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The Robot Report Podcast

The Robot Report Podcast

Join Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community.


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Editors Pick: Best Robots of CES 2023; Boston Dynamics Atlas video review

This week, co-hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman review the latest Boston Dynamics Atlas video and how Atlas is getting more agile through simulation. Mike Oitzman reviews his recent trip to CES 2023, and features interviews with Aeolus Robotics Head of Product, Dan Haddick. Next we talk to Robosen Chief Marketing Officer Tony Crisp about the capabilities of Optimus Prime toy robot, and what's next on their roadmap. Finally, Mike recaps the recent IAC @ CES autonomous car race and interviews IAC founder Paul Mitchell.
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2022 in Review: The Year in Robotics

Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman recap the top moments and biggest stories that happened in the robotics industry during 2022. Thanks again to all our listeners and guests for another great year!
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Developing policies for cops using robots with lethal force

This week we discuss the issue of police officers using robots with lethal force in emergency situations. After an initial 8-3 vote approving such a measure, San Francisco's board of supervisors reversed course this week and temporarily banned its police officers from using robots with lethal force. To break this all down, we're joined by Paul Scharre, Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security. ?Paul previously worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he played a leading role in establishing policies around unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies.
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Nic Radford on developing underwater robots; Celebrating 100 episodes

To celebrate our 100th episode, we look back at our favorite guests and moments. We also look ahead at what's next for the show. Nic Radford, founder and CEO of Nauticus Robotics, joins the show to discuss his team's development of underwater robots. Leveraging experience developing space robots for NASA, Nauticus' underwater robots can perform inspection and maintenance tasks and much more.
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A conversation with the founders of RobOpsCon; a robo dog fight breaks out over patents

In this episode, cohosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman talk to the co-founders of the Robotics Operations Group, affectionately known as "ROG" about the recent inaugural RobOpsCon. The mission of ROG is to develop and share best practices for the operation at scale of autonomous robots. Guests Florian Pestoni and Joe Wieciek talk to Mike about the growth of the group and the planning for the recent conference. For more information check out: We also talk about the news from the week, including a recent patent fight between "Robo dog" vendors Ghost Robotics and Boston Dynamics.
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Inside Samantha Johnson's quest to build robots for deafblind people

Samantha Johnson, founder and CEO of Boston-based startup Tatum Robotics, describes the company's anthropomorphic robotic system designed to sign tactile sign languages for people with deafblindness - they can't hear or see. Johnson dives into the challenging system design and the opportunities for such technology. Samantha also discusses her passion for helping the deafblind community, educating us about some of the daily challenges of those living with deafblindness.
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Argo AI shuts down; Covariant CEO discusses new RaaS performance

In this episode, we discuss the news of the shutdown of Argo AI and the state of autonomous driving, including the upcoming IAC race event. Mike interviews Covariant.AI CEO, Peter Chen, and they discuss the new CovariantOne RaaS solution, that's based on performance SLAs for the Covariant warehouse solution.
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Viam opens beta of new robotics platform; Amazon/FedEx end testing of delivery robots

In this episode, we talk to Eliot Horowitz, founder and CEO of Viam Inc. Viam launched the open beta of its new robotics platform. Viam provides an open-source robot architecture that turns complex functionality into simple APIs, with an integrated cloud service to orchestrate production deployments. Co-hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman also discuss news of the week, includes the end of delivery robot testing with Amazon and Fedex.
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Tesla Optimus demo; Markus Schmidt from Swisslog on the future of warehouse automation

This week, cohosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman discuss the recent unveiling of the Tesla Optimus bipedal robot at the Tesla AI Days 2022 event. We also learn about the latest in warehouse and logistics automation in an interview with Swisslog USA President, Markus Schmidt.
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Victor Darolfi, CEO of RoboTire, puts robots in the auto shop

This week, we talk with RoboTire CEO Victor Darolfi about automating tire-changing in auto shops. Victor explains the challenges of combining vision and robots to automate dirty, back-breaking work.
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RoboBusiness and Field Robotics Forum Preview

Co-hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman are joined by Dan Kara to preview and discuss the upcoming RoboBusiness and Field Robotics Engineering Forum. The events take place October 19-20, 2022 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. To register, go to
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Commercial UAV update; Product leadership at Bershire Grey with Kishore Boyalakuntla

Cohosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman discuss the latest news about commercial UAVs, the recent FTC investigation of Amazon's pending acquisition of iRobot and Mike interviews Kishore Boyalakuntla, VP of products at automation provider Berkshire Grey
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AI: chipset bans and keeping humans in the loop

Michael Kohen, founder and CEO of Spark AI, joins the show. Michael discusses situations in which AI and machine learning still come up short for robotics systems and how his company's human-in-the-loop system helps solve edge cases in real-time. He shares specific real-world examples, including details about Spark AI's partnership with John Deere and its autonomous tractors. The podcast also discusses the top stories of the week, including the US government imposing restrictions on AMD and NVIDIA selling certain AI chipsets to China. We breakdown what this could mean for robotics.
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Airports test self-driving passenger pods; Chili's pauses robotics pilot

Jessica Yip, co-founder and chief operating officer of Canadian startup A&K Robotics joins the podcast. She discusses A&K's autonomous, electric pods that are being tested at airports to move passengers with mobility issues around concourses. The podcast also recaps the stories of the week, including Chili's pausing a robotics pilot, Locus scoring a major win with GEODIS and more.
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Joe Speed update on Indy Autonomous Challenge; Skyline Robotics automates skyscraper window cleaning

This week we get an update on the technology embedded within the Indy Autonomous Challenge racecars in a conversation with Joe Speed, plus we learn how Skyline Robotics is deploying robots to clean skyscraper windows in New York City.
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The state of robotics investment

Peter Finn, managing director of Cowen?s Industrials investment banking group, joins the podcast to discuss the state of investment into the robotics industry. Peter discusses how inflation, higher interest rates, and other world issues have impacted how investors are approaching robotics companies. He also shares the trends he's seeing, markets he's excited about, investment advice and thoughts about Amazon?s pending acquisition of iRobot.
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Amazon to acquire iRobot; Robotics at DHL with Sally Miller

This week our guest is Sally Miller, Chief Information Officer for DHL Supply Chain North America. Sally discusses the deployment of robotics at DHL North America, and how DHL likes to work with vendors to innovate and optimize their logistic workflows. This episode is sponsored by Weintek USA, maker of HMIs. For more information check out: or call +1.425.488.1100
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Jenga robot creator reviews chess-playing robot flaws

Nima Fazeli, assistant professor of robotics at the University of Michigan and director of the Manipulation and Machine Intelligence Lab, joins the program to discuss the flaws of the chess-playing robot that broke a 7-year-old's finger during a tournament in Russia. Fazeli helped develop a Jenga-playing robot while at MIT. Mike and Steve also hit on the top stories of the week, including researchers using dead wolf spiders as mechanical grippers and another strong quarter for Teradyne's robotics group. Show Notes
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Inside the development of Labrador Systems' assistive robots

Mike Dooley, co-founder and CEO of robotics startup Labrador Systems, joins the podcast. We discuss how Labrador built autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for home environments to help the elderly and those with mobility issues. Mike also discusses how his days at Evolution Robotics and iRobot helped shape some of the decisions being made at Labrador Systems. Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman also dive into the recent layoffs and shutdowns that have impacted numerous robotics companies.
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Brian Gerkey from Open Robotics discusses the development of ROS

Our guest this week is Brian Gerkey, CEO and co-founder of Open Robotics and one of creators of ROS. Brian tells us about the development and evolution of the Robot Operating System (ROS) and why open source software has played such a pivotal role in the growth of the robotics industry and in the acceleration of robotics research in university and corporate robotic labs around the world.
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Anders Beck introduces the UR20; California bans autonomous tractors

This week, hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman discuss the recent ban of autonomous tractors in California and what this means for the AGTECH industry to be able to test new solutions in California. Featured interview this week is Anders Beck, VP of Innovation and Strategy at Universal Robots. Anders introduces us to the new UR20 robot that was launched at Automatica 2022 this week. Special music this week is Tennessee Mines by Sam Hill, embedded with a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-sharealike 3.0 license.
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Niels Jul Jacobsen, CEO, Capra Robotics; Spider-Man Robot Fail

Niels Jul Jacobsen, CEO of Danish startup Capra Robotics, joins the show to discuss the company's innovative mobile robotics platform. He also shares lessons learned from scaling and selling Mobile Industrial Robots, an AMR developer he founded in 2013. Capra Robotics Website -
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Jeremiah Robison from Cionic creates bionic clothing to help patients walk better

In this episode, cohosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman learn the incredible story behind the bionic clothing company Cionic. The company was founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Jeremiah Robison who joins us on the show this week to discuss his mission to build bionic clothing that can analyze and augment human movement, enabling the body to move with more freedom and control.
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Scythe Robotics CEO Jack Morrison discusses autonomous mowing

In this episode, co-hosts Steve and Mike interview Scythe Robotics co-founder and CEO Jack Morrison. They discuss the market for autonomous landscaping, the features of the Scythe autonomous mower and Scythe's unique RaaS-based business model for commercial landscapers. Steve and Mike also discuss robots realism in the movies, the upcoming Automate Show and the launch of Epson's new flagship SCARA robot product line.
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State of robotic perception with RGo Robotics' Amir Bousani

Amir Bousani, co-founder and CEO of RGo Robotics, joins the show to discuss the state of perception for mobile robots. RGo Robotics recently exited stealth mode with $20 million in funding to scale its perception platform.
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Robotics Summit 2022 recap

This week, hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman are joined by WTWH VP of Robotics, Dan Kara and Jake Hall (AKA the Manufacturing Millennial) to recap the 2022 Robotics Summit that occurred last week in Boston. The event brought together a who's who of industry leaders to learn about new innovation and the technology that's supporting the growth of the robotics industry.
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Agility Robotics gets a boost from Amazon; The US Alliance of Robotics Clusters is born

This week, hosts Steve and Mike discuss the recent Cascadia connect event in Pittsburgh, where the announcement was made launching the the new US Alliance of Robotics Clusters. Mike had the opportunity to talk to Silicon Valley Robotics director Andra Keay and Pittsburgh Robotics Network director Joel Reed about the goals of the new organization. Mike also visiting Pittsburgh robotics company Agility Robotics and had the opportunity to catch up with co-founder and CEO Damion Shelton,
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A Review of the 2022 RBR50 Innovation Awards

In this episode, Steve and Mike are joined by Dan Kara and the three of them discuss the 2022 RBR50 honorees, including some of the most innovative and memorable solutions in this years cohort of award winners.
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Willy Pell from Blue River Technology brings AI to the farm

In this episode, we interview Willy Pell, VP of Autonomy, from Blue River technology. Willy goes deep on how AI and machine learning are core to the automation of John Deere tractors and discusses how important this is to the future of agriculture. Blue River Technology was acquired by John Deere in 2017 and is now a core part of the next generation of John Deere tractors, implements and making farming easier. Willy talks about the parallels between autonomous driving the autonomous control of farming equipment.
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MODEX Recap; Family-owned business turns to cobots for help

Welcome to Episode 74 of The Robot Report Podcast, which brings conversations with robotics innovators straight to you. Join us each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community. In today's episode: Steve and Mike discuss the product announcements and serendipitous discoveries at the recent MODEX tradeshow in Atlanta Georgia. Mike highlights his favorite new products that debuted at the show. We also interview Brian Tu, Chief Revenue Officer of DCL Logistics, who are a Universal Robots customer that deployed the UR robots to help improve the efficiency of the logistics operations in their distribution center.
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Black I Robotics launches mobile heavy lift robot arm

Mike talks to Black I Robotics founder and CEO Brian Hart, to discuss the introduction of the new Black I Fullscope Mobile Heavy Lift Arm. This new robotics solution is designed to be mounted on top of an AMR/AGV and deployed in a warehouse to autonomously pick up/drop off heavy items. The robotic arm is being shown publicly for the first time at MODEX in Atlanta next week. Steve and Mike also discuss the latest news stories from the last week.
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Mark Messina on the future of warehouse automation

Steve and Mike discuss the latest robot news from the last week, including the acquisition of Matrox by Zebra Techolologies, a new Realsense camera from Intel, the new Techmetics TRV AMR, the new Robotnik Robout heavy payload AMR and the deployment of BreezyOne Robot at Houston Airports. Our guest on the show today is Mark Messina, who as recently hired as CEO, Americas for warehouse solutions provider Addverb Technologies. Addverb is one of the largest warehouse solutions providers in Asia and are beginning its expansion into the Americas under the leadership of Mr Messina.
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Cruise's VP of robotics on SF robotaxi operations

In today's episode, Steve and Mike interview Rashed Haq, VP of Robotics for Cruise. Rashed discusses the current deployment of Cruise autonomous taxi's in San Francisco and what the company expects to learn from the experience as it gradually expanding its operating scope. Potentially passengers can now signup to be a part of the beta program and ride one of the robotaxis on the Cruise website.
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OTTO Motors future in automotive; MARS Perseverance anniversary

OTTO Motors CEO Matt Rendall joins us to discuss the growth and evolution of OTTO Motors, the current state of the material handling business and how simulation plays a big role in selling and supporting AMRs. We also celebrate the one year anniversary of the MARS 2020 mission.
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Savioke Relay+ rides the elevator; World Ag Expo Robotics

On this weeks episode we interview Savioke Robotics founder and CEO Steve Cousins about the new features and capabilities of the recently released Relay+ robot. Relay+ includes a new mechanical actuator to interact with the elevator without the need for a wired integration. Steve Crow and Mike Oitzman also review the most interesting robotics solutions on display at the 2022 World Ag Expo, including apple picking drones, dairy cow inoculating robots and a mummy shooting mobile robot.
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Open source visualization and debugging for robotics

Adrian Macneil, co-founder and CEO of Calif.-based startup Foxglove, discusses open source visualization and debugging tool for robotics. He discusses the company's spin-out from autonomous driving company Cruise, how its solutions differ from RViz, challenges of robotics development and the keys to running his startup.
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APEX.AI discusses autonomous vehicle OS's; Nearly $1B in funding announcements

In this weeks episode Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzmanreview the large number of recent robotics funding announcements over the past week. Mike interviews Jan Becker and Joe Speed from APEX.AI and they discuss the importance and evolution of real-time operating systems and technology stacks for autonomous vehicles. They also discuss the Autonomous Challenge at CES event.
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Steve Crowe, Dan Kara and Mike Oitzman look to the year ahead in robotics

In this episode, co-hosts Steve Crowe and Mike Oitzman are joined by Dan Kara and the team discusses their thoughts about what's coming in 2022 in the world of robotics. You'll get three unique perspectives on the latest trends and happenings in industrial robotics, mobile robots and autonomous vehicles.
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Steve Crowe, Mike Oitzman and Dan Kara review the top robotics stories of 2021

For the last episode of 2021, the editorial staff of Steve Crowe, Mike Oitzman and Dan Kara review and discuss the top robotics stories of 2021. Thank you to all of our faithful audience for a great year. If you have feedback or input, leave us a voicemail at
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Massrobotics and AWS Robotics join forces; New Savioke Relay+

Welcome to Episode 64 of The Robot Report Podcast, which brings conversations with robotics innovators straight to you. Join us each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community. In today's episode, Steve and Mike interview Fady Saad from Massrobotics and Eric Anderson from AWS Robotics about how Massrobotics and AWS are enabling young robotics startups to accelerate their growth and development. We learn about the new startup incubator program starting in 2022 and how your company can participate. Also on the show, we hear from Savioke CEO Steve Cousins about how a new feature in the Savioke Relay+ is delighting customers and setting the standard for social robotics interactions in the field.
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Esben Østergaard: EU AI Act will stifle robotics innovation

Welcome to Episode 63  of The Robot Report Podcast, which brings conversations with robotics innovators straight to you. Join us each week for discussions with leading roboticists, innovative robotics companies, and other key members of the robotics community. In today's episode, Steve and Mike interview robotics innovator Esben Østergaard, CEO of Reinvest Robotics and cofounder of Universal Robots. We discuss the potential impact of the pending EU AI Act and Machinery Directive. These directives are likely to impact the growth of AI startup in the EU and burden them with rules that will hamper innovation. Esben offers his thoughts about innovation and how successful robotics startups need a competitive playing field to be successful. Could this be the death of robotic and AI innovation in the EU? Listen in to learn more. Here's a link to Esben's recent blog about the impact of the EU AI Act and Machinery Directive. ?The approach of the current machinery directive is sufficient. The problem is with governance. We recommend focusing on ensuring that products on the market actually comply with the current EU law, not creating new regulations,? said Østergaard. Steve and Mike also review the latest robotics news stories from the last week, including the following stories reported on The Robot Report: - Robotics Summit & Expo 2022 call for speakers - MiR is building autonomous pallet jacks - Knightscope IPO taking security robots public - Serve Robotics closes $13 million funding round - Nuro, Waymo bring autonomous deliveries to California
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Dexterity founder Samir Menon; 2 SPACs fall apart due to China tech crackdown

Samir Menon, founder and CEO of Dexterity Inc. joins the program this week. We discuss Dexterity's rapid growth and its approach to developing full-stack robotic picking for logistics, supply chain, and warehousing applications. Mike and Steve also discuss some recent trending stories, including China's role is ending a potential autonomous vehicle SPAC.
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Decommissioning chemical missiles with robots

Today?s episode recaps a major week for autonomous vehicles. Cruise co-founder, CTO and president Kyle Vogt hailed the first driverless robotaxi ride in SF, Waymo started to map New York City and Nuro raised another $600M for its autonomous delivery vehicles. And we don?t even mention Aurora debuting on the Nasdaq, FedEx testing autonomous delivery in China, and Autobrains raising $101 million for its unsupervised AI for autonomous vehicles. You'll also hear from James DeSmet, president and CEO of CRG Automation. The company built a robotic system to help decommission a stockpile of 70,000 chemical missiles at a base in Kentucky. James walks us through the challenges of the project. Our favorite quote from the interview: ?We?re just packaging a very dangerous chemical weapon instead of a Twinkie. It?s a little different, but it?s the same.? You can check out videos of the system in action over at CRG Automation?s YouTube channel.
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Interview with IAC race winner Team TUM

In today's episode, Steve and Mike interview Alex Wischnewski, team lead for Technical University of Munich [TUM], and the winning race team at the 2021 Indy Autonomous Challenge. Alex discusses how the team came together for the competition and the stress of race day when they had to make changes to the race parameters to balance speed with safe operations. The Indy Autonomous Challenge turned out to be more difficult than anyone anticipated, and Alex provides a first hand view of pushing autonomous vehicles to the limit. Steve and Mike also cover the latest robotics news stories from the last week.
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Is Softbank Robotics Europe for Sale?; Melonee Wise on Fetch's New AMRs

Mike caught up with Melonee Wise, founder of Fetch Robotics and VP of robotics automation at Zebra Technologies, at the AMRs and Logistics Conference. They discussed the new Fetch FlexShelf, FlexShelf Guide, RollerTop Guide autonomous mobile robot solutions that came out this week, as well as the state of logistics automation. We also discuss the news of the week, including Softbank reportedly negotiating the sale of its French robotics business, Softbank Robotics Europe, to German distributor United Robotics Group. We also discuss the new AMR solutions from Fetch Robotics, the historic IPO of AutoStore on the Oslo Stock Exchange and a couple of food-related automation items. Show Notes
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AMRs & Logistics Conference Recap; Pitney Bowes on Autonomous Sorting

This week, Steve and Mike recap the Autonomous Mobile Robots and Logistics Conference that took place in Memphis. They also talk to Stephanie Cannon of Pitney Bowes, which is deploying robotics systems from Ambi Robotics throughout the U.S to support its e-commerce network. We also discuss the news of the week, including Waymo's self-driving cars repeatedly hitting a dead-end in San Francisco, and the outrage sparked by a commercial quadruped that was outfitted with an unmanned rifle.
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Jon Hirschtick from Onshape/PTC; Favorite robotics startups of 2021

Our guest this week is Jon Hirschtick from PTC. Jon has started (and sold) two popular product development companies in his career: SolidWorks and Onshape. We also cover the robotics news from the week, PLUS a special discussion about our favorite startups for 2021. Timestamps News recap: 0-18:18 Interview with PTC's Jon Hirschtick: 20:57-1:04:40 Voicemails/Favorite Robotics Startups: 1:04:43-1:36:37
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Amazon Astro underwhelms robotics community; Vicarious Surgical CEO Adam Sachs

Amazon introduced its much-anticipated home robot this week, and it's underwhelmed the robotics industry. Mike and Steve share their thoughts on why Astro's future doesn't look bright. Listeners also call in to share their thoughts on the home robot. We also sit down with Adam Sachs, CEO and founder of Vicarious Surgical. Adam discusses the company's next-gen surgical robotics system, the challenges and keys to building it, and debuting on the NYSE.
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Inside Locus Robotics? acquisition of Waypoint Robotics

Steve and Mike talk to Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics and Jason Walker, CEO of Waypoint Robotics to discuss the big news of the day: the acquisition of Waypoint Robotics by Locus Robotics. The acquisition will pay immediate dividends for Locus customers who want a higher payload AMR for moving inventory within their warehouse. Rick and Jason share their stories about how the acquisition came together and what it means for both Locus Robotics customers and Waypoint Robotics customers.
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Four robot companies pull in $531M in funding; Interview with Photoneo CTO, Tomas Kovacovsky

In episode 54, Steve and Mike discuss recent funding news for four robotics companies totally $531M; iRobot J7+ poop avoidance algorithms; cost of the recent Ocado ASRS fire. We also interview Photoneo CTO, Tomas Kovacovsky, about 3D vision, 3D cameras and what it takes to build a robust, industrial camera/vision solution.
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