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When it comes to robocars, new LIDAR products were the story of CES 2018. Far more companies showed off LIDAR products than can succeed, with a surprising variety of approaches. CES is now the 5th largest car show, with almost the entire north hall devoted to cars. In coming articles I will look at other sensors, software teams and non-car aspects of CES, but let’s begin with the LIDARs.

by   -   January 15, 2018

As close to a quarter million people descended on a city of six hundred thousand, CES 2018 became the perfect metaphor for the current state of modern society. Unfazed by floods, blackouts, and transportation problems, technology steamrolled ahead. Walking the floor last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the hum of the crowd buzzed celebrating the long awaited arrival of the age of social robots, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence.

by   -   January 15, 2018

Today’s e-commerce spurs demand for reduced response times in fulfillment centers; generally has fewer products per order; and is constantly changing — increasing system complexity and the need for flexibility in automation. Today’s warehouses and distribution centers are far more complex than they were 10 years ago and employee turnover remains high; with complexity comes higher wages yet labor is increasingly hard to find — all adding to the equation.


This blogpost is a round up of the various sets of ethical principles of robotics and AI that have been proposed to date, ordered by date of first publication. The principles are presented here (in full or abridged) with notes and references but without commentary. If there are any (prominent) ones I’ve missed please let me know.

Credit:Waymo

Here are the biggest Robocar stories of 2017.

by   -   January 2, 2018

Twenty-one different startups were funded in December cumulatively raising $430 million, down from the $782 million in November. Three didn’t report the amount of their funding. Only three were over $50 million of which one was a Chinese startup. Three acquisitions were reported during the month including two takeovers of Western robotics companies by Chinese ones. Nothing new on the IPO front.

by   -   December 29, 2017

The Mount Agung volcano spews smoke, as seen from Karangasem, Bali. EPA-EFE/MADE NAGI

By Adam Fish

The eruption of the Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia has been devastating, particularly for the 55,000 local people who have had to leave their homes and move into shelters. It has also played havoc with the flights in and out of the island, leaving people stranded while the experts try to work out what the volcano will do next.

by   -   December 29, 2017

Two thousand seventeen certainly has been an emotional year for mankind. While homo sapiens continue to yell at Alexa and Siri, the actuality of people’s willingness to pursue virtual relationships over human ones is startling.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Dan Burstein, reporter, novelist and successful venture capitalist, declared Wednesday night at RobotLab‘s winter forum on Autonomous Transportation & SmartCities that within one hundred years the majority of jobs in the USA (and the world) could disappear, transferring the mantle of work from humans to machines.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Intel and Warner made a splash at the LA Auto Show announcing how Warner will develop entertainment for viewing while riding in robotaxis. It’s not just movies to watch, their hope is to produce something more like an amusement park ride to keep you engaged on your journey.

by   -   December 6, 2017


Twenty-two different startups were funded in November cumulatively raising $782 million, down a bit from the $862 million in October. The big $400 million funding for UBTech and the $55 million for TuSimple were the only two fundings over $50 million and they were both for Chinese startups with funding from Chinese VC firms.

Six acquisitions were reported during the month including another takeover of a European robotics company by a Chinese one.

On the IPO front, three existing publicly-traded stocks announced additional shares to raise additional funds.

by   -   December 1, 2017

A small mystery from Robocar history was resolved recently, and revealed at the DARPA grand challenge reunion at CMU.

by   -   November 29, 2017

There’s a scare-tactic video going around on social media, and I wanted to weigh in on it—this particular video has gone from 500,000 views to almost 2 million in the past 10 days. As a matter of principle, I will not link to it. It presents a scary future in which killer robotic drones—controlled by any terrorist organization or government—run rampant.

by   -   November 29, 2017

Uber and Volvo announced an agreement where Uber will buy, in time, up to 24,000 specially built Volvo XC90s which will run Uber’s self-driving software and, presumably, offer rides to Uber customers. While the rides are some time away, people have made note of this for several reasons.

by   -   November 24, 2017

Press releases for this batch of 30 research reports all agree that most segments of the robotics industry are expected to grow at a double-digit pace at least through 2022.



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January 20, 2018


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