Event News

In the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit with new President Donald Trump, many observers have been speculating about how Japan’s trade and military relationships with the U.S. will change and how they will affect the rest of Asia.


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In the News

MassRobotics Opens Boston Startups Space

February 17, 2017

Silicon Valley might be the best known regional hub for innovation and high-tech, but it has no shortage of competition in the U.S. or worldwide.


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In the News

Argo AI Gets Picked Up by Ford for $1B

February 16, 2017

Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for its autonomous vehicles due in 2021 — and for potential license to other companies.


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On Sept. 8, 2016, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) found themselves in a standoff. For more than six hours, they had been trying to coax a suspect out from behind his makeshift barricade in a field. Finally, they sent in a law enforcement robots to get a better idea of what they were dealing with.


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RAMAT GAN, Israel — Intuition Robotics Ltd., developer of social companion technologies, today announced funding from strategic investor iRobot Corp. and equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd.


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According to the Robotic Industries Association, the North American industrial automation market has been growing at a healthy rate.


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Last December, Amazon.com Inc. stunned the world. It announced Amazon Go, a radical concept for the online giant — physical stores enabled by robots in retail.


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The robotics start-ups to come out of Willow Garage have been very competitive in the industry. From the Robot Operating System to personal robot PR2, the research and development to come out of the laboratory and incubator have influenced all of robotics.


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Like the Internet, innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence are increasingly affecting the global economy and society. Now is the time for venture capital funding to flow to tomorrow’s technology leaders.


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Joanne Pransky, associate editor of Industrial Robot, recently sat down with Gianmarco Veruggio, head of the Genoa Operational Unit of the Italian National Research Council Institute of Electronics, Computer, and Technical Engineering (CNR-IEIIT).


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If you’re all droned out and think you’ve seen just about every robot in the skies, look again.


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One of the biggest hurdles to more widespread supply chain automation is the ability to manipulate a wide variety of objects.


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E-commerce operations continue to grow at a solid pace, but a majority of warehouse logistics tasks are still primarily accomplished through manual labor.


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It has been a little over a year now since Omron Corp. acquired Adept Technology Inc., and the time has passed quickly for the industrial and mobile robot maker.


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Mexico’s manufacturing has made the country one of Latin America’s powerhouses for innovation and technology.


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President-elect Donald Trump’s stated focus on protecting, creating, and returning jobs to the U.S., particularly in manufacturing, offers both opportunities and challenges for Association for Advancing Automation’s (A3) stakeholders.


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LAS VEGAS — 2016 was a good year for all three panelists at the “Delivery Robots Knocking at Your Door” session at the Consumer Electronics Show here this month. Each innovator in the first session of the Robotics Conference at CES 2017 has taken a different route to delivery robots, but their technologies and markets are maturing fast.


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Robotics is a serious business, encompassing industrial automation, healthcare applications, military strategy, and much more. It can be a serious problem when robots don’t meet performance expectations.


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Starship Technologies, which has been testing robotic delivery of packages in nearly 60 cities worldwide, got an endorsement today from Daimler AG.


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As populations age worldwide, older people are often isolated because of health and mobility problems and difficulty with using new technologies.


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Unmanned aerial vehicles are becoming increasingly popular for commercial use as well as recreational use.


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PITTSBURGH — RE2 Robotics, a leading developer of robotic manipulation systems, announced today that the U.S. Army SBIR office and U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) awarded it a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop robotic technologies to assist combat medics in the field.


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Apple this week confirmed its $1 billion investment in SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, increasing SoftBank’s odds to be “the world’s No. 1 robotics company” in service humanoid robots.


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Passengers is the latest space adventure movie to hit theaters. It makes heavy use of robots and artificial intelligence to tell its story.


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We say this each year, but it’s true — the pace of news around the robotics industry is accelerating! 2016 was no different, with more deals, new and shifting players, and maturing technologies for robotics and artificial intelligence in multiple industries. See which robot stories were our most popular for the past year. 10. Robots at the Warehouse: Changing the Face of Modern Logistics Thanks to cheaper sensors, new software, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), mobile robots are rapidly expanding in supply chain operations. It’s just in the nick of time, as robots save money, speed e-commerce order fulfillment, and come from proliferating providers. 9. Industry 4.0: Robotics Presents a Golden Opportunity Germany and China typify central planning for encouraging the adoption of robotics, but that situation is changing worldwide, according to author Søren Tranberg Hansen. As manufacturing and logistics continue to apply automation more widely, this presents a challenge and new markets for investors, startups, and suppliers. 8. Denmark Is Driven to Lead European Robotics Denmark, which hosted this past spring’s RoboBusiness Europe in the city of Odense, is determined to be a major hub of robotics research, development, and commercialization in Europe. A strong university base, the success of Universal Robots’ cobots, and an array of local organizations provide a role model for other regions. 7. Top 5 Ways President Trump Could Change U.S. Robotics Regardless of your politics, the latest U.S. elections will have a direct effect on technology policy and the global economy. Every industry and robotics business will be watching the incoming administration’s priorities, and here are some hints on what to expect. 6. Why Robot Law Around Industrial Automation Varies Worldwide If you’re in the business of providing robots to multinational manufacturers, don’t assume that there’s anything close to a one-size-fits-all solution for robotics. Each country’s legal framework reflects its history and priorities, and integrators and employers should be aware of how worker-safety requirements apply to collaborative robots. Continue Reading


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In Denmark, robotics is contributing to the reshoring trend, in which production is returning from China back to Europe, according to Kent Damsgaard, vice president of the Confederation of Danish Industry.


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Back in January, I made five 2016 robots predictions. How accurate were they?


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Human-robot interactions, once confined to science fiction, are becoming part of daily life.


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Robots have already entered our daily lives, but not necessarily in ways people expect. Unheralded heroes toil around us, extending human capabilities and demonstrating new business models around robot services. Cisbot crawls beneath busy city streets, patching live natural gas lines and reducing traffic disruptions.


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Superflex today said that it has raised $9.6 million for the first round of investment in its “powered clothing.” The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is a spinoff of SRI International, which developed wearable robotics to help soldiers carry heavy loads with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


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Event Announcement

RoboBusiness 2017 Announces Formal Call for Speakers

December 15, 2016

RoboBusiness, the Global Congress of Robotics and Business, is accepting proposals from qualified presenters for the 13th annual conference which will be held September 27-28, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Lead the Conversation: RoboBusiness offers speakers an excellent opportunity to influence and inspire over 2,000 business executives, investors and technologists from around the globe. Deadline: Monday, February 20, 2017 Presented by Robotics Business Review, RoboBusiness is a catalyst that forges robotics into new markets and product categories, and brings together business leaders and technology decision makers from throughout the robotics ecosystem for the purpose of networking, doing business, assessing new technologies and growth opportunities, and sharing meaningful dialogue.


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The global robotics market is more competitive than ever. New companies are emerging constantly. Which are the best? Who should you keep on your business radar? Enter the RBR50: Robotics Business Review’s annual list of the top 50 robotics companies in the world. Is your company a leader in the industry? Are you a startup making waves? Robotics Business Review (RBR) is accepting nominations for this prestigious list now through January 31, 2017. “From brand-new startups to the biggest robotics makers, RBR50 companies are the innovators, trend setters, and companies to watch as the business continues to rapidly evolve,” says Eugene Demaitre, Senior Editor for Robotics Business Review.


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It’s fascinating to see pieces of the Industrial Internet of Things being built and brought online right before our eyes, although sometimes the full realization of what’s happening is hard to pick out amid the surge of IT factory automation that’s taking place seemingly everywhere at once.


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Universal Robots A/S has been on a roll, doubling in size every year for the past few years. This week, Teradyne Inc., which bought the collaborative robot maker in 2015 for $285 million, named Jürgen von Hollen as UR’s new president. Von Hollen talked with Robotics Business Review about his new job and the robot market.


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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Thanks to cloud robotics, both autonomous vehicles and robots should be able to learn from one another and become more intelligent collectively, said James Kuffner, chief technology officer at the Toyota Research Institute.


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On September 28, 2016 RoboBusiness hosted its annual Startup Pitchfire event - a must-attend for investors, robotics entrepreneurs and innovation leaders alike. Attendees were granted a first glimpse at exciting new technologies and emerging companies as 15 startup hopefuls gave their best 2-minute elevator pitch to a packed room.


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In the News

Trends in Robotics

September 26, 2016

Tim De Rosett, the VP of Industrial Automation of Aethon (platinum sponsor of RoboBusiness 2016) shares his thoughts in this blog submission:  Over the past couple of years we’ve seen big changes in robotics. Changes that have to do with the accessibility of robots for companies who’ve never before used robots. Small & medium enterprises - many of them outside the automotive manufacturing sector. I’ve heard this referred to as the “democratization of robotics”. This is due to several factors like price, ease of integration and collaborative robots - or cobots, which work side-by-side with people without the need for traditional guarding. Other factors include advanced sensing and mobility. Advanced sensing is being used to locate and identify various items in the robot’s environment. Mobility is taking the robot to the work, or simply delivering raw materials to the line and finished goods to the packaging area. Manufacturing and production environments are becoming less and less structured. Sometimes environments are very dynamic from the start and it’s difficult (and expensive) to change the entire factory to support fixed robots. Robots must be adapted to unstructured environments – and we’re seeing it happen. Cloud computing (IIoT, Industrie 4.0, etc.) is also enabling robots to do things they could not do a few years ago. While it’s been in place for hospitals for years,  Aethon’s patented Remote Command Center now enables manufacturing customers to focus on their material flow and production processes, while the staffed command center miles away monitors a fleet of mobile robots and ensures deliveries are made as expected. Aethon’s support staff are available to make near-realtime updates to maps and robot programs as customer facilities or delivery needs change. Aethon engineers also use the Remote Command Center to push software updates to hundreds of installed robots, bringing software up to the latest revision and adding features, which results in smarter more, efficient mobile robots.   You can’t talk about robots without talking about jobs. From my view (and I may be biased) robots help do the dull, dangerous and difficult jobs that people don’t want to do or shouldn’t be doing. While labor cost savings is invariably a big part of ROI calculations, most companies have no desire to reduce headcount. They want to redeploy those people to do higher level, more meaningful jobs. This is without exception and I’ve visited and talked with employers all over the US, Mexico, Europe, China, Singapore, Japan, etc. Companies can’t hire and retain enough people. Join Tim De Rosett on September 28 at 2pm at the Expo Theater as he provides an overview of Autonomous Mobile Robots, what they have in common with traditional industrial robots and how they’re unique. Don't miss Aethon's keynote address on Day 2 of RoboBusiness at 9am presented by Aldo Zini, President and CEO and Tony Melanson, VP of Marketing. Visit Booth 101 at RoboBusiness to learn more about Aethon!


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I recently consulted with the US Navy on all things “transhuman.” In those conversations about how science and technology can help the human race evolve beyond its natural limits, it was clear that military is keen on replacing human soldiers with both fighting and peacekeeping machines so American military lives never have to come under fire or be in harm’s way. However, it’s the peacekeeping technology that is particularly interesting for many civilians. While you wouldn’t want an armed Terminator in your home, you might like a robot that travels with you and offers personal protection, like a bodyguard. In a survey by Travelzoo of 6,000 participants, nearly 80 percent of people said they expect robots to be a significant part of their lives by 2020 — and that those robots might even join them on holidays.


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In the News

ASI Brings Autonomous Systems to Farms, Roadways

September 23, 2016

Autonomous Solutions Inc. provides technology to make just about any vehicle self-driving, and it has worked well with partners on getting funding and serving the law-enforcement market. In addition, ASI is working on both off-road and automotive applications for its autonomous systems, according to CEO Mel Torrie.


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Autonomous systems are on a roll, from automated guided vehicles in warehouses and self-driving cars to delivery and service robots. Better perception and software are making mobile robots useful for a widening range of applications. Thus, it’s no surprise that Mel Torrie, CEO and president of Autonomous Solutions Inc., is excited about the future.


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Joanne Pransky, associate editor of Industrial Robot, recently sat down with Jacob Rosen, a professor of medical robotics at the University of California, Los Angeles. The surgical robotics pioneer has developed systems for minimally invasive surgery, telesurgery, and exoskeletons.


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The name of Blue Workforce A/S is all about machines, according to serial entrepreneur Preben Hjørnet. Not warm hands to do the job, but cold hands. Robots should do the difficult and dull jobs, leaving humans to do the exciting and interesting work, he said. Hjørnet cited Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen’s theory of “disruptive innovation” as a major inspiration for Blue Workforce’s products.


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The Lithuanian education system turns out an impressive number of engineers, helping to make the Baltic nation attractive to outside investment. Lithuania’s business environment has also helped it nurture robotics startups and international partnerships.


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The increasing number of enterprises entering the robotics arena and the global adoption of commercial robotic systems across industries guarantees that robots will define the future of your business. How will you and other corporate leaders prepare for an automated future?


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How do you determine how advanced a country is when it comes to robotics? One measure, “robot density,” is the number of robots per 10,000 workers. Is it the best way?


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Milestones along the way to the Factory of the Future Manufacturing is rushing headlong toward a rendezvous with the Factory of the Future and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), both of which most times seem so very far off to most.


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Will Allen, HP Fellow at HP Labs, joins The Robotics Trends Show to discuss why robots are arriving late in our homes and what needs to change to find more than the occasional robot vacuum in the home.


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In the News

Why Invest in Lithuania? Robotics Opportunities

September 06, 2016

Why should robotics businesses invest in Lithuania? The country may not yet be known as a robotics powerhouse, but the Lithuanian economy offers a unique combination of technical talent, openness to innovation, and connections to the rest of Europe.


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Robotics Startups: Sign Up to Meet Leading Investors at RoboBusiness VC Office Hours Wednesday, September 28, 2016 But, please remember…deadline to signup is September 9! RoboBusiness & Silicon Valley Robotics to Host First-Ever Venture Capitalist (VC) Office Hours


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As countries and organizations turn to Israel for robotics and artificial intelligence, the world’s militaries are also turning to Israeli security expertise for advanced technologies. Back in 2008, Israel proposed a missile system that is fully controlled by AI. In early 2016, Israel sold an advanced system to a buyer in Southeast Asia that uses algorithms and self-learning to identify threats at sea. These are just some of the Israeli developments around autonomous and military systems.


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Tokyo’s Haneda Airport recently added some personnel at Security Checkpoint C in the South Wing of Terminal 1. But there’s just one catch: It added service robots are part of airport automation. The Nao robot will be work at the large international airport on a trial basis to help improve customer service. It is a joint effort between Japan Airlines Co. (JAL) and consulting firm Nomura Research Institute Ltd. (NRI).


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Press release: The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2016 in Chicago will be the North American launch pad for Universal Robots’ two unique new initiatives. At the show, the collaborative robotics market leader will present the following: Universal Robots+: By choosing accessories, end effectors, and software from Universal Robots+, both distributors and end users get high security and predictability that applications will run well from the start, saving weeks and months in the integration process from concept to operation of the UR cobots. +YOU: a unique, free-of-charge developer program, offering a powerful marketing and support platform for the flourishing ecosystem of UR-robot application developers. Both will be showcased at booth N-6865 at IMTS in Chicago from Sept. 12 to 17, 2016.


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Event Announcement

VIDEO: Why Attend RoboBusiness 2016?

August 19, 2016

Be a part of the most important robotics event in the world. RoboBusiness is the only event of its kind where over 2,000 attendees from around the world come together to build relationships, solve problems, embrace new ideas and drive new revenue with robotics. Need more reasons to attend? Check out all that RoboBusiness 2016 has to offer:


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In the News

Brazilian Automation Goes for Robotics Gold

August 15, 2016

As the host nation of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, Brazil has been on the minds of people worldwide over the past several weeks. Yet long after the games end, many people will still be thinking about that country for an entirely different reason– the growth of Brazilian automation and robotics research, education, manufacturing, and usage. A South American giant Covering an area of 3.3 million square miles (8.5 million square kilometers) and with a population of approximately 200 million people, Brazil is immense nation in terms of both geography and demographics.


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Charming Hotel Staff and Guests Wherever It Goes. Why is that? Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke and master planner for his Relay room-service robot, breaks down the allure and utility of autonomous delivery vehicles for hotel intralogistics. It’s cute, it’s a novelty, but better yet, it does real-world work. A diminutive, three-foot-tall robot is delivering room-service goodies to hotel guests; and guests are loving it…as well as hotel management.


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Fetch Even Helps Humans Save on Shoe Leather In some warehouses, employees walk up to 14 miles each day, a physically demanding regimen that leads to fatigue, injury and burnout. By introducing the Freight robot into the workforce, employees spend up to 50 percent less time traversing the warehouse floor and more time fulfilling orders. “Robots have a long history in logistics, but largely in the form of industrial robots,” said Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “What’s new about Fetch is that the robots and humans work alongside each other, sharing the same space. We don’t require our customers to change their internal operations — our robots are designed to work in existing environments. Still, because this is such a new concept, it’s arguably our biggest challenge.”


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Food for thought: “10 – 12 billion apples are harvested in Washington State each year. Each Washington apple is picked by hand. There are no harvest machines to pick apples.” Crop Facts, Washington State


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In the News

Robots and the Great Asian Warehouse Makeover

August 07, 2016

Is this any way to run a business? Warehousing and distribution centers in Asia are far from being as competent, speedy, or cost-efficient as they should be. As such, they are losing out on billions of dollars of revenue and missing daily opportunities in e-commerce.


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In the News

Critical Meetups at the RoboBusiness Expo

August 04, 2016

Where are you in the mix? Why does every exhibitor at this year’s RoboBusiness conference want to come? After all, it’s a helluva lot of work. Each company purchases exhibit space; schleps in the company’s trade show booth and then quickly sets it up, arranges for personnel to be on hand to staff the booth (all of which takes time and costs quite a bit of money); and then everyone dons company colors and is all welcoming smiles come 11AM when the RoboBusiness Expo doors open for the first day of the conference.


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Joanne Pransky, associate editor of Industrial Robot, recently talked with William “Red” Whittaker, a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, president of Workhorse Technologies LLC, and CEO of Astrobotic Technology Inc. Whittaker is considered the “father of field robotics” and has developed autonomous vehicles as well as robots for space exploration, mining, and agriculture.


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In the near future, more critical operations could be performed by intelligent machines, say industry experts. After strengthening its sales in South Korea, Hyundai Group is exploring the global market for its medical robots. Computer-assisted surgery and medical automation could eliminate the need for human intervention, according to a medical robotics report from Allied Market Research. The report assesses the size and share, demand, and growth of the market.


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Canadian robotics has come a long way from the days when the Canadarm flew on over 90 Space Shuttle missions. While Canadarm 2 is currently an essential part of the International Space Station, Canadian robotics companies are now reaching into a growing number of fields. They include transportation, health care, and various types of robotic vision and mobility technologies. Robotics companies can be found across Canada, but Ontario can make a solid claim to being the hub of Canadian robotics. Local universities, particularly the University of Toronto and its internationally recognized Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics (IRM), have led to the formation of numerous robotic startups led by scores of young, eager tech entrepreneurs.


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In the News

Networking@RoboBusiness 2016

July 14, 2016

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” —Woody Allen, Collider interview, 2008 Two straight days of networking As you step through the front door of RoboBusiness 2016 in San Jose, start counting. Out of the first ten people you count, seven are there to network, three are not. Keep counting, if you like, but rest assured that enough studies have been done to conclusively show that the 70-30 rule applies to every conference. RoboBusiness is no exception.


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Press release: Accenture and RoboValley, an innovation hub for robotics located at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, have announced a five-year collaboration designed to advance on the development of the next generation of robotic technology. Accenture will invest €500,000 ($552,000) to facilitate international robotics research and development and knowledge sharing, becoming RoboValley’s Crown Partner.


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Better, cheaper robots System integration remains a large driver of cost for both custom and off the shelf systems. The trend is to rely more on external sensors, in particular vision, so this problem likely won’t be going away soon. The range of tasks that have yet to be automated are so varied that automation using traditional 6+ DoF arms is difficult. Creating systems from modular off the shelf components allows for a high degree of customization, and also reduces overall development time resulting in improved return on investment.


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The robot pulse of China Don’t miss hearing from Georg! Tom Green checks in with Georg Stieler, Managing Director of STM China. STM (STIELER Market Research and Business Development for Technology Companies) which is a German consulting firm providing market research and business development services for technology companies.


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A close look at the emerging model for autonomous indoor farming reveals something surprising: The vertical farm model bears a striking resemblance to that of distributed computer networking. Indoor farming (often referred to as vertical farming) can be as basic as traditional greenhouses operated with few or no autonomous systems. This article, however, looks at the current state and near-term future of highly robotic indoor farming that typically is organized vertically on shelves rather than horizontally over acres of soil.


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Co-bots rising A new army of industrial robots is descending; robots that can work with and alongside humans in performing work tasks previously needing separation between robot and human.


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Forecasts for the worldwide agribotics market predict a whopping increase from $3 billion in 2015 to $16.3 billion by 2020. The world’s population is expected to hit more than 9 billion by 2050. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. To grow all that food, the world’s farms will need to increase production by around 25 percent, according to a recent report from the World Resources Institute. To make matters worse, experts expect shortages of water, fertilizer, and arable land to make it even more difficult to feed future generations.


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MUNICH — ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot won the Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation (IERA) Award at Automatica 2016 here. Per Vegard Nerseth, managing director of ABB Robotics, accepted the IERA award at the International Symposium of Robotics. The International Federation of Robotics and the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS) organized the forum. Zurich-based ABB has described the two-armed YuMi as “the world’s first truly collaborative robot” because it can be used without safety cages, is easy to program, and can precisely manipulate and assemble small parts. The cobot’s name is derived from the slogan “You and me, working together.”


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Robots rule logistics…finally Strap yourself in for a wild ride of exploration into logistics 2017 at RoboBusiness 2016. Leap ahead a full year and then turn around to see the new robot-driven world of logistics racing toward you. It won’t be hard to see, but it won’t look the same any longer. Logistics is changing that fast!


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ODENSE, Denmark — One of the busier exhibition stands at RoboBusiness Europe 2016 was Melvin, a unique robot for helping people on the toilet. The assistive robot removes the user’s pants, helps the user sit and stand, and aids in putting the pants back on. The device’s name is taken from the British slang word for a “reverse wedgie.” Melvin’s lighthearted name belies its potential for helping older or disabled people retain some privacy and independence. Helene Høyer Jensen, sales chief at Aalborg, Denmark-based Melvin ApS, spoke about assisted living technologies at the conference here earlier this month.


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ODENSE, Denmark — Industrial automation promises greater efficiency, but re-engineering the processes of a particular factory or warehouse can be a big challenge. Visual Components Essentials, the successor to 3DAutomate from Visual Components Oy, offers to make that much easier. The software includes library of more than 30 brands of commercial robots that can be dragged and dropped into various simulations.


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When consumers order from Amazon.com Inc., particularly using its streamlined Prime service, they receive several automated messages of the shipment status. Often within 48 hours, the package arrives. Part of Amazon’s secret sauce to make this happen is robots. The online retailer’s Seattle operation aggressively uses robots for order fulfillment. The company operates a growing fleet of 30,000 robots. According to a Deutsche Bank study, Amazon’s Kiva robots have saved it considerable time and space, as well as $22 million for each fulfillment center that uses the Kiva robots so far.


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Fewer accidents, fewer cops Annually, more than 30 million people are involuntarily stopped by the police in the U.S.  Over 85 percent of those stops were traffic violations.  Of an additional 32 million people who had contact with police, 17 percent were because of traffic accidents. “Combined, more than half of all contacts with the police are related to vehicles,” writes Ohio State researcher Jay Zagorsky. Zagorsky concludes that once autonomous cars take over the roads, the number of law enforcement professionals could be cut in half without reducing public safety.


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ODENSE, Denmark — Among the technologies exhibited at RoboBusiness Europe 2016 here this month were new robots from Blue Ocean Robotics ApS. In addition to manufacturing and educational robots, the company offered its UV-Disinfection Robot. The World Health Organization states that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the third most common cause of death in Mexico. The costs of HAIs represent 70 percent of the entire budget of the Ministry of Health. The autonomous UV-Disinfection Robot is ready to help in hospitals. It can roam healthcare facilities and kill up to 99.9 percent of infectious bacteria and viruses within 10 minutes by using UV-C light. Too much exposure to ultraviolet light can also be harmful to humans, so when robot comes close to a person, its UV light turns off automatically.


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Italy and Germany may be far from China, but companies in both are welcoming partnerships with Chinese firms for industrial automation. The market for robotics in heavy industry will continue to grow at 6.19 percent from now through 2020, predicts Research and Markets. Much of that growth will occur in China, which hopes to improve its “robot density” to maintain its manufacturing dominance. To that end, Chinese companies such as AGIC Capital have sought partners in Europe and elsewhere.


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Denmark has made itself a key player in European robotics, which many consider essential to the continent’s economic viability, but what is the secret of its success? Can regions, researchers, and companies learn from that and apply it to their circumstances? Sure, Paris and the Boston area have strong robotics communities, thanks to university spinoffs; Silicon Valley and Beijing have invested billions of dollars in high-tech; and Munich, Detroit, and Pittsburgh are pivoting from robots making cars to robotic self-driving cars. But they shouldn’t rest on their laurels, as cities and regions worldwide hungrily look for the right mix of local talent, partnerships, and industry niches to get a piece of the still-growing action in robotics across industries.


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ODENSE, Denmark — Not only can humanoid robots interact more naturally with people, but they can also help us consider important questions about ourselves, said Hiroshi Ishiguro during his keynote speech yesterday at RoboBusiness Europe 2016. Ishiguro is a distinguished professor at Osaka University‘s Department of Systems Innovation, visiting director of ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories, and research director of the JST ERATO ISHIGURO Symbiotic HRI Project. He is best known for his android replicas, which are among the most lifelike created so far. The human-robot interaction researcher took the stage after greetings by Marianne Andersen, CEO of RoboBusiness Europe, and Anker Boye, Odense‘s mayor. Robotics Business Review is a sponsor of the conference, which is collocated with the Nordic UAS [Unmanned Aerial Systems] Event. “This is my first time to give a regular talk in this country, about ‘Robots and Our Future Life.’ Usually, it’s about every creepy robot,” Ishiguro joked.


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Danish startup hopes to serve growing sector with affordable mobile robots. Mobile robots seem like old news—after all, Amazon.com Inc. bought Kiva Systems Inc. back in 2012, so what else is new? Quite a bit, actually. Danish startup Mobile Industrial Robots ApS, or MiR, is making its entry into the U.S. market. Amazon’s purchase of Kiva, now Amazon Robotics, brought its logistics automation in-house, prompting a host of other companies to look elsewhere for factory and warehouse robotics.


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Designs previously believed impossible now within reach, thanks to Dutch research and a Danish startup. Odense, Denmark, is home to many industry-leading robotics institutes and enterprises. Odico Formwork ApS is one of the companies that have emerged from this European robotics epicenter, and it has already made a few waves internationally. Established in 2012, Odico‘s vision from the start has been to revolutionize the concrete and architecture industries through the use of innovative software and robotics. The company’s technology has already been put to the test in both small and large construction projects.


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Computers silently stalked the Kennedy years with millions of job losses “I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” —John Donne Are we involved? Seemingly femtoseconds following the announcement that Foxconn had laid off some 60,000 workers—in a single factory!—and replaced them with robots, the online world was crackling with stories, most of which were aghast at the spectacle of humans getting switched out for robots on assembly lines in a factory in the city of Kunshan, China. At the risk of being too somber


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A new market report identifies recent innovations in telepresence robot use. The animatronics at Disney parks have been lip-synching to music for decades, but telepresence robots are offering new capabilities beyond remote-controlled entertainment. Telepresence is allowing workers to attend multiple meetings, homebound students to participate in classes, and doctors to visit patients in remote hospital wards. For instance, Audi is using VGo from Vecna Technologies to link its dealers and mechanics.


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A survey of national strategies for developing the robotics industry across Asia finds India taking a different path. Robots are here. The robotics industry is transforming the world. Not only are companies and consumers feeling the heat; countries are feeling it, too, particularly around Asian robotics. In March, when a South Korean national and champion lost to Google’s AlphaGo program in the ancient Chinese game of Go, the whole of South Korea felt it. To many, it was more like a national defeat than one person losing to artificial intelligence. What did South Korea do next?


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Please join our webcast:The new tool that’s revolutionizing work and dispelling stereotypes No one said it’d be this easy Three years ago we wouldn’t be having a webcast titled Collaborative Robots because there weren’t any collaborative robots. Well, none that had yet escaped from engineering drawings, laboratories and PowerPoint presentations at IEEE conferences.


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The world's 114th largest country is preparing to make a big impact in global robotics. Denmark is famous for being the home of Hamlet, The Little Mermaid, and Lego. The nation is also working hard to become known for its thriving European robotics industry. The country currently hosts a substantial robotics base, including world-class manufacturers and academic programs. Denmark hosts a large number of full-scale test facilities and has a long tradition of developing solutions for complex processes in close collaboration with end users.


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Event Announcement

What We’ve Learned About “Being” RoboBusiness

May 01, 2016

After a dozen years of hosting RoboBusiness, we’ve learned a few things about “being” RoboBusiness Know thy event As the leading business conference event in the robotics industry for twelve years running, we’ve come to learn very well why our attendees come to RoboBusiness and why they return year after year. When the doors open for RoboBusiness 2016 in San Jose in September, we’ll have the distinct honor of hosting 2000 attendees from over twenty-nine countries worldwide for the best two days of robotics networking ever.


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In the News

Could This Be the Hertz of Robot Rentals?

April 29, 2016

Hirebotics asks SMEs: Why buy when you can rent, pay only for work done, and we take all of the risk? “Currently, operational industrial robots perform about 10 percent of the day-to-day manufacturing tasks that could be potentially automated – like assembly, packaging and material handling, etc.”                                                       —Boston Consulting Group


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Healthcare robotics pioneer explains how Aethon made its robots safer and more capable, as well as a common mistake. Joanne Pransky, associate editor of Industrial Robot, recently interviewed Aldo Zini, president and CEO of Aethon Inc. In addition to developing methodologies to quantify the value of healthcare robotics, Zini owns several patents around medication dispensing technology. While working on his BS in industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Zini became interested in using automation to make hospitals more efficient.


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TransEnterix, once viewed as a potential Johnson & Johnson acquisition, must now demonstrate SurgiBot's safety equivalence. TransEnterix Inc. has long been planning to seek approval for its surgical robots in Europe. SurgiBot was part of the company’s plan to develop two surgical robots simultaneously. However, last week’s rejection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was a significant setback for Morrisville, N.C.-based TransEnterix. TransEnterix officials acknowledged that the robot maker’s application to produce and market SurgiBot for the U.S. market now stands canceled. According to the agency, the surgical robot failed to meet standards of “substantial equivalence,” based on the information that the company submitted last year and in answer to the agency’s follow-up questions.


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Building robots and keeping them healthy is critically reliant upon a steady supply of superior parts Robot parts industry to accelerate ABI Research is forecasting “robotic component revenues to exceed $2.36 billion” in 2016. If that number comes to pass, 2016 will be the last year that the robot parts marketplace will ever again be that low. Tripling, even quadrupling, 2016’s robot parts sales will be more like the norm. The marketplace is already showing us signs of the great home robot breakout that’s twitching into being everywhere.


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RoboBusiness is the international gathering place for professionals who want to create business advantages with robotics.  Over 2,000 end users, investors and solutions providers will convene September 28-29 in San Jose, California to learn new strategies, develop critical partnerships and experience the latest technology in-person.   The 2016 conference will address the most important current challenge of the robotics industry: widespread adoption. Throughout the two-day event, esteemed speakers will present in the areas of:


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Please Join Our Webcast: Investing in Robotics, April 21 at 2:00PM EST In the meantime, while waiting for the webcast… With sales of industrial robots continuing to spiral upwards, co-robots massing to take on logistics, and robot home companions setting sights on millions of households worldwide, investors are suddenly getting serious and on the prowl to make a killing or two or three or more. But where to prowl first? Equities, pure-play equities, themed funds, ETFs…even motifs are out there. Should you keep to your favorite industry? Automotive, medical, maritime, manufacturing, logistics, construction, infrastructure, mining, oil & gas, military, hospitality, consumer, airborne, security, and transportation. Not to worry, robots cut across every industry.


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Want to be happier and live longer? Better get a home robot real soon Maybe it’s Alexa-time for all of us It may seem like a far-out thought as you read this, but many people will be making an in-home rendezvous with a robot companion much sooner than they think. Thousands already have. Research suggests that a robot companion could help us to stave off loneliness, sickness, even death. Yes, death! Saved by a robot. Who’d have thunk it?


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In the News

Pepper Robots Selling iPhones in Tokyo

March 28, 2016

Peppers “staff” the shop on three floors and they’re programmed to sell iPhone 6s phones and introduce a new electricity service from a SoftBank subsidiary. It’s hard to imagine that robots could take over 50 percent of jobs over the next 10 to 20 years, as some experts suggest. But a visit to the latest robot-staffed store in Tokyo provides a glimpse of what that mechanized future might look like. Japanese mobile phone giant SoftBank is running the shop in the trendy Omotesando district as a trial.


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Multiple universities and companies cooperate on R&D for drone safety, usefulness. There has been a lot of talk about Denmark’s nurturing culture for robotics. In particular, the city of Odense is home to many robotics companies, university programs, and research institutions. Since August 2015, it is also the location of a new Unmanned Aerial Systems Drone Center at Southern Danish University. American drone expert Brad Beach relocated with his family to Odense to launch the center. He is its director and is working to expand the study programs at Southern Danish University (SDU) to include a sharper focus on drone technology. Not only does Beach bring 23 years of experience in the U.S. Marine Corps, but he is also focusing on advancing drones in the civilian world.


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Atlas and Big Dog were popular, but not profitable or team players, according to Alphabet. Last week, speculation raged about Alphabet Inc.‘s potential sale of Boston Dynamics Inc., whose humanoid Atlas robot and quadruped LS3 robot have been the subject of viral videos on YouTube. Why would Google Inc.‘s parent dump such a well-known robotics company? Is this a setback for Google or Boston Dynamics, or is the move good business sense?


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Research-rich schools and innovative startups promise a bright future for the country's robotics industry. Although India’s robotics industry is minuscule when compared with those of the U.S. and Japan, many observers believe that it is only a matter of time before the nation—which already has a growing presence in the global information technology community—becomes a major player in robotics design and manufacturing.


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Brad Beach cites local expertise and growing EU interest, will speak at RoboBusiness Europe. Denmark is becoming a major focus for the robotics industry, both in Europe and around the world. With its growing reputation—Forbes named Denmark one of the best places to do business, it’s no surprise that people and companies wanting to advance the industry are heading to Denmark. One such individual is American drone expert Brad Beach.


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Pitchfire winner gets matching funds, plans international pilots through 2017. Following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, Autonomous Marine Systems Inc. last month raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Somerville, Mass.-based Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS) has developed the Datamaran, an autonomous solar- and wind-propelled catamaran that is designed for long ocean surveys. A fleet of zero-emission vessels can gather ocean data for multiple customers at once.


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