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Latest Robotics News


SpaceNews.com reported that one of five teams in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition, Moon Express, has announced that it is fully funded for its lunar mission. The Florida-based company noted that it has secured $20 million in “Series B” funding. This brings the total the group has raised from private investors to over $45 million, said co-founder and CEO Bob Richards. GLXP is offering $20 million to the first privately funded team to (1) land a spacecraft on the moon, (2) drive a vehicle 500 meters and (3) send back a high-resolution image of the moon as seen by the robot. That is just the beginning in terms of tasks in this challenge -- and with respect to cash awards.

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Swarms of robots (“swarm bots”) are at home in air, maritime and land environments and are as unstoppable as an ant colony on the march. Made up of large numbers of inexpensive units, swarm bots will theoretically overwhelm, out-compute and outgun their automated adversaries. Fielding swarm bots is a sophisticated, expensive undertaking, and yet, surgical deployment of flocks or schools of swarm bots may be coming sooner than you think. Testing of swarms of drones is underway worldwide. Swarm demos were shown at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition.

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Frank Tobe, founder of TheRobotReport.com, notes that funding of robotics start-ups was up 50% in 2016, compared to the previous year. He lists 128+ robotics startups with capsule descriptions. Frank's report spells out the continued growth of the robotics industry in dramatic detail. Frank plans an upcoming report detailing 49 2016 acquisitions involving billions of dollars, so keep your eyes on his website!

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At the recent RoboUniverse trade show held in San Diego in mid-December, 3D Rapid Prototyping demonstrated advanced systems that allow you to 3D print large, custom objects. With these tools you can build prototypes and working device parts using your choice of colors and a variety of materials.

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MatterHackers exhibited at the recent RoboUniverse held in San Diego in mid-December. MatterHackers credo is to “enable people to turn the ideas they have into the things they use.” Located in Orange County, CA, MatterHackers offers an extensive online showroom tour, where the company notes if offers the widest selection of 3D printers and materials in the world.

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