Credit: Deposit Photos

July 05, 2018      

It’s hard to believe that June 2018 is over and we’re already in July. Before you know it, we’ll be talking about leaf-raking robots and autonomous snowplows. But for now, summer’s here, and the time is right to do some beach reading – on Robotics Business Review, of course.

While you were applying sunscreen, you may have missed some of the most popular articles on the site from the past month. Here, in handy List fashion, are the top five articles from June 2018 that you should check out:

OnRobot Tactile Gripper

5. OnRobot Aims to Become End-of-Arm Giant for Collaborative Robots

It’s one thing to merge two companies into a newer company, but now try to merge three companies at the same time. Did we mention that the three companies were in three separate countries?

That’s the challenge facing OnRobot, which took three separate companies – Denmark-based On Robot (they kept the name and removed the space between On and Robot), U.S.-based Perception Robotics, and Hungary-based OptoForce. The combined company remains focused on end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robots.

Enrico Krog Iversen, CEO of OnRobot and the former CEO of Universal Robotics, spoke with Robotics Business Review about the merger. See for yourself if he’s up to the task of leading this new entity.

Read the story here.

4. Zume Pizza Names New President, Adds Robot to Pizza-Making Staff

Also in June 2018, Zume Pizza added “Vincenzo” to its pizza-preparation line. The robotic arm system can handle the dangerous task of taking pizzas out of the oven and storing them on racks. In addition, the company announced a new president as part of its expansion plans.

Since its founding in 2015, the company has raised almost $50 million in funding to automate the pizza-making process. Alex Garden, Zume Pizza’s CEO and chairman, spoke with RBR about lessons learned from adding robots to its staff, as well as the company’s other plans.

Read the story here.

Zume Pizza Vincenzo robot

Vincenzo robot removes pizzas from ovens. Credit: Zume Pizza

3. 5 Robotics and AI Takeaways from EmTechNext

Robotics industry and higher education officials gathered in Cambridge, Mass., in early June 2018 to discuss “the future of work” and how it relates to robotics and artificial intelligence efforts.

The EmTechNext event, sponsored by MIT Technology Review, covered aspects of workforce angst around automation, re-skilling, and retraining efforts for companies, plus the role that higher education will play in these efforts.

Most of the robotics companies that were there, including Amazon Robotics, Fetch Robotics, and IAM Robotics, talked about the current workforce shortage in the warehouse market. This has led many supply chain companies to consider automation through mobile robotics to complement human workers.

Read the story here.


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2. HSBC Bank Rolls Out Pepper at Flagship U.S. Branch

Pepper June 2018 HSBC Bank

New Yorkers meet HSBC Bank’s newest team member, SoftBank’s Pepper robot, at the Manhattan flagship branch in June 2018. (Credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for HSBC)

The Pepper humanoid robot from SoftBank Robotics has performed many customer-service jobs since being launched in 2014. HSBC Bank USA and SoftBank Robotics America partnered in June 2018 to bring Pepper to HSBC bank branches in the U.S., starting in New York.

The robot is able to greet customers and answer questions for customers. Pepper is part of a larger vision to help “transform HSBC’s branch banking experience.”

“We are offering the approximately 2 million people who live or work within a half-mile radius of our flagship branch, and the millions more who walk Fifth Avenue daily, an experience in retail banking like never before,” said Pablo Sanchez, regional head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC in the U.S. and Canada. “We’re focused on developing the ‘branch of the future,’ and our use of Pepper will streamline branch operations and delight our customers, allowing bank staff to have deeper, more high-value customer engagements.”

Read the story here.

1. How Autonomous Mobile Robots Are Changing the Logistics Landscape

Most companies looking to purchase new technologies want to see whether other companies are successful in their deployments of the technology. Robotics is no different – people love reading case studies.

We share three examples of businesses that deployed autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from Fetch Robotics, Vecna Robotics, and inVia Robotics. If you are looking for AMRs at your company, these case studies are worth a look.

Read the story here.

June 2018 also saw two other big events – the launch of the RBR 50 list of the most successful robotics companies for the year, and our editors’ takeaways from the Robotics & AI Summit, held in June in Boston as part of the PTC LiveWorx event. If you didn’t get a chance to download or read our takeaways from that event, here’s your chance.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the summer, and stay cool. See you next month!

Main image courtesy of Deposit Photos.