Actuator

There are still robotics jobs to be found (if you know where to look)

A lot has happened in the half-year since we caught up with Ayanna Howard, dean of the Ohio State University’s College of Engineering — not all of it good. The broader economic slowdown has been d

Then call them ‘robots’

Before they were robots, they were “androids” or “automatons.” The word “robot” is commonly accepted as having arrived in English through — of all places — a Czech play

Building up and tearing down

I managed to squeeze the remaining vestiges out of CES 2023 in last week’s Actuator. The good news is that things are starting to pick up again like clockwork. If you’ve emailed me about work stuf

Robot or fauxbot?

This is my week of debriefs. CES has a way of hurling you into the new year, kicking and screaming, and it can be hard to find your bearings as you emerge on the other side. As the dust has cleared, o

Consumer Robotics Show

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important robotics stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 11 a.m. PT, subscribe here. Welcome back to Actuator and happy first day of CE

Reflecting on a roller coaster year for robotics

Big thanks to Joyce Sidopoulos, Peter Barrett and Ken Goldberg for filling in the last few weeks. I’m excited by the boost this newsletter has been getting in recent months and wanted to keep the li

Notes on robotics research

Happy holidays from the Ghost of Actuator Past. I’m writing you from the beginning of the month and hopefully not checking my work email or Slack as you’re reading this. I’ll be back

Investing in the future of robotics

A short one this week, as I’m taking some time off. I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so I’ve spoken with some leading names in the field to keep Actuator chugging along. Last week

Critical mass

Greetings from…somewhere. As I mentioned the other week, I’m taking a few weeks off. It’s the first time off I’ve had this year and the most consecutive days I’ve taken off in 15+ years

Macro machines

The phrase “mission creep” entered the popular discourse in the early to mid-1990s. It popped up in a number of big papers in articles describing the Somali Civil War. Here’s the New York Times

Automating the income gap

This is going to be another one of those “let’s ask ourselves some difficult questions” newsletter introductions, so if you’re in the U.S., I certainly won’t blame you for not giving

Scene Report: Boston

What surprised me most on returning to Boston* for the first time since the onset of the pandemic was just how clustered things are. I’m not a great scheduler and I don’t know the city’s geograp

Dispatches from the conference room

Greetings on a brisk New England morning. I’m finally here on my long threatened trip to Boston. I was planning to be here in early July ahead of our robotics event, but SARS-CoV-2 and its many vari

There’s still green in climate robots

Kicking things off with a big funding round for AMP Robotics this week for a couple of reasons, but when push comes to shove, it comes down to something really simple: There are a lot of great reasons

Dawn of the tentacle

Fair warning, it’s going to be a quick one from me today. I caught the thing again, roughly three months after the last time I caught the thing. They say, “third time’s the charm,” and I now r

Battlefield bots

Greetings from the bowels of Moscone Center West. As I type this, Kevin Hart just exited the stage and Serena Williams is presiding over a packed house. No exaggeration: I attempted to make my way to

The last mile

I don’t love devoting the first several paragraphs of this newsletter to Amazon every week, but no one is making waves — both good and bad — in the robotics space quite like the little mom-and-p

Sub-Optimus

I sat out Friday’s big Tesla AI event. I was actually looking forward to seeing what the company had cooked up after months of teasing, but a combination of rogue stomach virus and the most inconven

It’s a sprint, not a marathon

Here’s a question for you: How seriously should we take Amazon’s home robotics play? Perhaps a better way of framing it is: When do we take Amazon’s home robotics play seriously? I realize these

Humankinda

Let’s talk humanoids for a minute, shall we? Why do so many roboticists insist on creating robots that look like us? Get ready to see plenty more humanoid robots. The subject is top of mind for a fe
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