Category Archives: Robotics

This robot uses lasers to ‘listen’ to its environment

A new technology from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University will add sound and vibration awareness to create truly context-aware computing. The system, called Ubicoustics, adds additional bits of context to smart device interaction, allowing a smart speaker to know it’s in a kitchen or a smart sensor to know you’re in a tunnel versus on the open road. “A smart speaker sitting on a kitchen countertop cannot figure out if it is in a kitchen, let alone know what a person is doing in a kitchen,” said […]

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CommonSense Robotics’ first automated fulfillment center is now live

Israeli startup CommonSense Robotics is launching its first automated micro-fulfillment center in Tel Aviv. It’s a tiny 6,000 square feet warehouse that is packed from ground to ceiling with products. Robots do the heavy lifting when it comes to getting items ready to dispatch. TechCrunch shot a video os CommonSense Robotics’ test fulfillment center. Today’s new warehouse is much bigger than that, but still much smaller than an Amazon warehouse. The company’s first client is Superpharm, Isarel’s largest drug store chain. The startup wants to convince grocery […]

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Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm

For the last two and a half years, Iron Ox has been working on perfecting its agricultural robots to tend its indoor farms. After first testing its systems on a small scale, the company is opening its first fully autonomous production farm, with plans to start selling its produce soon. The farm is currently growing a number of leafy greens, including romaine, butterhead and kale, in addition to basil, cilantro and chives.  The robots that are tending these plants are Angus, a 1000-pound machine that can lift and […]

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Watch this humanoid robot install drywall

The HRP-5P is a humanoid robot from Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology institute that can perform common construction tasks including — as we see above — install drywall. HRP-5P — maybe we can call it Herb? — uses environmental measurement, object detection and motion planning to perform various tasks. In this video we see it use small hooks to grab the wallboard and slide it off onto the floor. Then, with a bit of maneuvering, it’s able to place the board against the joists and drill […]

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Vtrus launches drones to inspect and protect your warehouses and factories

Knowing what’s going on in your warehouses and facilities is of course critical to many industries, but regular inspections take time, money, and personnel. Why not use drones? Vtrus uses computer vision to let a compact drone not just safely navigate indoor environments but create detailed 3D maps of them for inspectors and workers to consult, autonomously and in real time. Vtrus showed off its hardware platform — currently a prototype — and its proprietary SLAM (simultaneous location and mapping) software at TechCrunch Disrupt SF as a […]

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Safety and inspection bot startup Gecko Robotics adds $7 million to the coffers

Gecko Robotics aims to save human lives at our nation’s power plants with its wall-climbing robots. To continue doing so, the startup tells TechCrunch it has just secured $7 million from a cadre of high-profile sources, including Founders Fund, Mark Cuban, The Westly Group, Justin Kan and Y Combinator. We first reported on the Pittsburgh-based company when co-founder Jake Loosararian came to the TechCrunch TV studios to show off his device for the camera. Back then, Gecko was in the YC Spring 2016 cohort, working with several U.S. power plants […]

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Autonomous retail startup Inokyo’s first store feels like stealing

Inokyo wants to be the indie Amazon Go. It’s just launched its prototype cashierless autonomous retail store. Cameras track what you grab from shelves, and with a single QR scan of its app on your way in and out of the store, you’re charged for what you got. Inokyo‘s first store is now open on Mountain View’s Castro Street selling an array of bougie kombuchas, snacks, protein powders and bath products. It’s sparse and a bit confusing, but offers a glimpse of what might be a commonplace […]

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Mayfield Robotics ceases production of Kuri robot amid a questionable future

In a letter to backers today, Bay Area-based Mayfield Robotics said it was “crushed” to announce that it has ceased manufacturing of its home robot, Kuri. The note finds the Bosch-backed business grappling with an uncertain future, as it pauses all operations and re-evaluates its future. Launched in 2015, as part of Bosch’s Startup Platform, the company debuted its home robot at CES the following year. It took close to two-years, but the company finally began shipping the adorable little robot to backers in late-2017. Kuri also […]

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Industrial robots startup Gideon Brothers raises $765K led by TransferWise co-founder

Gideon Brothers, an ambitious startup out of Croatia that is building autonomous robots to put to work in warehouses and other industrial logistics, has quietly raised $765,000 in funding. The round is led by TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, who has become an increasingly active investor, recently backing fintech Cleo, legal tech startup Juro, and satellite company Open Cosmos. Ex-Wired U.K. editor David Rowan and a number of unnamed Croatian angels have also participated in Gideon Brothers’ seed round. Founded in early 2017 and comprising a 40-plus team […]

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Taste test: Burger robot startup Creator opens first restaurant

Creator’s transparent burger robot doesn’t grind your brisket and chuck steak into a gourmet patty until you order it. That’s just one way this startup, formerly known as Momentum Machines, wants to serve the world’s freshest cheeseburger for just $6. On June 27th, after eight years in development, Creator unveils its first robot restaurant before opening to the public in September. We got a sneak peek…err…taste. When I ask how a startup launching one eatery at a time could become a $10 billion company, Creator co-founder and CEO […]

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