According to “The Robot Report”, 2016 was the best year for robotics start-ups: Almost 2 billion Dollars – around twice as much as in the previous year – was invested, and 128 new businesses were established. here We present some of the start-ups in the robotics sector.
The robots named Baxter and Sawyer from Boston-based company Rethink Robotics, running on the Intera software platform, are able to adapt to the variable demands of the working day, quickly switching applications and performing tasks exactly like humans. As a result, manufacturers of all kinds and sizes, and in any sector, have at their disposal a rapidly deployable, user-friendly and highly versatile automation solution.
Experience anywhere without having to travel
Australian company Aubot has developed a telepresence robot which enables people to take part in trips or meetings without having to actually go to the location in person. The mobile robot is controlled by thought (via the MindWave interface) and using a Web browser, enabling users to move around an office, meet other people or tour a city without actually leaving home.
US company Travelmate Robotics has devised a suitcase which follows its owner faithfully around. The case can move while upright or laid flat, and continually adjusts its speed to keep pace with its owner. Integrated sensors detect obstacles and record the distance travelled. A smartphone app and a GPS module inside the case indicate its location at all times.
The German company Kinematics develops and manufactures robotic kits named Tinkerbots with which children aged 6 and over can take their first steps into the world of technology. The Tinkerbots are able to learn, and can be brought to life by watching and copying movements, or can be controlled by an app on a smartphone or tablet.
A social head
Machines with social intelligence – that is what Swedish company Furhat Robotics is looking to build. A pioneer in the field is the robotic head named Furhat. It features a 3D mask onto which eyes, a nose and mouth are projected from behind. This allows the head to mimic a person in a very authentic way. Furhat is controlled by an AI platform which enables it to engage in complex dialogue with humans.
The Californian company Dreambots has developed a robotic massager the size of the palm of a hand which utilises sensor technology to move autonomously around the body. Its special sensors ensure that it does not fall off. With its special wheels and gentle vibration, the WheeMe provides a relaxing massage.
Material transporter for small businesses
The LeanAGV from Portuguese company Talus Robotics is specially designed for small and medium-sized enterprises. The driverless transport system’s core components are a drive module, a control system, and a set of safety sensors. From them, customers can construct a tailored system that is easy to use and flexible.
A real pal
Blue Frog Robotics presents Buddy, a social robot who provides a communication link, protects, and interacts with all the family. The 60 centimetre tall robot designed in France watches over the home, entertains the children, and maintains contacts with friends and family. The little robot was developed as an Open Source project, and is child’s play to operate.
(Picture Credis: Aubot; Blue Frog Robotics; Dreambots; Furhat Robotics; Kinematics; Rethink Robotics; Talus Robotics; Travelmate)