The State Of Robotics For 2015

STATE OF ROBOTICS FINAL.001 While faulty hoverboards are setting themselves ablaze to celebrate Christmas, robots are gradually moving from labs to news reports to entering our daily lives. First in line are drones, already in many people’s hands, autonomous cars with early deployments such as Tesla’s autopilot, and desktop robots like 3d printers. In 2015 robot popped up in many forms, shapes and industries. Read More

Artificial intelligence startup Osaro raises $3.3M

The TRAC Labs robot participates in the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, California, on June 6.

Osaro, an early-stage artificial intelligence startup, is announcing today a new seed round totaling $3.3 million. The startup is boasting a few high-profile investors: Peter Thiel, Scott Banister, and AME Cloud Ventures.

In the small world of AI startups, an approach called deep learning is currently in vogue. The method involves training neural nets on large quantities of data, such as photos, and then getting them to make inferences on new data. Osaro blends deep learning with reinforcement learning, a technique that generally entails teaching machines through trial and error. The startup’s technology “allows human mentors to teach machines how to autonomously take actions to achieve high-level goals,” according to a statement.

Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other companies have acquired AI startups in recent years.


From VentureBeat
Customers don’t just get irritated when you screw up cross-channel personalization. They jump ship. Find out how to save your bacon on this free research-based webinar with Insight’s Andrew Jones.

Some startups that remain independently owned, like ClarifaiMetaMind, and Nervana, have taken on considerable amounts of funding from respected investors. But there are signs that the market for general-purpose AI technology might be smaller than the current AI excitement would suggest. Recently, Ersatz Labs let go of most of its employees.

Some startups have come out with a focus on specific industries, such as security, health care, and financial services. Osaro says it’s interested in robotics, but the technology can be applied to other areas.

One point of distinction for Osaro: its software is proprietary, and patent pending at that — even as there are many open-source deep learning frameworks available today.

Researchers at both Facebook and Google have pursued deep reinforcement learning. DeepMind, now owned by Google, famously taught a machine to play Atari using the method.

Osaro started earlier this year and is based in San Francisco. Cofounder and chief executive Itamar Arel is principal investigator of the Machine Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Previously Arel was chief technology officer at startup Binatix.










Artificial intelligence startup Osaro raises $3.3M

The TRAC Labs robot participates in the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, California, on June 6.

Osaro, an early-stage artificial intelligence startup, is announcing today a new seed round totaling $3.3 million. The startup is boasting a few high-profile investors: Peter Thiel, Scott Banister, and AME Cloud Ventures.

In the small world of AI startups, an approach called deep learning is currently in vogue. The method involves training neural nets on large quantities of data, such as photos, and then getting them to make inferences on new data. Osaro blends deep learning with reinforcement learning, a technique that generally entails teaching machines through trial and error. The startup’s technology “allows human mentors to teach machines how to autonomously take actions to achieve high-level goals,” according to a statement.

Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other companies have acquired AI startups in recent years.


From VentureBeat
Customers don’t just get irritated when you screw up cross-channel personalization. They jump ship. Find out how to save your bacon on this free research-based webinar with Insight’s Andrew Jones.

Some startups that remain independently owned, like ClarifaiMetaMind, and Nervana, have taken on considerable amounts of funding from respected investors. But there are signs that the market for general-purpose AI technology might be smaller than the current AI excitement would suggest. Recently, Ersatz Labs let go of most of its employees.

Some startups have come out with a focus on specific industries, such as security, health care, and financial services. Osaro says it’s interested in robotics, but the technology can be applied to other areas.

One point of distinction for Osaro: its software is proprietary, and patent pending at that — even as there are many open-source deep learning frameworks available today.

Researchers at both Facebook and Google have pursued deep reinforcement learning. DeepMind, now owned by Google, famously taught a machine to play Atari using the method.

Osaro started earlier this year and is based in San Francisco. Cofounder and chief executive Itamar Arel is principal investigator of the Machine Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Previously Arel was chief technology officer at startup Binatix.










Robotics tipping point: What business leaders and entrepreneurs need to know NOW (webinar)

robots

We’re talking real life robotics with experts from Qualcomm and Silicon Valley Robotics. Watch on demand now for free!


Silicon Valley is at the center of the perfect storm of robotics.

It’s at the center of the talent, the investment and the research, the center of the software and hardware industries — all key ecosystem components to build the robotics companies that need to rise to serve the world’s future.

But the event horizon to make that happen is something that needs to be considered in terms of decades, not the typical start-up timelines of a few months to a few years, according to Andra Keay. Keay is managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, and one of the panelists in this upcoming webinar that will be shedding light on what businesses need to know now to take advantage of the evolution that’s reaching a tipping point.

“Robotics moves slowly but it’s been around a long time,” she says. “The industry has done a great job over the last 50 years of helping us to envision what uses we could make of robots and what that could mean to the quality of our life and our economy. Yet, few of those promises have yet been met.”

The problem, according to Keay is that our expectation of robotics has been inflated.

“We did it wrong. We’ve created this situation where we look at robots as humanoid,” Keay says. “There’s no way that robots have anything like the capability of a person. It’s just absolutely impossible in this century for a robot to replace a human in anything.”

That’s not to say that robotics technology isn’t already very much a part of our lives, or that now isn’t the right time for the industry to become more established and scale.

“Five years ago in the industry we said, OK, the time is right,” Keay says. “It’s clear that robotics is at a point where it’s time to move into new areas. Out of industry, out of research labs, into the service industry and into the home.”

Robotics technologies are well engrained in certain industries, like automotive. It’s just that, for the average person, it doesn’t feel like something that’s particularly close to home. For this reason, it’s easy for people to dismiss robotics as science fiction because it seems so far away and the tipping point moments so elusive.

Understanding what that future may actually look like comes back to understanding the technological and economic drivers that are making robotics peek right now.


Don’t miss out!  Learn more about Andra Keay’s vision for the future of robotics by tuning-in for the webinar “How robotics will change everything, including your business.”

Watch on demand now!


“In many cases it will be taking this ubiquitous connectivity that mobility computing delivers and making a gradual transition to products that are just that much more powerful and versatile,” Keay says. “It’s not going to be a disruption, but once in a while one of those devices will change in how we use it and that will lead to other changes. I think that, with time, robotics will account for the same kind of seismic shift that the internet and computers had in the 20th century.”

One popular belief is that the growth of robotic technology will inevitably equate to the loss of human jobs. But Keay says there is good reason to believe that the opposite will be true.

“Everywhere I look there are industries that have increased the number of robots that they employ. They’ve also increased the number of people that they employ,” she says. “An exciting vision of the future is that of the skilled mobile tradesperson. They’ll still drive a pickup or an SUV but instead of a leaf blower, or a power tool, they’re working with smarter tools that are used in applications to take care of robots.”

Keay sees a correlation between this future of robot builders and technicians and the opportunity to create small, regional pockets of highly-specialized, entrepreneurial manufacturers and service providers of a variety of stripes to support niche industrial and commercial requirements for robotic technology. “Robots increase the number of jobs that are needed and they also increase the productivity of a company that allow it to expand and create even more jobs,” she says. “That will create opportunities for a new class of entrepreneurs.”

Ultimately, the future of robotic technology means creating machines that augment, not replace, humans and socializing the idea that people can work with robots in an integrated fashion.

“Some of those fences are starting to come down as computing power and intelligent algorithms lead us to a better understanding of how people can work alongside robots,” Keay says. “To make a significant impact on our economy, we need to build a lot of robots because there are not that many out there today.”

“People need to build them and people need to maintain them and the only way we can do that is to create opportunities for the industry to grow in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.”

What you’ll learn:

  • The key consumer and commercial applications of robots and drones
  • The role robots will play in societies and economies
  • How smartphone technologies will pave the way to robotics’ future
  • How cognitive technologies will transform our lives and business
  • The foundation of many IoT applications in shaping the way to robotics

Speakers:

Jim McGregor, Principal Analyst, Tirias Research
Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics
Anthony Lewis, Senior Director of Technology, Qualcomm
Maged Zaki, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


This webinar is sponsored by Qualcomm.










Amazon has doubled the number of robots in its warehouses to 30,000

Kiva robots at Amazon.

Amazon today provided new information about robots working inside of its facilities. The e-commerce company now has 30,000 Kiva robots working in its fulfillment centers, an executive said during Amazon’s quarterly call with investors today.

That number is up from 15,000 at the end of 2014, said the executive, Phil Hardin, Amazon’s director of investor relations.

“Capital intensity is offset by their density and throughput, so it’s a bit of an investment that has implications for a lot of elements of our cost structure, but we’re happy with Kiva,” Hardin said. “We think it’s a great pairing of our associates with Kiva robots that do some of the hauling of products within the warehouses. It has been a great innovation for us, and we think it makes the warehouse jobs better, and we think it makes our warehouses more effective.”

This is all kinds of interesting. It likely helps Amazon save money, because fewer people are on warehouse floors, and that also means less lower risk of injury.

But it also shows Amazon at the cutting edge of automation in the workplace.

Amazon bought Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012.

More information:

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Amazon has doubled the number of robots in its warehouses to 30,000

Kiva robots at Amazon.

Amazon today provided new information about robots working inside of its facilities. The e-commerce company now has 30,000 Kiva robots working in its fulfillment centers, an executive said during Amazon’s quarterly call with investors today.

That number is up from 15,000 at the end of 2014, said the executive, Phil Hardin, Amazon’s director of investor relations.

“Capital intensity is offset by their density and throughput, so it’s a bit of an investment that has implications for a lot of elements of our cost structure, but we’re happy with Kiva,” Hardin said. “We think it’s a great pairing of our associates with Kiva robots that do some of the hauling of products within the warehouses. It has been a great innovation for us, and we think it makes the warehouse jobs better, and we think it makes our warehouses more effective.”

This is all kinds of interesting. It likely helps Amazon save money, because fewer people are on warehouse floors, and that also means less lower risk of injury.

But it also shows Amazon at the cutting edge of automation in the workplace.

Amazon bought Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012.

More information:

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How robotics will change everything, including your business (webinar)

drone delivery

Join us for this live webinar on Friday, September 25 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free. 

Films like Ex Machina and dozens before it have embedded the idea of humanoid robots overtaking us mere humans, but that reality is still some ways off (hopefully).

What’s very much part of the present are robotics that will integrate with business and home in ways that have been dreamed about for years — from UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones), service robots, and even robotics for education.

Of course, for some time we’ve been living with large, industrial robots used by assembly lines to do the same thing repeatedly. But those are being expanded to include collaborative robots that will work with employees rather than replace them.

In our homes, robotics will be brought into the design of everyday objects integrating light, sound, and motion.

With new technologies, smartphones will become even smarter, making their own decisions based on information from sound and motion. Flying selfie cameras may seem only another step in the over-documented self, but the applications for society are significant — from gathering vital information in areas from agriculture to engineering.

In this inspiring webinar, our panelists will share some of the most exciting developments in robotics right now, and show how they’ll impact the way we do business, live our lives, and operate as a society.


Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.


What you’ll learn:

  • The key consumer and commercial applications of robots and drones
  • The role robots will play in societies and economies
  • How smartphone technologies will pave the way to robotics’ future
  • How cognitive technologies will transform our lives and business
  • The foundation of many IoT applications in shaping the way to robotics

Speakers:

Jim McGregor, Principal Analyst, Tirias Research
Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics
Anthony Lewis, Senior Director of Technology, Qualcomm
Maged Zaki, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


This webinar is sponsored by Qualcomm.

More information:

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How robotics will change everything, including your business (webinar)

drone delivery

Join us for this live webinar on Friday, September 25 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here for free. 

Films like Ex Machina and dozens before it have embedded the idea of humanoid robots overtaking us mere humans, but that reality is still some ways off (hopefully).

What’s very much part of the present are robotics that will integrate with business and home in ways that have been dreamed about for years — from UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones), service robots, and even robotics for education.

Of course, for some time we’ve been living with large, industrial robots used by assembly lines to do the same thing repeatedly. But those are being expanded to include collaborative robots that will work with employees rather than replace them.

In our homes, robotics will be brought into the design of everyday objects integrating light, sound, and motion.

With new technologies, smartphones will become even smarter, making their own decisions based on information from sound and motion. Flying selfie cameras may seem only another step in the over-documented self, but the applications for society are significant — from gathering vital information in areas from agriculture to engineering.

In this inspiring webinar, our panelists will share some of the most exciting developments in robotics right now, and show how they’ll impact the way we do business, live our lives, and operate as a society.


Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.


What you’ll learn:

  • The key consumer and commercial applications of robots and drones
  • The role robots will play in societies and economies
  • How smartphone technologies will pave the way to robotics’ future
  • How cognitive technologies will transform our lives and business
  • The foundation of many IoT applications in shaping the way to robotics

Speakers:

Jim McGregor, Principal Analyst, Tirias Research
Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics
Anthony Lewis, Senior Director of Technology, Qualcomm
Maged Zaki, Director of Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


This webinar is sponsored by Qualcomm.

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles










Toyota Pledges $50M To Research AI For Autonomous Vehicles, Hires DARPA’s Dr. Gill Pratt

7666334816_f6240401a6_k Today, Toyota announced that it has hired Gill Pratt to drive its autonomous car research. Pratt is best known in this field for his work at DARPA and MIT, including starting the Robotics Challenge. The company is also investing $50 million in the research over the next five years as well as partnering with MIT and Stanford. Read More