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by   -   October 19, 2015
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the competition launch. Image: uae4goodawards/instagram

The first UAE Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Awards for Good aim to encourage research and development to meet challenges in the health, education and social services sectors. But less than two weeks remain to enter the contest, where individuals, teams, universities and companies from around the world can all compete for £1m in prize money.


We’re excited to announce that OSRF and BIT Systems are seeking innovative and revolutionary robotics projects for the Robotics Fast Track (RFT) effort, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

by   -   May 7, 2015
Rich Walker, Managing Director, The Shadow Robot Company
Rich Walker, Managing Director, The Shadow Robot Company

The Shadow Robot Company has been perfecting its robot hands for almost two decades, but it took just a short demo by the world’s first robot chef last month to propel this small, London-based startup into the global limelight. Despite the chef’s obvious attractions, Robohub’s Adriana Hamacher wanted to delve deeper: to discover what future robot hands have in the manipulator market and why they could soon turn up in a strawberry patch.

by   -   January 20, 2015

From the 2014 archives of The Robot Report: 30 fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures with some staggering figures. UPDATED Jan 20, 2015 to include additions from Travis Deyle’s Hizook blog, and on January 7 to include Rethink Robotics equity funding and the acquisition of RobotWorx. 

by   -   February 7, 2014

ETH Zurich and EPFL are jointly entering into a new research partnership with Microsoft Research. Over five years, Microsoft Research will provide five million Swiss francs of funding to support IT research projects. Microsoft researchers will also work closely with the scientists at the two universities.

interview by   -   January 24, 2014

In today’s episode Per Sjöborg speaks with Jan Westerhues, Investment Partner with Robert Bosch Venture Capital, about how they fund robotics companies. As a stepping stone towards their long-term goal of building autonomous cars, they are currently investing in a wide range of robotics technologies with real world applications. Westerhues talks about when in a project’s life they can help, and what to expect throughout their involvement. He also promises exciting news in the coming months, so stay tuned.

interview by   -   August 23, 2013

Diana Saraceni is a Venture Capitalist at 360 Capital Partners. In this interview, she tells us about her first investment in robotics 3 years ago with Invendo Medical, and her views on how the market has changed since then. Hardware is now perceived as less risky, even though it is more challenging to scale than software. Recent success stories have further helped promote VC funding in robotics.

Saraceni discusses the importance of the founding team, as well as their advisors, for the success of a company. Finally, she shares her view on open source vs. proprietary technology from a venture capitalist’s perspective.

by   -   August 18, 2013


Neato Robotics – the NJ-based competitor with iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaner – raised $14 million in new funding from two VC firms. In 2012, Neato raised $12.2 from two different VC companies.

by   -   July 17, 2013

With the rapid economic development of the last twenty years resulting in the accumulation of great wealth, China urgently feels the need to move from a manufacturing-driven economy to an innovation-driven one. As a result, China is supporting many bold research initiatives in an effort to develop and attract the highly skilled individuals who will be needed to lead this transition. Thanks to recent dramatic developments in hardware and software, economists anticipate that the Chinese robotics industry will meet its spring season this year.

by   -   July 9, 2013

Often funding sources – the groups taking the risk – are not the beneficiaries of the rewards of the venture. Intuitive Surgical is an example.

NSF, DARPA and NASA funded a project to solve a very real problem: providing medical attention to Americans in remote places such as space, war or scientific expeditions. The initial concept was to be a telepresence project but with no known solution. That was the high-risk research project funded by the three agencies.

by   -   July 8, 2013

Over the last 20 years or so, a sense that science has become conservative or incrementalist has developed, and calls for change in the approaches to public funding of research have been heard from various quarters. Several notions have been suggested of what should be supported instead of “normal science” or “incremental innovation.” Among them we have heard calls for more “high risk-high reward” research, or for more “highly creative” science, or for more “cutting edge” or “frontier” research and, more recently in language adopted by funding agencies, that more “transformational research” is needed.

by   -   July 3, 2013

National Science Foundation (NSF) efforts to develop a mechanism to fund research proposals that had a high risk of failure, but which also had the potential for high return, began in 1980. In that year a task force was created by the NSF Advisory Council to look at the issue of “highly creative or innovative” proposals for which there was “a high risk of failure.”

The task force’s report identified two significant hurdles the NSF needed to overcome to support high risk/high return proposals:

by   -   June 11, 2013

The definitive list of private funding in robotics–or at least the most widely cited is the Hizook VC Funding for Robotics list.  The list for 2012 is out.   Please help make it complete by adding a comment if you know of private funding for a robotics company that is not included.  I am certain that there are deals that are not included.

by   -   April 29, 2013

At the first UK Robot Ethics workshop on 25th March 2013, I offered — for discussion — the proposition that robotics is facing a Crisis of Expectations. And not for the first time. I argue that one possible consequence is (another) AI winter.
Alan_Winfield_Crisis_of_ExpectationsIn this talk I set out the proposition that robotics is facing a crisis of expectations. As a community we face a number of expectation gaps — significant differences between what people think robots are and do, and what robots really are and really do, and (more seriously) might reasonably be expected to do in the near future.

Robots Podcast: Audio interviews about the controlled flight of insect robots
May 3, 2013

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