Notes on Robotics Research • TechCrunch

Notes on Robotics Research • TechCrunch

Mover: Ken Goldberg of UC Berkeley/Ambi Robotics Discusses the Biggest Robotics Trends of 2022

Happy vacation from ghost engine past. I’m writing to you from the beginning of the month and hope I’m not checking work email or Slack while reading this. I’m back at work next week (I hope the bags under my eyes have subsided a bit), but until then, I have another great interview for you. This week I leave you in the hands of Ken Goldberg, who wears the double hats of UC Berkeley Professor of Robotics and Chief Scientist at Ambi Robotics.

Q&A with Ken Goldberg

Ken Goldberg at TechCrunch Disrupt

Image credits: Kimberly White (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

TC: What’s the biggest story about robotics in 2022?

KG: For me, three major robotics developments in 2022 stand out:

  1. The impressive progress of large language paradigms (eg, GPT-3) and associated text-to-image generation (eg, Dall-E) is spurring excitement in the robotics community about how these paradigms can be applied to robots, by completing programs Android related prompt. An interesting paper from Brian Ichter and his Google AI colleagues was presented at the 2022 Conference on Robot Learning on December 14-18.
  2. Elon Musk has rebranded Tesla as its related robotics company Research initiative in humanoid robots. I doubt they will A useful humanoid robot for $20,000 in two years, but Tesla has plenty of experience In sensors/actuators, robot use cases in its factories, and consciousness of costs and mass production which is a solid vote of confidence in area.
  3. Widespread adoption of robots in warehouses is growing The demand for e-commerce has not diminished by returning to stores or economic inflation. Companies like Ambi Robotics have installed more than 70 AI startups Robotic sorting systems across the United States, demonstrating their profound feasibility Learn to enhance worker productivity.

What are your biggest predictions for robotics for 2023?

I think we’ll see bots-as-a-service (RaaS) models that make bots available to a much broader section of the industry (for example, funding a Model T Ford that opened up car buying to the middle class).

How profound is the pandemic’s impact on bots?

The pandemic has dramatically increased the adoption of teleconferencing as well as telebots in hospitals and nursing homes to prevent transmission of the virus. But the biggest impact has been on e-commerce, which has grown at 5 times the previous rate.

How does the macroeconomic environment affect bots? investment?

Venture capital is harder to come by than it was in December 2021, but funds continue to invest in high-demand robotics companies like Locus and Ambi.

The under-handled category deserves more focus from robotics startups and investors?

Robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) shifts cost from capital expenditures to operating expenses, so it is very attractive and practical for the industry.

How will automation affect the workforce in the future?

As Diego Cunene pointed out: “It’s not about replacing a human with a robot. It’s about making a robot out of a human.” Robots cannot replace most dexterous and non-repetitive aspects of work. Robots will not replace people. It will increase worker productivity.

Are home robots finally having their moment?

Designing a cost-effective home robot to do more than clean floors is very challenging. Advancing demographics will increase demand for this, but it will take longer.

What more could/should the US do to encourage innovation in this category?

Fortunately, the National Science Foundation’s budgets were increased this year; NSF provides critical support to graduate students and increases much-needed diversity.


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