Page 4«..3456..1020..»

Category Archives: Robotics

Are Amazon’s robots job robbers or dance partners? – The Providence Journal

Posted: August 18, 2017 at 5:17 am

From the sharp stones wielded by our early ancestors to the internet, every step in the evolving relationship between humans and their tools has awakened new possibilities, and new fears. The bottom line on 'bots: There will be human displacement, but fresh opportunities, too.

NORTH READING, Mass. Every day is graduation day at Amazon Robotics.

Here's where the more than 100,000 orange robots that glide along the floors of various Amazon warehouses are made and taught their first steps.

Here they practice their first pirouettes. And heavy lifting too, as they twirl while hauling shelves filled with cinder blocks.

And finally once they've been given the green light by their makers about 38 robots assemble in a tight four-row formation and in orderly fashion wheel themselves up onto pallets that will be shipped to one of the 25 Amazon warehouses that employ automatons.

Amazon staffers call it the "graduation ceremony," and it takes place several times a day. So far this year the company has graduated more than 55,000 robots.

These robots, and the thousands of Amazonians who build, program and use them, are laying out the next episode in a very old story the evolving relationship between humans and their tools.

From the sharp stones wielded by our early ancestors to the internet, every step along the way has awakened new possibilities, and new fears too.

Now, it's the turn of robotics, a discipline that after decades of experimentation and recent big leaps in artificial intelligence has finally reached a maturity that allows mass deployment.

"We're at an inflection point the ability of robots to be useful at a low-cost point," said Beth Marcus, a robotics expert and startup founder who recently joined Amazon Robotics as a senior principal technologist.

This latest wave of automation has spurred anxiety among scholars and policymakers. They warn it might contribute to a growing economic divide, in which workers with more education or the right skills reap the benefits of automation, while those with inadequate training are replaced by robots and increasingly left out of lucrative jobs.

It's not a novel concern: Spinning jennies, which revolutionized the weaving industry, sparked similar resistance in 19th-century England. And in the 1960s, the U.S. government created a task force to study the impact of technology on livelihoods.

"If we understand it, if we plan for it, if we apply it well, automation will not be a job destroyer or a family displacer," President Lyndon Johnson said at the time.

History has shown that, over time, job losses in rapidly advancing sectors are offset by gains in other activities spurred by a growing economy.

That perspective doesn't quell contemporary concerns. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has proposed taxing robots to pay for other jobs, such as teachers. Some scholars also seem to be losing faith in the old playbook.

"There's never been a worse time to be a worker with only 'ordinary' skills and abilities to offer, because computers, robots and other digital technologies are acquiring these skills and abilities at an extraordinary rate," Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee wrote in their 2014 book, "The Second Machine Age."

In a recent report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that technology is contributing to the disappearance of middle-skill jobs, both in manufacturing and in clerical work, even though it helps create both highly skilled and low skilled positions.

Amazon is the poster child for automation, and not only because of the orange warehouse robots. Its machine-learning software lets the company predict customer behavior. New retail concepts, such as the Amazon Go convenience store in downtown Seattle, heavily rely on sensor technology in an effort to do away with the need for cashiers.

Amazon is also working hard to have drones deliver items to people's homes, a move that may replace a lot of delivery drivers.

But automation certainly hasn't slowed down Amazon's colossal appetite for people. The company's payroll expansion has long exceeded revenue growth: In the quarter that ended last June, its workforce grew by 42 percent to 382,400 jobs, versus sales growth of 25 percent.

It's hard to say, in the case of Amazon, how many potential human jobs have gone to the robots, or inversely, how many new positions have been created to handle this new feature of working life.

But Amazon says that warehouses equipped with robotics typically see "greater job creation with more full-time employees," due to the increased volume of orders these centers can handle. Amazon also says automation has meant the creation of desirable, high-skilled jobs designing robots and teaching them how to do things, as well as middle-skilled jobs such as repairing the robots, or simply focusing on more sophisticated warehouse tasks while letting machines do the boring stuff.

Marcus says that there are plenty of tasks humans will monopolize for a long time.

"There are many things humans do really well that we don't even understand yet," she said.

Amazon Robotics' facility, in suburban Boston, was first established by Kiva Systems, a company founded on the concept of flipping warehouse logistics around. Instead of having workers walk to products, it sought to bring items to the workers. The solution: flat, wheeled robots called "drive units" that navigate a warehouse by reading stickers on the floor, all while carrying merchandise on their backs.

Amazon bought Kiva in 2012 for $775 million in cash and started introducing the robots into its warehouses in 2014.

Since then, the robotics facility stopped selling to other customers, while its orange robots, now in their fourth generation, have come to play an important part in Amazon's operations. In fact, robotics seem to be more important to Amazon's bottom line than to other tech giants also making big bets in the field, such as Google, experts say.

A few steps into the Amazon Robotics building, a small sign warns visitors in jest to please not feed the robots.

Some 500 employees work in the facility, mostly engineers and scientists, as well as technicians who assemble the robots. The hardware side is led by Parris Wellman. As a kid he wanted to build cars and went on to earn a mechanical-engineering degree at the University of Pennsylvania. There, studying under prominent roboticist Vijay Kumar, Wellman discovered robots. After a Ph.D. from Harvard and a few years in biotech and in medical devices, he joined Amazon Robotics, returning to what he calls his "first love."

What he likes about the opportunity is that he can build something and deploy it en masse pretty quickly.

Another interesting aspect of the work, he said, is that the roboticists get plenty of feedback from the warehouse associates who will be dealing directly with the robots. For example, associates helped designers pick out the color of the new lightweight shelves that the robots carry: yellow, because that makes it easier to see the items they carry.

And it was a maintenance worker at a warehouse who designed, and patented with Amazon's help, a metal rod that staffers use to push inactive robots around the factory floor (it's easier than picking up the 750-pound devices).

"Innovation is not restricted to a particular set of people," Wellman said.

One of these centers is in DuPont, Washington, a warehouse dedicated to mid-size and large items, where 500 humans work alongside hundreds of robots. There the automatons have the run of the core of the warehouse, a maze brimming with metal shelves stocked with merchandise.

They operate in a different space from the humans, who are mostly on the outskirts of the facility. But they work together in an elaborate, seemingly seamless dance.

This interaction with the robotic workforce has created new types of roles.

Barry Tormoehlen, a former electrician and conveyance mechanic, is one of a dozen people at DuPont who do preventive maintenance on the drive units, vacuum their interiors, "wipe them down" every once in a while and fix them when needed.

Over time, Tormoehlen has learned to recognize the individual units, which each have a number and a maintenance history of their own. The collaboration between these robots and humans has created a local folklore.

Workers have painted some of the robots to give them personality: A robot with fiery flames on its sides is known as the "devil drive." Another, decorated by warehouse workers in blue and yellow instead of the usual orange, is dubbed "The Minion," after animated characters who have the same color pattern.

During a recent visit to the DuPont center, 29-year old Ashley Parks, a former medical assistant from Yelm, Washington, stowed newly arrived items of various shapes and sizes onto a shelf atop "The Minion."

"They kind of dance around you," she said of the automatons, adding that they make her more efficient in her job.

As for fears of one day losing her job to a machine, she seemed nonchalant. "I don't think they're going to take away our jobs," she said. "They stay on their side, I stay on my side."

Read more:

Are Amazon's robots job robbers or dance partners? - The Providence Journal

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Are Amazon’s robots job robbers or dance partners? – The Providence Journal

Students learn critical thinking, problem solving during PLCC Robotics Camp – North Neighbor News

Posted: at 5:17 am

Carolynn Mostyn TheSuburbanite.com correspondent

Middleschoolers Owen Garee,of Green,and Dylan Snyder,ofLake,were working together to make the final adjustments to their robot for competition at Portage Lakes Career Center during the VEX Robotics Camp.

Two camps ran July 24 through 28 at the school. The first was a beginner camp and the second an advanced camp. Many of the campers attend both camps.

The team of Garee and Snyder found after programming the robot and making a trial run that the robot's wheels were not steady and were"whacky and wiggly," they said. They then tightened all of the bolts and nuts to keep the robot going in straight lines and staying on the course.

The camp instructors are high school teachers and college students working with IST (Integrated Systems Technology).

Michael James, atech teacher at Elgin High School near Marion,said they put competition into the days at camp.

"Anytime a kid can have competition they will learn and do better," he said.

Jamessaid critical thinking, problem solving and working as a team are important lessons the campers learn.

"If you look at any engineering or any project, you have to work as a team. It is not just 'hey I can do it all myself,' " he said.

James added they do, sometimes, match kids up as teams but for the most partthe kids just sit down and start working together.

"It is amazing how few problems you have with that," Jamessaid. "A lot of them are kids from different schools and they don't know anyone. They start making friends."

The team of instructors travel all over the state doing camps throughout the summer.

Jarrett Taylor and Ben Casper were working to program code their robot to follow the course and pick up a cone and place it on top of another one. The boys explained that instructors are keeping score of each team's progress of different tasks to earn a ranking within the 12 teams.

The students at camp were from various school districts in the area and are going into sixth through ninth grade. This is the fourth year the robotics camp has been held at the career center.

Maria Schlenk, programming and software development instructor for PLCC, said on the first day the kids worked from an instruction book and parts and pieces to build their robots. Once they completed the robots, they use a game controller to drive them around and play with them. The second day, they competed going through mazes and picking things up.

"That was fun for the kids," she said.

Students also began programming the robots, writing a program in a language calledRobotics C, whichtells the robot how to move and what to do. Robots then areoperated autonomously (without a human controlling them).

The STEM camp is primarily engineering and the students are hands-on inbuilding the robots and using their creativity. During the programming or coding, logic, thinking step-by-step and control comes in to play.

"It is thinking logically, critically and problem solving," said Schlenk.

She said the students sometimes want to hurry and get the robot together so they can play with it. That is when they find out that the wheels might fall off and parts don't work. But they learn, Schlenk.

"The more work you put in ahead of time the better the first results," she said. "Take time to do it right the first time and you won't have to redo it. They also learn interpersonal skills. You have to model teamwork and teach teamwork."

The last day of camp parents are invited to watch the competition between the teams.

Here is the original post:

Students learn critical thinking, problem solving during PLCC Robotics Camp - North Neighbor News

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Students learn critical thinking, problem solving during PLCC Robotics Camp – North Neighbor News

Kids equipped for futureafter success with robotics – The West Australian

Posted: at 5:17 am

Pilbara students proved their mastery with robots at the RoboCup Junior WA competition in Perth last week.

Six teams from Wickham, Tambrey and Baynton West primary schools excelled at their first time at the annual educational robotics tournament, competing in dance and rescue challenges with a range of advanced robots.

A four-person team from Tambrey Primary, consisting of Year 6 students Ben Gillon, Daniel Dang, George Ralph and Trey Jankowski, won gold in the competition primary dance competition, beating 54 other teams.

Their creative dance, The 4 Wall-Es, involved several robots acting out Pixar film Wall-E.

Two Pilbara teams also collected medals in the primary rescue category.

Kade Higgins and William Kinninmont, of Wickham Primary School, won silver while Bailey Smith, of Baynton West Primary, took home bronze.

It comes after the first Pilbara RoboCup Junior event, which was also the first in regional WA, was held at Wickham Primary School in June.

Scitech Statewide director Nick Wood said the Pilbara students had excelled at their first showing at the Perth event. The Pilbara teams demonstrated a high skill level and strong problem-solving abilities I think that is testament to the efforts of students, teachers and the school communities to make robotics and coding part of the core school activities, he said.

All the Pilbara schools Scitech work with have done a fantastic job integrating technology into the classroom, and the students are going from strength to strength in coding and computing as well as literacy, numeracy and problem solving.

Tambrey Primary principal Troy Withers said its teams gold medal in the primary dance vision was a fantastic result and the school community was very proud.

Theyve gotten a fair bit out of it and had to get out of their comfort zone, he said. That division was about combining their own physical movement with what the robots were doing, but they pulled it off really well.

Mr Withers said the teams success had inspired other students to take more interest in robotics.

Wickham Primary deputy principal and STEM co-ordinator Melissa Reimers said the results showed how much robotics and STEM talent there was among children in the Pilbara.

Read more:

Kids equipped for futureafter success with robotics - The West Australian

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Kids equipped for futureafter success with robotics – The West Australian

Matrix Design, LLC – Robotics Online (press release)

Posted: at 5:17 am

Matrix Design, LLC Posted 08/17/2017

New Modular Robotic Deburr Demo Cell Includes interchangeable stations and FANUC robot

South Elgin, IL - Matrix Design, LLC will be exhibiting at Gear Expo 2017 from October 24-26 in Columbus, OH. Thousands of gear industry professionals are expected to attend the event to discover cost-effective solutions and new technologies.

Gear Expo, owned by the American Gear Manufacturers Association, offers learning opportunities and educational options designed to give technology professionals and those that serve the industry tools to succeed in the future. This event takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center where attendees will get a one-stop shopping experience that covers all their manufacturing needs including automation, forgings, bearings, heat treating, inspection, and more than 75 other product categories.

Matrix will exhibit in booth #422, a 20 x 20 space, and will feature their brand new Deburr Demo cell. Here, attendees will have the opportunity to see live advanced robotic deburring technologies. This modular-designed automation system includes four interchangeable stations arranged in a quadrant formation around a single M-20iA35M FANUC robot, each featuring various deburring solutions that address the unique challenges associated with deburring.

We are very excited to unveil our new robotic deburring applications system, says Jeff Bennett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. This new system will allow us to demonstrate our automated deburring technologies to manufacturers as well as qualify new potential deburring applications. Matrixs staff will be on hand to present, answer questions, and to help end users understand how manufacturers operations can benefit from increased productivity, improved safety and work environment, decreased costs, and consolidation of processes.

About Matrix Design Matrix works closely with end users to develop, build, and install robotic automation systems. Specializing in machine tending, deburring, and a range of material handling systems, Matrix has built a reputation for designing and delivering the most optimal and robust industrial automation systems to manufacturers worldwide.

View original post here:

Matrix Design, LLC - Robotics Online (press release)

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Matrix Design, LLC – Robotics Online (press release)

A robotic technology stack aimed at developers on a budget – ZDNet

Posted: August 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

With HEXA, Vincross is taking aim at a market that founder and CEO Sun Tianqi feels has long been ignored: Independent tinkerers and developers on a budget.

Vincross, a Beijing-based robotics company, has announced a small programmable robot called HEXA. The new bot runs on MIND, an operating system built on the Linux kernel and optimized for robotics.

It's the second bit of news from Vincross in the last few months. The company was a CES 2017 Asia Innovation Award Honoree in May.

With HEXA, Vincross is taking aim at a market that founder and CEO Sun Tianqi feels has long been ignored: Independent tinkerers and developers on a budget.

"There hasn't been a single robot or platform built for the masses -- especially for those developers and innovators eager to create [new] robots," said Sun.

HEXA, which, as its name implies, is a sensor-rich, six-legged robot that resembles a crab. It's designed to be a platform and not a finished product.

"We all have this dream of what robots should be, of robots interacting with and helping humans on a daily basis," Sun said. "But the reality is, robots have a long way to go. To date, the industry has focused on single-use robots for industrial labs or household cleaning purposes or robots for children."

Sun's reference to the Roomba vacuum, which is the best-selling consumer robot of all time, is perhaps poorly chosen. iRobot has offered its own programmable platform based on the Roomba and targeting developers for some time. It's become a go-to for STEM classrooms, college robotics teams, and tinkerers in need of small mobile robots for all kinds of tasks.

Still, HEXA is a capable piece of technology. Because it has six legs, it can handle terrain that a platform like the Roomba never could. Sensors include a camera with night vision capability, two three-axis accelerometers, an infrared transmitter, and a distance-measuring sensor.

The idea is that developers can pick up one of these for about $500 and -- using Vincross's standard developer kit -- shape it into anything they'd like. Some examples on the company's website include surveying volcanos on Mars or helping save lives after earthquakes.

"The single biggest impediment to technologies like robotics and AI is that talented developers don't have ready access to the full technology stack required to engineer new products," Jenny Lee, managing director at GGV Capital said. GGV Capital recently invested in Vincross's $6 million series A round.

Vincross has chosen to launch HEXA as a Kickstarter campaign. Funded companies are doing this more and more, and it raises some issues in this case. Vincross's campaign is slick, bespeaking resources that unfunded DIY developers looking for crowdfunding can't afford. Since crowdfunding dollars are limited, that edge seems to fly in the face of the "for the masses" ethos the company is promoting.

Vincross COO Andy Xu defended the play in an email to me.

"This is a go-to-market strategy that we've seen work well, especially in the US and allows us both to distribute and market HEXA to a broader audience. We're not relying solely on this money to build our robots -- we have a full-fledged manufacturing operation set up in China, but Kickstarter's larger unit orders allow us to drive down costs to the end user."

Units ordered via Kickstarter pledges will be delivered on a rolling schedule between December and February.

There are some cool videos and project ideas on the Kickstarter page. Given the price point and functionality, I have a sense we're going to see some novel stuff built on this platform in 2018.

Crowdsourcing may have just helped close the "analogy gap" for computers

It's vexed computer scientists for decades, but a huge roadblock for true AI is falling

South Korea mulling world's first robot tax

Controversial idea seems to formally acknowledge a tough future for workers

Robotic suit now has Amazon Echo integration

"Alexa, let's walk to the kitchen"

Humans like mistake-prone robots better than perfect performers

To err is human, but to replicate errors may soon be robotic.

See the rest here:

A robotic technology stack aimed at developers on a budget - ZDNet

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on A robotic technology stack aimed at developers on a budget – ZDNet

Idaho middle-schoolers are Zero Robotics co-champions – Bonner County Daily Bee

Posted: at 6:21 pm

By DEVIN HEILMAN

Hagadone News Network

COEUR dALENE Idaho middle-schoolers don't shoot for the moon.

They shoot for the best way to relocate humans to Mars using satellite positioning systems, computercoding and sheer ingenuity.

And their hard work has produced stellar results. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station selected Idaho as the West Coast champion of the 2017 Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program Finals.

"All the kids are winners. How many kids can say, 'I sent code up to the International Space Station?'" said Idaho AfterSchool Network summer associate Scott Anderson, who helped coordinate the finals event. "But it was a little extra sweet to be the co-champions, of course."

About 20 robotics students from the Coeur d'Alene, Lakeland and Lake Pend Oreille school districts gathered in Molstead Library at North Idaho College early Friday for an exciting morning. They had the joy of witnessing their computer codes in action during a live streaming broadcast from the ISS.

The ISS Finals project tasked them with using graphical editors to write code to position coordinates to successfully navigate the red planet. The simulation included obstacles and real-world challenges, including exhausting CO2 tanks and batteries, losing signals and racing the clock.

"It's all the kids. They've done an amazing job this year, for sure," said Lakeland team lead instructor Rohnin Randles, 18. "The fact that they put in nearly 100 hours of their time during the summer, I mean, we didnt ask them to be there. They asked to be there."

The final teamsrepresented Idaho, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Washington, Oregon and Russia.The codes of the final teams were given to astronauts aboard the Space Station to test on simulation satellitesin zero gravity. The competition is part of the Zero Robotics SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage Re-orient Experimental Satellites) Program.

Idaho championed the West Coast bracket while West Virginia earned the East Coast title.

It makes me feel really proud that I got chosen to do this program, said incoming Lakeland High School freshman Macayla Hunter, 14. "At first I thought, 'Wow, this is going to be really hard,' because I know there are a lot of smart kids out there that do this kind of stuff. It was a challenge at first because none of us knew how to program from the start."

The students spent five weeks tackling this objective, leveling up their computer skills while getting hands-on programming experience in a teamwork setting.

"If you work independent, nothings going to get done, said incoming Canfield Middle School seventh-grader Joey Specht, 12. "Thats why you have to work as a team. At first we were going to try to do our own, because thats what everyone wanted to do and nothing was getting done. Then we tried working as a team and our code eventually got done. There is no I in team.

Information: http://www.zerorobotics.mit.edu

Go here to read the rest:

Idaho middle-schoolers are Zero Robotics co-champions - Bonner County Daily Bee

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Idaho middle-schoolers are Zero Robotics co-champions – Bonner County Daily Bee

Robots can now heal themselves – Wired.co.uk

Posted: at 6:21 pm

Science Museum / Heritage Lottery Fund

Roboticists have designed soft robots that can heal themselves.

Cutting your hand or tearing a muscle are both injuries that heal over time for living organisms. But what if robots could heal too? New research published in the Science Robotics Journal suggests this may be the case in our near future.

Researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have extended this self-healing property specifically to soft robots. These are robots constructed from flexible materials that enable them to be used to grab delicate objects in the food industry or in minimally invasive surgery. They play an important role in rehabilitation and arm prostheses.

Bram Vanderborght

"A robot is very complex and difficult to repair. And the soft robots are particularly susceptible to sharp objects and high pressure" explains professor Bram Vanderborght of VUB, one of the five researchers behind the project. "This research is the first step in introducing self-healing materials in soft robotics, which we think will start a whole new research field of self-healing robotics," Vanderborght continues.

During their experiments, the team built soft robots made entirely from rubbery polymers. When damaged, these materials first recovered their original shape and then healed completely. "This principle was tested on three self-healing robotic components: a gripper used for robots to pick up items, a robot hand, and an artificial muscle," he continues. "Realistic damage could be healed completely without leaving any weak spot. The prototypes were able to fully resume their tasks."

Once a soft robot is damaged, the material is able to heal after being heated for 40 minutes at 80C. After 24 hours at 25C, the damaged robot's strength and flexibility would also be restored.

The polymer material used does this because it consists of a network of cross links that allow the Diels-Alder reaction to take place. This reaction allows new bonds to be made by the molecules. "By applying heat, those cross-links will break, which gives the polymer material more mobility. This mobility allows the molecules to close the gap made by the damage. When healed the material has to be cooled down, during which the initial properties are almost completely regained," explains Vanderborght.

The team, which has backing from the European Research Council, also has big hopes for the impact of this research. Collaborator Seppe Terryn, who has worked on the project since 2014, says: "We hope that humans will develop a new kind of trust in robots, knowing that their functional performance is not depending on the human detection and repair of damages."

Indeed, the gap in this field of industry makes this research particularly exciting. "The inability to heal is one of the major shortcomings of our mechanical systems versus their biological counterparts," confirms electrical engineering expert, professor Russell Tedrake of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Suitable progress in this direction could substantially improve the robustness of our machines."

Soft robotic researcher at the University of Cambridge, Fumiya Lida, adds that, "self-healing soft robot technology is a significant breakthrough. Self-recovery makes the entire mechanical system cheaper and safer in a human-oriented environment".

Tedrake also questions the extent to which this technology could be extended to other objects in the future, "such as self-repairing tyres for cars".

However, more immediately, the VUB team is hoping to work towards adding a sensor network to detect the health status of robots and even new materials.

See original here:

Robots can now heal themselves - Wired.co.uk

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on Robots can now heal themselves – Wired.co.uk

New Robotics Lab Allows Anyone to Control the Machines – Georgia Tech News Center

Posted: at 6:21 pm


Georgia Tech News Center
New Robotics Lab Allows Anyone to Control the Machines
Georgia Tech News Center
Buliding and maintaining robots, let alone at entire robotics lab, is unaffordable or impractical for many researchers around the world. That's why Georgia Tech is opening a new lab that allows greater access to everyone. The Robotarium, a $2.5 million ...

and more »

More:

New Robotics Lab Allows Anyone to Control the Machines - Georgia Tech News Center

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on New Robotics Lab Allows Anyone to Control the Machines – Georgia Tech News Center

A fund betting on robots and AI is crushing it and it’s targeting millennial investors (BOTZ) – Business Insider

Posted: at 6:21 pm

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

When Jay Jacobs, director of research at Global X, and his team were looking to start new theme-based exchange-traded funds last year, a robotics and artificial intelligence ETFjust made sense.

"Ithink a lot of times the finance world gets lost in its own jargon of risk adjusted returns and Sharpe ratios and risk factors," Jacobs told Markets Insider. "The story behind robotics and AI is very straightforward to everybody."

Jacobs is a chief mind behind the BOTZ, anexchange-traded fund from Global X which launched in September of 2016. BOTZ invests in companies that gain a majority of their revenue from robotics and artificial intelligence. The fund's market capitalization recently crossed over the $300 million mark.

The explosivegrowth of BOTZ makes sense. It combines the red-hot ETF market with skyrocketing tech stocks. Jacobs says it's the fastest growing funds he's been involved with in his fourplus years with Global X. With returns of around 39.1% since the fund's inception last year, the growth is hardly surprising.

BOTZ is comprised of 29 companies spread across four sub categories: industrial automation, non-industrial robotics, unmanned vehicles and artificial intelligence. It's weighted by market cap, with no single company comprising more than 8% of the fund, and no less than 0.3%, according to Jacobs.

The largest holding is currently Mitsubishi, followed by Nvidiaand Keyence Corp, each making up about 7.5% of the fund. Those top three holdings areup an average of 77.4% since the inception of BOTZ.

Global X has positioned BOTZ to be popular among a younger investing crowd. A strong majority of millennials, about 83%, are interested in thematic investing, compared to only 31% of the general population, according to a study done by the firm. When creating BOTZ, Jacobs said the team had millennial investors in mind.

"We see that younger generations are the trendsetters, so if we see that millennials are the ones saying [AI] is real ... that's meaningful and it's going to start working its way up the chain," Jacobs said.

Patrick Fallon/Reuters

Formatting the fund as an ETF made sense as well. The ETF market for stocks has grown by 500% in the last eight years, in part because it allows for easy access tothemes like AI and robotics. Investing in the fund is as easy as buying a stock.

"You get international exposure, which is critical for robotics," Jacobs said. "You get diversified exposure."

There are drawbacks to the Global X approach. Almost halfof the fund's holdings are based in Japan, meaning events in the country could have an outsized effect on the fund. The fund is also missing some major players in AI, like Facebook and Google, whichare leaders in artificial intelligence technology but excluded from the fund because they don't derive most of their revenue from the theme.

Still, a thematic fund like BOTZ allows investorsto bet on a general idea instead of a specific company, which investors seem to like.

After all, "tech is only going to get better," Jacobs said.

Original post:

A fund betting on robots and AI is crushing it and it's targeting millennial investors (BOTZ) - Business Insider

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on A fund betting on robots and AI is crushing it and it’s targeting millennial investors (BOTZ) – Business Insider

The inside story of the crisis at Infinium Robotics – Tech in Asia

Posted: at 6:21 pm


Tech in Asia
The inside story of the crisis at Infinium Robotics
Tech in Asia
I made some mistakes as an entrepreneur and I have learned a lot from them, he told us. Not all is lost. Woon expressed relief that the decision has finally brought closure to the matter. I am happy that my team and I can now move on to deliver our ...

More here:

The inside story of the crisis at Infinium Robotics - Tech in Asia

Posted in Robotics | Comments Off on The inside story of the crisis at Infinium Robotics – Tech in Asia

Page 4«..3456..1020..»