Kicking off a brand new yr is all the time a fantastic alternative to look again at what transpired over the past 12 months. We handed alongside the top robotics stories and most-funded robotics companies of 2018. Now it’s time to look forward at what to look at in 2019. Keep tuned for traits and startup firms to trace, however 2019 can be a pivotal yr for main firms working in robotics, too.
Beneath, in alphabetical order, are main firms within the robotics area to look at in 2019. Actually there are different firms to look at, corresponding to Google, which is launching a cloud robotics platform, however we determined to restrict the listing to 10. Why did we select the businesses beneath? Effectively, they’re both:
- Creating or increasing important instruments for robotics builders
- Attempting to do one thing but to be accomplished
- Engaged on one thing secretive
Please share within the feedback some main firms within the robotics business you’ll be watching in 2019. We will even quickly share an inventory of startup robotics firms to look at.
10 main robotics firms to look at in 2019
Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
Causes to look at: Bloomberg reported in April 2018 that Amazon Lab126, the hardware analysis and growth division of the retail and cloud computing big, was engaged on a home robotic. There have since been no updates on the undertaking, known as “Vesta,” however the robotic reportedly might be an Alexa on wheels. Bloomberg reported that prototypes of the robots have laptop imaginative and prescient software program and may navigate by way of houses. Bloomberg mentioned Amazon hoped “to start seeding the robots in staff’ houses by the top of , and probably with customers as early as 2019.”
Amazon can be rolling out its AWS RoboMaker cloud robotics platform that helps builders construct robots, add clever capabilities, simulate and take a look at robots in a wide range of environments. RoboMaker runs on high of the Robotic Working System (ROS) and extends the framework to AWS companies for machine studying, monitoring, and analytics.
Headquarters: Waltham, Mass.
Causes to look at: With its viral movies, Boston Dynamics will all the time be a robotics firm to regulate. However that isn’t why we shall be watching in 2019. Throughout his keynote on the Robotics Summit & Expo, Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert introduced plans to commercialize SpotMini in 2019. That is the primary robotic Boston Dynamics will commercialize in its 27-year historical past. We already noticed a glimpse of SpotMini inspecting construction sites in Japan, offering perception into potential real-world functions. Not solely is 2019 an essential yr for Boston Dynamics, it’s for legged robots typically. ANYbotics and Ghost Robotics are two different firms looking for real-world houses for legged robots.
Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.
Cause to look at: Cruise raised a measly $1.65 billion in 2018 because of the Softbank Vision Fund and Honda. Now it’s time for the GM-owned firm, which has been testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco since 2016, to place its cash the place its mouth is. And simply final week we obtained the primary glimpse of potential real-world functions for Cruise, which partnered with DoorDash to ship meals and groceries to pick out clients in San Francisco. Particulars on the partnership are fairly scarce, however the trials are supposed to start early in 2019. GM has mentioned it would commercialize self-driving vehicles in 2019, and though that it extremely unlikely, this Cruise-DoorDash partnership ought to shed just a little mild on how far alongside Cruise is.
Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif.
Cause to look at: The social media big shouldn’t be a family title relating to robotics (but), however rising strikes within the area – hiring robotics expertise, researching comfortable robotics, making public a patent for a telepresence robot – present Fb is eager about greater than dipping its toes in robotics. Fb has publicly mentioned one of many causes for upping its robotics sport is to draw high AI expertise. Fb is probably the most highly effective firm on the planet. As of September 2018, 1.49 billion folks used Fb each day. I can’t think about attracting expertise is a significant concern. There must be one thing greater, robotics-wise, happening at Fb.
Harvard Biodesign Lab
Headquarters: Cambridge, Mass.
Cause to look at: The Harvard Biodesign Lab may look like an outlier on this listing. However anytime a enterprise attracts the eye of Invoice Gates, it’s routinely a must-watch. Gates lately visited the Harvard Biodesign Lab and wrote about his visit with Conor Walsh, founding father of the lab, and the workforce, which is doing unimaginable work with comfortable robotics. They’ve created comfortable exosuits and comfortable robotic gloves to reinforce and restore human efficiency. They developed RoboBee, a flying microbot that’s half the scale of a paper clip and weighs lower than one tenth of a gram. And that simply scratches the floor of the workforce’s analysis. Control them in 2019.
Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
Cause to look at: Official ROS 1 and ROS 2 support for Microsoft Windows 10 is coming early in 2019. The ROS group has constructed workarounds for Home windows, however Microsoft is working with Open Robotics and the ROS Industrial Consortium (ROS-I) to formally assist ROS Melodic Morenia. ROS for Home windows 10 shall be nice publicity for Microsoft’s cloud merchandise, so lets see if Microsoft has anything in retailer for 2019.
Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Cause to look at: NVIDIA launched late in 2018 its Jetson AGX Xavier Module, a brand new chip the corporate hopes will turn into the go-to mind for next-generation robots. And the specs are fairly spectacular. Right here is an in-depth look at AGX Xavier Module, however to summarize: it has greater than 9 billion transistors, delivers 32 deep studying TOPS, is 10 occasions extra energy-efficient and 20 occasions extra highly effective than its predecessor, Jetson TX2. NVIDIA mentioned the module will allow robots to grasp the world round them thanks to 6 high-performance processing items – a 512-core NVIDIA Volta structure Tensor Core GPU, an eight-core Carmel ARM64 CPU, a twin NVDLA deep studying accelerator, and picture, imaginative and prescient, and video processors.
Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
Cause to look at: Constructing succesful humanoid robots is extraordinarily troublesome. And it doesn’t assist that Boston Dynamics has set the bar so extremely excessive with Atlas. UBTech, a Chinese language firm recognized for its toy robots that has raised almost $1 billion with a $5 billion valuation, turned its Walker bipedal robotic, which was launched at CES 2018, right into a full-blown humanoid this week at CES 2019. UBTech mentioned its Walker robotic “has the intelligence and capabilities to make a useful affect in any house or enterprise within the very close to future.” That’s unrealistic, in fact, however it’s good to see a well-backed shopper robotics firm engaged on a humanoid robotic.
Headquarters: Odense, Denmark
Cause to look at: In 2018, Common Robots (UR) introduced its e-Series at Automatica, bought its 25,000 cobot and celebrated the 10-year anniversary of promoting its first robotic. So will probably be laborious for the collaborative robotics pioneer to have a greater yr than it did in 2018. However cobots are the fastest-growing section of business automation, in accordance with the Robotic Industries Affiliation (RIA), and are anticipated to leap ten-fold to 34% of all industrial robotic gross sales by 2025. UR is dealing with extra competitors from lower-cost gamers, however the firm’s fame is rock-solid and may assist it keep its lead out there nicely past 2019.
Headquarters: Mountainview, Calif.
Business: Autonomous Automobiles
Based: 2009 (started as Google’s Self-Driving Automotive Venture)
Cause to look at: The plan for all self-driving firms has all the time been to initially roll out companies in geo-fenced areas. Should you believed something apart from that, your expectations had been out of whack. However a number of of us are disenchanted with the rollout of Waymo’s self-driving taxi service close to Phoenix, Ariz. There are a number of reviews in regards to the restricted drop-off and pick-up areas, limitations of the expertise, and the actual fact Waymo’s self-driving automobiles nonetheless have security drivers on board. Maybe Waymo has misplaced confidence in its expertise, or it’s being additional cautious as a result of fatal Uber self-driving car accident in 2018. Both means, this has performed a task in curbing the self-driving hype as persons are re-setting their expectations. How will that affect funding in 2019? We’ll see. Waymo continues to be by far the autonomous automobile chief, and the expansion, or lack thereof, of its self-driving taxi service will give us a superb barometer of the place the business is at.