Robohub.org
 

Four interesting robotic investments

by
09 February 2014



share this:
Robonaut-w-outstretched-arm_560_413_80_s_c1

Microsoft is betting $5.57 million on IT-related projects at two Swiss universities; James Dyson is putting $8.21 million into a London college lab; Ekso Bionics went public with a $20 million IPO; and a Schaft co-founder sets up new $19 million investment fund.

Dyson:

Dyson, best known for his non-robotic vacuum cleaners, was critical of the sale of London-based DeepMind to Google, and, as a consequence, is investing $8.21 million into a new lab at Imperial College London. His investment and the new lab will hire up to 15 scientists to work on developing robot vision systems that could be used in devices such as robot-controlled vacuums and other next generation “intelligent domestic robots.”

Dyson was critical of the decision by the two-year-old company to sell itself. “It seems a pity to me to sell out, as I don't quite understand the urge to give up,” Dyson told the Guardian. “Long-term thinking is essential to new technology. We should be encouraging UK companies to invest in R&D and take on armies of engineers so that they can grow and become UK world-beaters.”

Dyson established his company in 1985, and it now employs 3,100 people worldwide and had a turnover of £1.1bn in 2012.

Microsoft:

Less exciting or competitive is Microsofts renewal of its collaboration with EPFL and ETH Zurich by providing $1.1 million per year for 5 years in funding for IT-related research projects at the two universities. One of those projects involves studying the interaction between people and computers and flying robots.

Ekso Bionics:

In an alternative public offering, Ekso Bionics, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Richmond, California became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ekso Bionics Holdings, a Nevada corporation. The new holding company changed its name from PN Med Group which was listed on the over-the-counter stock exchange as EKSO. Simultaneously the new company completed a $20.6 million private placement. 

I asked the media people at Ekso why so little money? And why so little publicity – just a single press release? No answers to date. The press release didn’t even mention the other exoskeleton products they make, particularly HULC, which they are doing with an aerospace/defense contractor.

246 Capital:

Takashi Kato, a co-founder of Schaft, the Tokyo University spin-off robot company acquired by Google last November, was instrumental in getting funding for Schaft. During that process he concluded that there are “a slew of intelligent scientists and engineers out there in Japan, thirsty for money to develop next-generation technologies that could make our lives easier.” 

His new fund, 246 Capital, has opened and is raising $19 million to focus on robotics, biotechnology and energy efficiency.

“I want to invest in technologies hiding in Japanese college- and government-supported labs and startups,” said Kato. “They could some day surprise big firms such as Google, like Schaft did.”

Sources:

The Guardian

Ekso press release

Bloomberg Global Tech



tags:


Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





Related posts :



ep.

352

podcast

Robotics Grasping and Manipulation Competition Spotlight, with Yu Sun

Yu Sun, previous chair of the Robotics Grasping and Manipulation Competition, speaks on the value that this competition brought to the robotics community.
21 May 2022, by
ep.

351

podcast

Early Days of ICRA Competitions, with Bill Smart

Bill Smart, one fo the early ICRA Competition Chairs, dives into the high-level decisions involved with creating a meaningful competition.
21 May 2022, by

New imaging method makes tiny robots visible in the body

Microrobots have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Researchers at the Max Planck ETH Centre for Learning Systems have now developed an imaging technique that for the first time recognises cell-​sized microrobots individually and at high resolution in a living organism.
20 May 2022, by

A draft open standard for an Ethical Black Box

Within the RoboTIPS project, we have developed and tested several model of Ethical Black Boxes, including one for an e-puck robot, and another for the MIRO robot.
19 May 2022, by

Unable to attend #ICRA2022 for accessibility issues? Or just curious to see robots?

There are many things that can make it difficult to attend an in person conference in the United States and so the ICRA Organizing Committee, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and OhmniLabs would like to help you attend ICRA virtually.
17 May 2022, by
ep.

350

podcast

Duckietown Competition Spotlight, with Dr Liam Paull

Dr. Liam Paull, cofounder of the Duckietown competition talks about the only robotics competition where Rubber Duckies are the passengers on an autonomous driving track.
17 May 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association