Top 10 robotics stories of September

What a month it was for robotics. Whether it was Intel issuing the end-of-life notice for its RealSense LiDAR products or the underwhelming introduction of Amazon’s much-anticipated consumer robot, Astro, there was no shortage of robotics stories to cover in September.

Here are the Top 10 most popular robotics stories on The Robot Report in September 2021. Subscribe to The Robot Report‘s newsletter to stay updated on the robotics stories you need to know about.

10. Pudu Robotics serves up $155M Series C funding round

Pudu Robotics secures $155 million USD in Series C funding. Investors in this round include: Meituan, Shenzhen Investment Holdings, Sierra Capital China, plus others. The company recently announced the new products: Bellabot and Kettybot, both designed for use cases within the service industry. Read Story

9. 9 robotics projects focusing on COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Defense entrusted the ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute with finding robotic solutions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and create a technical foundation to respond to future similar crises. The ARM Institute engaged with its 300+ member consortium to solicit project ideas, ultimately initiating 9 projects. Here’s a look at those projects. Read Story

8. FedEx to test Aurora’s autonomous trucks

FedEx kicked off a collaboration with Aurora and PACCAR to test autonomous trucks. The pilot will run along FedEx Dallas-Houston parcel lanes, completing the nearly 500-mile round trip route multiple times each week. The trucks will operate autonomously, with a backup driver for additional safety. Read Story

7. Hai Robotics raises $200M for autonomous case handling robots

Chinese startup Hai Robotics raised $200 million through two continuous funding rounds. The funding will be used to continue to improve and scale its autonomous case handling robotics (ACR) system. The company launched its first ACR system, called Haipick, in 2015. The robots can pick and place totes or cartons on storage shelves up to 5-7 meters high using a telescopic lift. Read Story

6. How NVIDIA, Open Robotics are improving ROS 2

NVIDIA and Open Robotics are working together to accelerate the performance of ROS 2 on NVIDIA’s Jetson edge AI platform and GPU-based systems. The initiatives will reduce development time and improve performance for developers seeking to incorporate computer vision and machine learning functionality into their ROS-based applications. Read Story

5. 12 notable warehouse-focused AMR acquisitions

The Robot Report compiled 12 of the more notable acquisitions of AMR companies. There have been plenty of companies acquired that develop AMRs for other applications, such as agriculture, or enabling technologies for AMRs. Heck, Boston Dynamics is technically an AMR, but it uses legs to move around. This recap focuses specifically on companies selling wheeled AMRs that can navigate around a warehouse material handling applications. No ASRS’ welcome here. Read Story

4. Locus Robotics on target with Waypoint Robotics acquisition

Locus Robotics today acquired Waypoint Robotics. Locus Robotics has built a reputation as one of the leaders in the warehouse automation space. The company has raised $305M since its founding in 2014. The company is one of the first AMR unicorns with a valuation over $1B. This is going to be a great combination of compatible technologies, market focus and skillset/personalities. Here’s why. Read Story

3. Boston Dynamics Spot learns new skills with 3.0 release

Since its release, Boston Dynamics continues to enhance the capabilities of Spot. Feedback from customers, and the experience gained from operating in difficult, industrial situations, is enabling the Spot development team to improve Spot’s capabilities. Spot 3.0 is purely a software upgrade and all existing Spot customers can benefit from the new features. Read Story

2. Amazon Astro robot: been there, done that

The rumors were true. Amazon has been working on a home robot for years. Amazon this week finally unveiled Astro, which is essentially an Echo Show 10 on wheels. We’ve seen several multipurpose home robots crash and burn over the years. Anki, Blue Frog Robotics, Jibo, and Mayfield Robotics are a few that immediately come to mind. Will things be different this time around with Amazon Astro? Read Story

1. Intel issues end-of-life notice for RealSense LiDAR

Intel issued an end-of-life (EOL) notice for the RealSense LiDAR, tracking and facial authentication products. This is, of course, part of Intel’s plan to wind down its RealSense business. Intel said the last date these products can be ordered will be Feb. 28, 2022. The last date any of these products will be shipped is March 31, 2022. Read Story

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