robot

Featured Article

Apple’s electric car loss could be home robotics’ gain

For every tech success story, there are countless projects that slam headlong into the brick wall of reality. Apple’s electric vehicle ambitions are one of the most recent — and, frankly, best — examples of a project failing in spite of seeming to have everything going for it. The jury is still out on the…

3:22 pm PDT • April 3, 2024
Apple’s electric car loss could be home robotics’ gain

It’s tough to argue with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang when he notes, “Building foundation models for general humanoid robots is one of the most exciting problems to solve in AI…

Nvidia enlists humanoid robotics’ biggest names for new AI platform, GR00T

Featured Article

Figure rides the humanoid robot hype wave to $2.6B valuation

Today Figure confirmed long-standing rumors that it’s been raising more money than God. The Bay Area-based robotics firm announced a $675 million Series B round that values the startup at $2.6 billion post-money. The lineup of investors is equally impressive. It includes Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, Nvidia, Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, Jeff Bezos (through Bezos…

5:00 am PST • February 29, 2024
Figure rides the humanoid robot hype wave to $2.6B valuation

When it was first unveiled in the summer of 2021, Xiaomi’s CyberDog design was best described as a more nightmarish version of Boston Dynamics’ Spot. I had to comb through…

Xiaomi’s latest robot dog does backflips off skateboards, costs $3,000

Amazon has ended its bid to acquire iRobot, the maker of robotic vacuums, after running up against headwinds with European regulators. Amazon and iRobot have opted to mutually terminate their…

iRobot and Amazon call it quits, terminate acquisition agreement

Featured Article

What CES 2024 told us about the home robot

Few tech demos can match the spectacle of robotics. Even as the field grows increasingly prevalent in a broad range of industrial workplaces, mechatronics doing impressive things will never cease to amaze. For many, the mere presence of a robot is shorthand for the future, and for big electronics firms, it’s a quick and simple…

3:47 pm PST • January 12, 2024
What CES 2024 told us about the home robot

Remember Ballie, Samsung’s spherical home robot from CES 2020? I sure didn’t — until Samsung brought it back at this year’s keynote with a few on-trend AI upgrades. The new…

Samsung brings back Ballie, its home robot, at CES 2024 — with a few upgrades

Featured Article

Should auld acquaintance be robot

This is always a strange week for us. Save for the occasional disastrous patent dispute, things are (thankfully) almost uncannily quiet in the week separating Christmas and New Year’s Day. You see a lot of reflective posts go up during this time, not only because the calendar year is coming to a close, but also because…

9:31 am PST • December 29, 2023
Should auld acquaintance be robot

Featured Article

Top robotics names discuss humanoids, generative AI and more

Last month, I took an extended break. In a bid to keep my robotics newsletter Actuator (subscribe here) up and running, however, I reached out to some of the biggest names in the industry. I asked people from CMU, UC Berkeley, Meta, Nvidia, Boston Dynamics and the Toyota Research Institute the same six questions, covering…

9:14 am PST • December 22, 2023
Top robotics names discuss humanoids, generative AI and more

In an acknowledgement that cracking the home robotics market is hard, Amazon is bringing its Astro robot to a decidedly more corporate audience. The company today announced Astro for Business,…

Amazon brings its home robot to businesses

Zhang Li‘s career path has looked like a bellwether for China’s tech trends. When the Cisco veteran joined WeRide in 2018, the Chinese autonomous vehicle company was less than a…

Why this autonomous vehicle veteran joined a legged robotics startup

Countless startups are trying to solve hard robotics problems in industry. But few are looking to bring the tech into homes. Well, few except for Matic. A relatively new venture…

Matic’s robot vacuum maps spaces without sending data to the cloud

At today’s Delivering the Future event, Amazon announced that it will begin testing Agility’s bipedal robot Digit in its facilities. Amazon Robotics Chief Technologist Tye Brady said the testing is…

Amazon begins testing Agility’s Digit robot for warehouse work

ForwardX this week announced an additional $30 million in funding, bringing the Beijing-based firm’s Series C up to $61 million. The funding follows an initial tranche announced way back in…

Beijing robotics firm ForwardX’s Series C hits $61 million

In the crowded enterprise robotics space, the ability to secure key clients is a crucial differentiator for companies. In the case of Hong Kong–based Rice Robotics, the important order has…

Rice Robotics picks up $7M, powers SoftBank’s office delivery

Bay Area-based robotics firm Figure this week announced that its humanoid officially took its first steps — a milestone it hit a few days shy of of the company’s first…

Intel Capital backs Figure’s Humanoid robot to the tune of $9 million

If you’ve followed robots with any frequency, you’ve no doubt encountered the wheel versus leg debate. Why, for instance, should a warehouse opt for a legged Digit robot instead of…

The M4 robot transforms to roll, fly and walk across various terrains

I spent a bit of time at Figure’s Sunnyvale offices during a recent visit to the South Bay. The firm is currently in that semi-awkward phase where it’s ready to…

Figure raises $70M to build its humanoid robots

When someone asks for a tech recommendation, we almost invariably answer with one question: what’s your budget? It’s as true with vacuums as anything else. You can get a pretty…

Dyson upgrades its vacuums and air purifiers

In many meaningful ways, the robot vacuum has been a true success story. The category is broadly considered to be the first mainstream home robot — and 21 years after…

Neato Robotics is being shut down after 18 years

It would be a massive understatement to suggest that robot toys are a mixed bag. They largely get the looks right, but brains are another thing altogether. Look at the…

WowWee returns to robots with a dog named ‘Dog-E’

Some robotics challenges have immediately clear applications. Others are more focused on helping systems solve broader challenges. Teaching small robots to play soccer against one another fits firmly into the…

Watch two Mini Cheetah robots square off on the soccer field

Manipulation and sensing have long been considered two key pillars for unlocking robotics’ potential. There’s a fair bit of overlap between the two, of course. As grippers have become a…

Touchlab to begin piloting its robotic skin sensors in a hospital setting

As far as delivery robots go, Amazon’s in-house Scout program seemed like a no-brainer. Few — if any — companies stand to gain more from a successful sidewalk deliver service.…

Amazon scales back Scout delivery robot program

Alongside news of new Alexa devices, Amazon today unveiled a refresh of its Ring lineup including new cameras, alarms and more. The flagship addition for consumers is a new “pro-tier”…

Amazon’s Ring announces plan to use a robot for security patrols alongside new home security devices

The quest to build the perfect humanoid robot is heating up, as Figure — a startup currently operating in stealth — is developing a multi-purpose bipedal ‘bot it plans to…

Archer’s co-founder is bootstrapping an all-purpose humanoid robot

Its 2015 acquisition of Aldebaran didn’t go as smoothly as SoftBank hoped. At the time, the French robotics startup was best known for its Nao, which had become a fairly…

SoftBank Robotics Europe is now Aldebaran (again)

Like a number of attendees, I was taken with ClicBot when I first saw it a few CESes ago. We’re all up to our ears in “educational” robotics kits. STEM…

Anki’s spiritual successor hits Kickstarter with some impressive moves

Amazon has made a string of startup acquisitions over the years to build out its robotics business; now, the e-commerce leviathan is taking an interesting turn in that strategy as…

Amazon is buying Cloostermans, a mechatronics specialist in Belgium, to ramp up its robotics operations

I admit to having my doubts when Boston Dynamics announced it was getting into the already crowded warehouse/logistics field. One could certainly make the case that Stretch is a bit…

Supply chain firm NFI inks $10M deal to deploy Boston Dynamics’ Stretch robots