its robotics portfolio with a few key investments. Read More
9. Watch William Shatner discuss the future of robotics in 1984
In a science documentary from 1984, which recently began generating buzz online, actor William Shatner discussed recent advances in robotics and the future of the industry. Shatner discussed many aspects of the industry that have become commonplace today. He defines social and industrial robots, explained the six axes of motion present on many industrial robots then and today, and even addressed concerns about robots leaving workers without jobs. Read More
8. Delivery robot maker Starship Technologies cuts 11% of workforce
Starship Technologies, one of the earlier companies to enter the outdoor robot delivery market, laid off 11% of its global workforce. The company, which has engineering headquarters in Estonia and business headquarters in San Francisco, said it has been negatively impacted by the “dramatic downward shifts” in the global economy and investment market. Read More
7. Fabric laying off 40% of staff, pivoting business model
Fabric, a developer of ASRS technology for micro-fulfillment applications, is laying off about 40% of its 300-person staff, or roughly 120 employees. The news was first reported by TechCrunch and since confirmed by The Robot Report. Founding CEO Elram Goren was replaced by COO Avi (Jack) Jacoby two weeks ago. Read More
6. Reports: major layoffs at Pudu Robotics
There are reports of major layoffs at Pudu Robotics, a Chinese developer of commercial service robots. Reports from Chinese media outlets about the number of layoffs vary, with some outlets reporting layoffs of up to 1,500 employees since the start of 2022. Read More
5. Watch researchers use dead spiders as robotic grippers
Well, here’s something you don’t see everyday. Engineers at Rice University are turning dead spiders into mechanical grippers. The dead wolf spiders are being tested to show they can reliably lift more than 130% of their own body weight. The researchers said this is the first step toward a novel area of research they call “necrobotics.” Read More
4. 5 images from James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) science team released five spectacular images in its first science package. Astronomers, researchers and scientists smarter and more educated than me have spent a lot of time providing their thoughts on what we can see in each of these images. But let’s take a moment to look at what NASA released and understand why NASA chose this set of images for the first science release. Read More
3. Nuro lays off employees in Texas, California and Arizona
Nuro has laid off seven employees in Houston and Mountain View, California and three more at its Phoenix offices. The company has raised $2.1 billion in funding since its founding in 2016. A Nuro spokesperson told The Robot Report, “As part of our ongoing business strategy development, we closed four positions in Houston and three positions in Mountain View, and offered severance packages to the seven people affected by the change. Read More
2. Getting Mars samples back to Earth: Perseverance searching for landing sites
NASA’s Perseverance Rover has spent over a year on Mars, exploring the planet and collecting nine samples from rocks and soil, so far, to someday bring back to Earth. The rover started scouting spots for the planned Mars Sample Return (MSR) Campaign to land. For NASA’s return campaign, Perseverance is looking for a relatively flat, lander-friendly site close to the Jezero Crater’s ancient river delta, where the rover is currently collecting samples. Read More
1. NASA releases first science image from James Webb Space Telescope
NASA released the first science image from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) during a press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden. The image was of SMACS J0723.3-7327. What you see in the image is an area of space that includes the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared. This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.. The light in this region goes back 13+ billion years. Read More
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