The Most Promising Companies in Robotics

Whilst fears of a hostile takeover by robotic overlords remains as concerning as ever for many at the table of popular culture, this tech area is gaining popularity so fast. David Hanson, American roboticist, thinks that robots are as smart, creative and capable as human beings, and fully conscious and self-discerning with free will. The Founder of Association Noosphere, Max Polyakov, also believes that the technological revolution has only started and we would be really surprised with the robots’ opportunities in the near future.

There remains no shortage of companies looking to bring robotics forward with the latest technologies. These robotics companies are on the forefront of industrial and scientific development, and their innovations could help bring the world of the future one step closer to today.

 

Miso Robotics

One of the big industries after manufacture that will be experiencing some of the first forms of widespread automation will likely be food service, and Miso Robotics is on the frontline of this culinary industrial revolution. Flippy is (unsurprisingly) a burger-flipping machine that utilizes thermal sensors and cameras to identify burger patties on the grill and establish when they’re sufficiently cooked. Burger fans will also be heartened to hear that it can add cheese to the burgers it cooks, which can then be given to human staff who can finish off constructing the sandwich. It’s a brave new world, and the company hopes to ship 50 units of Flippy within the next year.

 

Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics was previously owned by software giant Google but was recently acquired by the Japanese technology firm Softbank. The company of secretive founder and CEO Marc Raibert has managed to establish itself as the closest thing the robotics industry has in the way of a household name, thanks in no small part to the stunning range of motion displayed by its latest robotic designs. Striking designs like the Atlas and SpotMini have been able to run and jump in ways that have an uncanny (and some would say, disturbing) resemblance to people and animals. Having originally started life thanks to funding from the U.S. military, many are concerned about whether the company is interested in developing man’s new best friend, or foe; helper or weapon. Whatever the case, this firm is on the bleeding edge of the field of modern robotics.

 

Liquid Robotics

When you think of robots, most people will imagine machines operating on dry land, but some robot companies are only too aware that most of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. Liquid Robotics is one such company, who has been working hard to develop autonomous ocean drones that use wave power as an energy source. The company broke records in 2013 with a robotic vessel that registered the longest distance ever traveled by an autonomous vehicle in a single journey, having navigated the Pacific ocean from California all the way to Australia. Fast forward to today and the company has a fleet comprised of hundreds of its Wave Glider robots that companies can contract to assist with monitoring offshore sites, carrying out environmental surveys, and more.

 

Stanley Robotics

Back on dry land, Stanley Robotics have applied themselves to the design of a robot that can make it easier than ever to solve the frequent problem of successfully finding a parking spot. It’s developing a giant autonomous forklift that will be able to manage parking garages by lifting and repositioning cars in storage with a high degree of precision. Nicknamed “Stan”, the machine’s application is compatible with a wide variety of car makes and models, and doesn’t require the driver to hand over their keys like valet parking. Instead, you simply schedule a time slot to retrieve your vehicle, and Stan brings your car to the nearest exit. Stanley Robotics claims that Stan could improve the parking capacity of the average garage structure by as much as 50%.

 

Touch Bionics

On a less eye-catching but no less important frontier of robotics is Touch Bionics, who are pioneering prosthetic upper limbs that use robotics to augment their accurate function. The latest technology to get people excited is the i-Limb Quantum, that can provide individually articulated digits for those who have lost fingers, hands or even whole forearms above the elbow. There’s no shortage of innovative features to bolster the technology, including the utilization of smartphone app technology that can toggle the prosthetic limbs through various grip settings.

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