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Robots Take Centre Stage For AWS


Boston Dynamics Spot Robot can be deployed in industrial environments to complete tasks that are dangerous or tedious for humans. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels has announced AWS will have an increasing focus on robotics technologies. The new AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator is open to robotics hardware and software startups. The accelerator, which AWS is running with MassRobotics, offers a range of benefits including hands-on training with AWS robotics solutions, and up to $10,000 in promotional credits to use AWS IoT, Robotics, and machine learning services. MassRobotics will support select startups with an intensive, four-week advanced curriculum specially designed to accelerate their growth using AWS.

Formant raises $18M to help companies manage fleets of robots


The robotics industry continues to grow as enterprises look to automate an increasing number of processes across their organizations. According to McKinsey, 88% of businesses plan to fold robotics automation into their infrastructure in the coming months. And companies based in North America ordered more than 31,000 robotics systems in 2020, bringing the industry's revenue to an estimated over $1.5 billion -- a testament to the segment's strength. There's a legitimate fear that robots could replace some of the work done by humans. A recent MIT study found that each robot added to the workforce has the effect of replacing 3.3 jobs, while Oxford Economics anticipates that robots will displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030. On the other hand, robots could work -- and are working -- together with humans to solve complex problems.

AWS re:Invent: Faster chips, smarter AI, and developer tools grab the spotlight


This week, Amazon's Web Services (AWS) kicked off its tenth re:Invent conference, an event where it typically announces the biggest changes in the cloud computing industry's dominant platform. This year's news includes faster chips, more aggressive artificial intelligence, more developer-friendly tools, and even a bit of quantum computing for those who want to explore its ever-growing potential. Amazon is working to lower costs by boosting the performance of its hardware. Their new generation of machines powered by the third generation of AMD's EPYC processors, the M6a, is touted as offering a 35% boost in price/performance over the previous generation of M5a machines built with the second generation of the EPYC chips. They'll be available in sizes that range from two virtual CPUs with 8GB of RAM (m6a.large) up to 192 virtual CPUs and 768GB of RAM (m6a.48xlarge).

Meet the Hall of Fame's robot rookies

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From 2008: "WALL-E" trailer features the stars from "Toy Story." The results are in, and the latest laureates in the Robot Hall of Fame range from the absolutely lovable WALL-E cartoon character to the positively scary BigDog robo-runner. This year's class, announced during a Tuesday night ceremony at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, also includes the pint-sized, soccer-playing NAO humanoid robot and the PackBot bomb-disposal robot. The Robot Hall of Fame was created in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University to recognize excellence in robotics technology. More than two dozen machines, real and fictional, have been inducted over the past nine years, but the Class of 2012 is the first to be selected by popular vote instead of a panel of judges.

2021 was a breakthrough year for AI


Enterprises continued to accelerate the adoption of AI and machine learning to solve product and business challenges and improve revenues in 2021. Meanwhile, AI startups have experienced significant growth, roping in major investments to improve their product offerings and meet the growing demand for AI solutions across sectors. In fact, data from CB Insights Research shows that while the number of equity funding deals in the global AI space this year is just slightly less than the last (2,384 deals in 2021 versus 2,450 in 2020), the amount of capital invested has almost doubled to $68 billion. As we head into 2022, here's a quick look back at the milestones that shaped the AI space over the past 12 months. To start the year, OpenAI announced DALL-E, a multimodal AI system that generated images from text.