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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   -   July 26, 2016
Photo credit: The Robot Report
Photo credit: The Robot Report

AUTOMATICA 2016, held in June in Munich at the massive Messe tradefair facility, is a gigantic show focused on automation, mechatronics, robotics and emerging technologies as they relate to the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

by   -   July 21, 2016
Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft
Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft

Since the announcement of the month-long tender offer by Midea to buy 49% of the shares of German robot maker KUKA AG – and private negotiations – Midea now has 85.69% of the shares.

by   -   July 19, 2016
Pepper-and-Softbank-CEO_800_613_80
Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son proudly showcases Pepper, a human-like robot.

The announcement that SoftBank will spend $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings means the Japanese firm is buying the most important company in the world of mobile processors for smartphone and Internet of Things devices.

by   -   July 14, 2016
Screenshot from presentation about deep learning we may use everyday. Source: Frank Chen, with Andreessen Horowitz
Screenshot from presentation about deep learning we may use everyday. Source: Frank Chen, with Andreessen Horowitz

Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital and private equity firm, said, “It is absolutely non-controversial that deep learning is the most fundamental advance in AI research since the start [of A.I.] in 1956.”

by   -   July 12, 2016
Source: Momentum Machines
Source: Momentum Machines

Re-joining the ranks, Sony announced a return to robotics. Momentum is opening a robot hamburger shop. And Starship is beginning to deliver food to three cities in Europe.

by   -   July 11, 2016

robot_report3

The number of research reports studying the robotics industry is growing exponentially. To date in 2016 there have been 109 on subjects ranging from overly broad to very drilled-down views of the industry. Prices range from $800 to $6,500.

Below are short profiles of 62 of those reports and the other 47 can be seen here. Many of the reports duplicate the coverage of others and frequently differ in their forecasts about the future. Some reports are marginally useful, others are full of valuable information. Bottom line: almost all of the reports are forecasting positive double-digit growth for most segments of the robotics industry.

by   -   July 5, 2016

pac-man-eating-small-companies-takeover-business.

First, the KION Group acquires Dematic for $2.5 billion. A week later, Honeywell acquires Intelligrated for $1.5 billion. KION acquires Retrotech and earlier still Egemin, while Kuka acquires Swisslog. What’s going on?

by   -   June 30, 2016

money-business-finance-growth-growing-funding-acquisitions

Six months worth of funding deals thus far in 2016 indicate that investments in robotics – equity fundings, and acquisitions – are accelerating, particularly in big deals involving Chinese money.

by   -   June 29, 2016

Wordle-trends-graphic_1075_606_80_s

Industrial robots used to be dumb, somewhat inflexible, and mostly blind – but also fast, precise and very efficient.  As the cost of components, sensors and vision systems has been dropping, vision-enabled robots are becoming more prevalent and capable, and the industry is dramatically changing.

by   -   June 22, 2016
Source: IFR Statistical Department
Source: IFR Statistical Department

Worldwide sales of industrial robots set a new record: 248,000 units sold in 2015, 12% more than 2014. 66,700 units sold in China of which 20,400 were made in China.

Asia is still the strongest growth market with 156,000 units for the region, a 16% increase over 2014, but that figure is much lower than the 27% projected. The rate of growth of China-made robots penetrating the market also didn’t grow at the projected rate but it did grow at a healthy 31% rate.

by   -   June 14, 2016
Source: IAI
Source: IAI

IAI’s RoBattle unmanned, heavy duty, highly maneuverable, combat and support robotic system (UGV) is being shown at the Eurosatory 2016 Land and Airland Defence and Security tradeshow in Paris this week.

by   -   June 13, 2016
Source: Google maps
Source: Google maps

The latest acquisition is Gimatic, an Italian pneumatic and electric grippers, sensors and positioners maker, by Agic Capital. The Financial Times reported the sale price to be between $112 and $169 million.

by   -   June 9, 2016
Source: Youtube/Mi Drone By Xiaomi Inc
Source: Youtube/Mi Drone By Xiaomi Inc

Xiaomi, one of China’s star Internet, phone and electronics startups, develops cut-rate but reliable phones and consumer devices and markets them directly to consumers online. Their new HD drone starts at $380, and the 4K video model at $450. Both directly compete – at half the price – with DJI’s popular Phantom drones.

by   -   June 7, 2016
FANUC_R2000iB at work. Source: Wikipedia Commons
FANUC_R2000iB at work. Source: Wikipedia Commons

FANUC, the world’s largest maker of industrial robots, plans to start connecting 400,000 of their installed systems by the end of this year. The goal is to collect data about their operations and, through the use of deep learning, improve performance. Similarly, Kuka is building a deep-learning AI network for their industrial robots.

by   -   June 6, 2016

Young People In The Robotics Classroom

What is a robot? There are business, legal, insurance and safety considerations which make that definition important and the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington gave it a try with an interesting 6-minute video.


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