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Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, an industry group supporting the innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra is also founder of Robot Launchpad for startups, and cofounder of Robot Garden, a new robotics hackerspace. Andra is a core contributor to Robohub, the global site for news and views on robotics. She obtained her MA in Human-Robot Culture at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2011, building on a background as a robot geek, STEM educator and film-maker. Andra graduated as an ABC film, television and radio technician in 1986 and obtained a BA in Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia, in 1998.
by ,   -   July 21, 2016
Photo source: LEKA
Photo source: LEKA

Catch up with past winners: CleverPet (2015), Preemadonna/Nailbot (2015 runner-up), and Leka (2014).

Will you be our next Robot Launch winner? There’s 25 days left to register! You can register by going to 2016 Robot Launch global online startup competition.

by ,   -   July 13, 2016

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We need you! Silicon Valley Robotics and Robohub have just launched the 2016 Robot Launch global online startup competition. Pitch your robotics startup online to an audience of top VCs, investors and experts, with live finals in Silicon Valley. Entries close August 15.

In previous Robot Launch competitions we’ve had hundreds of entries from more than 20 countries around the world. Our finalists have also reached the finals of major startup competitions like Tech Crunch Disrupt, and gone on to raise millions of dollars of funding making strong industry partnerships, such as working with Siemens Frontier Program.

by ,   -   July 12, 2016

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Anki’s new robot Cozmo (with free SDK) shows that this consumer robotics startup has got bigger plans than simply dominating the smart toy category. Founded in 2010 by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute graduates, Anki has become one of the most successful consumer robot companies around. Anki is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Two Sigma, and was named a “Top 50 Most Innovative Company” by Fast Company.

Robot weaving carbon fiber into rocket parts. Source: NASA/YouTube
Robot weaving carbon fiber into rocket parts. Source: NASA/YouTube

The US just moved a step closer to building an advanced robotics institute modeled on the hugely successful Fraunhofer Institutes. The proposed ARM or Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute is one of seven candidates moving forward in an open bid for $70 million funding from NIST for an innovation institute to join the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Previously funded institutes are for advanced composites, flexible electronics, digital and additive manufacturing, semiconductor technology, textiles and photonics.

Photo courtesy: Fellow Robots, Inc.
Photo courtesy: Fellow Robots, Inc.

Robotics today is a fast growing industry with applications in myriad markets, including retail, transportation, manufacturing, and even as personal assistants. Fellow Robots is at the forefront of reimagining these uses for the best retail experience – to improve your experience when shopping and to help employees with the most up to date product information and location of goods and services.

Viv is an AI personal assistant launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. It promises to radically simplify our interface with everything. Siri cofounders, Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, are looking to create a developer ecosystem so Viv will be the way every device interacts with you in the future.

chi2016-event

ACM CHI the premier Human-Computer Interaction conference is being held at San Jose ‘in the heart of Silicon Valley’ May 7 – 12.  There are panels and papers on robotics, and about the next generation of interfaces that will impact robotics and all our technologies. Live streaming to begin Monday May 9, at 08:30 (PST).

Young People In The Robotics ClassroomOATV, or O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, is a seed stage investment firm based in San Francisco with a track record of backing robotics startups in emerging areas. As well as investing in Fetch Robotics, some of their other hardware investments include 3D Robotics, Planet Labs, Misfit Wearables, Littlebits and Sight Machine. OATV typically invest between $250,000 and $2 million into startups at a critical early stage of development. This pre-revenue runway helps startups refine their prototypes, determine product/market fit, and achieve strong follow on rounds. OATV invests early, typically before market categories are well defined.

The White House announced a series of public workshops on artificial intelligence (AI) and the creation of an interagency working group to learn more about the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence. The first workshop Artificial Intelligence: Law and Policy will take place on May 24 at the University of Washington School of Law, cohosted by the White House and UW’s Tech Policy Lab

by ,   -   April 27, 2016

New Zealand country map polygonal with spot lights placesNew Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized Transforming AgTech, an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.

Silicon Valley Robotics Rich Mahoney and Andra Keay led a panel on robotics and agriculture. Here, they highlight NZ startups and innovation groups present at the event.

by ,   -   April 26, 2016

New Zealand’s government innovation agency Callaghan Innovations and Silicon Valley’s innovation non-profit SVForum organized: “Transforming Ag Tech," an event bringing together New Zealand and US agricultural startups in typical Silicon Valley style.

by ,   -   April 18, 2016

engineering_still_needs_more_women-heroIt’s super hard to find skilled people willing to work for robotics companies in Silicon Valley. Even though robotics is awesome and going to change the world. Because big companies with big paychecks are stealing all the talent. So, you seriously can’t afford to overlook anyone. Yet, judging from the gender ratio at robotics companies, most are overlooking one huge potential talent pool.

by ,   -   April 12, 2016

SVRBP-1-robot-block-party-silicon-valleyOn April 6th, Jabil Blue Sky Innovation Center hosted the 7th Annual Silicon Valley Robot Block Party. The free event was ‘sold out,’ with more than 2000 RSVPs and 40 companies in attendance. The event was part of National Robotics Week, showcasing the latest technologies, and was one of the events participating in the record-breaking 258 across the US!

by ,   -   April 6, 2016

The seventh annual National Robotics Week is on from April 2-10, 2016. In this post we find Robot Garden, in Livermore, California, learning and tinkering with robots at their community maker space.

by   -   March 18, 2016

CruiseForget about Google and Boston Dynamics. This week the real news is that GM acquired small San Francisco based startup Cruise Automation for the rumored sum of more than $1B US, according to Fortune. Robotics has its first unicorn!


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