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by   -   March 20, 2018

Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com from China are in a global competition with Google/Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Walmart and Amazon from the USA and SoftBank from Japan. All are agressively searching for talent, intellectual property, market share, logistics and supply chain technology, and presence all around the world.

by   -   March 14, 2018

It was the last question of the night and it hushed the entire room. An entrepreneur expressed his aggravation about the FDA’s antiquated regulatory environment for AI-enabled devices to Dr. Joel Stein of Columbia University.

I have written a few times about the unusual nature of robocar accidents. Recently I was discussing this with a former student who is doing some research on the area. As a first step, she began looking at lists of all the reasons that humans cause accidents. (The majority of them, on police reports, are simply that one car was not in its proper right-of-way, which doesn’t reveal a lot.)

by   -   March 8, 2018

I recently chaired a UJA Tech Talk on “The Future Of Autonomous Cars” with former General Motors Vice-Chairman Steve Girsky. The auto executive enthusiastically shared his vision for the next 15-25 years of driving – a congestion-free world of automated wheeled capsules zipping commuters to and from work.

by   -   March 8, 2018

In 2010 I wrote that there were three sponsored research projects to solve the problem of safely inspecting and maintaining high voltage transmission lines using robotics. Existing 2010 methods ranged from humans crawling the lines, to helicopters flying close-by and scanning, to cars and jeeps with people and binoculars attempting to scan with the human eye. (2010 article)

by   -   March 2, 2018


Nineteen different startups were funded in February, raising $377 million; a substantial two-month start for the new year. Five acquisitions were reported during the month, while the IPO front had no activity whatsoever.

by   -   February 15, 2018

MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga said that “data is the new oil.” Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, says that artificial intelligence combined with data gathered by billions of sensors is bringing on an information revolution.

Manufacturers everywhere are changing – some, with government assistance – because of new technologies, new competitors, new ecosystems, and new ways of doing business. Companies that adopt these new digital-based capabilities are creating value in their businesses and becoming leaders of their industries.

The following 18 recent research reports, grouped into five categories, cover the robotics industry. All indicate double-digit compound annual growth rates (CAGR) and each makes the connection of digitalization and data to growth and economic efficiencies.

by   -   February 10, 2018

In a shocker, it was announced that Uber and Waymo (Google/Alphabet) have settled their famous lawsuit for around $245 million in Uber stock. No cash, and Uber agrees it won’t use any Google hardware or software trade secrets — which it of course had always denied that it ever did.

Last week my colleague Dieter Vanderelst presented our paper: The Dark Side of Ethical Robots at AIES 2018 in New Orleans.

by   -   February 2, 2018


Twenty-five different startups were funded in January cumulatively raising $784 million; a great start for the new year. Four acquisitions were reported during the month while the IPO front lay waiting for something to happen.

I have created a gallery in Google Photos with some of the more interesting items I saw at CES, with the bulk of them being related to robocars, robotic delivery and transportation.

by   -   January 23, 2018
SoftWear Automation’s Sewbot. Credit: SoftWear Automation

The Financial Times reported earlier this year that one of the largest clothing manufacturers, Hong Kong-based Crystal Group, proclaimed robotics could not compete with the cost and quality of manual labor. Crystal’s Chief Executive, Andrew Lo, emphatically declared, “The handling of soft materials is really hard for robots.” Lo did leave the door open for future consideration by acknowledging such budding technologies as “interesting.”

In the past decade, countries and regions around the globe have developed strategic roadmaps to guide investment and development of robotic technology. Roadmaps from the US, South Korea, Japan and EU have been in place for some years and have had time to mature and evolve. Meanwhile roadmaps from other countries such as Australia and Singapore are just now being developed and launched. How did these strategic initiatives come to be? What do they hope to achieve? Have they been successful, and how do you measure success?

by   -   January 22, 2018

This year’s CES was a great show for robots. “From the latest in self-driving vehicles, smart cities, AI, sports tech, robotics, health and fitness tech and more, the innovation at CES 2018 will further global business and spur new jobs and new markets around the world,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.

by   -   January 22, 2018

GM revealed photos of what they say is the production form of their self-driving car based on the Chevy Bolt and Cruise software. They say it will be released next year, making it almost surely the first release from a major car company if they make it.

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