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What a month it was for robotics. Whether it was our exclusive about DoorDash developing its own delivery robots or yet another acquisition of a company developing autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), there was no shortage of robotics stories to cover in November 2021.
Here are the Top 10 most popular robotics stories on The Robot Report in November 2021. Subscribe to The Robot Report Newsletter to stay updated on the robotics stories you need to know about.
10. Fieldin acquires Midnight Robotics to develop autonomous tractors
Fieldin acquired Midnight Robotics, a company that specializes in autonomous driving technology for agricultural robotics applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Midnight’s retrofit kits can be installed to make any tractor autonomous. Midnight Robotics was founded in 2019 by Horovitz and Edo Reshef, both veterans of LiDAR company Innoviz. Read Story
9. Watch Cruise co-founder hail first driverless robotaxi in SF
Autonomous vehicle company Cruise, a subsidiary of GM, released a video showing its first driverless robotaxi ride without human safety drivers. And, conveniently, Cruise co-founder, CTO and president Kyle Vogt pulled a Jeff Bezos by being the first passenger. Read Story
8. How Waymo’s self-driving cars handle fog in SF
Self-driving cars operate mainly in sunny, warm places to avoid potential weather-related complications. Waymo is looking to better combat weather conditions, and it’s starting in San Francisco, where any day there is a one third chance of fog. Here’s how. Read Story
7. NASA needs your help identifying features on Mars
NASA is expanding its AI4Mars program with new images from the Perseverance rover exploring Mars. Once again, it’s looking to the public to help teach its robots. NASA needs help identifying features in about 20,000 images to make an algorithm more sophisticated. Read Story
6. Jungheinrich AG acquires AMR provider arculus
Hamburg, Germany-based Jungheinrich AG acquired Munich-based AMR developer arculus GmbH for an undisclosed amount. In acquiring arculus, Jungheinrich added hardware and software solutions in the rapidly-growing AMR sector to its portfolio of automation systems. Read Story
5. Non-automotive industries driving record robot sales
The robotics industry ended 2020 with record Q4 sales in North America, and that trend has continued in 2021. So far in 2021, the robotics industry generated $1.48 billion in sales, with nearly 29,000 units ordered in North America. That is a record high for the first 9 months in the market, surpassing the previous record set in 2017. Read Story
4. SPAC merger for Plus’ autonomous trucks called off
Plus, an autonomous trucking software developer, and blank check firm Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. terminated their SPAC merger. This was a mutual decision made because of the regulatory environment in China, where Plus has a large presence. Read Story
3. Waymo begins mapping NYC to improve autonomous driving tech
Waymo began mapping the streets of New York City. Five of its Chrysler Pacifica minivans are driving in Manhattan, primarily south of Central Park. Its operations will extend down through the city to the financial district and also out to a small section of New Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel. Find of why Waymo is mapping The Big Apple. Read Story
2. Dronut X1 drone designed for GPS-denied environments
Boston-based startup and MassRobotics resident Cleo Robotics started shipping its Dronut X1 drone ($9,800) that is designed for law-enforcement, industrial inspection, construction and defense applications. The key to the drone is its patented thrust vectoring technology that enables the ducted fan design to remain stable during flight. Read Story
1. DoorDash is building its own delivery robots
DoorDash has tested last-mile delivery with a number of robotics companies since 2017, including Cruise, Marble and Starship Technologies. However, none of those solutions seem to have stuck for DoorDash. The food delivery giant appears to be developing its own autonomous delivery robots. Read Story
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