Lidar developer Ouster backed by Cox Enterprises raises $27 million

A startup company called Ouster has raised $27 million in its Series A funding round, led by Cox Enterprises, a diversified company which has a very large automotive business unit. 

Ouster is a developer of light detection and radar systems, or lidar, which is said to be a critical component in many new technologies, including autonomous cars. A lidar unit can often be seen on top of self-driving cars, and looks a bit like a siren light.

Ouster’s new product is called OS1 Lidar, which is likely to find wide application as a perception technology for the autonomous vehicle and robotics sectors.  Continue reading Lidar developer Ouster backed by Cox Enterprises raises $27 million

Emerson withdraws bid to buy Rockwell

It probably would have been a good merger or takeover, but it didn’t happen. 

Emerson Electric’s initial $27 billion bid to buy Rockwell Automation was rejected by the latter company’s board, as was the former’s subsequent, raised bid of $29 billion.

Some business analysts said combining strengths would be a good move for both companies, but Rockwell seems to have plans of its own which do not include a takeover or merger.  Continue reading Emerson withdraws bid to buy Rockwell

General Electric to shed 12,000 jobs as electric future opens up

General Electric’s recent decision to reduce its employee numbers by 12,000 globally indicate how important it thinks the trend of electric power will become, or perhaps has already become. 

The significant job losses will come from the GE Power division. GE says the decision is part of its overall restructuring.

The company acknowledges that the growth in renewables is part of the reason for the cost-cutting measures.  Continue reading General Electric to shed 12,000 jobs as electric future opens up

PerceptIn raises $11 million funding and launches robotics vision system

A startup company called PerceptIn has raised a total of $11 million in funding, and has launched a new robotics vision system. 

The funding came from Samsung Ventures, among others.

The vision system is called Ironsides, and PerceptIn claims it to be “the first full robotics vision system to combine both hardware and software for real-time tracking, mapping, and path planning for autonomous robots”.  Continue reading PerceptIn raises $11 million funding and launches robotics vision system

Boston Dynamics terrifies humanity again with humanoid robot that can do backflips like an Olympic gymnast

As many people – including us – have said many times, Boston Dynamics makes the scariest robots in the world (see video below). 

Not only do they look terrifying, they move in such a realistic way that you wonder if the makers have done something horrible to achieve such life-like motion.

Like transplanting an actual human brain into the humanoids or a dog’s brain into the canines to achieve such expert movement skills.  Continue reading Boston Dynamics terrifies humanity again with humanoid robot that can do backflips like an Olympic gymnast

Honda to launch new concept robots at CES 2018

As well as being a globally well-known automaker, Honda is the maker of what is probably the most recognizable humanoid robot in the world – the famous Asimo – it’s the one that looks like an astronaut and runs in a funny way. 

But the company hasn’t really made many headlines in recent times for its ongoing work in robotics. Now it’s in the spotlight again.

Honda Robotics is preparing to unveil what it calls its “3E – Empower, Experience, Empathy – Robotics Concept at CES 2018, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, US, from January 9th to 12th. (See video below.) Continue reading Honda to launch new concept robots at CES 2018

Happy Holidays from Robotics and Automation News

Yes, it’s nearly that time of the year when we all – or most of us anyway – take a break from the sheer drudgery that is working life at Robotics and Automation News

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Mopping robot EveryBot raises 4,000 per cent more funds than makers asked for

The makers of a mopping robot have raised 4,000 per cent more money than they asked for on crowd-funding site Indiegogo

The developers of EveryBot RS700 have raised a total of $25,500 which is currently 4,200 per cent more than they asked for.

Although we’re talking about relatively small numbers, the success of EveryBot is an indication of how popular new robots can be both as a simple product purchase and as an investment.  Continue reading Mopping robot EveryBot raises 4,000 per cent more funds than makers asked for

Advantech expands European service center

Advantech, a provider of industrial and embedded computing solutions, has expanded its European Service Center in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The compnay says that “continuous growth in the European market” has led Advantech to enlarge both the production, logistic and office facilities, which are set to open in January 2018.

Next to housing nearly 150 employees, the high-tech building will also serve as a demonstration site, displaying the latest of Advantech’s service IoT and Industry 4.0 applications.  Continue reading Advantech expands European service center

The Chinese way: From ‘teaching’ to ‘teaching and learning’

By Edward Tse, Gao Feng Advisory

A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with the APAC head of a major Fortune 500 company at his office in Shanghai.

He told me that he had arrived in China around six months ago and was sent from headquarters to run their Asia business with a particular focus on China.

He said he thought he would come to China to “teach”.  Continue reading The Chinese way: From ‘teaching’ to ‘teaching and learning’

How to choose the most appropriate programmable logic controller for your industrial automation requirements

By Joseph Zulick, MRO Electric

As many machine automation professionals know, deciding on which programmable logic controller to work with can be one of the most difficult decisions you have to make when organizing your control system.

There is no one size fits all equation, so are here are some guidelines I use.  Continue reading How to choose the most appropriate programmable logic controller for your industrial automation requirements

Exotec unveils new warehouse automation system with integrated robot

A French company called Exotec Solutions has unveiled its warehouse robot, which looks similar to the mobile autonomous vehicles from a number of other companies. 

The market for such vehicles has been expanding, at least in terms of the number of companies offering solutions.

It remains to be seen how well they sell, but if Amazon’s heavy utilisation of similar logistics robots is anything to go by, the market is likely to grow fast.  Continue reading Exotec unveils new warehouse automation system with integrated robot

Delta Electronics launches new range of drives

Delta Electronics, the second largest drive provider in the world in terms of quantity, manufacturing several million drives per year, has released the new M300 range of drives (main picture).

The company says the new drives are suitable for “the simplest to the most advanced applications”, including:

  • machine tools;
  • textile machines;
  • woodworking machines;
  • packaging machines;
  • electronics manufacturing;
  • fans;
  • pumps;
  • air compressors; and
  • more.

The M300 range is made of 3 Series: the MH range is dedicated to advanced automation needs; the MS300 covers main applications while the ME300 has been designed to be “a very affordable solution” for many automation systems, says Delta.  Continue reading Delta Electronics launches new range of drives

Baumüller integrates components into its data portal

Baumüller is integrating its components into its ePlan data portal.

Specifically, the automation specialist is integrating its converter family b maXX 5000 (pictured below) into its web-based ePlan data portal.

With all of the necessary data for over 40 products, Baumüller says the move will enable its customers to save time during the design phase.  Continue reading Baumüller integrates components into its data portal

San Francisco effectively bans sidewalk robots

The local authorities in San Francisco have effectively banned robots from sidewalks in a vote a couple of days ago. 

Local businesses, especially takeaway restaurants, had been experimenting with using autonomous wheeled robots to deliver customers’ orders.

A number of robotics companies have been developing such robots. They include:

Starship is probably the most well known among these companies, having already made deliveries in other parts of the US, and having developed a partnership with Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes.  Continue reading San Francisco effectively bans sidewalk robots