SoftBank has sold 10,000 Nao robots. Now the tiny humanoid wants to ‘conquer new markets’ with Zora

SoftBank Robotics and Zora Bots have signed what they describe as “a major partnership” aimed at reaching a wider audience for the humanoid robot Nao.

Zora Bots, which has already deployed its software designed for robots in the health sector, is now the world’s leading distributor of Nao and is poised to expand its solution in many areas including retail, hospitality, education and personal services.

This strategic rapprochement in the international arena will bring humanoid robotics into a new dimension and make Nao available to a wider audience.  Continue reading SoftBank has sold 10,000 Nao robots. Now the tiny humanoid wants to ‘conquer new markets’ with Zora

Schnucks grocery stores give Tally the robot some work to do checking the shelves

A mobile robot called Tally has got a job at Schnucks grocery stores, where it will wander round the aisles and make mental notes of what products are running low on stock and checking prices. 

Developed by Simbe Robotics, Tally is said to perform the tasks humans might find boring and time-consuming. It can do this while customers are shopping or after the stores close.

Simbe claims Tally is the “world’s first fully autonomous robotic shelf auditing and analytics solution for the retail industry”, and suggests the technology could save some of the $450 billion retailers lose annually through inefficiencies which Tally can help resolve.  Continue reading Schnucks grocery stores give Tally the robot some work to do checking the shelves

CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

A burger-flipping robot developed by Cali Group and Miso Robotics has received $3.1 million in financing from strategic investors including Acacia Research and Match Robotics. 

Miso was co-founded and funded by Cali Group, which owns the Caliburger chain of fast food restaurants across the US. The company is currently specialising in automation for the catering industry.

The burger-flipping robot has been named “Flippy”, appropriately enough, and was the first robotic product developed by Miso, and the company has since developed numerous automation applications for the robot, including preparation, grilling, frying, and so on.  Continue reading CaliBurger’s ‘Flippy’ robot gets $3 million to flip burgers

South Korea’s largest airport has hired robots made by LG to assist travellers

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The LG Airport Guide Robot

South Korea’s largest airport – Incheon International Airport, in Seoul – has given jobs to a number of robots made by LG Electronics. 

The mobile machines are designed to enable travellers to scan their tickets to get flight information and they can escort them to the flight gates.

Alternatively it can just provide directions to locations within the airport, complete with walking distances and times, or information about the traveller’s eventual destination, such as weather and other details.  Continue reading South Korea’s largest airport has hired robots made by LG to assist travellers

Toyota demonstrates ‘human service robot’ of a type that may take over a lot of homes

Toyota has been demonstrating what it calls its “Human Support Robot”, a type of robot which looks likely to take over millions of homes all over the world in the next few years.

The market for this type of so-called personal assistance robot is forecast to grow very quickly over the next few years because of advances in the technology.

According to analysts at ResearchAndMarkets.com, the personal robotics market will grow by almost 40 per cent within the next five years to a total size of $34 billion.  Continue reading Toyota demonstrates ‘human service robot’ of a type that may take over a lot of homes

Kinova Robotics explains role of automation in health care to Senate committee

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Charles Deguire, president and co-founder of Kinova Robotics, explained the benefits of robotics in the health sector before the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

The Committee invited Deguire to testify as senators study the role of automation in the health care system, particularly robotics, artificial intelligence and 3D printing, in direct and indirect care to patients and home care.

Charles Deguire, CEO of Kinova, said: “It is clear to us that the future of medicine depends on robotics and its great ability to empower humanity. People cannot imagine how many technological advances in medical robotics have been made in recent years.

“The scalpel and the hand have not changed in the past 100 years, it’s time for medicine to evolve. Kinova is actively working with surgeons to develop better tools for them and their patients.”  Continue reading Kinova Robotics explains role of automation in health care to Senate committee

Heard the one about the robot barista?

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Man walks into a coffee bar and says, “Waiter, coffee, black, no sugar.”

How anyone can drink coffee without milk, cream or sugar is beyond our understanding of human taste buds, but anyway…

A robot barista would not be making such judgments, and would serve up the coffee just as the man who walked into the bar had ordered it.

It might take a few years, but sooner or later, you will be served some drink or food somewhere by a robot.  Continue reading Heard the one about the robot barista?

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.  Continue reading Robotic suitcases: Who needs them?

Bossa Nova Robotics partners with Digimarc on retail product scanning technology

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Bossa Nova Robotics and Digimarc are collaborating to automate planogram compliance by combining the two companies’ scanning and robotics technologies. 

A planogram is a visual representation of the layout of a store and the arrangement of its products.

Bossa Nova says its robot would help retailers make more strategic, money-saving inventory management decisions.  Continue reading Bossa Nova Robotics partners with Digimarc on retail product scanning technology

Robotic concierge: Exclusive interview with Savioke boss

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Just ahead of appearing at the Consumer Electronics Show, Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke gives Robotics and Automation News an exclusive interview

Some months ago, just after we started this website, we published a story about a new robotic concierge for hotels, launched by Savioke.

The company calls the robot “Relay”, although its buyers often give it nicknames – Dash, Botlr, and Wally are just some examples. 

Relay is not really a concierge – we just like that word… concierge… makes our website sound sophisticated. But anyway, the robot is smart enough to navigate its way within complex hotel interiors, with all their zig-zagging corridors and winding hallways, as well as their lifts with the slight gaps and uneven surfaces at the entrances.

These navigational challenges would of course not be a problem for most humans – we wouldn’t even think about them. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to get around in hotels or in any other buildings quite easily – all the manoeuvring involved doesn’t present any difficulty, no matter how complex it may be.  Continue reading Robotic concierge: Exclusive interview with Savioke boss