Category Archives: Companies news

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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Comau agrees deal with Brazilian integrator MVB Automation

comau brazil mvp deal

Comau has agreed a new partnership with MVB Automation in Brazil. Founded over 10 years ago, the company is a system integrator based in Camaçari, Bahia, with about 90 experts in the field of factory automation.

MVB serves a variety of customers in general industry with robotics solutions, automation controls, process simulation and tooling.

Comau says this partnership represents its strategy to develop its growing partner network in Latin America. 

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ABB opens new Canada headquarters in Montreal


Industrial energy and automation giant wins three key digital orders from major Canadian customers

ABB has officially inaugurated its new $90 million Canadian headquarters and Customer Innovation Center, which will serve 700 employees who were previously spread across six locations in Greater Montreal.

Campus Montreal houses research and development, manufacturing, assembly and testing for ABB’s energy value chain, says the company. 

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UK-based robotics and automation systems designer Tharsus expands operations

Steve Flowers and Glen Aitchison at NetPark

Steve Flowers and Glen Aitchison at NetPark

Tharsus Group, a 50-year-old UK-based designer and manufacturer of automation and robotics equipment, has expanded its operations by opening a new office in County Durham, in north England. 

The Northumberland-based business, which delivers commercial robotics and automated solutions to some of the world’s leading companies, opened an office at the North East Technology Park (NetPark) in Sedgefield, as part of an initiative to widen its access to the North East’s talented pool of engineering professionals.

The new office will primarily be used as a base to develop the software that is essential to the operation of Tharsus’s robotic solutions. It will also be a centre for further expanding the company’s core knowledge of robotics, in line with its 2017 business strategy. 

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Akasol wins ‘major contract’ to supply lithium-ion battery systems for new e-buses

akasol kvb e-bus

Sustainable passenger transportation without environmentally damaging emissions: one of eight battery-powered articulated buses with Akasol battery systems operating as part of Cologne’s public transportation network. (Photo: Koelner Verkehrsbetriebe)

Akasol says it has agreed a deal with “an internationally operating commercial vehicle manufacturer based in northern Europe” for the serial production of lithium-ion battery systems for its entire fleet of e-buses. 

Akasol claims the contract with the original equipment manufacturer is worth “hundreds of millions of euros” and lasts until 2023, and outlines a close, long-term partnership between both companies and involves the supply of up to 4,500 battery systems.

Sven Schulz, CEO of Akasol, says: “Thanks to our technological expertise and nearly 30 years of experience in the field of traction battery systems for the automotive industry, we made an impressive bid and were able to set ourselves apart from the competition.” 

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Robotic suitcases: Who needs them?

Whenever you have a good idea, you can be sure someone, somewhere has got the same idea, and has probably already built a prototype or even a business out of it. 

In the internet age, you’ve gotta move fast if you’re going to succeed in the making business. Or maybe try and think of an entirely original idea no one can steal.

So it was that we were thinking if we could find a robotic suitcase to take on our travels this year, to industry events and such. And sure enough there’s at least three we found on the market, and probably several others we don’t know about or haven’t got time to list. 

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    The US automotive manufacturing sector buys one in every two industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robots.  Therefore, being…
    Tags: robotics, event, industry, industrial, technology, company, find, robotic

World’s largest manufacturing companies

samsung chip

It’s a couple of years old, and we will update it as we go along, but this list provides an overview of the global manufacturing landscape over the past few years.

It shows that traditional companies – meaning those with a long history – are still dominant. Giants like Samsung, Toyota, Volkswagen, Daimler, General Electric, and General Motors have each been around for a century.

Samsung is relatively young, having been established in 1938. And it’s probably perceived as being even younger, since it’s the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, a product which has been in existence for barely a decade. 

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Smart trash bin automatically separates and sorts out rubbish

bin-e intelligent trash can

It probably looks more stylish than your average bin, and it’s definitely a whole lot smarter. 

What’s being described at the world’s first smart trash can is being developed in Poland.

Its makers, at a company called Bin-e, say the “intelligent bin” will not only facilitate work in an ecologically friendly environment but also allow us to save time devoted to garbage segregation at work. 

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ABB to invest $90 million in new research centre in Canada

abb montreal

Engineering giant ABB is to invest another $90 million into a research and development centre in Canada. 

The Swiss company, which also is one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, is to establish its new North American research and development facility in Montréal.

As a result of the investment, Canadians will develop next-generation solutions for electric vehicles, says the government in a statement.

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Rolls-Royce to open new research facility in US

rolls-royce purdue

Rolls-Royce will house an R&D group for its jet engine component research in a 40,000-square-foot facility in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Purdue Research Park image)

Rolls-Royce is to open a new research and development centre in the US. The company formally received the keys to the 55,000-square-foot facility in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette. 

Purdue Research Foundation and Rolls-Royce are scheduled to celebrate the building’s opening late March.

David Waggoner, head of programs, customer and operations, control systems in North America for Rolls-Royce, says: “This facility is a great opportunity for us to create something unique to North America but also unique to Indiana, and allow us to strengthen our partnership with Purdue. 

Siemens says it wants to strengthen its position as a ‘digital company’

Siemens is expanding its open platform “Siemens Cloud for Industry” to form the basis of new digital business models for industrial companies. The new Connector Box is a Simatic IPC-based cloud gateway that transmits machine and system data easily and securely to the Cloud.

One of the largest engineering companies in the world – famous for making humungous, physical things for the real world – is increasingly enthusiastic about the digital world

Siemens says it aims to achieve double-digit annual growth in digital business every year through to the next decade. 

The company expects its software business, and its digital services and platforms to be the main growth drivers.

Its MindSphere cloud-based, open operating system was recently rolled out companywide, which has transformed many of the processes at Siemens. 

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US gives Midea green light to buy Kuka

US approves Midea takeover of Kuka. Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

US approves Midea takeover of Kuka. Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay


China’s Midea said it will complete its takeover of German robotics maker Kuka in the first half of January after the United States authorities gave the deal a green light.

Midea, which launched a €4.5 billion offer for Kuka in May, said Germany’s markets regulator had approved the settlement of the transaction, allowing it to control a 94.55 percent voting stake in Kuka from January onwards.

The bid for Kuka, a high-tech robotics manufacturer, sparked controversy in Germany amid fears that key technologies were falling into foreign hands at a time when China protects its own companies against foreign takeovers. 

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Rethink Robotics raises $18 million in new funding

scott eckert, sawyer robot

Scott Eckert with Sawyer, Rethink Robotics’ new collaborative industrial robot

Rethink Robotics, maker of the Baxter and Sawyer industrial robots, says it has raised new funds for global expansion and new product development  

Rethink Robotics has raised $18 million in new funding as part of its Series E financing round.

The new round includes funding from leading asset manager and private equity investment firm, Adveq, as well as contributions from all previous investors, including Bezos Expeditions, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, DFJ, Two Sigma Ventures, GE Ventures and Goldman Sachs.

The funding will support Rethink’s global expansion initiatives and new product development, says the company. 

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President-elect Donald Trump meets with tech leaders for informal chinwag before inauguration

trump meets tech leaders

US President-elect Donald Trump sits with PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower in New York, US, December 14, 2016. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

By Gina Cherelus and Dustin Volz, Reuters

President-elect Donald Trump and some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives met at his Manhattan tower in the past week, at a summit convened to smooth over frictions after both sides made no secret of their disdain for each other during the election campaign.

The meeting focused chiefly on economic issues, including job creation, lowering taxes and trade dynamics with China, while largely skirting the many disagreements the tech industry has with Trump on matters ranging from immigration to digital privacy, according to a Trump transition team statement.

Trump proposed reconvening with the tech leaders as often as every quarter, the statement said. 

Robomotion and Sotec demonstrate cloud-connected Kuka industrial robot work cell

kuka sotec robomotion

The first KR 3 Agilus is handed over to Dr Andreas Wolf, of Robomotion (second from left) and Florian Holz, of Sotec (third from left)

Industrial robotics and automation solutions provider Robomotion and software company Sotec have demonstrated a robotic work cell which they built around the Kuka KR Agilus robot.

The companies claim the cell is an example of “hands-on Industrie 4.0”.

The KR 3 Agilus is at the heart of the demo cell developed by Robomotion and Sotec, and the companies say the cell “demonstrates how the flow of data between robots and the cloud can work”.

Florian Holz, CEO of Sotec, says: “We want to give people an opportunity to experience the technology of Industrie 4.0 that we developed together at first hand.” 

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