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Qualifying ‘Essential’ News
Each week the editors of Robotics Business Review (RBR) select those announcements judged to be the most important and impactful to the readers of RBR. Below are the selections for the interval ranging from December 18, 2020 to December 24, 2020.
Nuro Acquires Ike Robotics
December 23, 2020
Nuro, a developer of electric self-driving vehicles designed for local delivery operations, has acquired Ike Robotics a developer of a freight hauling solution using autonomous trucks. Nuro previously took a minority stake in Ike when it launched in 2018, and licensed its software to Ike.
Ouster to Merge with Colonnade Acquisition Corporation
December 22, 2020
Ouster, a provider of digital LiDAR sensors, announced that it will merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Colonnade Acquisition Corporation. The deal values San Francisco-based Ouster at approximately US $1.9 billion, and is expected to bring in a total of US $300 million in gross proceeds for Ouster.
Unikie Partners with Promotives for Automated Valet Parking (AVP) System
December 21, 2020
Unikie, a software company specializing edge and cloud-based software for OEMs and TIER1s in the automotive industry, has made a business transfer agreement with Promotives, a developer of parking infrastructure solutions, to bring an Automated Valet Parking (AVP) system to market. The solution has been tested by leading OEM’s and there is an active customer collaboration operation ongoing.
Dive Technologies Closes US $4 Million Equity Financing Round
Subsea robotics designer and manufacturer Dive Technologies announced a US $4 million equity funding round led by Tanis Venture Management. Other investors including Virginia Tech Carilion Innovation Fund, Mill Town Capital, Virginia Tech Carilion Seed Fund, Cavalier Angels, and Charlottesville Angel Network. Dive will use the funds to commercially harden and scale its DIVE-LD platform.
The US Commerce Department has placed DJI on its ‘Entity List’, an export blacklist, in an attempt to cut off the Chinese drone maker from the US supply chain. American companies cannot export US-made components to those on the entity list without a license. DJI was joined by over 50 other Chinese companies and groups on the Entity List “enabled wide-scale human rights abuses within China through abusive genetic collection and analysis or high-technology surveillance, and/or facilitated the export of items by China that aid repressive regimes around the world, contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.”
ADLINK Technology Makes Strategic Investment in Rover Robotics
December 21, 2020
ADLINK Technology is participating in an investment round with Rover Robotics, including seed funding and engineering resources. The two companies will collaborate on future autonomous robotics applications, including the ROS2 platform and ruggedized industrial automation controllers. ADLINK CTO Jeff Munch will join the Board of Directors of Rover Robotics
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published the full regulatory framework for services such as parcel (ex. parcels and supplies) and inspection (ex. railway and power lines), including in urban areas. The framework, which becomes applicable from December 31, 2020, enables operations by ‘medium risk’ unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
Velodyne Lidar (Nasdaq: VLDR) announced a multi-year sales agreement to provide Motional, a joint venture of South Korean carmaker Hyundai and Irish auto technology company Aptiv, with the company’s Alpha Prime sensors for Motional’s SAE Level 4 driverless vehicles. Velodyne will be the exclusive provider of long-range, LiDAR sensors for Motional’s vehicles.
PAL Robotics Announces Project Partners for 2021 Research Initiatives
December 18, 2020
PAL Robotics, a supplier of humanoid robots and autonomous mobiles robots for research and commercial applications, have announced three project partnerships for 2021. They include PERSEO project (European Training Network on PErsonalized Robotics as SErvice Oriented applications), the EVOLVED-5G project and the CANOPIES project. In each case, the research efforts will utilize PAL Robotics’ TIAGo the mobile manipulator platform.