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Frank Tobe

by   -   October 17, 2016

Industrial robotic arms building chart on white background

Each year the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) surveys and tabulates data from its worldwide network of robotics associations. The two 2016 annual World Robotics Industrial Robots and World Robotics Service Robots reports represent the IFR’s analysis of 2015 results.

by   -   October 12, 2016


SoftBank, the Japanese telecom conglomerate, led a group that included Iconiq Capital, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and seven others in a $130 million funding round for Zymergen to help the company grow its workforce and scale its operations in Silicon Valley.

by   -   October 10, 2016

Last week, Samsung announced that it had acquired Viv Labs for an undisclosed amount. As part of the acquisition, the Viv founding team will work closely with Samsung’s Mobile Communications business but continue to operate independently.

by   -   October 5, 2016


September continued the big-money spree for funding robotic startups. 10 good-sized deals and three little ones. Almost $220 million (bringing the year-to-date total well over $1 billion)! Plus, another $2.2 billion paid in September for six acquisitions.

by   -   October 4, 2016


There are many robotics clusters around the world successfully providing for the needs of their respective communities and a few not really achieving their desired goals. Odense and the Danish clusters certainly fall into the former category. They do so because they are organized at every level to be offering and have people that are business smart, humble and cooperative in approach, and public-spirited in nature.

by   -   September 30, 2016
Source: GoPro
Source: GoPro

GoPro fans and the financial world have been looking forward to GoPro’s new Karma since GoPro announced last December that it was working on building its first drone. When they delayed the release from early summer until now, it only served to raise expectations.

by   -   September 29, 2016
Source: Uber
Source: Uber

As autonomous cars begin to hit world markets in pilot tests and other ways, and before the International Federation of Robotics clarifies whether those vehicles are robots or not, two research firms have combined those vehicles with other robots. Their results are below.

by   -   September 16, 2016


InterDrone concluded their 2nd annual trade show and conference in Las Vegas. The differences between the 2015 event and this one reflect the rapid changes in the industry and can be seen as a predictor for the next few years.

by   -   September 15, 2016
FANUC_R2000iB at work. Source: Wikipedia Commons
FANUC_R2000iB at work. Source: Wikipedia Commons

For many years integrators have engineered, built and installed automation machinery for their manufacturer clients. As manufacturing has begun to move from mass production to mass customization, the integration process has required more flexibility and increasingly used robots as part, if not all, of the solution.

On my recent research trip to Odense, Denmark, the value offered by integration firms was clearly evident in the integrator companies I visited. Each quietly went about helping their manufacturer clients solve production problems by designing, building, testing and installing complete or partial automated manufacturing lines and systems. They all appeared to be having success pains: each had recently moved into larger quarters and were quickly filling the new space, and each was finding it difficult to hire all the technical talent they sought.

by   -   September 14, 2016


PrecisionAg’s editor Eric Sfiligoj has prepared a list of the top 10 technologies that are shaping precision ag today. Most involve some level of robotics, navigation, sensors and variable rate dispensing.

by   -   September 6, 2016
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial
Case IH autonomous concept vehicle. Source: cnhindustrial

Case IH (Case New Holland International Harvester) displayed their new cab-less tractor at a farming show in Iowa. The presentation was to show off what they hope will be the future: an autonomous tractor without a steering wheel, pedals or a cab for the driver.

by   -   September 5, 2016


August was another big month for funding robotic startups. 18 deals. Almost $430 million (bringing the year-to-date total well over $1 billion)! Plus, another $1 billion paid in August for four acquisitions. 

by   -   August 26, 2016
Source: Ford Velodyne LiDAR/YouTube
Source: Ford Velodyne LiDAR/YouTube

In anticipation of the need for LiDAR devices in cars with assisted steering and other self-driving technologies, both Velodyne and Quanergy received funding. Quanergy raised $90 million and Velodyne got $150 million.

by   -   August 22, 2016
A Bird’s Eye View of AT&T’s Drone Inspection Program, Source: AT&T/YouTube
A Bird’s Eye View of AT&T’s Drone Inspection Program, Source: AT&T/YouTube

CNN just inaugurated their new drone division. So have many other news organizations. Network providers are also setting up drone operations for a variety of purposes.

by   -   August 19, 2016
Source: Jibo/YouTube
Source: Jibo/YouTube

Bringing a complex new product to market is an intensive process fraught with problems. Getting hardware ready for manufacturing is often the easy part; it’s the software and regulatory compliance that’s often the most challenging. Here are three examples: Ford Motor Co., Velodyne LiDAR and Jibo.

Autonomous Solutions
December 28, 2012

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