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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 19, 2016
Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft
Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft

In China’s relentless state-stimulated quest to grow their robotics industry, Midea Group, a Chinese appliance manufacturer which already owns 13.5% of KUKA’s shares, has offered to buy all remaining shares at a 59.6% premium, thereby, valuing the sale price at $5.2 billion.

by   -   May 12, 2016
Source: Viv Labs
Source: Viv Labs

Artificial intelligence that programs itself on the fly – from the team that developed Siri at SRI and Apple – was demonstrated this week in New York and it quickly performed complex spoken tasks, live and onstage. 

by   -   May 6, 2016
Source: The Robot Report
Source: The Robot Report

May and June offer two important trade shows and conferences for professional and personal service robotics: Innorobo, held in Paris May 24-26 and AUTOMATICA, held June 21-24 in Munich.

by   -   May 3, 2016
Photo Credit: Adriana M. Groisman
Photo Credit: Adriana M. Groisman

More than 20,000 students from around the globe traveled to St. Louis to compete in the annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship. The 4-day event ended Saturday night in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.

by   -   May 2, 2016

handshake_money_currency_dollar_Euro

April was a big month for investing in robotics – 19 companies were funded to the tune of $175 million vs. $15.8M in January, $18.6M in February, and $45.4M in March. Four companies were acquired with 3 of the 4 reporting selling prices totaling $422 million.

by   -   April 26, 2016
Mercedes-Benz-F-015-Luxury-in-Motion-Concept-45
Photo: Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept car

Volumes have been written about the possible beneficial (and negative) effects of self-driving cars and systems. But few have studied what industries will be disrupted by the transformations as self-driving devices begin to provide for our transportation needs.

by   -   April 25, 2016

iRobot recently divested its defense division so that it could focus on consumer and mobility products. Red Mountain Capital, a hedge fund that owns ~6% of iRobot stock wants to place two people on the iRobot board to effect some change.

by   -   April 25, 2016

ChinaDaily

Paslin, a Michigan integrator of welding robots, automation systems, and tooling, was acquired by Wanfeng Technology Group for an undisclosed amount (but reported as $302 million in China Daily).

by   -   April 21, 2016

Skysafe

Auris Surgical Robotics will acquire Hansen Medical for $80M+, PrecisionHawk raised $18M to help bring commercial drones safely into US airspace, and SkySafe raised $3M to disable badly behaving drones in the very same airspace.

by   -   April 19, 2016

Kits

Most car companies are remaking themselves into tech startups as they move toward offering fully autonomous self-driving vehicles. Yet thousands of tractors already use self-driving kits as do hundreds of tugs, lifts and trucks. Self-driving aftermarket kits are beginning to be offered in multiple markets. What's going on?

by   -   April 18, 2016

IFR Logo Robotics mit world3

In a flurry of press releases, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) revealed details of 2015 industrial robot sales of 240,000 units. This set a new sales record and reflected an 8% increase over 2014.

by   -   April 15, 2016
Dmitry Grishin at the Skolkovo Robotics conference in Russia.
Dmitry Grishin at the Skolkovo Robotics conference in Russia.

In 2012, Dmitry Grishin, co-founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group, the largest Internet and social networking company in the Russian-speaking world, seeded a fund with $25 million of his own money to focus on robotic startups.

This month Grishin Robotics launched another fund with $100 million provided by institutional and individual investors from Europe and the U.S. to focus on companies involved in the “Hardware Revolution.”

by   -   April 14, 2016
Platooning. Photo: Dan Boman
Platooning. Photo: Dan Boman/Scania

A dozen trucks arrived in Rotterdam after traveling across Europe in the European Truck Platooning Challenge. Six different truck makers participated: Scania, Daimler, Volvo, IVECO, MAN and DAF.

by   -   April 14, 2016

Kiva-Warehouse-Robots-Worker
In March 2012, in an effort to make their distribution centers (DCs) as efficient as possible, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million and almost immediately took them in house.

There was confusion after the acquisition whether Kiva would continue providing DCs with Kiva robots. Although Kiva said that they would continue selling their technology to other retailers it soon became clear that Amazon was taking all Kiva’s production and that, at some future date, Kiva would stop supporting their existing client base and focus entirely on Amazon – which happened in April 2015 when Amazon renamed Kiva to Amazon Robotics and encouraged prospective users of Kiva technology to let Amazon Robotics and Amazon Services provide fulfillment within Amazon warehouses using Amazon robots.

by   -   April 8, 2016
Source: The Next Rembrandt/YouTube
Source: The Next Rembrandt/YouTube

From the Smithsonian comes news – and a must-see fascinating video – about a painting created using data from more than 168,000 fragments of Rembrandt’s work, trained to paint in Rembrandt’s signature style.


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