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Tag : Orbotix


Robohub is an online platform that brings together leading communicators in robotics research, start-ups, business, and education from around the world.
by   -   November 25, 2013

Frank Tobe’s holiday gift ideas for robot fans.


by   -   August 15, 2013

There’s not much more about Sphero 2.0 on the Orbotix website other than this two-minute video, but Evan Ackerman of Automaton has a little more information. The following is from his article:

Today, Orbotix is introducing the Sphero 2.0, packed with new hardware that makes it faster, smarter, faster, brighter, and faster than ever. And did we mention it’s faster? Because it’s definitely faster.


by   -   January 4, 2013

The annual CES - Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, is always a great opportunity for trendspotting and innovation hunting in consumer electronics including consumer robotics. CES 2013 will be held January 8-11 and some of the hot topics discussed this year will be mobility and connectivity, the new mantra of consumer electronics, the state of tech retailing in 2013 including show rooming, battling for online supremacy, OEMs going direct, private label. Other topics are cloud computing and the implications for consumer tech and the future of auto technology.

Consumer robotics is still an emerging technology issue and only a few companies are exhibiting products ready for sale, among them market leader iRobot, announcing the demo of the new Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot and Looj 330 Gutter Cleaning Robot.

 

Credit: Suitable Technologies, Beam

Telepresence robots have been identified as a promising consumer application for many years and there is a growing number of start-up companies developing new mobile platforms for video conferencing, tele-traveling and remote control.

Read more

 


by   -   March 3, 2012
Travis Deyle, is a postdoc researcher at Duke and a recent PhD from GA Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering where he was a member of the Healthcare Robotics Lab and a frequent blogger at Hizook.com. Fortunate for us, he kept a file of 2011 venture funded robotic projects and turned it into an interesting chart:
Source: Travis Deyle, Hizook.com

by   -   March 3, 2012
By Frank Tobe, editor/publisher, The Robot Report

Travis Deyle, is a postdoc researcher at Duke and a recent PhD from GA Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering where he was a member of the Healthcare Robotics Lab and a frequent blogger at Hizook.com. Fortunate for us, he kept a file of 2011 venture funded robotic projects and turned it into an interesting chart:

Source: Travis Deyle, Hizook.com

This chart may not reflect all of the equity investment activity in the robotics market but it is a far cry from the $6.9 billion that went into 997 venture funded deals in web and Internet startup companies over the course of 2011. This chart also doesn’t mention the many acquisitions, strategic partnerships and mergers that occurred. The most recent is the acquisition of French Cybernetix by Technip, an oil resources and ROV service provider to the industry.

Deyle describes why he thinks VC funding for robotics is a tough nut to crack:

Robotics companies have large capital requirements for robot hardware, few potential acquirers, and almost no “Google-scale” breakout success stories (i.e., IPOs). One of the best known robotics companies, iRobot, has a market cap of just $700 million. This makes robotics a difficult sell to your typical VC firm.

Although these 14 companies represent just a sliver of the 100+ robotic startups that are getting funded in one way or another, they do offer insight into those that are of interest to the venture capital community. Of the companies listed in the chart, it is interesting to note that two are foreign and the biggest investment is for a robotic hair implant device for balding men.

VGo telepresence robot, Harvest Automation’s nursery robot, Liquid Robotics’ wave glider.
  1. Restoration Robotics and their new ARTAS System provide image-guided technology for hair follicle harvesting. It’s a massive market, hence the large investment. They received US FDA clearance mid-2011 and treated their first patient in August, 2011.
  2. Redzone Robotics was featured by Pres. Obama last year and, in addition to the 2011 funding, received an additional $8.5 million just a few days ago. Their wastewater systems – pipe inspection and cleaning robots – provide critical environmental assistance to municipalities, contractors and engineering firms. Again, a big investment for a big marketplace.
  3. Liquid Robotics and their wave gliders have been much in the news. They presently have four wave gliders traveling different paths across the Pacific and making their data available to scientists and lay people worldwide. Their gliders are valuable additions to the arsenals of scientific and environmental agencies, fisheries, aquaculture, pollution detection and resource discovery companies as well as defense/security and law enforcement agencies. Hence the large investment.
  4. Aldebaran Robotics, a French company, makes the Nao and newer Romeo robots which they sell to schools and for robotic soccer and other competitions to promote STEM education, a limited but growing marketplace, hence the midrange venture investment.
  5. Medrobotics is a Carnegie Mellon spin-off focused on surgical applications using flexible snake-like robotic devices for minimally-invasive procedures. Like other medical start-ups, there is a long lead time for product refinement and FDA clearances. Medrobotics has received funding in almost every year since it’s inception in 2005.
  6. Tibion Corporation, is a Sunnyvale, CA start-up, providing bionic legs for stroke rehabilitation. This form of robotic-assisted rehab therapy, therapy with the use of an exoskeleton, is a big step forward from the $300,000+ fixed-position machines previously used.
  7. MakerBot Industries, the 3-D printer maker for the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) crowd, and featured at Maker Faires held all over the country to mammoth and enthusiastic crowds, services the DIY, prototyping, small run, and hobby communities while more expensive 3-D printers support the additive manufacturing sector. The Maker Faire Bay Area DIY innovation festival will be held in May in San Mateo, CA.
  8. Harvest Automation has a lot of good things going for it: (1) many of it’s investors are the very same ag businesses that will be buyers of the robots, (2) although focused on nursery automation to begin their business, they are poised to broaden their scope into many other facets of the ag industry, and (3) the key players are experienced in the business of robotics.
  9. Orbotix is the developer of the sphero smartphone-controlled robotic ball. The ball has no buttons, no battery box, no socket or cord for a charger (although it does have a cup-like charging dock). Shake it and it glows; put it on the floor and direct it anywhere with your iPhone. It’s a Bluetooth-based, wirelessly-charged device first shown at the 2011 CES in Las Vegas. 
  10. ThinkLabs is an Indian education company focused on science and technology. It uses simple robots, sensor enhanced devices, and robot competitions to provide hands-on inspiration for students taking their courses.
  11. Precise Path Robotics began as an entity to participate in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and has migrated it’s navigation system into robotic lawn mowing and other robotic devices to provide maintenance and conditioning robots for the golf course market.
  12. VGo Communications has thus far produced 2,000 telepresence robots and plans to lower the cost to near $2,000 in their next production run. You may have seen the ABC News stories about the high school student who couldn’t leave home but nevertheless, through the use of the VGo, attended the local high school, piloting his VGo from class to class and up and down the school elevator.
  13. Aethon is a Pittsburgh, PA based mobile robot company that makes robotic carts and tugs for the hospital industry
    tugs to pickup and deliver food, medicine, waste materials and general supplies. The company began in 2001 and has had many rounds of financing. This round of $1.74 million was less than the $2.5 million targeted.
  14. CyPhy Works, a maker of small unmanned flying robots used to inspect bridges and other public infrastructure, has also received federal grants and research awards to develop its technology for both commercial, governmental and defense clients.

by   -   January 16, 2012


CES 2012 was a mammoth display of the trend toward smart, connected devices for every form of consumer activity: toys, appliances, entertainment, health, mobility, etc. More than 20,000 new products were launched at this year’s CES and a large portion of them could be considered “smart.”

“Smart” (robotic-like) products profess to add value, assure safety, and provide convenience through connectivity
claims that in many cases are true, particularly with in-car infotainment systems.

3,100 exhibitors, 1.86 million sq ft of exhibition space, 153,000 attendees of which 34,000 were international and only one good food stand (Nathan’s hot dogs – you can’t ruin a Nathan’s hot dog). Massive crowding, slow moving, loud, extravagant and wonderful. Thin TVs – so thin they looked like they couldn’t stand up by themselves without bending – 3D with and without glasses, projectors, smart appliances, and apps for everything from TVs to refrigerators to scales.


by   -   January 16, 2012


CES 2012 was a mammoth display of the trend toward smart, connected devices for every form of consumer activity: toys, appliances, entertainment, health, mobility, etc. More than 20,000 new products were launched at this year’s CES and a large portion of them could be considered “smart.”


by   -   January 2, 2012
Tell us what apps you want.

In July of 2008, the app store concept was launched by Apple and it has dramatically changed the mobile industry. Over 1.2 billion apps were downloaded between Christmas and New Year according to Flurry Analytics. That’s about 60 percent higher than every week of December before Christmas, and marks the largest number of apps ever downloaded in a single week.

Robot app stores are now beginning to happen as well and visions of apps for tele-robotic safety and surveillance pop into mind, or light domestic duties, or…? My imagination runs wild at the thought and I imagine these new apps being easy to use, having multiple functions and a low cost.





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