Monday, March 5, 2012

Update to Asimov Weeps: A Possible Explanation for the Dearth of Venture Funding for Robotics

Venture capital into the robotics field is tiny.
As Hizook (the robotics news portal) said in last week's post:
I've been tracking venture capital (VC) funding of robotics companies for the better part of two years.  Based on my (limited) data, VC funding in robotics exceeded $160 Million for 2011.  This is just a rounding error compared to VC funding of Internet (web-based) companies, which hit a decade-long high of $6.9 Billion in 2011.  My hope is that robotics will get more love in the next year(s), but getting VC funding for robotics is a decidedly tough nut to crack...
There may be a erfectly sane reason VC's tread lightly in this space.

From Scott Adams' world:

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

...Powell's radio voice was tense in Donovan's ear: "Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics - the three rules that are built most deeply into a robot's positronic brain." In the darkness, his gloved fingers ticked off each point.
"We have: One, a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."
"Two," continued Powell, "a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law."

"And three, a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws."
-Runaround, Isaac Asimov, 1942