Welcome to Episode 33 of The Robot Report Podcast, where each week Robot Report editor Steve Crowe reviews the latest robotics, automation and intelligent systems news and announcements, and interview leading roboticists, leaders of innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community.
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In this podcast, Robot Report editor Steve Crowe chats with Tom McCarthy, VP of Business Development, Motiv Space Systems. His team is developing the Cold Operable Lunar Deployable Arm (COLDArm), a first-in-kind robotic arm that can survive the cold weather of lunar nights on the Moon. The COLDarm will be able to survive temperatures as cold as –279°F, and will do so without using a heat source. Tom discusses the challenges of engineering such a system.
Motiv also built the robotic arm on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover that landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. Crowe and McCarthy discuss the importance of this mission and what Motiv will be watching for over the next few weeks.
Steve Crowe also speaks with Ben Upcroft, VP of Technology at Oxbotica, a company developing autonomy software for a variety of autonomous vehicle applications, both off-road and on-road. We discuss the keys to infrastructure free navigation, the acceleration of innovation in the autonomous vehicle space and why Level 5 robotaxis might never happen.
Crowe ends with a comment on that week’s top robotics stories, including Boston Dynamics introducing the Spot Arm for its Spot quadruped. Learn why Spot Arm is an important development for Spot. And Waymo reportedly has “no plans” to expand its robotaxi service in Arizona in the near future. Is this a hint at Waymo’s next move?
- 0-1:18 – Show Intro
- 1:19-26:45 – Conversation with Tom McCarthy, VP of business development, Motiv Space Systems
- 26:46-35:43 – News commentary – Boston Dynamics Spot Arm; Waymo not expanding in Ariz.
- 35:44-1:05:44 – Conversation with Ben Upcroft, VP of technology, Oxbotica
- 1:05:45-1:06:37 – Show Outro
- Robot Arm Opens New Doors for Spot
- Busy Waymo not Expanding to E. Mesa for Now
- Oxbotica Raises $47M to Scale Autonomous Vehicle Software
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If you would like to be a guest on an upcoming episode of The Robot Report Podcast, or have recommendations for guests, please contact Steve Crowe. For sponsorship opportunities for The Robot Report Podcast, contact Courtney Nagle.
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