EDITORIAL

2023, Robotics Blooming

2023 was the year of bots' inception. Billions of dollars have gone into major robotics investments - it's time to look back and see what happened. The rest will be history soon!
Mario Esposito, Victoria Esposito 9 min read
2023, Robotics Blooming
Table of Contents

Do you remember when during Homo Sapiens time, people would walk and text using a keyboard on a MOBILE phone?!

Fine, it wasn't homo sapiens time, but surely it feels like it when you look at the history of the iPhone and the evolution of the touch screen overall.

Touchscreen Technology Evolution: Past, Present, Future
E.A. Johnson in 1965 invented the touchscreen

The building blocks

It has been a year of incredible analogy in robotics for what we have witnessed in the mobile space. The foundational pieces are now in place:

Spoiler alert: in less than a few weeks, humanoid hands, are taken to the next level in design, power efficiency, and degree of freedom!

You won't have enough time in your hands (pun!) to read in detail every single thing that happened in robotics so that's try to make a time-efficient sequence of month by month on what made the bigger dent.

By the way if you want to get a kick about time in the form of couch learning, watch Lucy, the movie. Argghh digressing!!

As the group of lawyers that nailed Al Capone said, follow the money.

January - June 2023

April - Significant Robotics Investments
The robotics sector witnessed a surge in investments, with a total of $1.63 billion invested in April 2023. This brought the cumulative funding for the year to approximately $3.3 billion, highlighting the growing investor interest and financial confidence in the robotics industry.

Apptronik Bot

May - Launch of Apollo Humanoid Robot by Apptronik
Apptronik, known for its work on exoskeletons and bipedal locomotion for the U.S. government, launched the Apollo humanoid robot. This marked a significant step in the commercialization of humanoid robots, a field that has long been dominated by research and development projects.

June - SoftBank's Offer to Acquire Balyo Shares
SoftBank Group entered an agreement to acquire a 41.8% stake in Balyo, a robotics company with 18 years of industry experience, for approximately €11.8 million. This acquisition indicated SoftBank’s continuing interest and investment in the robotics sector.

Automated Warehouse Solution
IAM Robotics announced an innovative automated solution designed for person-to-goods (P2G) warehouse workflows, entering a new chapter in the rapidly growing segment of autonomous mobile robot applications.

DIGIT: Agility Robotics is strike-free with its humanoid workers
We started a new series of investigations and this month the hall of fame attention goes all in the hands of Agility Robotics for their incredible progress with DIGIT, their bipedal star.

Agility Robotics is building a factory that builds robots..for factories!

Impact of ChatGPT on Robotics: Discussions and research began to emerge about the potential integration of advanced language models like ChatGPT in robotics, aiming to achieve more natural interactions between humans and robots.

evoBOT's Tests at Munich Airport
evoBOT, an autonomous mobile robot developed at the Fraunhofer Institute, completed its first test run at Munich Airport. The robot's unique design, featuring two wheels and gripper arms, demonstrated its capability to perform a variety of tasks while maintaining balance.

Tertill and Harvest Automation Merger
Tertill, known for its solar-powered weeding robot for home gardens, merged with Harvest Automation, a company focusing on agrobotics. This merger represented a significant collaboration in the field of agricultural robotics.

AGRICULTURE - The bLife Movement™
Agricultural robots are transforming farming by planting, harvesting, and monitoring crops. The advances in agricultural robotics and AI, including precision agriculture and autonomous tractors. Our goal is to provide insights and inspiration for anyone interested in the future of agriculture and how these technologies can impact our food systems and the environment. Join us to discover the exciting possibilities of agricultural robotics and AI.

Tesla & Wiferion: Tesla acquired Wiferion, a company specializing in wireless charging technologies for electric vehicles and robotics, sold the company and kept the engineers. Those folks aren't going to work on [cyber]tracks for ice creams!

Closure of Karakuri, a Food Robotics Startup: Karakuri, a startup that specializes in robots for assembling ready meals, announced its shutdown. This development highlighted the challenges faced by startups in the robotic food service industry. McDonald's has acquired the leftovers of that company (claimed for research), which is making a play on robot cooking.

Ukrainian Efarm.Pro's Demining Solution
Efarm.Pro, a Ukrainian company, developed an unmanned solution for demining agricultural fields, showcasing the application of robotics in addressing critical real-world problems like landmine clearance.

Overcoming the consequences of military actions
Брендом Efarm.Pro був розроблений безпілотний комплекс для розмінування полів.

Tomato-Picking Robot Developed Using ChatGPT: Researchers from the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands, and the Swiss technical university EPFL used ChatGPT to develop a tomato-picking robot, demonstrating the potential of language models in enhancing robotic capabilities in agriculture.

Robotic Crop Harvesting Human Like
Robotic crop harvesting is transforming agriculture, promising a more sustainable and efficient industry. A recent study highlights the development of a robotic raspberry harvester, a significant stride in this field.
sweatin
June was hot in robotics, and not just because of global warming!

July - November 2023

July - Nearly $2 Billion in Robotics Funding: Robotics companies raised close to $2 billion in funding in July, signifying continued strong investor confidence and growth prospects in the robotics industry.

September - $1.84 Billion in Robotics Investments: In September 2023, the robotics sector attracted $1.84 billion in investments, contributing to a significant yearly total and highlighting the sector's robust financial backing.

November - Universal Robots and Cobots in Automotive Industry: Universal Robots, a leader in collaborative robots (cobots), emphasized the increasing adoption and potential of cobots in the automotive industry, reflecting a shift towards automation in manufacturing sectors.

Amazon's Heavy-Duty Titan Mobile Robot: Amazon introduced the Titan mobile robot, capable of lifting heavy payloads up to 2,500 lb. This development underscored Amazon’s commitment to integrating advanced robotics into its e-commerce logistics operations.

INDUSTRIAL - The bLife Movement™
Dive deep into bots in the industrial processes and how it is changing the way we operate.

Advancements in Tactile Sensors for Robots: The robotics industry focused on commercializing tactile sensors to enhance robotic dexterity, aiming to create humanoid robots with more human-like capabilities. The most visible has been Tesla with a level of tactile control of handling an egg!

Promise Robotics' Funding for Robotic Construction
Promise Robotics, an AI company, raised $15 million to develop a cloud-based industrial production platform for robotic construction and assembly, marking progress in the field of construction automation.

Google DeepMind's MuJoCo 3 Simulator Enhancements
Google DeepMind made significant upgrades to the MuJoCo 3 robotics simulator, improving its capabilities for robotics research and development reflecting continuous advancements in simulation technologies for robotics.

Simplifying Human-to-Robot Communication at Brown University Researchers at Brown University developed software that translates plain instructions into robot behaviors, simplifying the process of human-to-robot communication and reducing the need for extensive training data.

China's Plans for Mass-Producing Humanoids by 2025: China announced ambitious plans to mass-produce humanoid robots by 2025, indicating a major strategic initiative to lead in the development and deployment of humanoid robotics on a large scale.

how experts think humanoid robots will change the world by 2035
DailyMail.com spoke to leading experts on how humanoid robots could change the world - with one expert saying that the tech will grow ‘exponentially’ this decade.

Delta Line's Smallest Frameless BLDC Motor: Delta Line introduced its smallest frameless BLDC motor, expanding its product portfolio in motion solutions for robotics and other industries, showcasing innovation in compact and efficient motor designs.

What About Us?

Well... I don't even know where to begin! We're obsessed with robotics. We created our vision for what we feel confident will become a reality.

I believe that in a decade, robots will become an integral part of our lives. We will refer to and interact with them like today we do with pets. --Mario Esposito

Sure enough, if you are into the geek speak, you can find, albeit across multiple places and often ads plastered the information, but then piecing together, it's all another matter. So we started this blog, just with a few friends forcefully added 😈😅 and a few months later, we started a private Telegram channel for paid members since servers tend not to be free 🤷🏼‍♂️ and now we have several thousand followers on IG and FB and a newsletter that has been organically growing through one member recommending another. THANK YOU!!

I wanted to say how many and I admit I had not peeked over the numbers in a while and you can imagine my surprise when I realized that our newsletter now goes to over 10k people across multiple countries!!

surprised phone

Your contributions, your ideas, your messages, and everything that goes with it has been incredibly rewarding. The most recurrent comment I (Victoria) read in our Telegram channel can be summarized with the last I responded to:

I admit, I didn't know jack about droids and now I am addicted to your next article. I was feeling it doesn't matter to me and now I feel like "I have to know" as I don't want to be caught by surprise. Thank you guys for what you do and Happy New Bot Year! Much love --Jennifer K.

For me (Mario) has been a roller coaster of emotions and admittedly more work than I had thought it would have taken to "start a movement" – and now that I am fully invested in it, I feel The Jetson will become a reality a lot faster than we all thought. I returned from Japan a few weeks ago, and I was blown away by some of the discussions I had with bankers and insurance companies that we have been interviewing or cooperating with.

We need your (bLife) guidance on how to structure insurance plans for bots that will take care of the elderly; Japan has the oldest population in the world we [...]. We don't want to be caught by surprise. – Senior Executive 丸の内, Japan

The future looks incredibly bright, and as the hardware and AI come together in one sweet package of push and play, our entire castle of what we have been doing so far as a species will be affected in one way or the other. How we will deal with that magnitude of changes will be up to us as a whole. We, "the bot life movement", are doing our best to get everyone ready and informed. Keep supporting us so that we can continue to produce more tailored and valuable content for the community. Stay with us for the journey, and spread the word about what we are doing. Much love. 💕

The founders

Have a fantastic closing of 2023 with friends, family, pets, and, if lucky enough, some bots. Onwards!
🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂🍾🥂

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The BOTs are coming!

Walk along the journey with us. Stay ahead of the curve! Learn all about the exciting future of AI & robotics. Content written for mere mortals not for geeks. #promise

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