Waiting for the right deal?

In terms of robotics investments announced, signed, or closed during the second quarter of 2016, the transportation sector was No. 1, but for the really healthy investments, you had to look elsewhere.

Transportation, which we are defining here as businesses involved with mobile products that transport goods, saw 13 deals — most of them middling, and focused on specific technology needs. Other active sectors included health care and drones.

Also during the second quarter, a half-billion-dollar investment fund aimed primarily at robotics was created in China designed to fuel the global giant’s continued rise in the industry.

The largest one-shot deal across all industries was the $5.2 billion bid by China-based Midea Group for German robotics powerhouse KUKA AG. At least initially, Midea wants to replace workers on its home-appliance factory lines. Darker worries in Europe see China buying up top German technology.

Perhaps the only coherent takeaway for the second quarter is that an unremarkable shopping trend continues, waiting for the right deal to spark a major run or for economic trends to deteriorate, prompting a run for the hills.

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