World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

 

The World Economic Forum has warned of widespread disruption caused by robots, in its latest report about global competitiveness. 

In its Global Competitiveness Index 2017, WEF says the most competitive countries are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. United States
  3. Singapore
  4. Netherlands
  5. Germany

The organisation says sustained economic recovery remains at risk due to lack of increases in productivity.  Continue reading World Economic Forum warns of widespread disruption caused by robots

Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

 

Toyota Research Institute has been demonstrating its progress in the development of automated driving technology and other project work to the investor community this week.

Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, says: “In the last few months, we have rapidly accelerated our pace in advancing Toyota’s automated driving capabilities with a vision of saving lives, expanding access to mobility, and making driving more fun and convenient.

“Our research teams have also been evolving machine intelligence that can support further development of robots for in-home support of people.” Continue reading Toyota shows off its progress in robotics, autonomous cars and artificial intelligence

Tend launches robot performance management software

 

Tend has launched a cloud-based monitoring and analysis application for both industrial and collaborative robots.

The company calls the software in.view, and launched it at the RoboBusiness show in Santa Clara, CA, this week.

Tend in.view – short for intelligent view – software allows users to remotely monitor and analyze the performance of their production robots in real time from any location, through a secure, cloud-based application on their mobile device, says the company.  Continue reading Tend launches robot performance management software

Robotics investment fund grows to $450 million since launch one year ago

 

Global X Funds, the New York-based provider of exchange-traded funds, today celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global X Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (BOTZ).

The company says Botz has received considerable interest from investors in its first year, having surpassed $450 million in assets under management.

Botz launched on September 12, 2016 and tracks the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic IndexContinue reading Robotics investment fund grows to $450 million since launch one year ago

Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

 

Columbia University says it has developed a self-contained soft actuator that is three times stronger than natural muscle, without the need of externals.

The researchers say the development means robotic motion will be more lifelike, and that it signals a breakthrough in soft robotics.

The creation of untethered soft robots whose actions and movements can help mimic natural biological systems have been a long-standing issue, and the scientists at Columbia Engineering say they have solved it.  Continue reading Columbia University develops soft actuator three times stronger than human muscle to make robots more lifelike

Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Engineering giant Siemens is establishing a robotics research and development centre in China. 

The company says the facility will be a global research centre in autonomous robotics, and is part of its innovation strategy to “master technology fields that are critical for future success”.

Worldwide, Siemens is planning to spend $6 billion this year on R&D, and China is likely to represent a significant portion of that budget.

Siemens says the global research community in its China R&D centre will comprise experienced experts from around the world will focus on:

  • the research and development of new mechatronics systems,
  • human-robot collaboration; and
  • the application of artificial intelligence in robotic controllers.

Continue reading Siemens to establish global robotics research and development centre in China

Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

The company which claims to have developed “the world’s first cyborg-type robot” when it built the HAL exoskeleton says it sold 30 per cent more units in its most recent year compared with the previous year. 

In its annual report, Cyberdyne says it sold $15 million worth of HAL exoskeletons in the year to March 2017.

In the previous year to March 2016, the company sold just under $12 million worth of the HAL exoskeletons.  Continue reading Cyberdyne reports 30 per cent more sales for its cyber-physical HAL exoskeleton

ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot to conduct classical music orchestra

ABB’s YuMi robot is to conduct a classical music orchestra in a performance in Italy tonight. 

The dual-armed collaborative robot will conduct a famous aria called La Donna è Mobile, from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.

The singer at the concert will be the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli.  Continue reading ABB’s YuMi collaborative robot to conduct classical music orchestra

Tiny nanobots swim through blood stream to deliver medicine

Tiny nano robots less than 5 millionths of a metre long can swim through human veins to deliver medicine to a targeted area. 

The nanobots have two arms and is said to swim in a “freestyle” stroke, or front crawl, when guided with magnets. They have three main parts, and are said to be approximately the size of a single blood cell.

The super-small machine was built by Joseph Wang and his colleagues at the University of California at San Diego. Co-workers at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and the Israel Institute of Technology were also involved.  Continue reading Tiny nanobots swim through blood stream to deliver medicine

Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations

US telecommunications company Sprint is employing Pepper, the humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics, for customer relations.

SoftBank Robotics America and Sprint to will initially place Pepper in locations where it will interact with Sprint business clients and retail customers.

Pepper is said to be the first humanoid marketing platform that could help businesses and consumers embrace the power of robotics and artificial intelligence.  Continue reading Telecommunications company Sprint to employ Pepper robot for customer relations

Bocap invests $4.2 million in Specim vision systems for waste-sorting robot

Spectral Imaging, or Specim, has agreed to an investment of €3.5 million ($4.2 million) by Bocap SME Achievers Fund, with the aim to double its current €10 million revenues by 2020.

Specim is a global pioneer in hyperspectral imaging technology and related products and solutions. Its products are widely used in industrial, environmental and security applications.

Specim’s solutions serve mining industries in drill core scanning and producing mineral maps, agriculture to screen the crops for disease and infestation, and they are key components in waste-sorting robotics.  Continue reading Bocap invests $4.2 million in Specim vision systems for waste-sorting robot

Taiwan to develop ‘affordable’ industrial robots for factories and warehouses

The Industrial Technology Research Institution of Taiwan says it is working with local manufacturers to develop what it says will be more “affordable” robots for factories and warehouses – in other words, collaborative robots.

This is according to a report in the Taipei Times.

Patrick Yu, acting division director of ITRI’s mechanical and mechatronics systems research labs, is quoted on the website as saying: “Traditional industrial robots are suitable for large-scale production lines. They need a lot of space and cost a lot of money, which small and medium-sized enterprises cannot afford.”

Traditional robots – the large industrial machines which tend to be caged off and require separate computers to run them, called programmable logic controllers – are said to be too big and expensive for a lot of smaller companies, says ITRI.  Continue reading Taiwan to develop ‘affordable’ industrial robots for factories and warehouses

Sony invests in Acutronic Robotics’ hardware robot operating system solutions

Electronics giant Sony has invested an undisclosed sum in a company called Acutronic Robotics, which specialises in the Hardware Robot Operating System, or H-ROS. 

This is according to a report on TechCrunch.com, which says Sony may be looking to use H-ROS as a way to consolidate the disparate robotics landscape to some extent.

The company associated with Acutronic is Erle Robotics, which has built a range of components and machines – such as drones, small cars, and computing boards.

Clearpath Robotics partners with iRobot for next generation Turtlebot based on Intel Euclid Development Kit

Clearpath Robotics, a provider of mobile robots for research and development, in partnership with iRobot, has launched the TurtleBot Euclid – the next generation all-in-one mobile robotics platform for learning the Robot Operating System.

TurtleBot Euclid is designed to be an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for enabling students and educators to accelerate robotics learning.

Clearpath’s TurtleBot is based on the Intel Euclid platform which itself is based on the Ubuntu open-source operating system.  Continue reading Clearpath Robotics partners with iRobot for next generation Turtlebot based on Intel Euclid Development Kit

Investing in robotics with a $100 million fund and a humanitarian perspective

Investing in robotics is something many people are interested in. 

Not surprising, since funds which have invested in robotics and related technologies on the stock markets have returned significantly more profits than funds in other business sectors.

Rewired is a new fund which is starting out with $100 million to invest in what it says will be “the next generation of robotics”. Continue reading Investing in robotics with a $100 million fund and a humanitarian perspective