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.
In this second Silicon Valley Robotics Case Study, Savioke CEO Steve Cousins talks about his alpha customers and early trials, discusses the evolution of his company’s business strategy, and describes how robot delivery as a service fits into the hotel service model. Savioke has just raised a $15M Series A round for their hotel delivery robots, which are now deployed in five hotel chains, have completed 12,000 successful deliveries, and have an NSF grant to explore other applications for their robots, like eldercare. You can follow the full SVR Case Study series on Robohub here.
Savioke reached $17.6 Million in funding with a $15 Million Series A round from Intel Capital, EDBI, Northern Light Venture Capital. This funding will allow Savioke to scale their business, deploying Relay in hotels and exploring other business avenues. Relay is now in five major hotel chains and the robots have made more than 11,000 deliveries to date.
Robotics is finally stepping out of science fiction and into service, if not in our homes, then at least in our hotels, hospitals, restaurants, warehouses, hardware stores and other retail outlets. This new report series from Silicon Valley Robotics highlights the first steps of startups Fetch Robotics, Fellow Robots, Savioke and Adept into the emerging service robotics industry, with additional analysis contributed by industry experts.
Robots are starting to move out of the factory and into more common use as a service industry, where they work alongside people in places that range from the warehouse to the supermarket. Along the way, we need to ask: How do we integrate robotics into society? And what roles can robots play? A new report released today by Silicon Valley Robotics and titled "Service Robotics Case Studies in Silicon Valley – November 2015" showcases the new ways in which robots can enrich our economy, creating new positions in the retail, logistics, health and hospitality industries.
Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer, and heralded symbolic logic by demonstrating future applications for the universal computing machine that Charles Babbage proposed. She was exceptional in her era for her mathematical brilliance, but though she imagined future applications for a multitude of technological innovations, women at that time were not encouraged to speak about or publish their work, so Lovelace’s genius was appended as ‘notes’ onto the work of others and not seen as a major contribution in its own right.
The fact that the contributions of women such as Lovelace have not been celebrated until recently gives us cause to remedy the situation. Now in its third year, our list of ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About’ is both a shoutout and a call to look at what all these women in robotics have achieved!
From smart forklifts and web-based simulation interfaces, to assistive walking devices, robotic companions — even one for your pet! — the range of mature robotics that made it to the 2015 Robot Launch international startup competition was astounding. Now in it’s second year, the competition attracted more than 75 startups from 19 countries covering the gamut of medical, educational, consumer, industrial and service robotics. The finalists pitched to a live panel of judges and robotics entrepreneurs in Palo Alto, CA. Find out who judges picked for the winning RobotLaunch 2015 startups!
Robot Launch is the first international startup competition designed specifically to help robotics entrepreneurs get off the ground. Now in it’s second year, Robot Launch has attracted a diverse range of applicants that show just how quickly the business of robotics is maturing. Narrowed down from almost 100 robotics startups from around the world, the following 15 finalists represent 16 countries and cover an amazing cross-section of consumer, service and industrial robotics We are extremely impressed with the quality of the finalists! Check them out!
Established in Berlin in 1847, and with a presence in Silicon Valley since the 1950s, Siemens invests more than $1B in the US each year for research and development. Now their Technology to Business team (TTB) has launched the Frontier Partner program, which aims to give startups in robotics and 3D printing a head start by providing them with software and resources to accelerate the development and manufacturing of their products. We spoke with Director of Strategy for Siemens PLM Software, Andy Swiecki, about why Siemens is focusing on robotics right now, and what startups can expect to get out of the Frontiers program.
The Robot Launch competition finals will be held on Friday Sept 18 when a selection of great startups will pitch live to an investor panel. Are Robohub readers on the same wavelength as our expert panelists? Let’s see! Here are the most popular startups so far out of the 30 semifinalists as judged by our readers. This week is your final vote for the “Readers’ Pick”. Will it be the same startup as the judges pick in our finals?
For the past two weeks, Robohub readers have been voting for the “Readers’ Pick” startup from the Robot Launch competition. This week we publish the final 10 videos from our Top 30. During our live final in September (details TBD), we’ll announce the ultimate Robohub Readers Favorites. Each week we’ve been showcasing a different aspect of robotics startups and their business models, from consumer facing robots, to B2B service robotics, to component technologies suitable for use by the robotics industry. Make sure you vote for your favorite – below – by 11:59pm EDT, 1 September and spread the word through social media using #robotlaunch2015.
This month, Robohub readers can vote for the “Readers’ Pick” startup from the Robot Launch competition. Each week, we’re publishing 10 videos from our Top 30. Our ultimate Robohub Readers’ Favorites, along with lots of other prizes, will be announced in a September live final. Every week we’ll showcase different aspects of robotics startups and their business models, from consumer facing robots to B2B service robotics and component technologies. This week we kick off round two. Make sure you vote for your favorite – below – by 11:59pm EDT, 25 August, spread the word through social media using #robotlaunch2015 and come back next week for the next 10!
For the next three weeks, Robohub readers can vote for their “Readers’ Pick” startup from the Robot Launch competition. Each week, we’ll be publishing 10 videos from our Top 30. Our ultimate Robohub Readers’ Favorites, along with lots of other prizes, will be announced in a September live final. Every week we’ll showcase different aspects of robotics startups and their business models: from consumer facing robots to B2B service robotics and component technologies. Make sure you vote for your favorite – below – by 11:59pm PDT, 18 August, spread the word through social media using #robotlaunch2015 and come back next week for the next 10!
Renowned technology commentators and authors John Markoff, Jerry Kaplan and Martin Ford entranced the audience with their perspectives on robotics, automation, AI and the impact on society. The event at IDEO on July 16 was one of a new series of salon talks organized by Silicon Valley Robotics to create a venue for enjoyable, intelligent and informed discussion around the important issues in robotics and AI.
“Happy Birthday!” to industrial robotics pioneer Joe Engelberger who turns 90 today, July 26. That also means that robotics as an industry is around 60 years old. Joe Engelberger and Georges Devol formed Unimation, the world’s first robotics company in 1956 and the first Unimate arm was installed in General Motors in 1961, transforming the automotive industry. Today the robotics industry is a multibillion dollar business. While the automotive industry is still the largest piece of the robotics pie, the range of commercial uses for robotics is expanding into many of the service areas Engelberger also pioneered decades ago.
First it was robot vacuum cleaners; now it’s robot kitchen appliances. Robots are back in the popular imagination as household helpers, and industry seems to be taking a bet on leveraging that interest as a viable marketing strategy.