Robots are creating work for at least one kind of human: venture capitalists.HT: Abnormal Returns
They poured $172 million into robotics startups last year, according to an annual survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP—nearly triple the $60 million two years earlier. Travis Deyle, a robotics blogger who keeps his own yearly tally, pegs it even higher—at least $250 million in 2013.
“There’s definitely been a big uptick,” says Mr. Deyle, who notes this year appears headed for another record.
Mr. Deyle attributes the surge in part to high-profile acquisitions of small companies by the tech giants. Amazon.com bought Kiva Systems, a maker of warehouse robots, for $775 million in cash in 2012. Google GOOGL -0.03%, meanwhile, recently went on a shopping spree—snapping up a number of small robotics companies, including one that builds an experimental robot funded in part by the U.S. Marine Corps. that can carry 400 pounds of gear over 20 miles of rough terrain. “That’s attracted a lot of attention for the sector,” he says.
The wave of money is funding a new breed of robots.
In the past, robots worked mostly on factory floors—often locked behind gates to keep them from smashing into people as they did their jobs. But new technologies, including sensors and wireless connections that allow robots to move around obstructions and even find their way around a busy hotel or office, have enabled robots to do more varied tasks as well as function alongside people....MORE
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
"Venture Money Pours into Robotics Startups"
From Real Time Economics: