Tesla gives self-driving trucking a boost

Tesla this week showcased an electric truck that will have some self-driving capabilities. Elon Musk unveiled a prototype for a battery-powered, nearly self-driving semi truck that the company said would prove more efficient and less costly to operate than the diesel trucks that now haul goods across the country. Quoting from The NY Times: The truck…

FarmBot reduces manufacturing complexities to meet growing demand for micro-farming

The influence of today’s on-demand economy has uprooted traditional food production processes. No longer are environmentally conscious consumers content with purchasing items from large distributors or supermarkets. Instead, consumer pressure to track food from farm to fork has led to fully traceable food production and micro farming. Seeking to influence the next generation of food…

October 2017 fundings, acquisitions and IPOs

Twenty-eight different startups were funded in October cumulatively raising $862 million, up from $507 million in September. Three of the top four fundings were for startups involved in the self-driving process. An additional five lower-amount startups were also funded for self-driving applications or components along with two of the six acquisitions. Six acquisitions were reported…

ATI develops new low-cost force/torque sensor

“There’s been a movement in the industry to start automating man-made products,” said Robert Little, CEO of ATI Industrial Automation. “In order to for them do that, they need robots. In order for those robots to be completely successful, they need force sensing feedback.” ATI has unveiled the newest offering in its Force/Torque Sensor product…

Epson to demonstrate new T3 All-in-One SCARA robot

At the upcoming Assembly Show, Epson Robots will be showcasing its newly launched T3 All-in-One SCARA robot, the revolutionary Flexion N2 6-Axis robot, as well as a selection of its leading 6-Axis and SCARA robots. Epson will also lead a discussion on how to take the plunge in automation. The new T3 All-in-One robot comes…

ReWalk Robotics aims for 2018 release for Restore softsuit robotic exoskeleton

ReWalk Robotics said today it completed all internal processes related to its Restore robotic rehabilitation softsuit exoskeleton and is ready to initiate clinical trials of the device in 2018, with hopes for a commercial launch in the same year. The Restore softsuit is designed to transmit power to key joints in the legs with cable…

TransEnterix wins FDA nod for Senhance robot-assisted surgery platform

TransEnterix (NYSE:TRXC) said last week that it won 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its Senhance robot-assisted surgery platform. TransEnterix, which acquired Senhance for $100 million in September 2015, finalized its clerarance bid last month after applying in April.  “The clearance of the Senhance system in the U.S. is a milestone in the progress of robotics and is…

Synaptive adds digital microscopy to BrightMatter robot-assisted surgery platform

Medtech company Synaptive Medical said this week it released the Modus V, a 2nd-gen digital microscope and robotic arm designed to work with its BrightMatter robot-assisted surgical platform. The Toronto-based company said the Modus V includes advanced instrument tracking and automatic focus to enable greater surgical efficiency and hands-free control. “This product release marks a…

5G fast and ultra-low latency robot control demonstrated

SoftBank and Huawei jointly demonstrated various use cases for their forthcoming 5G network. 5G commercial services, which will provide ultra-high throughput of over 800 Mbps with ultra-low latency transmission of less than 2ms, will begin being rolled out in 2020 in Japan and Korea and 2021-2023 in China, Europe and the U.S. 5G will (we…

Omron’s ping-pong bot wants to soften the robot-human interaction

Japanese robotics company Omron has developed a robotic ping-pong system that looks to approach the human-robot interaction on a gentler level, according to a report from The Verge. The Forpheus robot, in its 4th generation, was recently shown at the CEATAC trade show with updates that include a companion arm to serve balls in the…

MIT researchers develop VR teleoperation robot control system

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a virtual-reality system to allow remote operation of complex robotic machinery through the use of an Oculus Rift headset, according to a report from MIT. The platform functions around a VR control room that allows the operator to control the robot by taking the…

Robotic hair transplant dev Restoration Robotics raises $25m in IPO

Robotic hair restoration company Restoration Robotics raised $25 million in an initial public offering and saw its shares rise nearly 40% after its debut, according to a Silicone Valley Business Journal report. The 91-person company, co-founded by surgical robotics pioneer Fred Moll, sold 3.6 million shares at $7 each, then proceeded to open at $8.55…

Industrial cleaning equipment maker Nilfisk goes public

Danish Nilfisk Holding A/S began being listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under symbol NLFSK after being spun off from NKT A/S, a Danish conglomerate. Nilfisk is one of the world’s leading suppliers of professional cleaning equipment with a strong brand and a vision for growth in robotics.

Automation in Everyday Life

Specifically, 2% of Americans report that they have ever personally lost a job because their employers replaced their positions with a machine or computer program. Another 5% report that they have ever had their pay or hours reduced for the same reason. Taken together, that works out to 6% of U.S. adults who report having…

The robot converts surgeons’ hand motions into super precise, steady movements.

Surgeons in the Netherlands recently performed a procedure requiring immense precision as it’s carried out on super tiny blood and lymphatic vessels. The surgery is extremely difficult to do and only a handful of surgeons are willing to do it. But for this particular procedure, Maastricht University Medical Center+ surgeons utilized a robot that was…

Google and Rolls-Royce Partner on Autonomous Ships

Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Google to develop Rolls-Royce’s intelligent awareness software, which is already in use on ships today and will play a central role in the company’s drive towards autonomous vessels. The agreement allows Rolls-Royce to use Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to train Rolls-Royce’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based object classification system –…

Intuitive Surgical can’t slip shareholder suit

Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) wasn’t able to dodge a proposed class action suit against it claiming it misrepresented the safety of its robotic surgical equipment and caused stock price to drop after a California federal judge kept the motion alive late last month. US District Judge Edward Davila said that investors in the case had sufficiently plead…

Mazor Robotics ticks up on Q3 prelims

Mazor Robotics (NSDQ:MZOR) shares ticked up today after the Israeli robot-assisted surgery company reported its preliminary sales numbers for the third quarter. Caesarea, Israel-based Mazor, which last month closed a third, $40 million tranche as part of its deal with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), said it expects to post sales of $17.2 million for the 3 months ended…

TransEnterix escapes shareholders lawsuit

TransEnterix (NYSE:TRXC) last week won the dismissal of a shareholders lawsuit brought over the collapse of its SurgiBot program, with a federal judge ruling that the company and its management and investors didn’t mislead shareholders about the robot-assisted surgery platform’s prospects with the FDA. The case dates back to the spring of 2016, when Research Triangle Park,…

Brooklyn manufacturer triples 3D printing production with collaborative robots

The robot arm gently places a plate with an orange Pokémon figure on a conveyor, picks up a new blank plate from a hopper, places it back in the 3D printer, and queues the system to start a new build. Toys are serious business here at Voodoo Manufacturing, a Brooklyn-based startup that has created a…

IFR Report: 1.7m new industrial robots to be installed by 2020

Factories worldwide are set to install more than 1.7 million new industrial robots by 2020, according to the new International Federation of Robotics World Robotics 2017 Industrial Robots report published today. There were about 1.8 million operating industrial robots at the end of 2016, marking an expected 14% annual growth rate between 2018 and 2020.…

DJI keeps up relentless launch pace with two new drones

Civilian drone provider DJI released two new drones — the Mavic Pro Platinum and the Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian — and updates to its Spark drone earlier this month. “DJI continuously looks for ways to improve its products and introduce new features, many of which are the result of the positive feedback and requests we…

IPsoft releases AI platform for healthcare industry

Digital labor company IPsoft today announced the launch of its new artificial intelligence platform, Amelia Health Agent, which leverages its existing AI system to streamline and automate tasks for the healthcare industry. “We have seen the hype about AI’s ability to find cures for major diseases overnight.  Now it is time to recover AI’s reputation…

Toyota, NTT partner to further consumer robot development

Toyota and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation launched joint research to drive the development and use of consumer robots, the companies announced today. The work will focus on using NTT’s AI technology, corevo, and Toyota’s Human Support Robot, which is currently under development, together with the goal of creating robots and other devices that can…

Googly-eyed educational robot launches own Kickstarter

The six-legged educational robot Vorpal Combat Hexapod from Vorpal Robotics used one of its appendages to launch its own Kickstarter campaign. “We gave the honor to the oldest surviving prototype hexapod,” founder and product developer Steve Pendergrast said in a press release. “Its name is Scrum. Every Vorpal Combat Hexapod has an individual name.” The campaign…