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The Robot Report Podcast
The Robot Report Podcast
Join Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community.
Jul 16, 2021
Claus Risager on disinfection robots and growing Blue Ocean Robotics
Claus Risager, CEO and co-founder of Blue Ocean Robotics, discusses the evolution of the Danish company and its early entry into disinfection robots. He also tries to sell us on the benefits of telepresence robots. We also discuss the bigger stories in the robotics industry of late, including the future of Fetch Robotics after the Zebra acquisition, Aurora taking its self-driving tech public via SPAC, the shutdown of Abundant Robotics and the Ingenuity Helicopter completing another historic flight on Mars. https://mobilerobotguide.com/2020/04/01/robotic-solutions-for-covid-19/ https://mobilerobotguide.com/2021/07/08/a-bright-future-for-fetch-robotics-following-zebra-acquisition/ https://www.therobotreport.com/aurora-taking-autonomous-vehicle-tech-public-via-spac/
1 hr 17 min
Jun 25, 2021
Softbank distancing itself from Pepper, AutoStore's Mike Demko, robotics industry services
This week, Mike Demko, head of AutoStore’s MFC business line, joins the program to discuss the growth of e-commerce and the role automation is playing. We also hear from Jason dePreaux, a market analyst for Interact Analysis, who discusses the robotics industry services market. https://roboweeks.com/ https://www.therobotreport.com/softbank-robotics-europe-cutting-workforce-40-in-shake-up/ https://www.therobotreport.com/hyundai-completes-acquisition-controlling-stake-boston-dynamics/ https://mobilerobotguide.com/2021/06/15/dusty-robotics-raises-16-5m-in-series-a-funding/ https://www.therobotreport.com/weride-raises-310m-funding-autonomous-vehicles/ https://www.interactanalysis.com/the-warehouse-automation-service-market-may-2021/
Jun 18, 2021
A Review of the RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards
This week we break down the winners of the RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards, which honor technology, business, and market innovations for the global robotics industry. We discuss how we picked the 50 winners, what we consider to be innovative, and share our personal favorite winners. https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/2021-rbr50-robotics-innovation-award-honorees/ https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/2021-rbr50-robotics-innovation-awards-digital-edition/
Jun 10, 2021
Find out whats going on in the world of robot operations
In this episode we sit down and learn about the Robot Operations Group with co-founders Florian Pestoni and Joe Wieciek. In the second half of the show we discuss one vendor's experience as part of the working committee for the recent R15.08 Safety Standard when we talk to Mike Bearman from Vecna Robotics.
May 19, 2021
Passenger of confused Waymo robotaxi discusses what went wrong
Joel Johnson, the passenger inside the Waymo One robotaxi that was confused by construction cones, takes us inside what went wrong. He also talks about his overall experience with Waymo One, which includes 147 rides to date. We also catch up with Tom Ryden, executive director of MassRobotics, who takes us inside the develop of the group's new mobile robot interoperability standard.
1 hr 15 min
May 13, 2021
Surging North American robot shipments; wireless charging future
A3 president Jeff Burnstein returns to discuss the growth of robot shipments in North America for the first quarter of 2021. He discusses the impact COVID-19 had on the growth, the surge in non-automotive orders, and much more. We also catch up with WiBotic to discuss the benefits of wireless charging for autonomous mobile robots. CEO Ben Waters shares some startup advice and the future of wireless charging in space.
1 hr 18 min
Apr 16, 2021
Ken Goldberg on robotic grasping; Carbon Robotics’ new weeding robot
Ken Goldberg and Jim Liefer from Ambi Robotics join the program to discuss the company's approach to piece-picking robots and how Sim2Real AI is playing a major role. We also break down WTWH Media's acquisition of Mobile Robot Guide and how it'll educate potential buyers about the benefits of mobile robotics systems. We also chat with Paul Mikesell, founder and CEO of Carbon Robotics, who takes us inside the development of the company's third-generation weeding robot.
1 hr 18 min
Apr 8, 2021
The Evolution of RE2 Robotics
Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO of RE2 Robotics, and Travis Schneider, business development manager of RE2 Robotics, discussed the evolution of the company, which was founded in 2001. RE2 was focused nearly 100% on defense work in 2016, but now the defense sector accounts for less than one-third of its business. We also discuss the company's new Sapien line of intelligent robotic arms and adding more autonomy to its manipulators.
1 hr 16 min
Apr 2, 2021
Boston Dynamics' VP of Product Engineering on Developing Stretch
Kevin Blankespoor, VP of product engineering at Boston Dynamics, takes us inside the development of Stretch, the box-moving robot the company introduced this week. Blankespoor describes the evolution of the product design, the many system integration challenges, plans to improve the Pick vision system going forward, similarities between Atlas, Spot and Stretch, and much more.
Mar 12, 2021
Agribotics with Suma Reddy; Space Lasers; The Truth About Tesla FSD
Suma Reddy, CEO of agriculture robotics startup Future Acres, discusses the challenges farmers are facing today and how automation can help. I also discuss the most interesting stories of the week, including laser sounds from Mars, the truth about Tesla's "Full Self-Driving" beta software and rumors surrounding Amazon's secretive home robot Vesta.
Mar 5, 2021
Juan Aparicio, Enrico Krog Iversen on improving robotics ease of use
Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot, discusses advancements in end of arm tooling and what's next for the industry. Juan Aparicio, VP of Product at READY Robotics, talks about simplifying programming interfaces to democratize the use of robotics.
1 hr 24 min
Feb 26, 2021
Investor's Perspective on State of Robotics; Apologizing to Boston Dynamics
Kevin Dunlap of Calibrate Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, joins the program to discuss the SPAC craze, recent robotics investments, and his thoughts about the state of the industry. I also hit on the robotics stories of the week, including Motional testing Level 4 robotaxis in Las Vegas, NASA's video of the Perseverance Rover landing and more.
Feb 19, 2021
Rick Faulk on Locus Robotics' potential IPO; Robots Have Landed on Mars
Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, discusses the company's $150 million Series E funding round and new unicorn status. He also explains why Locus should be a publicly-traded company. Will Wilder, CEO of Wilder Systems, joined the show to discuss the cobot system his team built that automates rapid COVID-19 testing results. He said the system is being adapted to help test for other viruses, such as Ebola and Zika. We also celebrate the incredible team at NASA JPL for putting robots back on Mars.
Feb 12, 2021
Tertill CEO Helen Greiner; Can Aurora catch Waymo?
Helen Greiner, CEO of Tertill, a Boston-based startup developing gardening robots, joined the show to talk about how she will help the startup scale. She also discussed the challenges of developing consumer robots and how her experience co-founding iRobot will help. We also talk drone delivery and what went wrong at her commercial drone company CyPhy Works.
Feb 4, 2021
Designing robot arms to survive lunar nights; Waymo 'no plans' to expand in Ariz.
Tom McCarthy joins the show to discuss how Motiv Space Systems is developing a robotic arm to survive the extreme cold of the Moon’s South Pole. The COLDarm can survive temperatures as environments as cold as –279°F. COLDarm could be headed to the Moon in 2024. I also talk to Ben Upcroft, VP of Technology at Oxbotica, a company developing autonomy software for all sorts of autonomous vehicle applications, both off-road and on-road. We discuss the keys to infrastructure free navigation, the acceleration of innovation in the autonomous vehicle space and why Level 5 robotaxis might never arrive. And I discuss how Spot Arm will improve Boston Dynamics' Spot quadruped and the disappointment of Waymo not expanding its robotaxi service in Arizona.
1 hr 7 min
Jan 28, 2021
Jeff Burnstein on robot sales growth; Softbank’s evolving robotics play
For the first time, yearly orders of robots from non-automotive sectors surpassed automotive robot orders, as sales of robotic units in North America increased 3.5% in 2020 from 2019. A3 president Jeff Burnstein takes us inside the numbers and what it means for the future of robotics. We also introduce you to Canvas, a startup that recently exited stealth mode. It's trying to automate drywall finishing using robotics. We learn about the challenges and opportunities for Canvas' system. We recap the top stories of the week, including Softbank's ever-changing robotics strategy, AutoX launching a fully driverless robotaxi service in China, and Amazon launching a new robotics upskilling program.
Jan 22, 2021
FAA’s landmark approval for American Robotics & its impact on drones
American Robotics became the first drone company approved by the FAA to operate automated drones without human operators on site. Reese Mozer, CEO & co-founder of American Robotics, joined the podcast to discuss the implications for the company and the industry. He takes us through the technical capabilities of the company's drones, how humans will remain in the loop, and what types of missions its drones will now carry out. I also comment on the week's top robotics stories, including Marc Raibert weighing in on Atlas' dance skills, President Trump pardoning Anthony Levandowski, and Cruise raising another $2 billion and sending its autonomous vehicles over to Japan.
Jan 14, 2021
Teradyne's acquisition strategy & the future of cobots
Greg Smith, president of Teradyne’s Industrial Automation Group, takes us inside the company's acquisition strategy. Teradyne's industrial automation portfolio include leading companies Universal Robots, Mobile Industrial Robots, Energid and AutoGuide Mobile Robots. Teradyne is still looking for acquisitions, and Greg tells us what Teradyne looks for in companies. Was Teradyne interested in Boston Dynamics before it was acquired by Hyundai for nearly $1 billion? Greg also shared that Universal Robots sold more than 9,000 cobots in 2020 alone, and he offered a unique perspective on mobile manipulation, saying the ROI is a challenge.
Jan 6, 2021
How AMP Robotics is changing recycling; Festo wins GM gripper challenge
Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics, discusses his pick-and-place robots that improving the economics of the recycling industry. Matanya discusses the technical and business challenges involved in running the company, as well as the evolution of its custom vision system and gripper. He also tells us how the data collected by the vision system is opening up new revenue streams. I also spoke to Josh Fox, an applications engineer at Festo USA. Josh was part of the team that won the recent MassRobotics-GM gripper challenge. Josh takes us inside the challenges and details the universal end effector Festo developed to handle a variety of sheet metal parts.
Dec 16, 2020
Boston Dynamics talks about its big year, Hyundai acquisition
What robotics company had a better 2020 than Boston Dynamics. Michael Patrick Perry, Boston Dynamics' VP of business development, joins the podcast discuss the company's massive year and, of course, being acquired by Hyundai Motor Group for $880 million. We also catch up with Dr. Timothy Chung, program manager for the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Tim takes us inside the recently completed Cave Circuit Virtual Competition and shares some of the lessons that were learned.
1 hr 28 min
Dec 9, 2020
Why did Aurora buy Uber ATG?; Robotics thriving in Pittsburgh
Aurora's acquisition of Uber's self-driving unit takes center stage on episode 27. We break down the acquisition and try to figure out why Aurora would have purchased Uber's troubled self-driving unit. We also catch up with Joel Reed, the interim executive director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. Joel updates us on the status of the cluster, tells us about some interesting companies to watch, his daily sightings of autonomous vehicles, and how the cluster has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 hr 9 min
Dec 2, 2020
Autonomous submarines for ocean exploration; drone autonomy with Exyn Technologies
Jud Kauffman and Joe Wolfel, co-founders of Austin, Texas-based startup Terradepth, are building autonomous submarines for deep ocean exploration. Its long-term goal is to build the Google Earth of the ocean. They discuss the challenges and opportunities of Terradepth's mission and how their Naval experience is playing a vital role. We also chat with Nader Elm, CEO and co-founder of Exyn Technologies. Exyn is a spin-off of the GRASP Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania that builds autonomous drones that are operating in GPS-denied environments such as mines.
1 hr 11 min
Nov 18, 2020
Dextrous Robotics exits stealth; how robots impact the future of work
We talk to Dextrous Robotics CEO and co-founder Evan Drumwright about its approach to automating the unloading of box trucks. This might be the next big problem for robotics companies to solve, and Dextrous is taking a unique approach. We also discuss the remake of Short Circuit and share our all-time favorite robotics movies. Other discussions include recent robotics investments, Motional's Level 4 autonomous vehicles coming to Nevada and a new study analyzes the ongoing robots vs. jobs debate.
1 hr 1 min
Nov 10, 2020
Why Softbank is shopping Boston Dynamics; FedEx's Aaron Prather
We break down why Softbank is reportedly looking to sell Boston Dynamics to Hyundai for upwards of $1B. Hyundai would be the third owner of Boston Dynamics in the last 7 years. What's the reason for the sale: slow commercialization from Boston Dynamics, soured investments from Softbank or both? We discuss. We're also joined by Aaron Prather, FedEx's senior advisor of technology, research and planning, to discuss FedEx's growing use of robotics, his work on mobile robot interoperability, advice for startups, and his thoughts on Boston Dynamics and more.
1 hr 10 min
Nov 4, 2020
Inside the Bossa Nova-Walmart fallout; autonomous yard trucks with Outrider
We break down the fallout between Bossa Nova and Walmart with Simbe Robotics' Brad Bogolea. Andrew Smith, CEO and Founder of Outrider, joins the show to discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing level 4 autonomous yard trucks.
1 hr 11 min
Oct 28, 2020
Inside Canada’s robotics ecosystem, world’s spookiest robots, Miso’s restaurant robots
Mike Tremblay, president and CEO of Invest Ottawa, takes us inside the new Area X.O R&D facility that hopes to advance Canadian robotics. We also list the world's spookiest robots, and catch up with Buck Jordan, President and Chairman of Miso Robotics, to discuss the expanded trials with White Castle and the future of food automation.
1 hr 38 min
Oct 21, 2020
Fictiv’s Dave Evans on designing robots for manufacturability; inside Jibo’s revival
Dave Evans, Founder and CEO of Fictiv, discusses the importance of a company's manufacturing and supply chain ecosystems. We breakdown case studies from Hebi Robotics and Gecko Robotics. We're also joined by Marc Alba of NTT Disruption, which is the new owner of the Jibo social robot. Marc updates us on the current status of the robot and the new direction in which it's headed.
1 hr 35 min
Oct 14, 2020
What's next for Waymo's robotaxis, Dusty Robotics' Tessa Lau, robotic prosthetics with Coapt
Tessa Lau, founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, updates us on the FieldPrinter building layout robot. She discusses how the company pivoted away from its initial product idea, its custom localization, mapping and navigation technology, building relationships with builders, and scaling its field operations team. We also discuss the expansion of Waymo's driverless robotaxi program around Phoenix. Where will the service head to next and when? We discuss. Bert Swift and Blair Locke, CEO & Co-founder of Coapt, join us to discuss the state of robotic prosthetics. Bert, who lost an arm to childhood cancer, shares his story and how a robotic prosthetic has changed his life.
1 hr 40 min
Oct 7, 2020
Demystifying China’s robotics industry, Motional talks robotaxis, TRI previews kitchen robot
Georg Stieler gives us an inside look at China's robotics industry, we catch up with Motional CTO Laura Major on all things robotaxis, and Toyota Research Institute is developing a ceiling-mounted gantry robot for your kitchen.
1 hr 18 min
Sep 30, 2020
Amazon’s security drone, life-size Gundam & robotic-assisted surgery
Doug Teany, COO, Corindus Vascular Robotics discusses robotic-assisted surgery, 5G hype vs. reality, and being acquired by Siemens Medical Solutions for $1.1 billion. We also talk about Helen Greiner joining a gardening robotics startup, privacy issues with Amazon Ring's indoor security drone and more.
Sep 22, 2020
Sarcos’ Ben Wolff, Uber ATG low on fuel, ROS on Spot
Sarcos Robotics' Ben Wolff joins us to discuss the challenges and opportunities of full-body exoskeletons. We talk about Uber's self-driving car division reportedly being low on cash. And Clearpath Robotics' Dave Niewinski is back to chat about developing ROS support for Boston Dynamics' Spot quadruped.
1 hr 11 min
Sep 16, 2020
Black in Robotics’ Ayanna Howard, Monroe Kennedy III on diversity & inclusion
Ayanna Howard and Monroe Kennedy III, academic co-leads of Black in Robotics, discuss diversity and inclusion issues in the robotics industry. They share their personal journeys, challenges they overcame, and what can be done to level the playing field for minorities in robotics and engineering fields.
1 hr 11 min
Sep 9, 2020
Vecna’s Daniel Theobald, August robot deals, SoftBank’s Brady Watkins
Daniel Theobald, founder & CEO of Vecna Robotics and a founder of MassRobotics, joins us to talk about his passion for agriculture and the state of autonomous mobile robots. We also recap robotics investments and acquisitions from August 2020 and check in with Brady Watkins, Senior VP & GM at SoftBank Robotics America.
1 hr 8 min
Sep 2, 2020
Robotics investment trends with Oliver Mitchell; are Amazon drone deliveries coming?
Oliver Mitchell, venture partner at ff Venture Capital, talks all things robotics investments. We discuss current robotics trends, how startups can deal with COVID-19, the autonomous vehicle bubble and more. And are Amazon delivery drones finally coming to the US? We discuss the impact of Amazon's recent FAA approval.
1 hr 14 min
Aug 26, 2020
Waypoint Robotics’ Jason Walker on mobile robots; Thomas Visti’s next chapter
We talk about all things mobile robots with Jason Walker, CEO & Co-founder of Waypoint Robotics. He discusses his affinity for ROS, how his experience as a racecar engineer prepared him for robotics, and why mobile manipulation is a trend to watch. We also catch up with Thomas Visti, who recently stepped down as CEO of Mobile Industrial Robots, to learn about his next chapter helping Danish entrepreneurs.
1 hr 16 min
Aug 19, 2020
Qualcomm’s Dev Singh on 5G, edge robotics; do delivery robots make economic sense?
We talk to Qualcomm's Dev Singh about the affects 5G and edge computing are having on robotics. We also touch upon Qualcomm's involvement in NASA's Mars 2020 Mission. Gene and Steve recap the latest news and robotics investments trends and talk about the economics of delivery robots with Kiwibot's David Rodriguez.
1 hr 14 min
Aug 12, 2020
Veo on manufacturing challenges; tele-operating Spot; Amazon goes to the mall
We talk to Veo Robotics' Patrick Sobalvarro about how robotics can help solve today's manufacturing challenges. We discuss Amazon scooping up vacant retail spaces, iRobot getting tariff relief, and a Starship delivery robot driving straight into a canal. We also take you inside our teleoperation of Boston Dynamics' Spot robot from nearly 3,000 miles away. Show Notes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKMeMb9CF8E https://www.facebook.com/search/posts/?q=Bex%20Morgan&epa=SERP_TAB
1 hr 28 min
Aug 5, 2020
Kodiak Robotics & autonomous trucks, Anthony Levandowski going to jail
We discuss the state of autonomous trucking with Kodiak Robotics and get its take on middle-mile logistics. We also hit on former Google executive Anthony Levandowski heading to prison for stealing trade secrets from Waymo, walking Spot from 3,000 miles away, and we catch up with The Ventilator Project.
1 hr 6 min
Jul 29, 2020
Re-skilling coal miners; Jibo returns; Perseverance Rover heads for Mars
On Episode 9 of The Robot Report Podcast, we talk re-skilling coal miners with Kathy Walker of the eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute, and maxon's crucial role in the Perseverance Rover mission to Mars. We also discuss the return of Jibo and Boston Dynamics' partnership with Ford.
1 hr 18 min
Jul 22, 2020
FedEx's parcel-handling robots; Waymo & Fiat; MassRobotics on startups dealing with COVID-19
On Episode 8 of The Robot Report Podcast, we talk with Plus One Robotics about FedEx adopting its parcel handling robots, we discuss Waymo's exclusive partnership with Fiat, and Tom Ryden of MassRobotics updates us on how startups are dealing with COVID-19.
1 hr 16 min
Jul 15, 2020
Podcast: Hello Robot exits stealth; White Castle turns to automation
On Episode 7 of The Robot Report Podcast, we talk with the founders of Hello Robot, which came out of stealth with the Stretch mobile manipulator. We also hear from Miso Robotics, which just launched a pilot project with White Castle, the oldest fast food chain in the world.
1 hr 22 min
Jul 8, 2020
Baseball & robotics startups during COVID-19; ROS on Windows 10
On Episode 6 of The Robot Report Podcast, we profile the Pickle Robot Company, a Boston-based robotics startup developing the Dill parcel handling robot. We also discuss Softbank's dancing robots at Japanese baseball games, and discuss the benefits of ROS on Windows 10 with Clearpath Robotics' Dave Niewinski.
1 hr 5 min
Jul 1, 2020
Podcast: First-half 2020 highlights; space robotics expert Chris Thayer
On Episode 5 of The Robot Report Podcast, we recap the top stories of the first half of 2020. We also talk with Chris Thayer, who has worked on space robotics systems for 15-plus years.
1 hr 20 min
Jun 24, 2020
6 River Systems talks Shopify acquisition; Gatik on autonomous vehicle development
On Episode 4 of The Robot Report Podcast, 6 River Systems co-founder Chris Cacioppo discusses the Shopify acquisition for nearly $500 million, creating a culture of innovation, and mobile robot trends to watch. Gautam Narang, CEO and Co-founder of Gatik also joins the podcast to discuss Level 4 autonomous vehicles for middle-mile logistics, the changing investment landscape of autonomous vehicles, and why Level 5 autonomous vehicles are at least a decade away.
Jun 17, 2020
Boston Dynamics talks Spot launch; Universal Robots on cobot innovation
On Episode 3 of The Robot Report Podcast, Michael Patrick Perry of Boston Dynamics discusses the commercial launch of the Spot quadruped and we catch up with Universal Robots President Jürgen von Hollen.
1 hr 2 min
Jun 9, 2020
Paolo Pirjanian on the Moonshot of Developing a Companion Robot
Paolo Pirjanian, Founder and CEO of Embodied, joins The Robot Report Podcast to talk about the moonshot of developing the Moxie companion robot.
1 hr 12 min
Jun 2, 2020
The Robot Report Podcast Ep. 1: Agility Robotics on Legged Robotics
Jonathan Hurst, Co-founder and CTO of Agility Robotics, joins the podcast to talk about the challenges and opportunities of developing legged robots. Hurst also discusses the evolution of his company's legged robots, Cassie and Digit, comparisons to Boston Dynamics, and much more.
1 hr 3 min