Copyright infringement

Optimus Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time? –

So, yes, kick another part of the newsletter talking a little bit about our upcoming robotics event. In fact, this board is unique, though. It is one I would have thought about before I even knew if I would return to a personal event this year. Daniela Rus and Matthew Johnson-Roberson have both appeared on TC stages and in this newsletter in recent years.

Both are leading the robotics voices at their world-class universities (MIT and CMU, respectively) which provide a deeper perspective on the subject. In fact, there is a lot of land to be covered here, from the latest research that their institute is currently working on to the role that universities can play in helping graduates to develop careers. It will be good.

I also led on that topic because, well, I am eliminating the inevitable. But yes, we need to talk about Elon – but no, that’s not the case. Tesla Bot or Optimus or whatever we call this week is not something I wrote a lot on these pages because I did not find a good reason to do it, beyond the level of evidence that everything in the world the richest person says is war.

I talked to Rebecca a bit on the subject when she wrote about Musk’s latest claim that the human robot will never come for a year. What really intrigued me was his comments, “I’m surprised people don’t know the scope of the Optimus robot program. The importance of Optimus will be evident in the coming years. Those who understand or look, listen carefully, will understand that Optimus is the most will eventually cost more than the car business, which is more valuable than FSD. “

The thing is, I don’t think there is any question as to how big robotics will be in the next decade for anyone with a focus on such issues. We are already seeing that impact very seriously, especially as the tragedy has increased adoption. I think it is more likely that people need something tangible than someone who dances in a spandex morphsuit to prove the point here. Anyone who has been through the space also understands how profound this is.

A few years later, I was asked to speak on a media committee. When the story was over, a hand fell from the front row. A woman was so curious that she asked me a question about robots – that is to say, she wanted to tell me her idea of ​​robots. It looks like a Romba, she explained, just a drone that can fly from top to bottom, cleaning every part of your home. Well, I said, when someone develops that, I would be happy to buy it.

The reason Roombas does not do this is because no one already has the idea. This is because the number of points of failure in such a product will make your head spin. While all the money and resources iRobot has poured into their robotic emptiness over the years, it still clings, sucking something that is not or otherwise broken. Meanwhile, it took Boston Dynamics 25 or more to come to Atlas.

Copyright: Tesla

Add to all this the fact that the upper room of Roomba now costs $ 900, and you can begin to understand why robots, at least, are skeptical of robot promises that will not only help build cars but your folds. do laundry and do your own shopping. Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot currently runs $ 74,500, which I know is a Musk conversion, but I have now stopped subscribing to Netflix because I did not want to pay $ 15 a month to watch it. Light 2.

There are other questions, too. For starters, is a human being the best model for a robot like this? Don’t get me wrong, it works well for us, but I lost track of the technicians I talked to who started developing a system designed to imitate humans, just to find out why there are so many designs. efficient for the tasks they were working on. However, this is part of why I have not written much on this subject – I plan to write two chapters on the subject and here it is.

At the moment, I don’t expect to write much about it until we find something more tangible than Daft Punk cosplay. I’m so excited to see more of this robot at some point – and thank you, Musk and Tesla have never missed a deadline (unfortunately there is no way to verify this information, so you just need to take my word for it.) . But more importantly, I’m ready to wait until I actually do, before putting another queue on the subject. Luckily, this week there were a lot of other interesting news that I did not need to put pen to paper on another thought piece on Twitter.

Copyright: Vicarious

There is a good chance you missed the first one, since it happened late Friday. Alphabet owned by Intrinsic has announced the acquisition of Vicarious, a well-funded robot software company backed by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Samsung. Details are now sparse, though the company says CEO Scott Phoenix will join Intrinsic as a CCO, while CTO Dileep George will actually join the DeepMind research team. From her sound, the deal was at least, in part, a bit of an acqui-lease designed to grow the two Alphabet groups.

“For more than a decade, Vicarious has pushed the boundaries of intelligent robotics and AI across multiple industries with visionary clients, building integrated teams and unique practices in the process,” said Intrinsic Head Wendy Tan-White. in the mail. “We believe that the combination of our efforts will help us to solve industry challenges more quickly and accelerate our shared goals.”

More information about the deal is promised in the coming months.

The biggest news coming in financially only, meanwhile, is the huge $ 150 billion Agility in Series B. This follows the announcement that the Oregon-based startup is part of the Amazon Innovation Fund, which add to the circuit. DCVC and Playground Global were at the forefront of the upgrade, which found that the company was working to scale its Digit robot to get more warehouse jobs.

agility robotics store

Copyright: Screenshot / Agility Robotics

“The power is going to make a powerful impact, developing and transporting robots that are built to live seamlessly together in our lives,” Playgound’s Bruce Leak said in the release. “Since the early days of Agility, we have believed that their unique technology approach alone stands to be able to deliver on the promise of effective robots.”

Joining Agility on the Amazon side is the Israeli robotics company BionicHIVE, which manufactures a highly sophisticated robotic robot that upgrades the side of the shelves. San Francisco-based Mantis Robotics is also on the list. The company is building a robotic weapon for human-robot interaction.

Copyright: Zippi

We also broke some news about Zippidi, a product robot designed to help stores compete with Amazon by reaching the final mile. The startup raised $ 12.5 million for Series A, led by Transpose Platform. That joins the $ 6.9 million seed announced last year.

“A good example is when Uber came out, if there was a company that helps taxis,” founder Luis Vera told TechCrunch. “Brick and mortar stores are here to stay. There will be a lot of people shopping in the store, so I think the best way to address this is to digitize the store and do all these things that will please your customers. is the last mile-long delivery, if it’s a store-bought thing – when you have digital twins, you can do a whole lot. “

Copyright: Miso Robotics

And, another week, another deal at the Miso Robotics restaurant. This time it’s the midnight hamburger / taco combo, Jack in the Box. They will test Flippy and Sippy at one of their San Diego locations.

Copyright: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

People are turning to Actuator. Why not register?