Category Archives: Robotics

Robotics VCs on what’s real, what’s coming, and what to keep in mind

Last week, at TechCrunch’s robotics event at UC Berkeley, we sat down with four VCs who are making a range of bets on robotics companies, from drone technologies to robots whose immediate applications aren’t yet clear. Featuring Peter Barrett of Playground Global, Helen Liang of FoundersX Ventures, Eric Migicovsky of Y Combinator and Andy Wheeler of GV (pictured above), we covered a lot of terrain (no pun intended), including whether last-mile delivery robots make sense and how much robots should be expected to do without human intervention. […]

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Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics+AI Sessions Event

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics+AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate discussions with key robotics and deep learning founders, executives and technologists. Brian and Lucas discuss which companies excited them most, as well as which verticals have the most exciting growth prospects in the robotics […]

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Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups and companies are driving the market’s growth and how the evolution of these technologies may ultimately play out. In preparation for our event, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater spent time over the last several […]

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Uber, Lyft, and the challenge of transportation startup profits

How much does transportation cost you? In most cities, bus or subway fare might set you back $3 or so. A tank of gas, maybe $30 or $40 depending on your car. An hour of street parking? Sometimes it’s free, sometimes it’s a few bucks. And you can usually snag an economy seat on a round-trip U.S. domestic flight for under $300. These numbers probably ring true for most people. There’s just one problem: Everything you know about the cost of transportation is wrong. Despite a massive […]

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Boston Dynamics acquires a 3D vision startup in bid to put its robots to work

Last week’s Handle video was different than past Boston Dynamics releases. Sure, it showcased the same sort of impressive robotics that have made every video from the company a viral hit, but this one took a very different approach than other recent releases: It put the robot to work. There were some clear aesthetic differences: the robot appeared a bit larger, and its two arms were swapped out for a single, overhead limb with several suction cups attached. The key differentiator, however, was a relatively mundane setting, […]

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Built Robotics’ massive construction excavator drives itself

I’ve never had a meeting quite like the one I had with Built Robotics. Within about 10 minutes of meeting Built’s co-founder Noah Ready-Campbell, we’re steering an 80,000-pound construction excavator around what is basically his company’s back yard. He wants me to see what it’s like to drive one; how much skill and finesse it takes to safely and efficiently move mountains of dirt around with this massive machine. The answer? Lots. That’s why his company wants these machines to drive themselves. Built is taking the concepts […]

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Lidar and perception startup Innoviz raises $132 million

Innoviz, the Israel-based startup developing solid-state lidar sensors and perception software for autonomous vehicles, has raised $132 million in a Series C funding round that includes major Chinese financial institutions. The round, which makes Innoviz one of the better capitalized lidar startups, includes China Merchants Capital (SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund, L.P.), Shenzhen Capital Group and New Alliance Capital. Israeli institutional investors Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services and Phoenix Insurance Company also participated.  The Series C round will remain open for a second closing to be announced in […]

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Lidar startup Ouster raises $60 million in production run-up

Ouster has raised $60 million as the San Francisco-based lidar startup opens a new facility that will have the capacity to assemble and ship several thousand sensors a month by the end of 2019. The new factory, which will have a grand opening ceremony March 28, currently produces hundreds of sensors per month. Ouster says at full capacity, the factory will produce $25 million to $50 million in inventory per month. Lidar measures distance using laser light to generate highly accurate 3D maps of the world around […]

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This robot can park your car for you

French startup Stanley Robotics showed off its self-driving parking robot at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport today. While I couldn’t be there in person, the service is going live by the end of March 2019. And here’s what it looks like. The startup has been working on a robot called Stan. These giant robots can literally pick up your car at the entrance of a gigantic parking lot and then park it for you. You might think that parking isn’t that hard, but it makes a lot of sense when […]

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pi-top’s latest edtech tool doubles down on maker culture

London-based edtech startup, pi-top, has unboxed a new flagship learn-to-code product, demoing the “go anywhere” Pi-powered computer at the Bett Show education fare in London today. Discussing the product with TechCrunch ahead of launch, co-founder and CEO Jesse Lozano talked up the skills the company hopes students in the target 12-to-17 age range will develop and learn to apply by using sensor-based connected tech, powered by its new pi-top 4, to solve real world problems. “When you get a pi-top 4 out of the box you’re going to […]

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