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by   -   April 13, 2017
FANUC_R2000iB at work. Source: Wikipedia Commons

CBS News, and reporter David Pogue, displayed some new technologies threatening jobs, while the International Federation of Robotics suggested that deploying robots actually increases jobs. Are either true? Or both? 

by   -   April 13, 2017

What does Magic Johnson and a twenty foot robot have in common? You guessed it, Automate 2017. While this might seem like an odd pairing, it accurately reflects the current state of the robotics industry. Already 2017 is on pace to beat last year’s $19 billion investment record, with the recent announcements of Intel’s $15B purchase of MobileyeABB’s $2B acquisition of Bernecker & Rainer; and Ford’s $1B investment in Argo AI.

by   -   April 10, 2017

March 2017 had 29 robotics-related startups get funding totaling over $222 million – another solid month for 2017 and $658 million year-to-date. Acquisitions also continued to be substantial with Intel’s eye-popping $15 billion acquisition of Israeli Mobileye. Plus, there were three IPOs.

by   -   April 10, 2017

A new white paper by the Robotics Industries Association (RIA) says that as many as 2 million US manufacturing jobs will go unfilled in the next ten years due to a lack of skilled workers. According to the paper: “80% of manufacturers report a shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions, and the shortage could cost US manufacturers 11% of their annual earnings.”

A new report from Navigant Research includes the chart shown below, ranking various teams on the race to robocar deployment. It’s causing lots of press headlines about how Ford is the top company and companies like Google and Uber are far behind. I elected not to buy the $3,800 report, but based on the summary I believe their conclusions are ill founded to say the least.

by   -   April 4, 2017

ABB, one of the Big Four global robot makers, has acquired Austrian industrial automation integrator and components manufacturer B&R (Bernecker & Rainer) Automation for an undisclosed amount but estimated to be “close to $2 billion.” The purchase is being funded from ABB’s own cash and is expected to close by mid-year.

by   -   April 3, 2017

This week (April 05-07, 2017), the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas will host ISC West 2017 in what they say is “the largest security industry trade show in the U.S.”, drawing an estimated 29,000+ security professionals. The show will feature ISC West’s first-ever Unmanned Security Expo focused on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and various systems to support robotic technology. The Expo will include a fully functional flight cage and robotics demonstration area, booth exhibits and free education sessions.

by   -   March 31, 2017
Robot in assembly at Hall 52 on June 26, 2013. File: 062513GR34

There is growing demand for more flexibility in factories and shops. Collaborative robotics, a sub-set of service robotics in labs, manufacturing and material handling, is where the action is today because co-bots are meeting these new demands, while caged legacy robots are not.

University students experiment with human-robot interaction and autonomous manipulation, two elements of manufacturing’s future. Nikolaus Correll, CC BY-ND

America’s manufacturing heyday is gone, and so are millions of jobs, lost to modernization. Despite what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might think, the National Bureau of Economic Research and Silicon Valley executives, among many others, know it’s already happening. And a new report from PwC estimates that 38 percent of American jobs are at “high risk” of being replaced by technology within the next 15 years. The ConversationBut how soon automation will replace workers is not the real problem. The real threat to American jobs will come if China does it first.

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.

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Deep Learning in Robotics
June 24, 2017


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