Robot Industry Blog

Where Is My Robot? (Part 1)

RIP: Anki, Jibo, Baxter, Mayfield, etc...

History foretells the fate of robot companies that attempt the burden of building and sustaining "the full-stack." Similar outcomes have affected companies from all industries where the founding partners were engineers. Today, we begin to ponder the question of where are the robots? Most importantly, why have so many robot companies failed, and what can we do to help robot companies succeed?



"Imagine the impact that robot products made by creative entrepreneurs would have on our lives!"

Perhaps the noise from social media, politics, and the current Covid-19 situation has caused startups and the investment community to forget a vital part of the industry life cycle stages. Organizations might have also overlooked this because it has also been several years since a new industry has emerged. Even the last few personal-computer sub-industries of mobile devices/apps, VR/AR, etc., have inherited sectors from existing mature and proven industries.



"A computer in the home! Why would anyone want a computer at home?"

Robotics is a unique industry, albeit not too different from the personal-computer evolution, where multiple disciplines united to form a consumer product. The Personal Computer took many decades to influence and support sub-industries of software, hardware peripherals, and a wide range of use cases. Today, a computing device is user-friendly and esthetically pleasing, and the complex engineering disciplines are well hidden (CPU, operating system, drivers, power management, etc.). Readers may recall early personal-computer diagrams that included input, output, processing, and storage devices. Even earlier than the 1980's personal-computer, a computer consisted of even more complicated engineering disciplines that seemed impossible to scale to what we have today. Today, a computing device is common-place, and the components that make up computing devices are not taught in school as they once were.

The Revolution of Robot Platforms

Today, a child can operate a computing device before knowing how to speak. This results from a mature industry in which every contributor plays their strength by focusing on what they do best when contributing to product development. For example, some profitable companies make integrated circuits with a single function of performing mathematical floating-point calculations incredibly fast; because that is their strength. Another company will manufacturer a button or connector because that is their strength. Again, another produces batteries because it is their strength. The distribution of these disciplines in computing is how organizations can build platforms like Unity, Android, and Wix. Creative entrepreneurs use these platforms to make products that seamlessly integrate with our lives as tools and entertainment. What will it take for the robotics industry to distribute disciplines across specialists and enable creative entrepreneurs to make robot products rather than engineers? Imagine the impact that robot products made by creative entrepreneurs would have on our lives!

So, Where Is My Robot?

This is the first blog entry in a series titled "Where Is My Robot?". We will cover the robot industry failures, strengths, and areas of improvement needed to fulfill consumer and financial potential. We will reflect on the fallen venture-backed giants that attempted to skip the industry life-cycle steps, such as Baxter, Anki, Jibo, Mayfield, Romo, and many others.

We will examine organizations that repeat Synthiam's message that "too many robot companies focus on the robot and not the business"; however, these same organizations build complex solutions targeted at engineers instead of creative entrepreneurs. In this article by TechCrunch, hardware manufacturers use Synthiam's message that "making robots should be easy" while contrarily designing products targeted at engineers.

In this "Where Is My Robot?" series, other subjects we will discuss are operating system choices that support rapid prototyping for creative entrepreneurs. Most importantly, how using Linux for r&d increases the barrier of entry, adds unneeded operational complexities, and limits productive creativity.

Provide feedback in the comments of topics in this area you would like to see covered. See you in the next blog entry - stay tuned!


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USA
#1   — Edited

I understand business, (had a national sales force) manufacturing, productivity, employees (with managers) and their temperaments (had almost 100 employees)

Sad to hear that those companies: Baxter, Anki, Jibo, Mayfield, Romo, and many others are out of business now...

Will be interested to see your next post on Where Is My Robot?

EzAng

PRO
Synthiam
#2  

That’s great to hear, ezang. It’s the consumers and staff that suffer most from robot companies who fail under these circumstances. It’s preventable by building robot products using platforms like Synthiam, rather than starting from scratch and maintaining a huge code base.

There’s a number of companies who are starting to understand - so I foresee a robot platform revolution coming soon!

#3  

Oh man, you are so right about the consumers getting the shaft. The infamous  cheap wiring problem with every Wow Wee Robosapien V2,the large robot. that is Failing world wide with cheap wires that burn inside or corroded so fast.Most do not work that you try to by second hand on Ebay from this problem. Mark Tilden the Robot designer just made a poor choice in using the cheaper wires in this robot. He now has a bad stigma following him around ,many angry consumers like myself. I tried to buy 3 of them from Ebay,all had the wiring corroding to dust inside, 1 started a fire after putting rechargable stronger lithium batteries in the feet location. Grrrr ,and I remember the first brand new one I bought from the store,it did last 2 years before I sold it,was very cool when brand new. The wires can be replaced but you have only a 50/50 chance that it will be successful,I tried it twice but failed,time consuming process too. Never again.xD

PRO
USA
#4  

I had a Wow Wee Robosapien V2 robot years ago - with cheap wires, terrible design

PRO
Synthiam
#5  

Thanks for sharing your experiences with those robots. It’s also unfortunate that we never got to experience many of the other robot companies that went bankrupt.

England
#6  

I've got a robosapien v2 in pieces in the loft and some new wires, just never got around to rewiring it. The story I've heard is that the Chinese supplier of the wiring harness had sourced some cheaper wire to increase their profit and that it wasn't a fault with Wowwee's design. It was the insulation around the cable that disintegrated leaving the bare wires exposed, a shame really as Wowwee made some interesting robots for the time (roboquad, and rs media to name a few) and I believe they are still producing robotic products.

PRO
Synthiam
#7   — Edited

It’s certainly common for toy companies to cut corners on manufacturing. Companies that have promised robot products which barely saw the light of day, such as Baxter and Mayfield are quite interesting to examine. Even UBTech, who raised $1 billion has disappeared. Others are struggling with maintaining the financial burden of both software and hardware. SoftBank’s pepper robot was underwhelming and the execution wasn’t thought out.

PRO
Canada
#8   — Edited

Lol, funny enough I have 2 Robosapiens (well one is an RS media) at home that were given to me because of failed wiring. I didn't realize it was such a huge failure point :(

I wanted to bring up that a few of the companies @DJ mentioned did do some great pioneering. Baxter with co-robots and Jibo with social robots. Even though they failed, they did make progress for us all. I sometimes wonder if it was poor execution or just poor adoption (the world wasn't ready yet). I'm probably leaning toward poor execution because many promises were broken. There was a lack of features and capabilities. Another argument would be that if something were well executed it would likely have had staying power. I'd say that iRobot's Roomba is a good example of that.

As it's been said in the past about pioneering:

Pioneering is glorious, but later entrants are often the ones who see the true potential of discoveries. - Gerard J. Tellisv

PRO
Canada
#9  

@DJ minor correction, UBtech is still going, they recently developed a COVID fighting robot and are active in the STEM space with their Jimu series of robots.

PRO
Synthiam
#10  

Interesting, Jeremie - what progress did those companies make for you? Was it on the inspirational side or technical?

PRO
USA
#11   — Edited

As far as companies go, it's all about your" return on investment", your accounts "payable and receivable", location, (now the net has changed that some) good managers, quality employees, directors to recognize your market.  Cost of manufacturing products... Price point...

It's great to make products you like, or you think may be popular but is there a commercial market or demand for these products or a defunct. company you will be.

I knew a company that had tv advertisement, tv interviews - great press - However, no manufacturing or capital set up to fulfill orders, another defunct company.

Robots are big in manufacturing for years as far back as the "80s" As I said before,  the robots that are created perform their tasks required, robots that are necessary. Can't imagine autonomous robots just wondering around trying to figure out what to do on their own , that would be dangerous and scary in a "real life" scenario.

PRO
Canada
#12   — Edited

The 2 companies I mentioned in particular, have paved some of the way toward market adoption for robots as co-working bots and social robots. The media attention that those 2 companies got alone was outstanding. From what I hear, from the Robot Report, co-bots companies are coming out of the woodwork and are becoming quite popular. There seems to be a demand for these types of robots now. Social robots have been a thing for a while but Jibo was the poster child for them all. Market demand/adoption for social robots seems to be growing, and it must be the reason why Jibo is being resurrected.

PRO
USA
#13   — Edited

Its always all about timing. Time to start on version 3 of Alan and Alena :).

Seriously, I don't really have the energy or the time to add to this discussion, but I do have a lot of thoughts about it. Everytime I see these kinda general comments about why there are no robots (main thread), it makes me think I should go into creating video games and give up on robots entirely. How many road signs do I need to see before I drive off the cliff?

England
#14   — Edited

@Jeremie I believe it was only the Robosapien V2 that had the wiring problems and that it was rectified for some later models. I have an RS Media and it's still working fine as are the original robosapiens. I'm sure there's another V2 in my loft that was ok (I'll have to seek it out and check the wires). Also Anki (cosmo and vector) are now under the wing of Digital Dream Labs, I have a vector and that is a neat little robot with a lot of potential.

@Fxrtst I know the feeling, it seems we're all trying to get a robot to wander about the house and map it's surroundings, well it sounds like one of the later  roomba's. I've seen an article on the internet where someone has intercepted the map data from his roomba and used it to create sceneries for his Doom game. I think I'll use a mapping roomba as my next robot base.

PRO
USA
#15   — Edited

fxrtst, don't drive off, lol

I know all you see is robot companies all have the same things - they have robots following a line, recognizing color or faces, mouths, eyes, arms moving , car, tanks moving, avoid obstacles like the Elegoo Smart Robot Car or whether it be the ROS or whoever... I always wondered what do you do with an InMoov you printed after it moves it's arms, head and talks a little?

Not saving the day...

However, there are plenty of commercial robots doing wonderful tasks around in the manufacturing and medical worlds...

Here is an interesting company, wonder if they will last -   https://www.en.cloudminds.com/

As far as for my little robot hobbies, Synthiam and a few other robot teachers suffice me for now.

I also love jazz guitar and telescopes and other things  :-)

PRO
Synthiam
#16   — Edited

I disagree that popular means successful. An article mentioning the existence or concept of something doesn’t validate the business case.

fact is, any robot that is developed by a company who owns the full stack has reinvented the wheel and they’ll fail.

Another analogy is if Ford decided to start making gasoline. Or music artists made their own instruments. Etc

Will, I agree timing is everything - and so is cost. Your business model by using Synthiam ready sets you ahead of competition. They can’t afford to pivot or add new features as quick as your company can. You’re a prime example of doing it right by building on a platform instead of a million lines of code.

PRO
Canada
#17  

@DJ Of course, failure can't equal success, but failure can equal progress.

I don't think I mentioned anything about success, in my mind popularity, pioneering, and market adoption equal progress.

In terms of cobots, it's not an article that I've read. It's a fact that they are being used now and all the major robot arm players are making their own lines of cobots now. The concept that ReThink robotics helped pioneer with Baxter is now becoming industry standard.

PRO
Synthiam
#18  

Progress must equal success - and to be successful, you cannot own the full stack. I recommend scrolling up and reading this first entry of my blog series. None of the companies will be successful businesses if they’re repeating the same process.

Doing the same thing over and over again won’t result in a different outcome. These companies keep adding more rocks to their sinking ships and saying we’ll be fine this time, we have twice as many rocks as before

The Robot Report has an motive to have a positive spin on anything robot related. Just because they write about a company, doesn’t mean it will be successful. If that were the case, this blog series wouldn’t exist.

The great news about this conversation is your perspective as an engineer validates my point. I think it’s easy for engineers to understand that a business needs to make money - but it’s difficult for them to understand how to make money.

In addition to what was stated in the blog post above, even large companies are making these terrible engineering decisions about full stack. I provided a link to see one example - many more examples will come in upcoming posts in this series.

the fact is, someone like Will who makes products on a platform have a lower burn rate and higher resilience to succeed than even the largest venture-backed companies. Hence the RIP introduction.

PRO
Canada
#19  

What I'm trying to get across isn't saying anything against the idea of this blog post, it's exploring something that is absent from it.

It seems that the post is discrediting robot companies based on their success and short life-cycle.

I would argue that they have helped our industry progress, and for that, they do deserve some credit.

PRO
Synthiam
#20  

I'm open to understanding more about that perspective, but I don't see any validation on that front. Robots are doing the same thing today as they were 10, 20, and 30 years ago - which is 100% a negative outcome. How has the industry changed based on any failed robot companies?

PRO
USA
#21   — Edited

Are we talking about hobby robots, cheap or expensive or household robots like iRobot, social robots, programed Alexa, Cortana etc... or commercial robots in whatever field like manufacturing, space, medical worlds etc...?

PRO
Canada
#22   — Edited

I did mention an example of cobots, which weren't really a thing until ReThink invented Baxter. There's validation there.

Here's what's happening now: https://aijourn.com/cobot-companies/   (Check out the individual company websites to see their new lines of cobots)

I don't remember hearing/reading anything about social robots when I was young. The first I heard about was Kismet, and then years later Jibo was made (by the same person). Jibo was the biggest grossing Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign of its time, and for that, it earns a place in history. It also had people around me talking about social robots that didn't normally talk about robots at all.

Maybe I'm unique, I also equate historical significance, new applications, and general robot awareness as progress.

PRO
Synthiam
#23   — Edited

Again, doing the same thing that leads to the failure of countless robot companies isn't validation or demonstration of progress. I'm asking because I don't see how those are examples of progress. Forgive me for sounding a little like a broken record, but can you provide an example of the progress that failed robot companies has provided the industry?

The only place Jibo belongs in history is how they duped people out of their hard-earned money. From the beginning, it was on a clear course for failure - which I had mentioned on this forum in the past. I don't see how any failures are significant enough to be noteworthy unless they influenced a success. To this date, there are too many failures from executing the same process. With your argument, any robot failure is progress because they're all taking the same approach?

Regarding social robots, I'm curious what you think a social robot does and why would someone want one?

What doesn't matter to me are failures - they demonstrate what not to do. So don't do what all robot companies are currently doing :). Instead, build a robot product on a platform like Synthiam and let creative entrepreneurs build products that solve real-world problems. Rather than making up problems like "social robots" are doing - and they're doing it with costly full-stack development to make it worse.

@EZANG, there are no robots outside of hobby robots. Don't let The Robot Report or any marketing fool you otherwise. If there were robots outside of hobby robots, you'd see them at Walmart. Walmart will put anything on a shelf that sells - that's your validation.

PRO
USA
#24   — Edited

lol, not to many things fool me at this point

I read Jeremie's site, A cobot, or collaborative robot, sound commercial - maybe something to watch

My wife was familiar Funac, she noticed them in many car plants years ago...

PRO
Canada
#25  

Both my examples (cobots and social robots) were successful in creating market demand for robots of these types.

I'm not sure how I could be wrong in thinking that market demand = market validation.

Market validation then in turn equals progress. Progress isn't success but it leads to it. It's the Edison light bulb concept!

I think we have to thank these companies for creating market demand and leading to the success that will eventually come.

P.S. I haven't mentioned it yet but I wholeheartedly agree that full-stack development is a bad idea :D

PRO
USA
#26   — Edited

DJ, have you ever been in a manufacturing plant? Those are not hobby robots.

Walmart or any other store fronts do not need robots.

Distributors such as Amazon, and Manufacturing, especially Car plants are full of Robotics.

All over the car plants are robots, welding, moving product, assembling etc.....

These are not hobby robots

This is Carrie, EzAng's wife.  I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Masters in Science in Management of Technology from Carlson College  and Minnesota University of Mechanical Engineering.  I started in Manufacturing in the late 70s before I went back to college.  At that time I worked in  injection molding of VHS and other products, Robots were introduced so when the parts were ejected, they would not fall on the belt, causing scratching on the parts. We had them on most of our molding machines. I also worked in Manufacturing where we bought and also built machines that completed processes that formerly were done by our employees.  We had very good programmers for these. Later I was in car plants which have millions of dollars worth of Robots, that weld, die cut cold rolled steel, assemble, and move materials.  So robots are everywhere in Manufacturing. Funac is big there.

Every paint shop in industry has robots sealing, priming, painting, and top coating.

I have been in many other manufacturing of other industries and will say the same.  Even at Little Debbies!  These are definitely not hobby robots and very expensive.

PRO
Synthiam
#27   — Edited

@EZANG Yes - the world knows about automation for manufacturing - I feel you're being cheeky by assuming I wouldn't know about manufacturing automation, so I'll let that slide. But automation for manufacturing are robots 1.0 and we're discussing the move to robots 2.0 for consumers and enterprises. The discussion of automation for manufacturing isn't part of this discussion - apologies if I wasn't clear on that. But manufacturing automation has been around since the 1800s starting with weaving machines and became most prevalent in auto manufacturing. This discussion is about robots that interface with consumers. I will not be discussing the industry of manufacturing automation because it is a mature existing industry that doesn't need help. Perhaps that will be a section of my blog series to differentiate the two so there's no confusion in the future about manufacturing automation and consumer and enterprise robotics. I thought that was clear given the blog post and companies mentioned.

@Jeremie I do not believe there is a market demand for these robots. But that's a good point you raise, which is that there actually is no market demand. If there was market demand, then that means there would-be consumers. And if there are consumers, there would be revenue. And if there is revenue without the cost of maintaining a full-stack, there would be profit.

A sustainable business model involves consumer demand, revenue, and resulting profit. None of those things have been demonstrated in robotics.

@All It's great this conversation is happening because it's clear the robot industry has a much larger issue to tackle - which is regarding what the industry is offering and what products will scale. There's a discussion about toys, cobots, and social robots in the comments. The robot industry revenue is proof that neither of those categories has products that consumers want - especially at their price point.

PRO
USA
#28   — Edited

DJ,

I will leave the conversation for now with:

I simply asked:

Are we talking about hobby robots, cheap or expensive or household robots like iRobot, social robots, programed Alexa, Cortana etc... or commercial robots in whatever field like manufacturing, space, medical worlds etc...?

You answer to me was:

@EZANG, there are no robots outside of hobby robots. Don't let The Robot Report or any marketing fool you otherwise. If there were robots outside of hobby robots, you'd see them at Walmart. Walmart will put anything on a shelf that sells - that's your validation.

So what was I suppose too think?

by the way, what is a robot 2.0 for consumers and enterprises and what is the job to do?

#29  

DJ,  Are you talking about 'consumer/hobbyist' robots? The examples you gave had robots that provided no real lasting value. These companies are not failing because of value stack ownership, it's just bad products that nobody really wants outside of engineers and techno-geeks like us on this forum that build them simply for the joy of it. I am not really even sure what a companion robot is or what anybody would want it for. Early in the computer revolution computers were only of interest to engineers until the killer apps were found. That is what made computers ubiquitous. The killer apps have simply not shown themselves with robotics. Roomba was the first that it could be argued found one.

The comparison to computers is a bit of a misnomer because of the relatively huge expense of a robot that does what people may be interested in. Not only do you have the cost of the computer but the sensors, actuators, batteries, etc. Robots may never evolve due to this alone. Consumers want a C3PO to hang out with, at consumer prices.

I question your statement that there are no successful robot companies. There are many. Just not successful hobby robot companies.  Successful robot companies from a variety of industries;

  • Roomba (mentioned) -Funac and their type (mentioned) -Manufacturing robots galore, high speed packaging robots, food processing robots, etc -And unfortunately because I know you hate the idea of it I would consider the most profitable robotics company in history to be Raytheon who have marketed a fully autonomous aerial robot known as the Tomahawk missile since the 80's. I believe they also owned the full value stack and it was an enabling force. An unfortunate killer app for robotics.:(
PRO
Synthiam
#30  

My response was far too generic in that I was referring to the flow of conversation regarding the companies being discussed. None were outside of hobby robots, and I assumed the mention of Walmart made sense. I highly doubt you'll ever see a manufacturing automation robot on the shelf at Walmart :D

I think robots 2.0 is most likely what we'll have to start calling the next phase of consumer/enterprise robotics. Because manufacturing automation is no longer considered robots in the sense that is being discussed. The automation manufacturing robots are pre-programmed with actions that continually loop to execute the same task. Robots 2.0 would be further focused on consumer and enterprise use by not being in a controlled manufacturing facility.

I'll stop referencing manufacturing automation in this discussion and it will be easier to progress and answer your question.

So the main answer to your question is - there are no products to provide examples of for robots 2.0. However, there is no shortage of examples in movies and sci-fi novels. The robots that were promised by the companies in the original blog post (scroll up to read), were combing a number of disciplines. These disciplines involve AI with human interaction and work alongside humans or in the home. For example, if you reference @Perry's objective with robotics is to have a robot actually perform tasks that humans can perform. Similar to the company Sanctuary, which has a goal to replicate robots in humanoid form.

I think the discussion about "what are robots 2.0" is actually limitless. It's important to dream big while we have the conversation flowing. I've had many posts in the past attempting to stir up ideas of what robots should do. It ended up becoming a discussion about bulldozers upside down. This blog series is not about "what should the robots do", but more about "how to support making those robots".

Synthiam's objective is to make robot programming easy and accessible to anyone with an idea. That is a very powerful statement because the goal is to support creativity by removing complications of programming. What other companies are doing is actually adding complications, and therefore the products are being limited. This is why we don't see the Robots 2.0 examples.

Let me realign the conversation to the original topic of this blog series and ask... what would your robot do?

#31  

I wrote that while you were writing your last post so disregard the 1.0 manufacturing comments. Of course you understand those.

PRO
Synthiam
#32   — Edited

Quote:

Are you talking about 'consumer/hobbyist' robots? The examples you gave had robots that provided no real lasting value. These companies are not failing because of value stack ownership, it's just bad products that nobody really wants outside of engineers and techno-geeks like us on this forum that build them simply for the joy of it. I am not really even sure what a companion robot is or what anybody would want it for. Early in the computer revolution computers were only of interest to engineers until the killer apps were found. That is what made computers ubiquitous. The killer apps have simply not shown themselves with robotics. Roomba was the first that it could be argued found one.

The "killer app" in PCs required the hardware and software foundation - which was a combination of distributed disciplines that created a platform. In this case, it was Visicalc. And the well-known VisiCalc was not created by a programmer. By no way could the Visicalc author been able to create the application if it wasn't for the crude (for the time) platforms available at that time.

Quote:

The comparison to computers is a bit of a misnomer because of the relatively huge expense of a robot that does what people may be interested in. Not only do you have the cost of the computer but the sensors, actuators, batteries, etc. Robots may never evolve due to this alone. Consumers want a C3PO to hang out with, at consumer prices.

With that logic, a computer would still cost millions of dollars. You see, that's one of the troubles with deflation. One of Synthiam's board members wrote a fantastic book "The Price of Tommorow". If you're interested in the deflation problem of technology, and to better understand the reason I steered Synthiam toward software, it's a good read. Available on amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Tomorrow-Deflation-Abundant-Future/dp/1999257405#:~:text=In%20this%20extraordinary%20contrarian%20book,alarming%2C%20but%20deeply%20hopeful%20situation.

Quote:

I question your statement that there are no successful robot companies. There are many. Just not successful hobby robot companies. Successful robot companies from a variety of industries;

  • Roomba (mentioned) -Funac and their type (mentioned) -Manufacturing robots galore, high speed packaging robots, food processing robots, etc -And unfortunately, because I know you hate the idea of it I would consider the most profitable robotics company in history to be Raytheon who have marketed a fully autonomous aerial robot known as the Tomahawk missile since the 80's. I believe they also owned the full value stack and it was an enabling force. An unfortunate killer app for robotics.:(

Roomba is a good and bad example of a robot company - and perhaps we can dive deeper into that discussion about how much of a robot is a roomba?

Manufacturing robots were covered above. (got your last message about that)

So the two outcomes I'd like to see evolve over the series of this blog post are

  1. what robot would be a huge consumer success?
  2. what would that business model look like?
PRO
Synthiam
#33  

PS, shameless plug on Jeff's book. Again - I do recommend it. I warn you, it's an eye-opener!

User-inserted image

#34  

I feel there is an untapped market for childcare and home schooling. Childcare is a major expense and if robotics ever evolved in sophistication and safety to the point that you could leave your kids alone with the bot while you were away that would be game changing for parents. At this point you are talking about a mechanical nanny with hyper capabilities like streaming video, connections to police and fire, medical diagnosis capabilities, etc.

Perhaps an easier entry point would be a 'home educator' bot. I believe that after Covid there will always be some form of remote learning now. And many people educate their kids at home. A home teacher bot would not need as many capabilities as a full featured nanny bot. The skill set could be narrowed way down. A physical bot may prove more attentive than a screen which kids tend to get bored with after a while. The bot could call up various curriculums to specific standards or the parents could custom tailor them. You could partner with schools for certified curriculum such that teachers in a school provide lessons and the robot operates as a local avatar. I always wonder how people home school their kids in every subject from music to calculus. A edu-bot could understand and teach the most complex of these subjects with the right plan. The bot could also provide real time interactive statistic in how the child is learning and AI could identify methods that allow the child to learn better and focus on those. You would have optimized learning for each and every child that has an edu-bot instead of the one size fits all type of schooling I went to.

It would drive the teachers unions absolutely batty.

PRO
Synthiam
#35   — Edited

I like both of those ideas - your last few ideas have been good as well - specifically the water drone.

This topic is a great interlude to something that I've never really talked about in the past. But it has to do with the way I architected ARC - and why it's been able to support so many new features without being re-invented. Sure, there have been some forced updates that are related to infrastructure changes or bug fixes. But at the core, the design has been somewhat resilient to new features. At least for today's use-case that it is intended for.

The reason I'm bringing this up is why having such grand ideas for robots are essential. Because I'm one of those people who like to build backward from an outcome. Meaning, I think of the most extravagant (yet feasible) goal and work backward from there. I divide the outcome into smaller tasks that each have their outcomes. People who have worked for me, like Jeremie can validate how productive it can be if you're diligent enough to stay on course. And staying on course is the most challenging part because it's easy to be distracted.

ARC's fundamental design was to support a much greater goal - one that I hope you all reach in the next year or two. ARC was meant to support any features we can throw at it, with a create R&D style interface. I designed it that way to support robot builders, like yourself, to make robots do amazing things even though ARC would appear to be a pre-product stage, which is fine. Because once we experience enough robots doing amazing things and there's market validation for those robots to become products, we have ARC plans to do so.

This interlude aims to validate that having those ideas are essential, and Synthiam is dedicated to managing those achievements. It all starts with an idea, and we want to ensure there are tools available to validate and create a proof of concept quickly. I assure you, once a robot product has been validated by the market, we would be there to ensure it gets built!

#36   — Edited

I understand Hanson Robotics will be mass producting that Sophia robot by end of 2021.  Has many orders alreay waiting. Should be cool to see.

I myself have been wanting to build a model to get out in the market. I have wanted to for some time now, and want ARC as the platform to get it going. I want to produce a worthy design that will be simple. One that will be expandable my the customers out there overt time:) One that will do basic task to startout with (and not the scifi like stuff from tv). I have a plan. Yses I just an engineer not a sales man, but I know some people, will see.

PRO
Canada
#37  

Quote:

@Jeremie I do not believe there is a market demand for these robots. But that's a good point you raise, which is that there actually is no market demand. If there was market demand, then that means there would-be consumers. And if there are consumers, there would be revenue. And if there is revenue without the cost of maintaining a full-stack, there would be profit.
I actually have read the exact opposite of these sentiments. There are paying customers for both of the areas I brought up that are driving demand. Where else did the money for Jibo originally come from? Remember it was crowd-funded. Crowds of people definitely wanted, and still do want them. In fact, they are demanding them, and it's bringing Jibo back from the grave. Vector and Cosmo from Anki are getting resurrected too.

Also, there could be no other reason that huge companies such as Fanuc and ABB are now entering the cobot (collaborative robot) market. There has to be demand from their customers. Who would be naive enough to watch Baxter fail and then years later try to do the same thing, and this is more than a few companies doing this.

Interestingly enough, there is a company that seems to be using messaging that is extremely close to Synthiam's but for the industrial robot Arm market. Check out Ready Robotics and let me know if you see some similarities. It seems that some companies are starting to get what this blog post is all about. I wonder if we'll see the manufacturing market start to influence the consumer market? It will be interesting to see who influences whom.

PRO
Canada
#38  

Quote:

Perhaps an easier entry point would be a 'home educator' bot. I believe that after Covid there will always be some form of remote learning now. And many people educate their kids at home. A home teacher bot would not need as many capabilities as a full featured nanny bot. The skill set could be narrowed way down. A physical bot may prove more attentive than a screen which kids tend to get bored with after a while. The bot could call up various curriculums to specific standards or the parents could custom tailor them. You could partner with schools for certified curriculum such that teachers in a school provide lessons and the robot operates as a local avatar. I always wonder how people home school their kids in every subject from music to calculus. A edu-bot could understand and teach the most complex of these subjects with the right plan. The bot could also provide real time interactive statistic in how the child is learning and AI could identify methods that allow the child to learn better and focus on those. You would have optimized learning for each and every child that has an edu-bot instead of the one size fits all type of schooling I went to.
@Perry_S Ever watched/read/listened to Ready Player One? This idea seems to be congruent with the virtual classroom painted in that story. I as a parent would welcome this. If my kids could get a world-class education and individualized help from a robot, AI, or virtual teacher from home, that would be amazing. I think you're right though a more tangible edu-bot would likely keep them more engaged.

United Kingdom
#39   — Edited

A ton of robotics companies are succeeding. But a lot of them feel sort of unsexy and incremental, because that's often what solving customers' problems effectively and affordably looks like. There are plenty of of autonomous and teleoperated underwater vehicles out there for naval use, oil and gas, scientific work, search and rescue, boat and pier inspection, you name it. I think a lot of big old players and new small businesses are both doing well there, selling platforms, sensors, accessories, services. I think there are lots of ways to build businesses using quadcopters with and without autonomy. Conventional industrial robotics are growing massively as far as I know. I think autonomous warehouse robots are doing well, but they're flat platforms with tires, not crazy Boston Dynamics ostrich monsters. https://onplanners.com/notebooks/best-notebooks-bullet-journaling

PRO
USA
#40   — Edited

Good Morning all,

Jeremie, great site - "ready robotics" make commercial robots "easy" to program and operate in a commercial business setting - another company to watch

#41  

I think your first chart at the beginning of the blog hits the nail right on the head.  What is the robot's function?

To be successful in the consumer household, the robot needs to be useful and have a good return on investment.  Robot vacuums have been very successful because they take on a chore that many people dislike, and automate it.  The hours saved by the robot make the cost worth it (much like dishwashers and laundry machines saved time and work that could be better used on leisure activities, or other important chores).  One can argue how much of a robot a Roomba or Neato is, but I would argue that they meet most of my needs that I have stated elsewhere for a household robot.

  1. they navigate autonomously to do their work
  2. they return to a charging base on their own, so are relatively maintenance free (particularly the new Roomba that empties itself into a larger bin, further reducing the need to interact with it.
  3. they perform a useful function.

Lawnmower robots have not caught on quite as much yet because the cost is still relatively high, and the initial setup for it to run safely is rather cumbersome.  I can hire a guy to mow my lawn for 2 years for the same cost as a robot that will probably last 3 or 4, and need expensive battery replacement every 2.

Other household robots have failed because they didn't add enough value to other less expensive devices that did the same thing.  Jibo and Mayfield were somewhat mobile, somewhat interactive versions of Alexa and Google Home.  Amazon and Google saturated the market and taught people that they don't really need an expressive face when they can be expressive by voice, and these robots added no other physical abilities.

Baxter came closer since it had an arm and could be taught to do things, but the price was very high, and the level of effort to teach it to do anything was too high.

Anki is an expensive toy.  Smarter than most toys, but too expensive for most parents to buy since it is so hard to predict what will interest a kid and make the cost worth it (similar to the Sony Aibo.  It could do quite a lot, but cost way too much for most of the public).

If someone builds a robot that can move my clothes from the washer to the dryer, then take them out and fold them, carry them upstairs and put them away, I will spend thousands of dollars for it because of the time it would save me.  Even just something that can fold everything would be huge.

Like the vacuums, something to neaten up the house, picking up pet or children's toys and putting them away would be a huge help to many families.

As we add more and more advanced sensor and control capabilities, with appropriate safety measures so they don't accidently hurt the pet they are grooming or the child whose diaper they are changing) there are likely many other uses that could be commercially viable, and would lead to more and more acceptance until we have a roughly humanoid (just because all of our tools, furniture, and houses are human scale) multi-purpose robot that can perform or assist with all household chores including education and childcare, but also putting dishes away, setting the table, cooking or assisting in cooking (there are so many times I would love a sous chef that I could just tell to chop the veggies while I deal with the stove, or vis versa), etc...

That last is I suppose the pie in the sky sci fi version of a household robot, but I think it is really what the public has been taught by TV and movies what to expect from a robot.  Until that happens, or we find a way to change the public view so that they understand that many single function robots may be a better solution than one multi-function one, the major adoption of consumer robots will continue to be very slow, and there will be a lot of failures and a few successes along the way.

Alan

Portugal
#42  

Alan, that is exactly what i think. And the one million dollar question is precisely the third point you mention:

Quote:

1) they navigate autonomously to do their work 2) they return to a charging base on their own, so are relatively maintenance free (particularly the new Roomba that empties itself into a larger bin, further reducing the need to interact with it. 3) they perform a useful function.
So, what is a useful robot? It can be useful for me but not so useful for you. Should it be for the common household or for professional use? What does the current technology allow us to do? Not much im afraid. The key point missing in my perspective is IA. We came a long way in this still emerging field. A robot today as in its primordial days does what it is told to or does it in a random way to simulate awareness, but that awareness that would let the IA know what to do in unexpected situations, or simply knowing how to interact with its environment is not here yet. A robot for the masses today is a toy, an expensive toy that quickly loses the interest of people. So we know what a robot can and cant do, and try to build on that, or have an eureka moment...

PRO
USA
#43   — Edited

Here is my 2 cents. Modularity. For a robot to have longevity, it must be modular. This helps reduce the sticker shock to the consumer by introducing a single task in the form of a base unit, but with the ability to scale in the form of upgrades. This will extend the life of a robot and make it cost-effective over time. This is the concept behind Robomodix (MOD in Robomodix stands for modular). You buy Alan, but later want Alena or some other head I have designed, you keep all the mechanics in the neck and head and swap out the front panel, back of head, chest or eyes or skins and tada new robot. Some would say you can only make money in the Iphone "I want a new phone every year" model. I disagree. Let's not waste a robot dumping it in a junkyard at the end of usefulness but rather upgrade it with a new arm model or legs to replace wheels. Modular.

PRO
Synthiam
#44   — Edited

I’m really enjoying this dialog and everyone’s feedback. I had some notes for the next series, and this discussion has tweaked it a bit. I’m excited to write another blog and have more conversations like this!

I find the robot ideas the most intriguing - and comments hinting at shortage of hardware. Specifically with Will’s idea of modular robots.

How many have of you have heard about one of our customers, Sanctuary? They’re founder is Geordie Rose, who created the first Quantum computer. We spent quite a bit of time with them over the last year at our office and theirs. They have a pretty big ambition of making a humanoid robot to replace human labor.

How likely do you feel that will happen? What do you think their biggest challenges are?

PRO
USA
#45   — Edited

Very unlikely. I like mechanically what they are building, but they jumped head first into the uncanny valley. They don't need to look like humans to replace them. No one should be trying to recreate Westworld or Bladerunner robots. They are creating a psychological nightmare for people. If you are trying to replace human jobs with robots that look like humans your not going to win over anyone. All my studies, all my research, all my conversations with Universities that are studying this impact on people, come back to the same square. People will NOT become accepting of these types of robots in the workforce. If a corporation wants to replace 91% of all the workers in a factory, why do they need to look human for the other 9% of human workers still there? There is a misnomer that they will be MORE accepting looking like humans. All they are doing is creating a bigger divide. Its ok for a robot to look "humanoid" (structure of a biped) with two arms two legs and one head. But make it look like a robot.

My philosophy is make robots MOVE naturally, making them look interesting and fun, make them nonthreatening, and don't try and make human looking robots. They fail because in the back of our minds we see millions of humans in our lifetimes, we know how they should look and move and talk, when a robot doesn't move exactly like a human our brains issue a "walking dead" command to our amygdala. Close your eyes and think of Sophia.

PRO
USA
#46   — Edited

Challenges besides the ones stated above...are biped walking. Facial movement that looks absolutely like someone talking. There are 42 muscles to get a face to move, 6 for the mouth. You can't get a robot to make the lip movement of speech without knowing what the robot is going to say first. So if you have 12 sentences the robot will ever say (pre-written) You could spend months animating the lips to move perfectly to that dialog.

BUT, if you have speech synthesis spouting out thousands of unknown phrases you can't predetermine the lip positions for those words (phonemes)...So then you end up with what I did with Alan, which I call "Kermit the frog", where the jaw flaps to the words, but no lip movement. Someone can buy that if it LOOKS like a robot, but try that on a human-robot and the amygdala will throw you into the uncanny valley and then you have a robot that everyone hates....from fear.

PRO
Synthiam
#47  

I can't agree more about the uncanny valley. Sophia was a really bad robot - and i still don't understand how anyone paid money to see it speak, or why it was on tv. It was a fad that I'm glad is gone. It truly was an unusual phenomenon when we look back and think "why did anyone care about that monstrosity?"

I have to say though, that i really preferred Alan without the silicon skin.

We have to figure out a better mechanical solution - or breed human shells with no brain or soul. And add computers to control the nerves or something. Organic life is still such a mystery to me that it is mind-boggling that my pinky finger can lift more than my robot!

PRO
USA
#48  

I just watched their videos:

These types of R and D companies are all over Asia. They show you these human-looking robot torsos moving, what you don't see if the enormous compressors used for their pneumatic motion....how the heck is that thing ever going to move about its environment with a compressor tied to its butt? And even if they did and it was all-electric, how long would it be able to work freely (untethered) without a charge up? Spot works for 45 min before needing hours of charging. Explain that to your cooperate investors.

Companies like this will never move forward to achieve their goals in development until technology emerges to resolve all these problems. All these companies do is build these show and tell robots and use words like "replacing humans" and "AI", to get corporate attention for more funding.

..steps down from soap box.....

PRO
USA
#49  

Quote:

We have to figure out a better mechanical solution - or breed human shells with no brain or soul. And add computers to control the nerves or something
Hahahah time dust off the ole cloning machine!

PRO
Synthiam
#50  

Canada has some real generous grants for research. Most of these companies in Canada are actually funded by the government - so it's mostly tax money so they're safe to push limits. The original version of their robots used compressors, but now they're using electric motors. I can't say much more about the type used due to NDA.

Would you make a human-looking robot again?

PRO
Canada
#51  

The term robot has become synonymous with a machine that can complete a repetitive task. I think we need to move away from that term and focus on Robotics the usage of Robots in conjunction with higher level software, AI, ML to perform missions and complete goals autonomously.  The current global robotics market is approx 121 Billion and it is estimated to grow to 186 Billion by 2028.  I believe the market is much larger than this but won't be fully realized until robotics achieve and level of mobility, intelligence and skills necessary to perform a large number of high value missions autonomously. This will not happen until we see real investment in this space.  It will take a major shift in investor confidence to move real money into the robotics  market  (Just like it did in the Autonomous vehicle market).  The catalyst unfortunately will be higher wages when we finally increase the minimum wage in the US from $7.25 per hour to $15 or introduce Universal Basic Income so people will not want to perform manual tasks. Until there is a business case with an ROI, the robotics industry will continue to grow at the current snails pace.

PRO
USA
#52  

That's great! There are some robot grants here as well but the US sucks trying to get them. Need a really great grant writer to apply for them.

The robot on the left is still pneumatic but the one on the right looks to be motors. I believe the awful Sophia was Robotis servos. I remember seeing them in the open-source files they have online (arms). Often these types of movements can be delivered from cables and housings..they are quiet and all the motors live elsewhere so you don't hear the sound. These thin strong cables use what we call pull-pull motion to achieve fluid movement.

Yeah I've had a version 3 of Alan on the drawing board for some time. I've also I designed a full-body for him on like a sci fi hoverboard that he can also sit on. But, again to what ends??....for consumer consumption (whats it do?) or kits to be sold for the DIY fellas like inMoov. I can literally build anything that moves. And probably better than most funded robots with only me , myself and I as the team. Just requires patience and $$$.

User-inserted image

#53  

Quote:

Organic life is still such a mystery to me that it is mind-boggling that my pinky finger can lift more than my robot!
definition of a human being - The most complex machine in the history of existence yet is manufactured by the least educated but most willing workforce!

PRO
USA
#54   — Edited

Did I tell you about the meeting I had at CES in 2019? I couldn't believe it and thought it was a joke. It was not a joke. A high-profile person with deep pockets approached Robomodix about starting an R and D company with $$millions to back and create..a robot to download the soul/memories and conscience into and live forever. I'm not kidding. Real discussion, real person, real money. Some people want to live forever with their wealth. Needless to say I passed...too much pressure to deliver the truth..impossible with today's technology

PRO
Synthiam
#55   — Edited

@nink - we've had so many projects on market research to identify the industry size.. it's ridiculous. First, something like 90% of the robot industry market value is in manufacturing automation. So that aligns exactly what you were saying that there needs to be a way to separate what our type of robots are. I believe Robots 2.0 is the way to go on that.

Secondly, the rest of the robot industry market revenue is mostly hobby kits and toys. The funny thing about iRobot is depending on the industry report, they may or may not be considered a robot and instead considered an appliance.

Last and most important, is that every industry research report has a different number about the industry size. And every report also has a different number for the forecast. It's almost as if the research reports are paid to include company forecasts. Oh wait, that's exactly what happens :). Every week or two, we receive CB Insights or some research company asking if we'd like to pay to be included in their reports. Think about that for a second - in order for their reports to be "accurate", they want the companies to pay to have their forecasts included in the report. So how do they validate the forecasts? They actually don't - because their assumption is that if a company is paying, it must be a valid financial forecast.

The trouble with today's economy is that it has evolved enough to have a price on absolutely everything. Even when certain websites release "top robots of 2020" or "best cars of 2019" - all it takes is who pays the most. It really is that simple. But you must be wondering how can that be? Well, do you remember when EZ-Robot had been voted "the best of" in the past? It's because we had paid - yup, that's right. We had paid many times to be featured in magazines and articles - and one day i just said enough is enough.

As a consumer, you probably guessed this is how it works - but at the same time, wonder how can this be ethical? Ethics have been replaced with legal disclaimers and contractual commitments. This means that simply by viewing some content on a website, you have actually agreed to their terms of use or user agreement. Because access to the agreements is located on the website, you must have read it and therefore agreed to it. If you read into the industry insight terms, you'll notice that there are many round-about ways of them saying "the data is to the best of our understanding".

Boy, I can go on and on about this - but really what it comes down to is it is incredibly difficult to run an ethical business in today's economy. There are companies selling terrible software for robot programming that costs thousands of dollars - and i won't consider helping their SEO by mentioning them on Synthiam's website in this post.

We had a conference call with one of our customers last night who is building a surgical robot with ARC. The reason they ended up using ARC was that they had been using something else which had cost almost a thousand USD per month and it was more limited than ARC. So conversations like that make them wonder why we would charge so little? I receive that question all the time - why is Synthiam only $8/m when alternatives are thousands?

It comes down to supplying the masses. @Perry asked if we could just remove some of the EZB indexes in the connection control because "no one probably uses them". Well, actually a lot of people use them and more. I wrote a blog post last week about the error count decrease, and that's somewhat of a sign to show how many people and companies actually use ARC. Think of it this way, a lot of people use Microsoft Windows but when is the last time you posted on Microsoft's forum? Scaling ARC with a low monthly cost is my way of building an ethical business that can grow with the industry.

Do I believe the Robots 2.0 industry is 120 billion USD? Not a chance - not even close. We're in the millions if that. Take a look at Boston Dynamics, for example. Somehow, they have a market share even though there's no revenue. This is because of their "forecasts" sales - and they have been doing that for many many years. "Oh, next year we'll have sales". "Actually this next year we'll have sales". "Okay, this is the upcoming year for sales". Fact is, no one wants that dog - it's entertaining and might as well sit in a closet next to Honda Asmo

First - your ideas need to become real. Second - build it on a platform like Synthiam to reduce operating expenses and MSRP. Third - change the world.

PRO
USA
#56   — Edited

My 2 cents:

I came from designing images for entertainers for 25 years in Nashville.

I came to know what the uncanny valley was when I created Mr. Roman - so I set out to create Mr. Metal, better response.

Being a new person in this robot arena, unbeknownst to me was robots that look like humans are frowned upon.

This must be why Alexa is so popular, no head, lol...

I was not aware or thinking of all the movies, scary ones with evil talking dolls.

Even my grandkids have a dislike for my two Ventriloquist Dolls.

So to me any robot for personal use should resemble a robot in whatever capacity.

I remember when I first saw "Ez-robot" - the name attracted me - "easy". I never did anything electrical, with servos, motors, controllers, and all the rest. This was not in my world.

Now I am hooked  :-)

I do enjoy Synthiam and never thought I would learn so many things from all you guys, happy you are here for us all DJ.

#57   — Edited

Ya well I have always had the interest in robots and always hoped by this year 2021 we would have Flying cars and robots like C3P0 and R2D2 serving us with super A.I. and doing all the regular home tasks. Sadly life did not happen like that ideal Future. How many famous Actors and Billionaires were offered tickets to fly on a rocket ship, go to the moon or just orbit,never happened. No space Travel No starwars. I don't believe anything NASA does is true. Although I remember starting basic electronic projects at age 12 and building neat projects from those old Radio shack 100 experiment Lab kits. Then progressing to build Animatronic creations in the basement, The Grim Reaper that moved around with the old Clapper wired into "Color Organ" instead of a light bulb activated by sound,it moved motors on the Animatronic arms and head. ARC Synthiam has improved all these projects for kids wanting to learn how to control servos with Easy to use software,doing what I enjoyed doing as a kid with antique electronics. Still not much has really changed, I am still making weird creations in the basement,LOL! Driving a sports car from the 80's, listening to hippy rock from the 70's. Progress sure is slow ,where is my Flying car?xD

Edit----The coolest thing in Robotics would have to be The DJ Snow shoveling robot shown on the Synthiam web intro video clips, sometimes I will watch that for half hour,never ceases to amaze!

PRO
USA
#58   — Edited

When I am at the farm, I am now always thinking about robots :-)

I see some amazing machines doing some amazing things... like this  - Check this amazing video: https://youtu.be/BdqZG-UF324

Maybe one day we will see some "big" robots with Hydraulics and Hydrostatic parts if possible to accomplish some great tasks... Sounds scary when I think about it.

Hydraulic denoting, relating to, or operated by a liquid moving in a confined space under pressure.

Hydrostatic relating to or denoting the equilibrium of liquids and the pressure exerted by liquid at rest. "the hydrostatic pressure of the cell"

#59  

Pneumatics is what the biggest companies use now.Air pressure smaller compressors,valves air tubes of plastic,can be very strong too.For one job I got right after high school, took the University courses in Pneumatics/PcL or pLC computer programming of industrial Pneumatics robots.I had a job after stayed 8 years before they moved back to Michigan,they did not like our Union.Best job ever.Huge company ATS merged with German industrial robots.we made Wind shield wiper motors for all the major car makers around the world.I started as setup guy,later Lead hand in charge of night shift 10pm to 6AM. Had to make 3000 armature motors on my side of factory per shift.So many robot Arms on the assembly line ...eh Jer,LoL! It was mainly just jumping inside a robot cage that was stuck,clear the jammed part or use computer to adjust speed or axis.Mostly easy work,hardest part was staying awake! One monster robot had 8 arms like  giant EZ hex 6 robot.Scairy as hell to go in that cage!

PRO
Synthiam
#61   — Edited

Great find, Perry. I think it's okay to assume that robots 2.0 has a place in small/medium business assembly/packaging/etc.. However, I do not think Boston Dynamics has ever consulted a business to understand their needs. Nor have they used creative staff for design/esthetics. I have very few positive things to say about Boston Dynamics. Loud, ugly, and impractical robots.

Also, i don't even think that robot photo is practical. Uh, so empty boxes i guess?

User-inserted image

PRO
Canada
#62  

BD should have tried to sell themselves to Tesla versus Hyundai.   I can just hear Elon now. (2021) "We will have fully autonomous mobile robots within 12 months"... 12 months later (2022) "All our robots have all the hardware necessary on board to be fully autonomous all you need is the software..." 12 months later (2023) "All Robots are fully autonomous ready we are just waiting on regulators..."   12 months later (2024) "All Robots are Tesla Robo Worker ready,  you would be a fool to buy any other robot" 12 months later (2025) "We are entering beta soon for our fully autonomous robots we said we would give you in 2021" News Headlines (2026) Autonomous Robot rampages through football stadium  ....

PRO
Synthiam
#63  

HAHAHAHA @Nink

I remember his presentation in 2016 "Tesla cars will be fully autonomous and drive ride-sharing while you're at home watching tv": https://siliconangle.com/2016/10/20/tesla-to-launch-ridesharing-program-bans-self-driving-car-owners-from-uber-lyft/

I remember it well because I stood amongst my friends one day and explained how the world is changing and even Tesla is only months away from it - because their CEO said so.... I was far more naive then and thought to be a CEO you had to be truthful. I didn't realize you could "play the media" and say whatever is necessary to manipulate the stock market.

PRO
USA
#64  

BD  funding for years was from DARPA. None of these robots were meant to be anywhere but on a battlefield. So the designs are geared toward carrying equipment and eventually I'm sure weaponized. After years and years of development, they were acquired by Google. But how do you take years of military development designs and suddenly make it for robot delivery....well you don't and I think their next bosses Softbank, figured out that there would not be a market for their existing robots in a consumer setting (remember spot unloading the dishwasher with its head/gripper?). Now owned by Hyundai, it's back to at least B to B in an industrial setting, where the market is.

PRO
Synthiam
#65  

The loudest battlefield robots ever made... Again, to the point that Boston Dynamics was on a failing trajectory since its first conception.

PRO
USA
#66  

Especially when they were gas powered.

PRO
Synthiam
#67  

Oh wow seriously - you're right about that one. All these videos have the robots in silence or with some foreground music.

I feel Boston Dynamics is what you get when a bunch of money is thrown at a room full of engineers with no absolutely no plan LOL

PRO
Synthiam
#68  

LOL the boxes are clearly empty! The sound is hilarious - it's so muffled to make the viewer believe it's quiet. Wow, can you imagine those poor humans having to work next to this thing? Deafening I'm sure.

PRO
USA
#69  

Completely empty boxes and I do feel as though they have adjusted the audio.

#70  

I do see a big market for summer time agriculture robots. Where my cottage is, there are huge farms all around depending on using the Mexican labor force,who work great in high heat and never complain. I guess they are flown in on annual contracts ,work fairly cheap. I bet robots could do similar work in farming. Or I do see robot Lawn mowers getting big in summer, I want to build my own mower bot instead of buying the expensive ones. We actually have a self propelling mower at the cottage, could be made into full robot control.

#71  

Hi, just a thought on a useful consumer robot. What about small roombas for walls. They won't clean but they could paint. People could take their painting and stuff down and walls could be painted overnight. Imagine one color on Tue and another on thurs. Place a painting wall clinger up and come back to a different color.  Also, looking for a window washer robot that \can roomba my windows, inside and out.

#72  

That would be cool yea.  I do beleive a window washer robot already exist, but is used on large office buildings right now, mase bu Irobot I think.