Denso invests in AI fleet management technology company ActiveScaler

Denso, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, announced a significant investment in startup company ActiveScaler, a developer of Managed MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) systems powered by artificial intelligence.

Denso’s investment will help expand ActiveScaler’s platform and technologies, which simplify and better customize shared mobility experiences. The agreement also will help accelerate deployment of Managed MaaS systems for leading mobility operators and fleet service providers.

With the increase in global demand for more scalable and efficient services for moving people and goods, ActiveScaler says its technology will help enhance growth and simplify implementation with a modular set of components that enable mobility service providers and fleet managers to tailor MaaS solutions to their specific business needs.  Continue reading Denso invests in AI fleet management technology company ActiveScaler

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

Rewired appoints Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner as it opens new Switzerland office

Rewired, the $100 million robotics-focused venture studio and fund, has appointed Silicon Valley technology investment veteran Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner. 

Chuvpilo had previously served as a venture partner with Rewired, helping identify, validate, and collaborate with the firm’s growing list of portfolio companies working with applied science technologies to develop what Rewired calls “the next generation of robotics”.

Chuvpilo brings both venture experience and deep technical expertise, with a master’s degree from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Continue reading Rewired appoints Gleb Chuvpilo as managing partner as it opens new Switzerland office

Robotics-related investment fund reaches $1.5 billion worth of assets under management

A robotics- and automation-related investment fund says it now has $1.5 billion under management.

The Robo Global Robotics & Automation exchange-traded fund (ROBO) is celebrating four years on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Robo Global is said to be the first robotics-related investment fund, and says so far this year, it has delivered a total return of 37.73 percent.  Continue reading Robotics-related investment fund reaches $1.5 billion worth of assets under management

Zume Pizza raises $48 million funding for robotic pizza production system

 

A company which is developing robotic pizza production systems has raised $48 million in funding, according to a report on ZDNet.com

The new funding for Zume Pizza follows a previous round, in December, which raised $23 million.

ZDNet says Zume’s system could increase speed and freshness at the same time as reducing labour costs.

(Main picture courtesy of ZDNet.)

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

Product lifecycle management provider Arena receives strategic growth investment from JMI Equity

Arena Solutions, a provider of cloud-based product lifecycle management solutions has received an investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in software companies. 

Arena describes itself as all-in-one product development platform that unites PLM, application lifecycle management, supply chain collaboration, and quality management systems.

Founded in 2000, Arena claims it invented cloud-based PLM and today provides an all-in-one product development platform that unites PLM, ALM, supply chain collaboration, and QMS for the design and manufacture of complex electronics.  Continue reading Product lifecycle management provider Arena receives strategic growth investment from JMI Equity

Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

A robotics investment fund claims it has seen returns of almost 40 per cent since it was established a year ago, according to a report on Business Insider

Botz is a Nadaq-listed exchange-traded fund, which has holdings in a variety of companies in the robotics and artificial intelligence sectors.

ETFs are like shares in a collection of different companies – usually in a particular sector such as robotics and AI – and they are sold as though they were shares in one company.  Continue reading Robotics investment fund claims 40 per cent returns in one year

Interview: Leading robotics and automation fund manager planning to launch new investment vehicle

The news that investments in robotics and automation companies have out-performed all other investments on the stock market will only add to the allure of this sector. 

Fuelled by a renewed fascination and technological advancement in artificial intelligence, investors are enthusiastically looking for funds and companies in which to put their money.

There’s very few investments in life or in history that can offer get-rich-quick returns, but certainly a wise investor could make substantial returns if they are careful with their money.  Continue reading Interview: Leading robotics and automation fund manager planning to launch new investment vehicle

JPMorgan to employ trading robot because it’s more efficient than humans

One of the world’s largest investment banks, JPMorgan, is preparing to employ a robot to work in its global equities business because it’s shown itself to be more efficient than traditional methods of buying and selling, according to a report on the Financial Times website. 

The artificial intelligence-based algorithm, which is called LOXM, has been tested in the US and Asia over the first quarter of this year, adds the FT.

The newspaper quotes David Fellah, of JPMorgan’s European Equity Quant Research team, as saying the work LOXM will do was previously done by humans, “but now the AI machine is able to do it on a much larger and more efficient scale”.

Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

A company called Plenty claims it has attracted the “largest-ever agriculture technology investment”. 

The company says the investment will drive its development of its global, large-scale indoor farm network to deliver “radically fresher, affordable food to local communities everywhere”.

Plenty describes itself as a “field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system”.  Continue reading Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

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

Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

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A Foxconn production line with workers making iPhones. Picture: Flickr

Foxconn, the main manufacturer for Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers, is looking for locations in the US to invest $10 billion into setting up factories, according to a variety of reports in the media. 

The company has already earmarked $7 billion for a display panel factory after buying the Sharp electronics company, although it’s not certain where it will be located.

The Taiwanese company’s newly found interest in the US comes after President Donald Trump made it clear that he prioritises the reinvigoration of the country’s manufacturing base.  Continue reading Foxconn evaluating US locations for $10 billion expansion plans

Growing demand for consumer robots will lead to global spending on robots increasing to $87 billion by 2025, says BCG

The global market for robotics is growing far faster than expected and is projected to reach $87 billion by 2025, according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group.

Updating its previous estimate of $67 billion from three years ago, the management consulting firm recently revised its forecast sharply higher, mostly because of soaring consumer demand.

In a new paper released today, Gaining Robotics Advantage, BCG projects an additional $14 billion of growth in the consumer sector to $23 billion, an increase of 156 per cent over its earlier estimate.  Continue reading Growing demand for consumer robots will lead to global spending on robots increasing to $87 billion by 2025, says BCG

Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany

bosch_waferfab-reutlingen 111

German industrial giant Bosch is building a massive semiconductor production plant which would represent the single largest investment in the company’s 130-year history. 

The high-tech facility, to be located in Dresden, would employ around 700 staff working on 300-millimeter semiconductor chips which Bosch says has growing applications in the automotive market, smart cities and on the industrial internet, all strong markets for Bosch.

The construction of the high-tech factory is to be completed by the end of 2019, says Bosch, and production is expected to begin at the end of 2021 after a start-up phase. Overall, the investment volume for the site is estimated to be around $1.1 billion.  Continue reading Bosch to build gigantic semiconductor production plant in Germany