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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IFR robot statistics 2013

The International Federation of Robotics, IFR, has recently published the results of the IFR Quarterly Statistics, and estimates that in 2013 about 168,000 industrial robots were sold, 5% more than in 2012. Robot sales to the Americas continued to increase due to necessary automation processes in the North American industry. Robot sales to Asia rose considerably due to strong demand from China, South Korea and other growing Asian markets. In the fourth quarter 2013, the start of recovery in the euro-zone pushed robot demand substantially. Due to the rather weak development in the first three quarters, robot sales in Europe stagnated in 2013.

The Table Tennis Challenge 2014

On March 11th! Timo Boll, Germany’s table tennis champion, currently ranked 8th in the world, will go up against a KUKA Agilus robot armed with special vision and software and a paddle. Check out the 
the promo video below!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rethink Robotics laid off 21 jobbs

Credit: Rethink Robotics
Boston based industrial robot start-up Rethink Robotics faces problems to bring back more industry jobs to America.
According to The Boston Globe robot company Rethink Robotics has laid off 21 jobs from their staff of approximately 90 employees. Vice president of product development Elaine Chen has also departed the company.
The company will focus with a smaller team on the most receptive market segments since the launch of the two-handed robot Baxter in September 2012, including plastics manufacturing, consumer goods, and warehousing and logistics, CEO Scott Eckert explained for The Boston Globe.
Rethink Robotics has so far raised about $75 million in venture capital, much of it from local firms like Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners, and Highland Capital Partners.

German KUKA intents to buy 51 % stake in Reis Robotics

Credit: KUKA
According to a recent press release from German KUKA, one of the world's largest suppliers of robotics and automated assembly lines, the company has signed a letter of intent outlining its intention to acquire an interest in Reis Robotics. KUKA proposes to purchase a 51-percent stake in Reis Robotics with an option to acquire additional shares. The Reis family is currently the company' sole owner and will retain a 49-percent share upon deal closing. The parties have agreed not to disclose other details about the transaction, which is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.
Credit: Reis Robotics
Reis Robotics is a technology leading robotics specialist and systems integrator. Reis Group Holding GmbH, headquartered in Obernburg am Main, conducts business internationally and is the market leader in automation systems that include both Reis and other manufacturers' robots. Reis Robotics designs and supplies complete automation systems from a single source and is currently one of the key integrators of large, complex automation systems in all leading industrial sectors. Its broad product portfolio consists of specialty robots and many automation components for welding, laser processing and casting systems. The company's growth since 1957 is based on its expertise in planning, designing and building turnkey automation systems. Based on its experience with a wide variety of industrial processes (conventional and laser welding/cutting, casting, handling, coating, assembling, etc.), Reis also offers the services required to offer automation solutions in these sectors.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The ROBO-STOX™ Global Robotics and Automation Index

Next Tuesday, Nov. 12th, a robot will ring the closing bell for the NASDAQ stock exchange celebrating a brand new robotics industry ETF (a mutual fund that is traded on a stock exchange). The ETF, ticker symbol ROBO, is predicated on an index licensed from Robo-Stox™ LLC 
Robo-Stox is promoted as the world's first benchmark index tracking robotics and automation companies, with 77 stocks from companies around the world included in the fund. The fund has assets of $2.5 million and a management fee of 0.95 percent. About 40 percent of the 77 companies in the index are industry bellwether manufacturers such as iRobot, ABB, Intuitive Surgical, and Yaskawa Electric. For a complete list please click here

Thursday, November 07, 2013

MOSS - The Dynamic Robot Construction Kit

MOSS is a brand new robot construction system from Modular Robotics. It was designed, prototyped and engineered over the last two and a half years. Building with MOSS is incredibly fun and easy thanks to an intuitive, magnetic construction system. With MOSS there is no need for coding or wiring any construction. The power and data are sent through an elegant single button contact, while the ground passes through the steel spheres.MOSS uses over-molded neodymium, "rare earth," magnets and carbon steel ball bearings to build a wide variety of constructions. The tactile click of building with MOSS is enough to keep you entertained for hours. For more information please visit the Moss Kickstarter website.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Transport, logistics and office jobs under threat

According to a research study from Oxford Martin School nearly half of US jobs could be susceptible to computerisation over the next two decades. 
The study, a collaboration between Dr Carl Benedikt Frey (Oxford Martin School) and Dr Michael A. Osborne (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford), found that jobs in transportation, logistics, as well as office and administrative support, are at “high risk” of automation. More surprisingly, occupations within the service industry are also highly susceptible, despite recent job growth in this sector.
The study examined over 700 detailed occupation types, noting the types of tasks workers perform and the skills required. By weighting these factors, as well as the engineering obstacles currently preventing computerisation, the researchers assessed the degree to which these occupations may be automated in the coming decades.


Monday, October 28, 2013

UBR-1 $35k mobile robot released

Unbounded Robotics, a spinoff of Willow Garage, recently debuted its first machine, UBR-1, a head and multi-jointed robotic arm on wheels that runs on the open-source Robot Operating System, or ROS. The startup hopes UBR-1 will support the development of further applications for dexterous, mobile robots.
At $35,000, the robot is certainly accessible to institutions and startups, its intended audiences.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

3 million Euro grant for socially intelligent robotics research

Credit: Giraff Technologies
The Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam will be coordinating a new FP7 project to develop a socially intelligent telepresence robot system. A total grant of €3 million is awarded by the European Commission to this project. The project is titled TERESA (Telepresence Reinforcement-Learning Social Agent) and led by dr. Shimon Whiteson, aims to develop a socially intelligent telepresence robot system, in which a human controller remotely interacts with people by guiding a remotely located robot. The TERESA  system will automatically navigate among groups of people in a socially appropriate way and display socially appropriate body language when interacting with people around it. This new system will be used to help elderly people maintain social interaction by remotely participating in activities in elderly day centres when, due to illness or physical immobility, they are unable to physically attend. The robotic platform will be delivered by Giraff Technologies.