Tag: category-/Science/Engineering & Technology/Robotics

Sphero Mini now comes in a soccer ball design

Leave it to Sphero, the Boulder, Colorado-based robotics company that last month acquired science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics pioneer LittleBits, to announce perhaps two of the cutest new products during IFA 2019. This morning in Berlin, the company took the wraps off of the Sphero Mini Activity Kit, an accessory kit for its smartphone-controlled […]

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Sphero acquires modular electronics company LittleBits

Sphero, the nine-year-old Colorado-based company best known for its lineup of programmable robots, this week completed a major acquisition that catapults it to the top of the burgeoning science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) product market. Today, the company announced it has purchased New York City-based modular electronics startup LittleBits for an undisclosed sum, […]

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AI startup Gather uses drones and computer vision for warehouse inventory

Gather, a company that uses autonomous drones for warehouse inventory, launched out of stealth today. Founded in 2017, the company of about 10 employees is based in Pittsburgh. Gather’s founding team is made up of Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University graduates, including cofounder and chief robotics officer Sankalp Arora, whose work with the Office […]

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AI researchers test a robot’s dexterity by handing it a Rubik’s cube

Humans can manipulate Rubik’s cubes with relative ease, but robots have historically had a tougher go of it. (A classic 2 x 2 x 2 cube has 3,674,160 internal configurations.) That’s not to suggest there aren’t exceptions to the rule — an MIT invention recently solved a cube in a record-breaking 0.38 seconds — but […]

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Industrial automation startup Fetch Robotics raises $46 million

Silicon Valley industrial robotics startup Fetch Robotics has raised $46 million in a series C round of funding led by Fort Ross Ventures, with participation from Softbank Capital, Sway Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Redwood Technologies, CEAS Investments, TransLink Capital, and Zebra Ventures. Founded in 2014, Fetch Robotics creates autonomous robots, powered by cloud-based […]

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Freedom Robotics raises $6.6 million for software that manages fleets of machines

Freedom Robotics, a San Francisco-based provider of cloud-hosted robotics management software, today announced that it’s raised $6.6 million in a seed round led by Initialized Capital, with participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, PagerDuty cofounder Andrew Miklas (from S28 Capital), and Heroku CEO James Lindenbaum. A number of existing investors also contributed, including […]

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Exyn Technologies raises $16 million for drones that map underground spaces

Exyn Technologies, a company developing sophisticated autonomous robot systems, last week revealed that it has closed a $16 million series A round led by Centricus, with participation from Yamaha Motors Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Corecam Family Office, Red and Blue Ventures, and IP Group. The capital infusion brings the startup’s total raised to over $20 million, and […]

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CommonSense Robotics announces ‘world’s first’ underground micro-fulfillment center

Israel-based CommonSense Robotics, a micro-fulfillment startup that last October launched its first autonomous sorting center in downtown Tel Aviv, today announced that it’s broken ground on what it claims is the world’s first underground automated warehouse, in partnership with one of Israel’s largest grocery chains. It’ll be located blocks from Rothschild Boulevard, in a parking structure beneath […]

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The Startup Spotlight nominees for the Transform AI Innovation Awards

To cap our AI-focused Transform 2019 event, taking place July 10-11 in San Francisco, VentureBeat will recognize and award emergent, compelling, and influential work in AI through the inaugural AI Innovation Awards. We take pride in shining a light on innovation, and these awards, presented by Ople, give us a chance to do so in […]

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Robot maps a room using just sound and AI

Can sightless robots reconstruct a room well enough to avoid endlessly bumping into walls? That’s what scientists at the University of Technology Sydney set out to discover in a study published on the preprint server Arxiv.org. They claim their approach, which employed a speaker and a microphone-sporting robot tasked with following a path-planning strategy, drove […]

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AI helps drones navigate forests and other ‘cluttered’ environments

Cutting-edge drones from companies like DJI and Parrot have no trouble navigating obstacle-strewn environments, but when faced with a never-before-seen landscape like dense woods or maze, they have a tougher time reaching goal destinations autonomously. That’s why scientists at Intel Labs and Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute recently […]

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Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis

Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those […]

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Sweeping changes: How iRobot evolved from military robots to autonomous vacuums

Perhaps no company is as synonymous with robot vacuums as iRobot. To date, the Bedford, Massachusetts-based firm has sold more than 25 million units to customers around the world, and it has an estimated 88% share of the robot vacuum market. But beyond the iconic Roomba, iRobot counts in its sprawling portfolio Mira, a pool-cleaning […]

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MIT CSAIL’s AI can visualize objects using touch

Robots that can learn to see by touch are within reach, claim researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Really. In a newly published paper that’ll be presented next week at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Long Beach, California, they describe an AI system capable of generating visual representations […]

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Telerobotic hands and fingers become your avatar at Amazon re:MARS

Sometimes robots replace human workers, but other times they augment those workers instead. At Amazon’s re:MARS 2019 conference, a quartet of companies showed off a set of telerobotic arms and hands that let a human operator “feel” what the robot hands were touching. The idea is that the robotic limbs and digits become essentially an […]

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DJI’s RoboMaster S1 is a four-wheeled robot that teaches kids how to code

DJI, which was founded over a decade ago by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology enrollee Frank Wang,  is perhaps best known for drones like the Mavic Pro and Air, the Ronin S, the Matrice, and the Phantom 4. The Shenzhen, China-based company has an estimated 85% of the worldwide drone market, and while […]

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Amazon’s re:MARS opening keynote featured autonomous acrobats and Robert Downey Jr.

Amazon kicked off its inaugural re:MARS conference with a bang Tuesday night in front of a packed ballroom of attendees. At the Aria in Las Vegas yesterday, Amazon senior vice president of devices and services Dave Limp headlined the first keynote alongside Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert and Disney Research’s Morgan Pope and Tony Dohl, […]

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Meet Misty, an extensible robot empowered by Microsoft and Qualcomm technologies

Miscellaneous helper robots have been whirring, rolling, and bumping around for years. They generally take the form of something adorable, with big doe eyes and a chunky white plastic body that is friendly and completely non-threatening. Or they’ll be the opposite, like Boston Dynamics’ agile robots that move in an uncanny valley-like way but lack […]

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AI Weekly: Truly autonomous home robots aren’t within sight yet

Our world might someday look like something out of an Isaac Asimov novel, and not for the worse. In one popular depiction of the far-flung future, robot butlers will attend to our whims and perform menial chores like washing dishes, folding laundry, and walking pets. They’ll look after our children, stand in for nurses and […]

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