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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   -   February 15, 2017
Photo: Ford Motor’s next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle. (Courtesy of Ford Motor)

Argo AI, a Pittsburgh startup, has sold a majority share of their company to Ford Motor Co. which has agreed to invest $1 billion over a five-year schedule but will immediately become the majority shareholder. Both companies declined to disclose further details.

by   -   February 13, 2017
iRobot Braava jet 240. Source: irobot.com

The International Federation of Robotics forecast that the global market for vacuum cleaning robots, lawn-mowing robots and other household cleaning robots will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% through 2019. Other research reports say the market will reach $2.5 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 15%.

by   -   February 7, 2017
Lady Gaga performing at Super bowl LI Source: NFL/YouTube

Three hundred drones flashed their colored lights and created a flying American flag as Lady Gaga sang a blend of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land” to 160 million viewers of the Super Bowl. Oh, and two football teams played into overtime, and the final score was 34 to 28.

by   -   February 3, 2017

January fundings for robotics-related startups totaled over $123 million – a reasonable start for the new year. For acquisitions, three of the six companies acquired reported that $390.5 million traded hands. All in all, another strong month for robotics.

by   -   January 31, 2017

At RoboUniverse in San Diego, agricultural robots and the labor shortage were quickly identified as the biggest issues facing the industry today. Water scarcity and field health were other key issues mentioned, but it’s labor that keeps farmers up at night and robotics that could come to their rescue.

by   -   January 25, 2017
Source: CBS Evening News
Source: CBS Evening News

By investing $6 million in robots, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) was able to take back 10% of their manufacturing from China and place it into a new factory in Manning, South Carolina employing 140 new workers.

by   -   January 18, 2017

ARM-logo_1075_422_80_s

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, the new institute is made up of governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations from across the country. Combined they have contributed $173 million that will be fused with $80 million in federal funding.

by   -   January 16, 2017
Source: swarmfarm
Source: swarmfarm

After reading all the press releases for this batch of 21 research reports, one can see that although they vary widely in their forecasts they almost all agree that the robotics market is expected to grow at a double-digit pace through 2022.

by   -   January 13, 2017

drones-toy-drone-aerial-suav

Toy and entertainment drones, camera drones for professional and business use, moon-shot drones and military drones are all becoming more and more distinct as much of the drone industry gets commoditized. Prices are dropping even as impressive new features are added. It’s a difficult time in the drone business.

UPDATED 1/13/2017: SF District Attorney files false advertising suit against Lily Robotics. Details added below.

by   -   January 12, 2017
Sawyer. Image: Rethink Robotics
Sawyer. Image: Rethink Robotics

Rethink Robotics, the Boston-based maker of the Baxter and Sawyer robots founded by iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks, raised an additional $18 million in an unfinished $33 million Series E round led by private equity firm Adveq. 

by   -   January 6, 2017

2016 was a banner year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 50 sold; 11 for amounts over $500 million; five were over a billion. 30 of the 50 companies disclosed transaction amounts which totaled up to a colossal $18.867 billion!

by   -   January 2, 2017

Techno-businesswoman-finance

2016 was a busy and abundant year for seed, crowd, series A,B,C,D and VC funding of robotics-related startups. 128 companies got funded, some multiple times. $1.95 billion, 50% more than 2015 which was also a phenomenal year with over $1.32 billion  funded.

by   -   December 29, 2016

For all of us who participated in the Jibo IndieGoGo crowdfunding and are anxiously awaiting delivery – which has been delayed again – this Chinese knock-off came as quite a surprise.

by   -   December 15, 2016

Businessmen Shaking Hands

Teledyne Technologies, which specializes in deepwater gas and oil exploration and production, oceanographic research, air and water quality environmental monitoring, electronics design and development, factory automation and medical imaging, in an all cash $780 million transaction, will acquire British imaging sensor maker E2V Technologies.

by   -   December 13, 2016

locus-robot-warehouse_fulfillment

A recent article in The Washington Post by Morgan Stanley strategist and author of “The Rise and Fall of Nations” Ruchir Sharma, provides a nuanced overview of the issues of jobs, robots, productivity and income disparity. 


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