Automate 2019 Startup Showdown Recap

It’s been two years since the last time I judged the Automate Startup Competition. More than any other trade show contest, this event has been an oracle of future success. In following up with the last vintage of participants, all of the previous entrees are still operating and many are … Read More

ProMat Preview: It’s Time To Cut The Cord

Last week’s breaking news story on The Robot Report was unfortunately the demise of Helen Greiner’s company, CyPhy Works (d/b/a Aria Insights). The high-flying startup raised close to $40 million since its creation in 2008, making it the second business founded by an iRobot alum that has shuttered within five months. While it … Read More

Get Ready For Humanoids

Memphis at 1am is quite possibly the busiest airport without passengers on the globe. Touring the 880 acre FedEx facility, I marveled at the speed and efficiency of the automation technologies that can process close to a half a million shipments an hour and 250 flights a day. The cargo hub … Read More

New Battery Technology Is Accelerating Autonomy And Saving The Environment

If the robotics world had a celebrity it would be Spot Mini of Boston Dynamics. Last month at the Robotics Summit in Boston the mechanical dog strutted onto the floor of the Westin Hotel trailed by hundreds of flickering iPhones. Marc Raibert first unveiled his metal menagerie almost a decade … Read More

The Meaning Of Humanoid Backflips

Like a gymnast nailing a perfect ten, Boston Dynamics’ robot Atlas wowed automation enthusiasts last week. Two years prior, one of the most popular tech videos on YouTube was the humanoid blooper reel of the 2015 DARPA Challenge. In just 24 months machine agility has gone from the Keystone Kops … Read More

The Advantage of Four Legs

Shortly after SoftBank acquired his company last October, Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics confessed, “I happen to believe that robotics will be bigger than the Internet.” Many sociologists regard the Internet as the single biggest societal invention since the dawn of the printing press in 1440. To fully understand Raibert’s point … Read More

Making Pepper Walk, Understanding Softbank’s Purchase of Boston Dynamics

It is unclear if Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Softbank, was one of the 17 million YouTube viewers of Boston Dynamic’s Big Dog before acquiring the company for an undisclosed amount this past Thursday. What is clear is the acquisition of Boston Dynamics by Softbank is a big deal. Softbank’s humanoid robot … Read More

And the winner is…

Last Saturday, everyone waited with bated breadth to see if American Pharoah would win the Triple Crown.  At the same time, under the California sun, 23 teams competed in the ultimate robotic contest – the DARPA’s Robotic Challenge (DRC).   It should come as no surprise that a South Korean team won the $2 … Read More

Google Acquires A Zoo Of Robots

Last week, I ventured to wonder who would win in a battle of the bots – NASA’s Valkyrie or Boston Dynamics’s ATLAS.  I think Google just weighed in with the answer.  Google’s acquisition of BD is probably the biggest deal to hit the Robot Industry since Amazon’s purchase of Kiva … Read More