Event News

If you’re thinking about hiring a robotics engineering firm to turn your business’ robot dreams into reality, you probably already have some strong ideas about what you want your final product to be. But choosing the wrong technological path or the wrong partner can lead you down an expensive, time-consuming path to a “solution” that meets neither your needs nor your goals. Follow these tips to make the most of your partnership with your robotics engineering firm and increase your chances of success.


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Robots as a Service (RaaS) is a new business model for the robotics market, with its roots in a proven business model from the enterprise software market in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). The defining feature of an “as-a-service” business model is in how the customer consumes the service provided, how this consumption is metered and how they pay for that service. SaaS involves the delivery of software based functionality hosted in the cloud. In a similar fashion, several robotics vendors are now providing RaaS to their customers.


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In the News

Working With Partners to Adopt Robotics

July 18, 2017

Most organizations will need help, whether it's for assessing their ability to use robots, bringing robots into their operations, or servicing them. Many suppliers and integrators offer help in the form of robotics as a service (RaaS). You also need to make sure that existing business partners are ready for automation and have interoperable systems.


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ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands -- RoboBusiness Europe and TUS Expo, which have established themselves as the premier robotics and unmanned systems events in Europe, plan to build on the success of the 1st International Robotics Week in next year's events. Robo Business Media has announced that it has chosen the city of Rotterdam as the location of RoboBusiness Europe and TUS Expo 2018. 


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Over the last 50 years the cost of labor in manufacturing has risen steadily, and the willingness of many people to perform highly repetitive tasks on assembly lines has decreased. Over the same period the equivalent hourly cost of robot labor has steadily declined. Human labor turnover in U.S. manufacturing averaged 16% in 2016 according to a Compensation Force survey, and overseas contract manufacturing’s average turnover is 20 to 30% a year, imposing both a high training and quality cost. Also, in the U.S. labor productivity in the manufacturing sector has stalled over the last few years; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics it was -0.6% in 2015 and 0.2% in 2016.


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Universal Logic Inc. today announced a large customer order of 60 Neocortex® robot cells for automated order fulfillment of consumer goods.


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Event Announcement

VIDEO: Why Attend RoboBusiness?

July 05, 2017

Be a part of the most important robotics event in the world. RoboBusiness is the only event that meets the needs of the entire robotics ecosystem. Join thousands of executives, investors, engineers, startups and robotics experts from around the world as they learn from one another and build robotics strategies that can be immediately put to use to grow their businesses and stay ahead of the competition. Need more reasons to attend? Check out all that RoboBusiness 2017 has to offer:


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RoboBusiness is the pioneering event of the global robotics industry and the only event that meets the needs of the entire robotics ecosystem. Over 2,000 executives, engineers, investors, startups and robotics experts from around the world will convene September 27-28 in Santa Clara, California for this 2-day conference and expo designed around advancing business with automation and AI. Attendees will develop critical partnerships, get a first look at the latest technology, and build robotics strategies that can be immediately put to use.


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Google has ended one part of its foray into robotics with a deal to sell Boston Dynamics, maker of the BigDog quadruped and Atlas humanoid robots, to Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Group Corp., known for its Pepper robots. SoftBank will buy Boston Dynamics, led by CEO and founder Marc Raibert, as well as Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft, from Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. under the deal announced Friday. Financial terms were not disclosed.


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SANTA CLARA, CA (June 5, 2017) – RoboBusiness is the event that pioneered and championed the robotics industry and is the only event with the credibility and vision to point confidently to where the market is moving. Thousands of executives, engineers, investors, startups and robotics experts from around the world will convene September 27-28 in Santa Clara, California to develop critical partnerships, get a first look at the latest technology, and build robotics strategies that can be immediately put to use.


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At AUVSI Xponential here earlier this month, the drone industry’s ongoing shift from military and consumer offerings to commercial applications was clear. Intel Corp. has moved from making chips to sensors and now complete drone offerings. Intel drones demonstrated the company’s commitment to new markets at the show. “This is the biggest movement in the industry,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president of the New Technology Group and general manager of the new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Segment at Intel. “The opportunity is easier to understand, as drones for commercial inspections and delivery provide a clear benefit.”


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Precision motion-control technology expert Cone Drive Operations Inc. this week said it is thrilled to further expand the reach of its new Harmonic Solutions ® product range into the Asia market at the Shanghai International Modern Industrial Intelligent Equipment Exhibition (SIA) in May 2017. The Traverse City, Mich.-based company had successful commercial launches in the U.S. at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in September 2016 and Europe at Motek in October 2016.


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RoboValley in the Netherlands isn’t just a knockoff of Silicon Valley in the U.S.; it’s a role model of how a regional technology hub (in this case international robotics) can take advantage of local competencies. For decades, from New Zealand to Norway and China to Chile, people from all over the world have been visiting the corridor between San Francisco and San Jose. They all wanted the same thing: the formula that makes Silicon Valley successful.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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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