Category Archives: Business

Half of American jobs at risk of automation, says new report

industrial robot painting

About half of all jobs in America could be replaced by robotics and automation systems, according to a news story on

And as pointed out by, approximately one in four American jobs are at risk of being shipped overseas, which puts three-quarters of all jobs in the US at risk of disappearing or at least changing.

The study the story was based on is How Vulnerable are American Communities to Automation, which was conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

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Brain Corp raises $114 million to develop self-driving technology for robots

Brain Corp, an artificial intelligence company specializing in the development of self-driving technology for robots, has raised $114 million in a Series C funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Brain has developed AI and self-driving technology to enable robots to perceive their environment, learn to control their motion, and navigate using visual cues and landmarks while avoiding people and obstacles.

The investment will be used to further develop AI technology and create brains for multiple types of commercial and consumer robots. 

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American workers sleepwalking into automated obscurity, says new report

robot replaces human

Picture courtesy of Challenge Magazine

Despite an endless stream of stories in the media warning of humanity’s impending irrelevance in an automated future, it seems American workers remain rather blasé about the prospect of being automated out of existence in the workplace. 

New research by Randstad US contradicts many reports that American workers fear losing their job due to automation.

The 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research found that only 14 percent of US employees worry that automation will take their job away, and nearly one-third (30 per cent) say they think automation will make their job better. 

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Government incentives driving growth of Malaysian automation and control systems market, says report

malaysian factory robot

A factory in Malaysia. Picture courtesy of The Malay Mail Online

Government incentives and adoption of new technologies are driving the growth of the Malaysian automation and control systems market, according to a new report.

The Malaysian automation and control systems market, one of the biggest for suppliers, is stable and growing, says the study by Frost & Sullivan, which projects the market to be worth more than $409 million in the next four years.

Government incentives to aid manufacturing and infrastructure spend, as well as an established end-user base of sophisticated automation systems, are driving growth in the region. 

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Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

manufacturing usa deloitte report

Americans are optimistic about the future of manufacturing despite saying they wouldn’t want to work in the sector. 

The US manufacturing industry suffers from an important image problem that undermines its competitiveness, says a new opinion survey by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Only 50 per cent of Americans think manufacturing jobs are interesting and less than 30 per cent are likely to encourage their children to pursue a career. 

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WTWH Media buys The Robot Report

therobotreport homepage

Business-to-business publisher WTWH Media has bought The Robot Report for an undisclosed sum. was founded in 2008 by Frank Tobe, and is one of the leading websites in this growing sector of publishing.

The website covers robotics in a variety of business segments, including transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and even outer space.  It has an international perspective, covering many countries around the globe. 

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Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

apple homepod

The new Apple HomePod, the home automation device which mostly acts like a speaker and plays music

The global market for robotics and automation systems is growing so fast that it’s causing seasoned industry analysts to revise their forecasts. 

For example, the Boston Consulting Group released a report into the robotics which it has now updated with new numbers.

The causes of the reviews include the relatively new interest in personal robotics technology for the home, and the burgeoning market in collaborative robots for industry.

Another key development is the launch of the Apple HomePod, which, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, looks set to automate a huge number of homes to levels never seen before.

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Interview: Big data suggests there’s a trade war looming

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

Port of Los Angeles, in the US

One of the wonders of the modern, computerised world is the emergence of data science. Data science is, arguably, at the heart of most successful businesses today, and its favourite food is big data. 

For Panjiva, data science and big data enables it to keep track of virtually all goods moving from one country to another, with a particular emphasis on the US market.

But while it might sound straightforward to some, the actual collation and preparation of the data, and then the presentation of it, is not a simple process. 

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    Equity markets We have listed approximately 50 companies which we think are related to the field of robotics and automation.…
    Tags: industrial, automation, robotics, companies, data
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    The ongoing global trend towards greater industrial automation is being reflected in an increase in the number of industrial robots…
    Tags: industrial, automation, panjiva, trade, trump
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Barack Obama discussed trade earlier this week, and agreed this was a crucial time for…
    Tags: robotics, automation, companies, industrial, trade

Sepro launches €11 million expansion of robot operations in France and the US

sepro building

The Sepro Group has embarked on an €11 million expansion plan which will accelerate its robot operations in France and the US.

Following four years of “record-setting sales growth”, Sepro says its three-phase, €11 million expansion plan will increase production capacity at the company’s headquarters facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, France, and launch a new global training facility nearby.

In the US, the plan will add large-robot assembly capabilities to the systems integration and service operations already in place at the Sepro America operation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

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Cyber-physical systems and manufacturing’s new frontier

The real world and its digital twin are collaborating to bring forth something called “mass customisation”, a new manufacturing culture which, as the term suggests, will be the basis for the most diverse ecosystem of engineered products ever seen. 

To understand and articulate some specifics about what’s being called “the new frontier of manufacturing”, one of the world’s largest management consultancy firms, Deloitte, partnered with the Singularity University, a forum for technology futurists co-founded by Ray Kurzweil, to organise a conference called Exponential Manufacturing, featuring many thought leaders working in the industrial sector. 

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China’s enthusiasm for robots and electric cars creating oversupply of clean technology

hit robot polishing-for-each-product

A jade-polishing robot produced by the HIT Robot Group, one of China’s largest robot makers

China’s enthusiasm for new technology, combined with its paranoia about being left behind in a globally intensifying high-tech competition, sometimes leads it to create small bubbles in its economy which may or may not dissipate in the disciplined manner in which the markets they encompass may have emerged in the first place. 

Two years ago, the government of the world’s most populous nation of 1.4 billion people launched a 10-year national plan to “transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power”, in the words of XinhuaNet, the state propaganda outlet. 

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Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

thailand bmw factory 1

Pictures from BMW’s factory in Thailand

Managing an economy today is not easy. But managing it for tomorrow? Now that’s a real challenge. It’s one that the government in Thailand is tackling head on, with a raft of new policies aimed at future-proofing its workforce and industry, particularly in the automotive, robotics, and aerospace sectors.

The measures, known collectively as Thailand 4.0, are centered on incentivizing foreign direct investment and nurturing innovation for 10 key future-focused industries.

The goal is to foster an ecosystem that promotes emerging technology, innovation, and creativity within each of these sectors. 

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Books: Journeys into the minds of robots

book tunnel

Elsevier has released a couple of new books that take deep dive into the programming of robots. 

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    Elsevier has published two new books in the area of Control Systems.  Learning-Based Adaptive Control: An Extremum Seeking Approach – Theory…
    Tags: control, systems, book, learning, elsevier
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    Elsevier, which is known for publishing weighty academic tomes, has released two new books on the subject of robotics. Both books are available in digital formats…
    Tags: book, robots, robotics, control, algorithms, engineering, books, describes, elsevier, researchers
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    Elsevier has launched four new books in the area of robotics.  The publisher says the books are “ideal” and “perfect” resources for…
    Tags: robotics, book, control, systems, elsevier, researchers, presents, books

Americans split on impact of automation in the workplace

hitachi emiew

Picture credit: Hitachi via IEEE

Automation in the workplace is a polarizing issue for Americans, according to the results of a new American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor survey conducted online by Harris Poll.

About equal percentages of respondents say that automation – for example, robots or artificial intelligence – will be a good or a bad thing for the future world of work.

Specifically, 34 per cent of Americans say automation will be a positive development for the workforce in the next 10 years or more—compared with 31% who say it will be negative. A plurality (35 per cent) are neutral on the matter or just don’t know. 

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Carnegie Mellon names one of its rooms after Leybold

leybold carnegie mellon

University marks inauguration of a Leybold Conference and Reception Room at Carnegie Mellon University Nanofabrication Facility

Being at the forefront of university research is very important for innovating next generation vacuum technology products.

As a local partner with Pittsburgh based Carnegie Mellon University, Leybold has been not only a supplier, but also a generous and benevolent sponsor for years.

As an acknowledgement for this close cooperation, the CMU community named one of the new conference center and reception rooms “Leybold” and celebrated this inauguration with a presentation and reception held at the CMU Nanofabrication Facility recently. 

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