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…

New synthetic muscle step forward for soft robotics

A research team from Columbia Engineering’s Creative Machines lab developed a synthetic soft muscle that has a strain density 15 times larger than natural muscle and can lift 1,000 times its own weight that could propel soft robotics creation forward. According to the study “Soft Material for Soft Actuators” published in Nature Communications, the material…

ABB Ltd. to double China robotics production

ABB Ltd. is set to double its robot production capacity in China by increasing the number of research employees in the country, according to CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. The decision comes as ABB is jockeying with competing robotics companies Kuka AG and Fanuc for share in China’s $11 billion robotics industry. “ABB is ahead of Kuka…

Mind-melding robots merge to work together

These mind-melding robots can work autonomously, merge to operate as one and even self-heal by replacing malfunctioning pieces. Researchers at Université libre de Bruxelles developed this series of small robots that are controlled by a single brain and mergeable nervous system. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers explained how the system consists of a…

Reactive Robotics receives second round funding

Munich-based company Reactive Robotics GmbH secured a second seven-digit funding round to continue its work in rehabilitation robotics development. Investors included new lead investor Dr. Doll Holding GmbH and existing investors MTIP MedTech Innovation Partners AG, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Bayern Kapital and TQ-Group. Reactive Robotics intends to use the funds to further market entry in Germany…

Investors merge firms, raise fund to support AI

Investors Jennifer Gill Roberts and Kelly Coyne are merging their respective companies, seed-stage investment firm Grit Labs and go-to-market firm Pitch, under the name Grit Labs to invest in and guide companies performing research in artificial intelligence and robotics. They have also created a $30 million fund to focus on B2B robotics powered by AI…

DOT updates driverless vehicle guidelines

This week, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced updated safety guidelines for driverless vehicles while visiting a testing facility in Ann Arbor, Mich. The new document outlining the guidelines, Automated Driving Systems (ADS): Vision for Safety 2.0, is published on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and shares industry best practices and voluntary safety assessments companies…

Johns Hopkins researchers set medical drone delivery record

With a 3-hour, 161-mile flight across the Arizona desert, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine completed a record-distance medical drone delivery. During the flight, the drone’s payload system maintained the temperature of the human blood samples stored in a temperature-controlled chamber onboard, keeping them viable for lab analysis, according to the findings…