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Raise and deliver – TechCrunch


Quadrupeds are leaving the lab and entering the workplace, and the ongoing labor shortages plaguing many industries has only intensified the need. We've seen strong interest for Spot around industrial use cases where mobile robots can navigate worksites that include stairs, doors and other obstacles that would foil wheeled or tracked robots. Our customers are using Spot as a dynamic sensing platform to collect reliable, repeatable data around their sites for tasks like thermal anomaly detection in industrial manufacturing, radiation mapping in nuclear facilities and digital twin modeling on construction sites. Products like Spot are proving they can add real value in the real world. What will 2022 bring for these categories?

Mistakes were made (and that's fine)


Forgive the scattered nature of this week's Actuator. No big, overarching monologs this week -- just a handful of things I've been thinking about lately that I'd like to get down on paper. I suppose that's one of the perks of doing a weekly newsletter-- it forces you to flesh out some bigger ideas. Point number one is failure. Ingrained in the American psyche (as I'm sure is the case with many other cultures around the world) is an inability to reckon with our mistakes.



Let's talk humanoids for a minute, shall we? Why do so many roboticists insist on creating robots that look like us? Get ready to see plenty more humanoid robots. The subject is top of mind for a few reasons. First -- and most prominently -- is the fact that Tesla plans to unveil a version of Optimus (aka Tesla Bot) that isn't just a person in spandex. Develop the next generation of automation, including a general purpose, bi-pedal, humanoid robot capable of performing tasks that are unsafe, repetitive or boring.

Dawn of the tentacle


Actuator: Robotics layoffs are looming (or already here), a laundry folding bot and systems inspired by turtles, jellyfish and gymnasts.

Reflecting on a roller coaster year for robotics • TechCrunch


I'm excited by the boost this newsletter has been getting in recent months and wanted to keep the light on while I was out. Three weeks is the longest break I've taken for work in…ever, really. Went to a bunch of museums (do yourself a favor and check out Edward Hopper at the Whitney and Morris Hirshfield at the American Folk Art Museum -- can't recommend them enough) and spent a few days in Aruba, of all places. Still not sure why flights were so cheap, but if you're ever looking for a nice place to stay on the island for $150 a night, let me know. Go make friends with a miniature donkey.