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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 computer services consultant to the DNC and major presidential, senatorial, congressional, mayoral campaigns and initiatives all across the U.S., Canada and internationally, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics. “Early in 2008, in a personal effort to learn about the robotics industry and the future of robotics, with an eye toward selectively investing in publicly-traded and privately owned robotics businesses, I began an intensive research project that took me to Japan, Korea, China, France, Germany, Switzerland and all over the Internet. My eyesight has suffered but not my mind. I love what I’m doing and finding out and, in an effort to share my research, I set up the website, The Robot Report, to track the business of robotics." "Early in 2009 I set up the Everything-Robotic blog to supplement The Robot Report with periodic in-depth personal insights.”

Frank is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
[ Disclaimer ]
This publication is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of Frank Tobe and those that he interviews. Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest with any stock, fund, or program mentioned here or elsewhere, and is not in any way a testimony of, or associated with, Frank Tobe’s other firms. Frank Tobe is a Co-Founder and Analyst for ROBO-STOX, LLC. ROBO-STOX, LLC owns and licenses data of the ROBO-STOX™ Global Robotics and Automation Index, which may include companies mentioned in this publication. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Opinions expressed in this publication may change without prior notice.
by   -   November 30, 2015


This October and November saw ten more fundings of robotic companies (47 so far in 2015), two more acquisitions (bringing the 2015 total to 27), and an important strategic partnership. Recaps below.

by   -   November 24, 2015


After the Task Force agreed that it was outside the scope of their objectives to debate or discuss the DOT Secretary’s decision to require registration, they undertook to develop and recommend a registration process that ensures accountability and encourages a maximum level of compliance. Here are their recommendations.

by   -   November 23, 2015

One of our choices for your summer reading — Martin Ford’s ‘Rise of the Robots‘ — won the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award at a ceremony held last week in New York. 

by   -   November 23, 2015
Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

On Singles Day 2015, a holiday for the Chinese singles and youth market, Ecovacs Robotics sold $47 million worth of robotic products. Ecovacs only has three robotic products: a line of vacuum cleaners, a window cleaner, and a security and air purification device.

by   -   November 12, 2015


The latest batch of 1,000 Japanese-speaking Pepper robots sold out in one minute after they were made available online by Japanese telecom company SoftBank. This brings the total Pepper robots sold thus far to at least 7,000. A new batch of 1,000 will go on sale 28 November.

by   -   November 11, 2015


A new 300-page research report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Robot Revolution – Global Robot & AI Primer, and to a lesser extent BSG’s report: Man and Machine in Industry 4.0, make for interesting reading and highlight the role of AI and the changing nature of jobs and work in the exponential growth of the robotics industry.

by   -   November 9, 2015


No wonder rents are so high in Silicon Valley. Companies from around the world are setting up research facilities and grabbing talent from the area.  The most recent announcements are that Chinese drone maker DJI and Japanese car maker Toyota are creating large R&D centers in the area.

by   -   November 3, 2015

Smith & Nephew, a global medical tech conglomerate that is expanding into robotics-assisted surgeries, announced that they are paying $275m to acquire Pittsburgh startup Blue Belt Technologies.

by   -   November 2, 2015

Amazon announced that at the end of September they had 30,000 Kiva robots at work in 13 fulfillment centers, effectively doubling the number of Kiva bots that it had in 2014. But they aren’t the only e-commerce warehouse operator adding robots to their automation arsenal. UPDATE 11-1-2015: Adding Grenzebach's G-Com storage and picking system to the list of vendors offering competing systems to Kiva's.

by   -   October 24, 2015
Image: Dyson
Image: Dyson

After a six-month delay to hone the robot for Japanese homes, and a year after the original launch announcement, the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaner has finally gone on sale in stores all over Japan and in Dyson’s new flagship retail store in Tokyo.

by   -   October 21, 2015
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (South Korea). Source: Minseong Kim via Wikimedia Commons
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (South Korea). Source: Minseong Kim via Wikimedia Commons

The South Korean government funded Samsung $14.8M to develop and manufacture industrial robots; the US FDA just gave approval to Corindus Vascular Robotics for a new medical device; and the US FAA set up a task force and put them on a tight deadline to figure out how to register drone owners.

by   -   October 19, 2015
German Chancellor Angela Merkel inspects the Renningen research campus: "Bosch’s own Stanford"
German Chancellor Angela Merkel inspects the Renningen research campus: “Bosch’s own Stanford.” Image: Bosch

We have reported 37 equity fundings and 25 acquisitions so far this year. It’s not just the car companies searching for talent and innovation in their new Silicon Valley centers. Israel, Russia, China and big companies like Bosch, SoftBank, Apple and Google are all investing in robotics for various strategic reasons.

by   -   October 15, 2015


The varied world of robotics appears to be in favor with venture capitalists.  CyPhy Works just got $22 million to scale up building UAVs for the consumer market, and Righthand Robotics got $3.3M to enable development of their smart robotic order-picking system.

by   -   October 5, 2015


The service robotics industry is relatively new, diverse and picking up steam daily. Service robotics covers every activity except those described as industrial. These are robots that perform useful tasks for humans and are categorized as either personal or professional.

by   -   October 2, 2015

The newly released IFR's World Robotics Industrial Robots statistical review of 2014 (with projections through 2018) forecasts a 15% CAGR, thereby doubling the annual number of units sold to around 400,000 by 2018.