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Top 10 robotics stories of September 2023

From the impact of large language models in robotics, to big funding rounds, to new deployments, there was no shortage of news to cover in September. 

Here are the top 10 most popular stories on The Robot Report in September 2023. Subscribe to The Robot Report Newsletter or listen to The Robot Report Podcast to stay updated on the robotics stories you need to know about.

10. How TRI is using Generative AI to teach robots

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) today unveiled how it is using Generative AI to help robots learn new dexterous behaviors from demonstration. TRI said this new approach “is a step towards building ‘Large Behavior Models (LBMs)’ for robots, analogous to the Large Language Models (LLMs) that have recently revolutionized conversational AI.” Read More

9. Mujin brings in $85M to boost robotics controller

Japan-based Mujin raised $85 million in Series C funding. The company hopes to use the fresh capital to enhance the accessibility of its MujinController to integrators and end users. SBI Investment Co. Ltd, from Japan, led the funding round. The round also included participation from Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, 7 Industries from the Netherlands, corporate investor Accenture, and renowned angel investor Dr. James Kuffner. Read More

8. LimX Dynamics launches W1 wheeled quadruped

LimX Dynamics, a general-purpose legged robot company based in Shenzhen, China, released it W1 wheeled quadruped robot. Based on LimX Dynamics’ Motion Intelligence technology, W1 is equipped with perception and motion control algorithms and multiple proprietary actuators. Read More

7. Ascento launches nimble Guard robot with a wheel-leg design

Robotics startup Ascento recently announced a $4.3 million funding round and the launch of its latest autonomous outdoor security patrolling robot: Ascento Guard. The pre-seed funding round was led by Wingman Ventures and Playfair with participation from marquee investors including Tim Kentley-Klay (Founder of Zoox that exited to Amazon), robotics industry veteran Ryan Gariepy (CTO & Co-Founder of Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors), and more. Read More

6. Dexterity partners with FedEx to debut trailer loading robots

Dexterity AI announced a collaboration with FedEx Corp to leverage AI-powered robotic technology to load boxes into trucks and trailers. Dexterity’s propriety mobile robot design, called DexR, navigates autonomously to the back of trailers and uses its two robotic arms to load boxes from a powered conveyor system into the truck. Read More

5. What’s new in China’s robotics market?

The situation in robotics and automation in China has never been as exciting as today. Last year, over half of all industrial robots worldwide were sold in the country. In the first six months of 2023, the upward trend continued: According to our calculations, the number of industrial robots sold during this period was 144,288 units, an increase of 17.1% compared to the previous year. Read More

4. Otto Group deploying Boston Dynamics’ robots in 20+ facilities

Otto Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers, has signed an agreement with Boston Dynamics to help strengthen its logistics operations. Otto Group will deploy Spot robots in more than 10 facilities and Stretch robots in more than 20 over the next two years. Read More

3. Let GoPal Take The Loads Off Your Company’s Shoulders

The GoPal solution comprises a range of safe and collaborative autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and accessories, such as lift and conveyor stations, designed to streamline material handling and logistics operations. Using advanced sensors and cameras, the GoPal AMRs can easily navigate through a warehouse or production facility, pick up pallets weighing up to 2,645 lbs (1,200 kg), and deliver them to their desired location with speed and accuracy. Read More

2. Rockwell Automation acquiring AMR developer Clearpath Robotics

Rockwell Automation is acquiring Clearpath Robotics, an Ontario, Canada-based developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for research and development purposes. OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath, develops AMRs for manufacturing and logistics applications and is also part of the acquisition. Read More

1. Cobot arm maker Franka Emika files for insolvency

Franka Emika, the German-based developer of the Panda collaborative robot arm, has filed for insolvency due to “irreconcilable shareholder differences.” The preliminary insolvency administrator, Dr. Matthias Hofmann, and his team are preparing the pre-financing of insolvency benefits for the more than 100 employees. Read More

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