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.
At RoboUniverse in San Diego, agricultural robots and the labor shortage were quickly identified as the biggest issues facing the industry today. Water scarcity and field health were other key issues mentioned, but it’s labor that keeps farmers up at night and robotics that could come to their rescue.
By investing $6 million in robots, Bicycle Corporation of America (BCA) was able to take back 10% of their manufacturing from China and place it into a new factory in Manning, South Carolina employing 140 new workers.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, the new institute is made up of governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations from across the country. Combined they have contributed $173 million that will be fused with $80 million in federal funding.
After reading all the press releases for this batch of 21 research reports, one can see that although they vary widely in their forecasts they almost all agree that the robotics market is expected to grow at a double-digit pace through 2022.
Toy and entertainment drones, camera drones for professional and business use, moon-shot drones and military drones are all becoming more and more distinct as much of the drone industry gets commoditized. Prices are dropping even as impressive new features are added. It’s a difficult time in the drone business.
UPDATED 1/13/2017: SF District Attorney files false advertising suit against Lily Robotics. Details added below.
Rethink Robotics, the Boston-based maker of the Baxter and Sawyer robots founded by iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks, raised an additional $18 million in an unfinished $33 million Series E round led by private equity firm Adveq.
Teledyne Technologies, which specializes in deepwater gas and oil exploration and production, oceanographic research, air and water quality environmental monitoring, electronics design and development, factory automation and medical imaging, in an all cash $780 million transaction, will acquire British imaging sensor maker E2V Technologies.
A recent article in The Washington Post by Morgan Stanley strategist and author of “The Rise and Fall of Nations” Ruchir Sharma, provides a nuanced overview of the issues of jobs, robots, productivity and income disparity.
In a move consistent with many other recent acquisitions of stars within the robotics industry, Liquid Robotics announced that they sold their company to Boeing’s Autonomous Systems for Defense, Space & Security division.
The Beijing World Robot Conference (WRC), sponsored by Beijing City, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the China Association of Science and Technology, was held October 21-25. It was big, long, ran over a weekend and gave a run-down of the breath of China’s fast-emerging robotics industry.
Intel is establishing an autonomous driving division; hacker George Hotz is open-sourcing his self-driving software in a bid to become a network company; LiDAR and distancing devices are changing. What does it all mean?
In the last six years, (2010–2015), according to the IFR (International Federation of Robotics), US industry has installed around 135,000 new industrial robots. The principal driver is automation in the car industry. During this same period, (2010–2015), the number of employees in the automotive sector increased by 230,000.
In President-elect Trump’s interview with the NY Times yesterday, when discussing jobs, closed factories and factories that may leave the country, he was asked: “Are you worried that those companies will keep their factories here, but the jobs will be replaced by robots?