Robots are taking over the world. They are now into every industry namely the healthcare industry, defense, education, and many others. It also now uses different technologies such as AI, ML, and many others to improve its functions and applications. Across the globe, there are 300,000 Robotics Engineers are striving to discover or invent some of the other new things in robotics. But every segment has its own merits and demerits. Just because you got capital to invest in doesn't mean you've succeeded.
What are the main reasons that robotics companies and startups fail? Is it the technology or is it the business? Fresh Consulting analyzed significant industry case studies from Rethink Robotics to iRobot for their whitepaper "Why Robotics Companies Fail," and launched it on June 11 at a panel discussion moderated by James Dietrich, from Fresh Consulting, with guest speakers Aaron Prather, Senior Advisor for the Technology Research and Planning Team at FedEx Express; Andra Keay, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics and startup accelerator advisor, and Eric Klein, Partner and Founder at Lemnos Labs. In a lively discussion, the speakers weighed in on what key factors for success or failure were most likely in their experience. Andra Keay believes that lack of business fundamentals is the most critical error a young company faces.
Automation is coming after jobs, from fast food workers to accountants. We analyzed which jobs are most -- and least -- at risk, given factors including tasks involved, the current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, regulations, and more. The shift from traditional manufacturing to computer-enabled industry took nearly a century. But the shift from personal computing to billions of smartphones, massive networks, and the IoT has taken just a couple of decades. And the next phase of technological evolution is already underway: advanced neural networks that learn, adapt, and respond to situations. With AI and automation advancing at a breakneck pace, society's capacity to respond is being stretched to the limit. Cities are seeing front-end automated restaurants like Eatsa gaining popularity, while in factories automation has already arguably been a part of life for years (if not decades) in the form of heavy industrial and agricultural robots. Analyzing the automation landscape, we found that 10 million service and warehouse jobs are at high risk of displacement within the next 5 – 10 years in the US alone. Meanwhile, nearly 5 million retail workers are at a medium risk of automation within 10 years. To put these numbers into perspective, estimates are that over a few years the Great Recession of 2007 – 2010 destroyed 8.7 million jobs in the US.
We analyzed which jobs are most -- and least -- at risk, given factors including tasks involved, the current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, regulations, and more. Meanwhile, several big corporations have open sourced their AI software libraries in recent years -- another major accelerant for AI. Our time frame was the next 5-10 years, and the relative risk of automation was based on factors including tasks involved, current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, investment activity, technological challenges, and regulations. Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures recently funded burger-flipping robot Mometum Machines (funding and patents below).
Mapbox, a Washington, DC and San Francisco provider of nav systems for car companies and others involved in autonomous vehicles, raised $164 million in a Series C round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from existing investors including Foundry Group, DFJ Growth, DBL Partners, and Thrive Capital. "Location data is central and mission critical to the development of the world's most exciting technologies," said Rajeev Misra, who helps oversee SoftBank's Vision Fund. Element AI, a Canadian startup providing learning platform solutions for self-driving and advanced manufacturing, raised $135 CAD million (around $105 million) in a Series A round (in June) led by Data Collective, a SV-based venture capital firm, and included participation by Fidelity Investments Canada, National Bank of Canada, Intel Capital, and Real Ventures. Ninebot, the Chinese consumer products company that bought out Segway and raised $80 million in 2015, raised another $100 million in a Series C round from the SDIC Fund Management Co. and the China Mobile Fund. Horizon Robotics, another Chinese startup, raised $100 million in a Series A round led by Intel Capital with participation by Wu Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, Linear Venture, Hillhouse Capital and Harvest Investments.