Actuator

Treat every day like Boxing Day

Oh, hey, before we get started this week, I’m excited to finally be able to tell you that TC Sessions: Robotics has been announced for next year, and we’re returning to the East Coast! I’ve been

Raise and deliver

Remember all the way back to December 2020. Where were you? What were your plans? What did you expect and hope the new year would bring? I suspect I’m not alone in feeling like I’ve spent much of

Actuator is go!

Today’s the big day! After months of toiling away in roundups, Actuator is finally graduating to your inbox as the latest addition to the TechCrunch newsletter family. I’ve written 40 of these thi

Business, school

Before we get started, two quick notes. We’re launching Actuator as a newsletter in a few short weeks! Make sure you’re in on the ground floor by signing up (for free!) over here. Also, the powers

Home, star, trucker

Once I was recovered from the initial surrealism of Amazon launching its own home robot, I immediately thought about iRobot. The company cornered the home robotics market a decade ago, and while there

Food for ‘bot

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about agtech. It’s honestly unavoidable when you spend as much time as I have lately digging into the world of vertical farming. As I learned pre

Bionic hydroponic

You’ll have to forgive me, I’ve been thinking a lot about farming — specifically what it might look like in the future. This is largely due to the recent publication of my Bowery Farming TC-

More talk about attaching sniper rifles to robots

The whole gun on a robot thing was a question we’ve been barreling toward since the first practical quadrupedal robots arrived. Last week, that came to an inevitable head when a Ghost Robotics syste

War dogs

Let’s talk about strapping guns to the backs of robots. I’m not a fan (how’s that for taking a stand?). When MSCHF did it with Spot back in February, it was a thought experiment, art exhibit and

Robot response team

I’ve been working on a big project the past several days (more on that soon), which means, unfortunately, I’ve been away from the daily breaking news. That means, in turn, that I really haven’t

Ad Astro

Let’s talk about arms for a second. Or, rather, let’s talk about a lack of arms. It’s a common thread between Jibo, Kuri and now Astro. I suppose one could make the argument that Anki’s Cozmo

Attack of the $200M robotic raises

How’s this for a bit of regional synchronicity? This week, a pair of Chinese robotics firms secured $200 million rounds. It’s all part of a booming ecosystem that we get some insight into every so

Tiger’s bullish robotic investments

On Tuesday, Tiger Global led not one but two big funding rounds, announcing its role in a $26 million Series A for Ambi and an additional $50 million for Locus Robotics. The firm has been so active in

iRobot’s poop problem

I’m all for encouraging more young people to enter STEM, to explore engineering and perhaps ultimately pursue a career in robotics. It’s a field whose importance will only grow with time, as more

Alphabet X’s exosuit

Last week, Kathryn Zealand shared some insight on the eve of Women’s Equality Day. The post highlighted an issue that’s been apparent to everyone in and around the robotics industry: there’s

I don’t know what to do with those tossed salads and robot legs

Actuator: Stop making sense

First of all, we’ve got a fancy new name. While “Robotics Roundup” was nothing if not very technically accurate, it lacked the kind of panache one ought to strive for when rounding up robotics.

Peer into the eyes of Cyberdog

When someone mentioned to me that Xiaomi was launching its own “robot dog,” my mind immediately went to Sony’s Aibo. And honestly, it would have been difficult to be more wrong. Now that the new

Warehouse drones take flight

Drones are neat and fun and all that good stuff (I should probably add the caveat here that I’m obviously not referring to the big, terrible military variety), but when it comes to quadcopters, ther

They’re programmed to work hard and play hard

Industrial robotics are big and heavy — and in some cases, legitimately dangerous. They’re also extremely difficult to train — particularly if you plan to implement them for tasks outside of the
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