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Business & Finance

by   -   March 23, 2017

In a surprise move which shook Baidu’s stock, Andrew Ng, Baidu’s Chief Scientist and partner with Baidu’s founder Robin Li Yanhong in expanding Baidu’s AI activities into machine learning, driverless vehicles, and to power AI usage in advertising, maps, takeout delivery, and voice-activated search, resigned.

by   -   March 17, 2017

Amongst all the activity in autonomously driven vehicle joint ventures, new R&D facilities, strategic acquisitions (such as Mobileye being acquired by Intel) and booming startup fundings, two big players in the industry, NVIDIA and Bosch, are partnering to develop an AI self-driving car supercomputer.

by   -   March 14, 2017
Source: Intel

Intel announced plans to acquire Israel-based Mobileye, a developer of vision technology used in autonomous driving applications, for $15.3 billion. Mobileye share prices jumped from $47 to $61 (the tender offering price is $63.54) on the news, a 30% premium. The purchase marks the largest acquisition of an Israeli hi-tech company ever.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $6.1 million, five-year award to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies through the foundation’s Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program.

Robotics, driverless vehicle development and 5G connectivity projects will receive funding as part of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget.

Whether or not an artificial intelligence (AI) ought to be granted patent rights is a timely dilemma given the increasing proliferation of AI in the workplace. Ronald Yu discusses.

Cobalt Robotics has launched their stylish security robot. The robot was designed by Yves Behar and as a fabric covered robot, it’s putting a new spin on soft robotics! Behar’s goal was to create a robot that didn’t conform to Hollywood stereotypes but instead as an augmentation of human ability and an enhancement to the human environment.

by   -   March 2, 2017

February fundings for 16 robotics-related startups totaled over $313 million – another solid month for the new year. Acquisitions also continued to be substantial with Ford’s acquisition of Argo and Midea Group’s purchase of Servotronix. Plus there were two IPOs.

by   -   February 28, 2017

Although the original articles (2016 was best year ever for funding robotics startup companies) and (Over $19 billion paid to acquire 50 robotic companies) have been updated to reflect the omissions of 2016 fundings and acquisitions, listed below is a recap of those updated transactions.

by   -   February 13, 2017
iRobot Braava jet 240. Source: irobot.com

The International Federation of Robotics forecast that the global market for vacuum cleaning robots, lawn-mowing robots and other household cleaning robots will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% through 2019. Other research reports say the market will reach $2.5 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 15%.

I generally pay very little attention when companies issue a press release about an “alliance.” It’s usually not a lot more than a press release, unless there are details on what will actually be built. The recent announcement that Uber plans to buy some self-driving cars from Daimler/Mercedes is mostly just such an announcement.

The largest markets for robots is for when there aren’t any people around. We often call those jobs the dirty, dull and dangerous ones. But then there are devices like CleverPet which play with your dog when you aren’t home. What’s not to love about playing with dogs? And yet there is a huge industry growing up around looking after your pet when you simply aren’t available to do it. CleverPet won the 2015 Robot Launch startup competition and took home 1st place at CES 2016.

by   -   February 3, 2017

A recent Conversation piece pointed out that the British electricity mix in 2016 was the cleanest in 60 years, with record capacity from renewable energy, mainly from wind and solar power. But one problem with this great expansion in renewables is they are intermittent, meaning they depend on weather conditions such as the wind blowing or sun shining. Unlike conventional power, this means they can’t necessarily meet surges in demand. Hence many press headlines in recent years about the “lights going out”.

by   -   February 3, 2017

January fundings for robotics-related startups totaled over $123 million – a reasonable start for the new year. For acquisitions, three of the six companies acquired reported that $390.5 million traded hands. All in all, another strong month for robotics.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has announced a call for startup companies in robotics, machine vision and motion control for its Automate Launch Pad Competition. The competition will be held at the Automate 2017 Show and Conference in Chicago, Illinois on April 5, 2017. The presenting sponsor of the competition is GE. The event is co-produced with Silicon Valley Robotics.





EU Robotics Week
March 22, 2014


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