Health care workers are not the only unwilling essential services frontline workers at increased risk of COVID-19. According to the Washington Post on April 12, “At least 41 grocery workers have died of the coronavirus and thousands more have tested positive in recent weeks”. At the same time, grocery stores are seeing a surge in demand and are currently hiring. The food industry is also seeing increasing adoption of robots in both the back end supply chain and in the food retail and food service sectors.
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.
Robotics isn’t gender neutral, it’s gender blind. And that means that there are a lot of hidden opportunities for savvy investors and entrepreneurs. One of the first robotics companies I followed was Restoration Robotics, a Silicon Valley based company that’s raised more than $111 M USD in 6 rounds. Restoration Robotics saw a niche for robotics in treating male baldness.
Catalia Health is leading the surge in social robotics, with Mabu, their patient care management system. Catalia Health likes to be seen primarily as a health company that utilizes robots, rather than a robotics company. This focus on solving real world problems while shipping a product has seen Catalia attract both customers and investors, and recently close their Series A round.
If you attended CES 2017 last week you may have seen more than 70 HAX powered startups in Eureka Park, the ‘playground of innovation’. As service robotics steals the spotlight, we wanted to showcase some of the ways that accelerators and programs like HAX help grow hardware and robotics startups, including taking them to market.
Here’s an interview with Cyril Ebersweiler, Founder and Managing Director of HAX, excerpted from the new “Service Robotics Case Studies 2” report by Silicon Valley Robotics, the industry association.
You may be surprised, but I’m not. These are the people I see regularly both in Silicon Valley and overseas interacting with the robotics community. That makes them the smart money (most of the time). According to CB Insights, the 7 most active robotics investors over the last 5 years are: Eclipse Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Lux, Intel Capital, Sequoia China, CRV, and Visionaire Ventures.
As CB Insights demonstrates, old school ‘smart money’ is still making investments in robotics — just at a slower pace. Overall, the last 5 years has seen an increase in global robotics equity funding to $2.6 billion in 405 deals.
Silicon Valley Robotics held an innovation tour for some of our global partners ahead of the RoboBusiness conference in San Jose. Representatives from Odense Robotics Cluster, Invest in Denmark and Denmark Innovation Center joined up with Sumitomi Mitsui Bank, Siemens, A3/RIA, Robotics Hub and the Office of Science and Technology Policy for a ’round the Bay’ innovation tour.
After years of flying under the venture capital (VC) radar, the robotic industry is finally starting to see a remarkable growth in funding traction. In 2014, VC investments in robotics rose 36% to $341.3 million up from $250.7 million in 2013, according to Travis Deyle’s annual robotics review.
The practice of Enterprise IT is being transformed by a variety of innovations that emerged in the last decade. Vendors who have traditionally sold into this space are struggling to adapt. They are facing the Innovators Dilemma, largely captive to their traditional business models. We can expect a similar dynamic of disruption for the field of service robotics. Cloud computing, Software as a Service, and mobile connectivity represent an important competitive opportunity for every robotics-focused company, and the future of the service robotics industry is inevitably one of Robotics as a Service.
Robots in Depth is a new video series featuring interviews with researchers, entrepreneurs, VC investors, and policy makers in robotics, hosted by Per Sjöborg. In this interview, Andra Keay, director of Silicon Valley Robotics, talks about opportunities and challenges for robotics startups and how developments in the agricultural sector can aid consumer robots.