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Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as a provider of computer direct marketing and consulting to the Democratic National Committee, major presidential and other campaigns and initiatives, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. In 2013 he co-founded Robo-STOX™ LLC (renamed in 2015 to ROBO-Global) and developed a tracking index for the robotics industry: the ROBO-Global™ Robotics & Automation Index. Frank is a member of Robohub and also a panel member for panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.



by   -   May 24, 2018

Ocado , the UK leader in home-delivered groceries from robot-run distribution centers, has established a licensing deal with US grocery chain Kroger (NYSE:KR) whereby Kroger will take a 5% stake in Ocado – an investment valued at ~$247.5 million and Ocado will help Kroger set up systems to manage online ordering, fulfillment and delivery operations utilizing Ocado-proven technologies. Ocado will see the Kroger chain build up to 20 Ocado-designed robot-run warehouses over its first three years.

by   -   May 7, 2018

E-commerce sales for 2017 were $453.5 billion in the U.S. and $1.1 trillion in China, an increase of 16.0% and 32.6% respectively over 2016. This upward trend is projected to continue for the next many years. Consequently flexibility and an ability to handle an ever-increasing number of parcels is of concern to warehousing, fulfillment and distribution center (DC) managers around the world.

by   -   May 2, 2018

Twenty startups were funded in April 2018.

by   -   April 26, 2018

In a surprise but smart move, Teradyne (NYSE:TER), the American test solutions provider that acquired Universal Robots in 2015 and Energid Technologies earlier in 2018, acquired Danish MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) for $148 million with an additional $124 million predicated on very achievable milestones between now and 2020.

by   -   April 24, 2018

MODEX, ProMat and CeMAT are the biggest global material handling and logistics supply chain tech trade shows. But as I walked the corridors of this year’s MODEX in Atlanta, I was particularly aware of the widening disparity between the old and new.

by   -   April 11, 2018

In the constantly changing landscape of today’s global digital workspace, AI’s presence grows in almost every industry. Retail giants like Amazon and Alibaba are using algorithms written by machine learning software to add value to the customer experience. Machine learning is also prevalent in the new Service Robotics world as robots transition from blind, dumb and caged to mobile and perceptive.

by   -   April 4, 2018

Twenty-four startups were funded in March 2018 raising a combined total of $350 million. That brings the 3-month total to $1.5 billion!

by   -   March 30, 2018

In a 2+ hour talk that filled the Keynote Hall and spillover rooms at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and had thousands of people in line for hours before, Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, in characteristic jeans, leather jacket, and humble humor, described the world of graphics processing units (GPUs) with brilliant images and memorable one-liners:

by   -   March 26, 2018

Robotics is undergoing fundamental change in three core areas: collaboration, autonomous mobility and increasing intelligence.

Autonomous mobility technology is entering the industrial vehicle marketplace of AGVs, forklifts and tugs with new products, better navigation technologies and lower costs.

by   -   March 20, 2018

Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com from China are in a global competition with Google/Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Walmart and Amazon from the USA and SoftBank from Japan. All are agressively searching for talent, intellectual property, market share, logistics and supply chain technology, and presence all around the world.

by   -   March 8, 2018

In 2010 I wrote that there were three sponsored research projects to solve the problem of safely inspecting and maintaining high voltage transmission lines using robotics. Existing 2010 methods ranged from humans crawling the lines, to helicopters flying close-by and scanning, to cars and jeeps with people and binoculars attempting to scan with the human eye. (2010 article)

by   -   March 2, 2018


Nineteen different startups were funded in February, raising $377 million; a substantial two-month start for the new year. Five acquisitions were reported during the month, while the IPO front had no activity whatsoever.

by   -   February 15, 2018

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga said that “data is the new oil.” Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, says that artificial intelligence combined with data gathered by billions of sensors is bringing on an information revolution.

Manufacturers everywhere are changing – some, with government assistance – because of new technologies, new competitors, new ecosystems, and new ways of doing business. Companies that adopt these new digital-based capabilities are creating value in their businesses and becoming leaders of their industries.

The following 18 recent research reports, grouped into five categories, cover the robotics industry. All indicate double-digit compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and each makes the connection of digitalization and data to growth and economic efficiencies.

by   -   February 2, 2018


Twenty-five different startups were funded in January cumulatively raising $784 million; a great start for the new year. Four acquisitions were reported during the month while the IPO front lay waiting for something to happen.

by   -   January 22, 2018

This year’s CES was a great show for robots. “From the latest in self-driving vehicles, smart cities, AI, sports tech, robotics, health and fitness tech and more, the innovation at CES 2018 will further global business and spur new jobs and new markets around the world,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.