Event News

Last fall, a team of British technology experts successfully completed a second mission aimed at deepening ties between the U.K. and Taiwan robot sectors.


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Automation is inescapable in the news, but we need to take the time to put business and technical developments into wider perspective.


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DELFT, the Netherlands — Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics Inc., aided in the kickoff of RoboBusiness Europe here this week by sending a call to action to all roboticists to continue innovating.


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FRAMINGHAM, Mass., and DELFT, the Netherlands — EH Media announced today that its Robotics Division will merge with TUS Expo to form the new global entity Robo Business Media. This merger creates the largest events events and media company for robotics in the world. The Robotics Division of EH Media brings with it its two leading digital publications — Robotics Business Review and Robotics Trends — as well as the long-standing and highly regarded RoboBusiness conference. These brands will meld with the drone-related activities of TUSExpo BV, the Dutch owner of European trade shows and conferences such as The Unmanned Systems (TUS) Expo and the recently acquired TUS Nordics event. Together, they will form an international powerhouse of integrated media and events for robotics: Robo Business Media (RBM). The newly formed company will have offices in Delft, Framingham, and Odense, Denmark. RBM already has four events planned in the next 12 months in The Hague; Santa Clara, Calif.; Odense; and Bangkok. RBM will also accelerate the rollout of industry-focused events such as the Chief Robotics Officer (CRO) Network Summits and one-day Masterclasses. In addition, media brands Robotics Business Review and Robotics Trends will expand their international reach and provide readers with year-round news and analysis with increased reporting from around the world. Serving the growing global robotics ecosystem “Robotics is growing rapidly, and the market is becoming increasingly fragmented, with multiple countries and regions at different stages of development,” stated Ken Moyes, president of EH Media. “This merger establishes a dedicated, international robotics events and media company capable of delivering critical information and networking opportunities to support this complex ecosystem and the development of new robotics strategies.” “We look forward to all that we’ll be able to accomplish as one team,” Moyes said. “The fact that we merge the unmanned systems and robotic industries on the one side, and combine American and European events and media initiatives at the other side, gives Robo Business Media a unique and strong international position,” said Niels Westendorp, co-founder of TUS Expo. “The dynamics of a Pan-Atlantic team will boost the company’s acceleration and innovative power. More importantly, the merger enables us to serve this emerging market worldwide.” Robo Business Media has a widespread partner network and a strategic partnership with RoboValley of the Delft University of Technology. For more information, please visit RoboBusinessMedia.com. For further information, contact Sarah Kastrinelis, Marketing Manager, at skastrinelis@ehpub.com.


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Robotics process automation, or RPA, is all the talk among companies looking to optimize efficiency and improve quality in many back-office functions.


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As more predictions about impact of automation on jobs come out, how can we sort out science fiction from fact?


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CHICAGO — Many companies are set in their ways and may take some convincing before automating processes that have traditionally been done by humans.


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While robotic assistance systems are available for most types of surgery today, eye surgery used to be an exception.


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CHICAGO — Robotics can provide companies with cost savings, better production efficiencies, and other benefits.


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Back in 2013, an Oxford Martin School study stated that 47% of U.S. jobs are “at risk” from automation.


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Smart machines are no longer over some distant horizon; they’re nearly within reach.


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The idea of a universal basic income is growing in popularity worldwide, from Canada and Finland to India and beyond. Why?


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CHICAGO — Sustainability is entering all areas of the automation business, and the advancements are not just for environmental purposes.


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Vecna Technologies Inc., which has been quietly developing mobile and telepresence systems, today announced its new logistics robotics division.


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Joanne Pransky, associate editor of Industrial Robot, talked recently with Mitchell Weiss, chief technology officer of Seegrid Corp.


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International robotics is more than just a scattering of researchers, manufacturers, and end users around the world.


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Fetch Robotics Inc. has added two new offerings to its Freight line of mobile robots.


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More than 400 manufacturing and supply chain technology and service providers will gather next week in Chicago at Automate 2017 to present an up-close view of the drivers transforming and moving these segments toward a realized Industry 4.0.


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RightHand Robotics Inc., which has developed robotic systems for e-commerce order fulfillment, has raised $8 million in Series A funding.


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Blue Workforce A/S, a Danish robot company making a lightweight industrial robot for pick-and-place operations, has received funding from a Chinese investor.


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China is working to become the leader in artificial intelligence, while Israel uses military drones, and German companies specialize in industrial robot arms.


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A lot of science fiction, from Star Trek and Ex Machina through Westworld, makes it seem like human-level artificial intelligence is around the corner.


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The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs has proposed the creation of regulations for the legal status and safe operation of autonomous machines.


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Smart cities will depend on the Internet of Things to monitor and react to changes in transit, utility use, and their residents’ behaviors.


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Many educational robots are little more than remote-controlled toys or very basic programming tools, while most industrial robot arms are too high-powered — and too expensive — for small shops.


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Intel Corp. yesterday announced that it would buy machine vision company MobilEye NV for $15.3 billion.


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InVia Robotics Inc. recently released its Dynamic Automated Storage and Retrieval System, which is designed to efficiently deliver goods to people within warehouses.


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ODENSE, Denmark — Universal Robots A/S, which announced its favorable financial results this week, is offering robotics training at its Universal Robots Academy to help encourage adoption of collaborative robots.


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Universal Robotics Inc. last week announced the expansion of its labor-replacement line of Neocortex Goods to Robot (G2R) Cells.


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ODENSE, Denmark — The demand for collaborative robots is strong, particularly in Europe. Proof can be found in the explosive growth of Universal Robots A/S since the company launched its first cobot in 2008. In 2016 alone, UR’s revenue reached an estimated 662 million Danish krone ($94 million U.S.) and delivered a profit of DKK 92 million ($13 million) before tax, reflecting the booming cobot market. Universal Robots‘ revenue has increased at a rate of 60 to 90 percent each year, from $5.6 million (DKK 40 million) in 2011 to $59.3 million (DKK 417 million) in 2015, according to Denmark’s Central Business Register. According to the Odense-based company, its success can be attributed to the safety, flexibility, and the short payback time of its robotic arms. Universal Robots’ products do not require safety cages, can work side by side with humans, and have been implemented in factories and other facilities around the world. Business Takeaways: As the global cobot market continues to grow, Universal Robots has experienced rapid rises in revenue and size year over year. The Danish company has been nurturing a robotics ecosystem, both to help educate end users and to maintain its market leadership. Universal Robots executives said they expect particularly strong collaborative robotics growth in small and midsize enterprises and in the Asia-Pacific region. A view of the cobot market “We use four or five research companies to look at data, and of course they all vary,” said Jürgen von Hollen, who became president of Universal Robots last October. “We also analyze our revenues and sales to see the robotics market. We believe that the market will grow from $150 million to $180 million in 2016 by between 60 and 75 percent over the next year.” “We expect the market to be at least $2 billion by 2020,” he told Robotics Business Review. “That’s a very large market from where we started.” “In the collaborative space, research organizations have our market share at 50 percent, but we believe we’re around 60 to 65 percent market share,” claimed von Hollen. “Our focus as a company is to maintain that market share and take advantage of overall market growth.” One challenge facing collaborative robots is that... Continue Reading


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The widening adoption of industrial automation has led to fears of job losses and unequal distribution of wealth. In response, some robotics proponents have talked up the benefits of reshoring manufacturing and service functions, and others have suggested a universal basic income.


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Vancouver, British Columbia-based Genesis Robotics, a spin-off from engineering firm Genesis Advanced Technology, is rolling out what is presented as a breakthrough innovation


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The automotive industry has been among the very first to embrace emerging technologies. Practically every month, automakers invent new ways to make vehicles and their own mass production more efficient.


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As fears of automation continue to be stoked worldwide, some pundits have responded with proposals for a universal basic income. But what are the numbers behind UBI schemes, and do they add up?


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In the News

Reasons Why 2017 Will Be the Year of Robotics

February 23, 2017

2016 was such a great year for robotics. A lot of progresses were made in various fields, and more and more people have started to realize how robotics can improve work, education, and life.


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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Vecna Technologies Inc., parent company of VGo Communications, has selected Dwight Moore as VGo’s new Chief Executive Officer.


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CLEARWATER, Fla. — Fritz Faulhaber, a pioneer in high-precision micro motor and drive systems, died at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on Feb. 6, 2017, at the age of 68.


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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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