All posts by Silicon Valley Robotics

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California is the robotics capital of the world

I came to the Silicon Valley region in 2010 because I knew it was the robotics center of the world, but it certainly doesn’t get anywhere near the media attention that some other robotics regions do. In California, robotics technology is a small fish in a much bigger technology pond, and that tends to conceal how important Californian companies are to the robotics revolution.

This conservative dataset from Pitchbook [Vertical: Robotics and Drones] provides data for 7166 robotics and drones companies, although a more customized search would provide closer to 10,000 robotics companies world wide. Regions ordered by size are:

  • North America 2802
  • Asia 2337
  • Europe 2285
  • Middle East 321
  • Oceania 155
  • South America 111
  • Africa 63
  • Central America 13


USA robotics companies by state

  1. California = 843 (667) * no of companies followed by no of head quarters
  2. Texas = 220 (159)
  3. New York = 193 (121)
  4. Massachusetts = 191 (135)
  5. Florida = 136 (95)
  6. Pennsylvania = 113 (89)
  7. Washington = 85 (61)
  8. Colorado = 83 (57)
  9. Virginia = 81 (61)
  10. Michigan = 70 (56)
  11. Illinois = 66 (43)
  12. Ohio = 65 (56)
  13. Georgia = 64 (46)
  14. New Jersey = 53 (36)
  15. Delaware = 49 (18)
  16. Maryland = 48 (34)
  17. Arizona = 48 (37)
  18. Nevada = 42 (29)
  19. North Carolina = 39 (29)
  20. Minnesota = 31 (25)
  21. Utah = 30 (24)
  22. Indiana = 29 (26)
  23. Oregon = 29 (20)
  24. Connecticut = 27 (22)
  25. DC = 26 (12)
  26. Alabama = 25 (21)
  27. Tennessee = 20 (18)
  28. Iowa = 17 (14)
  29. New Mexico = 17 (15)
  30. Missouri = 17 (16)
  31. Wisconsin = 15 (12)
  32. North Dakota = 14 (8)
  33. South Carolina = 13 (11)
  34. New Hampshire = 13 (12)
  35. Nebraska = 13 (11)
  36. Oklahoma = 10 (8)
  37. Kentucky = 10 (7)
  38. Kansas = 9 (9)
  39. Louisiana = 9 (8)
  40. Rhode Island = 8 (6)
  41. Idaho = 8 (6)
  42. Maine = 5 (5)
  43. Montana = 5 (4)
  44. Wyoming = 5 (3)
  45. Mississippi = 3 (1)
  46. Arkansas = 3 (2)
  47. Alaska = 3 (3)
  48. Hawaii = 2 (1)
  49. West Virginia = 1 (1)
  50. South Dakota = 1 (0)

Note – this number in brackets is for HQ locations, whereas the first number is for all company locations. The end results and rankings are practically the same.


ASIA robotics companies by country

  1. China = 1350
  2. Japan = 283
  3. India = 261
  4. South Korea = 246
  5. Israel = 193
  6. Hong Kong = 72
  7. Russia = 69
  8. United Arab Emirates = 50
  9. Turkey = 48
  10. Malaysia = 35
  11. Taiwan = 21
  12. Saudi Arabia = 19
  13. Thailand = 13
  14. Vietnam = 12
  15. Indonesia = 10
  16. Lebanon = 7
  17. Kazakhstan = 3
  18. Iran = 3
  19. Kuwait = 3
  20. Oman = 3
  21. Qatar = 3
  22. Pakistan = 3
  23. Philippines = 2
  24. Bahrain = 2
  25. Georgia = 2
  26. Sri Lanka = 2
  27. Azerbaijan = 1
  28. Nepal = 1
  29. Armenia = 1
  30. Burma/Myanmar = 1

Countries with no robotics; Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, East Timor.


UK/EUROPE robotics companies by country

  1. United Kingdom = 443
  2. Germany = 331
  3. France = 320
  4. Spain = 159
  5. Netherlands = 156
  6. Switzerland = 140
  7. Italy = 125
  8. Denmark = 115
  9. Sweden = 85
  10. Norway = 80
  11. Poland = 74
  12. Belgium = 72
  13. Russia = 69
  14. Austria = 51
  15. Turkey = 48
  16. Finland = 45
  17. Portugal = 36
  18. Ireland = 28
  19. Estonia = 24
  20. Ukraine = 22
  21. Czech Republic = 19
  22. Romania = 19
  23. Hungary = 18
  24. Lithuania = 18
  25. Latvia = 15
  26. Greece = 15
  27. Bulgaria = 11
  28. Slovakia = 10
  29. Croatia = 7
  30. Slovenia = 6
  31. Serbia = 6
  32. Belarus = 4
  33. Iceland = 3
  34. Cyprus = 2
  35. Bosnia & Herzegovina = 1

Countries with no robotics; Andorra, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Malta, Vatican City.


CANADA robotics companies by region

  1. Ontario = 144
  2. British Colombia = 60
  3. Quebec = 53
  4. Alberta = 34
  5. Manitoba = 7
  6. Saskatchewan = 6
  7. Newfoundland & Labrador = 2
  8. Yukon = 1

Regions with no robotics; Nunavut, Northwest Territories.

The robots of #IROS2023

The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) showcases leading-edge research in robotics. IROS was held in Detroit MI Oct 1-5 and not only showcased research but the latest commercialization in robotics, particularly robotics providers selling into robotics for research or as part of the hardware/software stack. The conference focuses on future directions in robotics, and the latest approaches, designs, and outcomes. It also provides an opportunity to network with the world’s leading roboticists.

Highlights included seeing Silicon Valley Robotics members; Foxglove, Hello Robot, Anyware Robotics and Tangram Vision, also Open Robotics and Intrinsic talking up ROS 2 and the upcoming ROSCon 23. Intrinsic sponsored a ROS/IROS meetup and Clearpath Robotics sponsored the Diversity Cocktails event. OhmniLabs sponsored 3 telepresence robots which were in constant demand touring the expo, the competition floor and the poster sessions. I also met Sol Robotics from the Bay Area, which has quite a unique robot arm structure, that’s super stable with the ability to carry a lot of weight.

There were plenty of rolling and roaming robots, like this Diablo from Direct Drive Tech (world’s first Direct-Drive Self-Balancing Wheeled-Leg Robot), also from Deep Robotics, Unitree Robotics, Fourier Intelligence, Hebi and Westwood Robotics. Also the other legged one, and the rolling robots – Clearpath, Otto, Husarion, Hebi and more. Although they weren’t on the Expo Floor, the Disney keynote session was another highlight with a live robot demo on stage,

And Franka Emika fans will be pleased to hear that not only did they win a ‘best paper’ award, but that the eminent demise of the company is much overstated. It’s a German thing. There are many investors/purchasers lined up to keep the company going while they restructure. And watch out for Psyonics! Psyonics’ smart ability hands and arms, world’s first touch sensing bionic arms, are being used by Apptronik (humanoid for NASA) as well as for people with disabilities.

IROS Exhibitor gallery

Full list of IROS Exhibitors is here.

SVR Guide to Robotics Research and Education 2023

In the last decade we have seen more robotics innovation becoming real products and companies than in the entire history of robotics.

Furthermore, the greater Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area is at the center of this ‘Cambrian Explosion in Robotics’ as Dr Gill Pratt, Director of Robotics at Toyota Research Institute described it. In fact, two of the very first robots were developed right here.

In 1969 at Stanford, Vic Sheinman designed the first electric robot arm able to be computer controlled. After successful pilots and interest from General Motors, Unimation acquired the concept and released the PUMA or Programmable Universal Machine for Assembly. Unimation was eventually acquired by Staubli, and the PUMA became one of the most successful industrial robots of all time.

Shakey was the first mobile robot able to perceive and reason. Also called the world’s first electronic person by Time Magazine in 1972. Shakey was developed at SRI International from 1966 to 1972 and pioneered many advances in computer vision and path planning and control systems that are still in use today.

These companies have been at the heart of Silicon Valley Robotics, the regional robotics ecosystem/association, but we have also seen enormous growth in new robotics companies and startups in the last decade.

And all of them are hiring.

This volume serves as a guide to students who are interested in studying the field of robotics in any way. Robotics jobs range from service technician, electrical or mechanical engineer, control systems and computer science, to interaction or experience designer, human factors and industrial design.

All these skills are in great demand in robotics companies around the world, and people with experience in robotics are in great demand everywhere. Robotics is a complex multidisciplinary field, which provides opportunities for you to develop problem solving skills and a holistic approach.

The robotics industry also requires people with skill sets in growing businesses, not just robotics, but product and project management, human resources, sales, marketing, operations.

Get involved in robotics – the industry of the 21st century.

The guide

The robots of CES 2023

Robots were on the main expo floor at CES this year, and these weren’t just cool robots for marketing purposes. I’ve been tracking robots at CES for more than 10 years, watching the transition from robot toys to real robots. Increasing prominence has been given to self-driving cars, LiDARs and eVTOL drones, but, in my mind it was really the inclusion of John Deere and agricultural robots last year that confirmed that CES was incorporating more industry, more real machines, not just gadgets.
In fact, according to the organizing association CTA or the Consumer Technology Association, these days CES no longer stands for the Consumer Electronics Show. CES now just stands for CES, one of the world’s largest technology expos.

Eve from Halodi Robotics shakes hands at CES 2023 with Karinne Ramirez-Amaro, associate professor at Chalmers University of Technology and head of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s Women in Engineering chapter. (Image source: Andra Keay)

Eve from Halodi Robotics shakes hands at CES 2023 with Karinne Ramirez-Amaro, associate professor at Chalmers University of Technology and head of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s Women in Engineering chapter. (Image source: Andra Keay)

The very first robot I saw was Eve from Halodi Robotics, exhibiting in the ADT Commercial booth. I am a big fan of this company. Not only do they have great robotics technology, which is very safe and collaborative, but I’ve watched them go from an angel funded startup to their first commercial deployments, providing 140 robots to ADT. One of their secrets has been spending the last year working closely with ADT to finetune the first production features of Eve, focusing on indoor security and working alongside people. In the future, Halodi has potential for many other applications including eldercare.

Another robot company (and robot) that I’m a big fan of is Labrador Robotics, and their mobile tray fetching robot for eldercare. Labrador exhibited their mobile robot in the AARP Innovation Lab pavilion, and are rolling out robots both in houses and in aged care facilities. There are two units pictured and the height of the platform can raise or lower depending on whether it needs to reach a countertop or fridge unit to retrieve items, like drinks and medications, or whether it needs to lower to become a bed or chair side table. These units can be commanded by voice, or tablet, or scheduled to travel around designated ‘bus stops’, using advanced localization and mapping. The team at Labrador have a wealth of experience at other consumer robotics companies.

Two Retrievers from Labrador Robotics in the AARP Innovation Lab Pavilion at CES 2023. (Image source: Andra Keay)

Two Retrievers from Labrador Robotics in the AARP Innovation Lab Pavilion at CES 2023. (Image source: Andra Keay)

I first met Sampriti Battacharya, pictured below with her autonomous electric boat, when she was still doing her robotics PhD at MIT, dreaming about starting her own company. Five short years later, she’s now the proud founder of Navier with not one but two working prototypes of the ‘boat of the future’. The Navier 30 is a 30’ long electric intelligent hydrofoil with a range of 75 nautical miles and a top speed of 35 knots. Not only is the electric hydrofoil 90% more energy efficient than traditional boats but it eliminates sea sickness with a super smooth ride. Sampriti’s planning to revolutionize public transport for cities that span waterways, like San Francisco or Boston or New York.

Navier’s ‘boat of the future’ with founder Sampriti Battacharya, plus an extra stowaway quadruped robot from Unitree. Image source: Andra Keay

Navier’s ‘boat of the future’ with founder Sampriti Battacharya, plus an extra stowaway quadruped robot from Unitree. Image source: Andra Keay

Another rapidly evolving robotics company is Yarbo. Starting out as a prototype snow blowing robot, after five years of solid R&D, Snowbot has evolved into the Yarbo modular family of smart yard tools. Imagine a smart docking mobile base which can be turned from a lawn mower to a snow blower or a leaf blower. It can navigate autonomously, and it’s electric of course.

And these robotics companies are making waves at CES. I met French startup Acwa Robotics earlier in 2022 and was so impressed that I nominated them as an IEEE Entrepreneurship Star. Water utilities around the world are faced with aging and damaged infrastructure, inaccessible underground pipes, responsible for huge amounts of water loss, road and building damage. Acwa’s intelligent robot travels inside the pipes without stopping water flow and provides rapid precisely localized inspection data that can pinpoint leaks, cracks and deterioration. Acwa was nominated for honors in the Smart Cities category and also won CES Best of Innovation Award.

Acwa Robotics and CES 2023 Best of Innovation Awards (Image Source: Acwa Robotics)

Acwa Robotics and CES 2023 Best of Innovation Awards (Image Source: Acwa Robotics)

Some other robotics companies and startups worth looking at were, Caterpillar, Unitree, Bosch Rexroth, Waymo, Zoox, Whill, Meropy, Artemis Robotics, Fluent Pet and Orangewood. Let me know who I missed! According to the app, 278 companies tagged themselves as Robotics, 73 as Drones, 514 as Vehicle Tech, and 722 as Startups, although I’d say the overall number of exhibitors and attendees was down on previous years although there were definitely more robots.

Women in Tech leadership resources from IMTS 2022

There’ve been quite a few events recently focusing on Women in Robotics, Women in Manufacturing, Women in 3D Printing, in Engineering, and in Tech Leadership. One of the largest tradeshows in the US IMTS 2022 kicked off with a Women Make Manufacturing Move Reception, with Allison Grealis, President of Women in Manufacturing, Andra Keay, President of Women in Robotics and Kristin Mulherin, President of Women in 3D Printing, ahead of a program packed with curated technical content and leadership sessions. (see the resource list below)

On Tuesday, I also moderated the A3 Webinar “Robots and Beyond Roundtable: How Women in Robotics and Automation are Changing Manufacturing” with Joanne Moretti, CRO of Fictiv, Jackie Ram, VP of Operations, IAM Robotics, Jessica Moran, SVP and General Manager, Berkshire Grey, and Mikell Taylor, Principal Technical Program Manager, Amazon Robotics.

And on Thursday Sept. 15 I moderated a panel on “Reaching New Heights: Women in Tech Leadership” with Meaghan Ziemba, Owner, Z-Ink Solutions and Host, Mavens of Manufacturing Podcast, Nicole Wolter, President & CEO, HM Manufacturing, Laura Elan, Senior Director of Cybersecurity, MxD. We discussed so many great resources during our panel precall, that we really wanted to put together a list that could be shared more widely after the events were over.

Resources for Women in Tech Leadership:

Suggestions from Nicole Wolter;

  • Sporting experience is a great pathway into leadership for women who often miss out on formal leadership training or experiences.
  • Find mentors and champions (male or female) with an eye towards helping you develop your career pathway and deal with your next challenges.
  • Build on your strengths, while we can always improve we should embrace your strength.
  • The Goal is a great book about running a company. (now also available as a Business Graphic Novel)
  • Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson and Ron McMillan

From Meaghan Ziemba;

From Laura Elan;

Other Resources:

Hardworking women deserve footwear that is both beautiful and strong. Xena Workwear’s women’s steel toe boots & safety shoes are handcrafted with high-quality materials, look stunning, and are not bulky or masculine. Each style is ASTM certified and handcrafted to help you feel safe and confident. (not just footwear!)

But wait, there’s more!

Additionally, you can find interviews with some of these kickass women in the IMTS+ coverage. 

IMTS+ In Conversation With Host, Tim Shinbara, Chief Technology Officer, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology interviews Barbara Humpton,  President & CEO, Siemens Corporation.

Join IMTS+  Host, Marley Kayden for IMTS Unwind from Wednesday at the show. Featuring live interviews with: Nicole Wolter, President & CEO, HM Manufacturing; Aneesa Muthana, President, CEO, and Owner of Pioneer Service, Inc.; Yvonne Wiedemann, President & Owner of CAM Logic; Austin Schmidt, President of Additive Engineering Solutions; Max Egan, and Travis Egan, Chief Revenue Officer, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology.

Join IMTS+ Host, Marley Kayden for IMTS Today (Wednesday, September 14).  Featuring: Andra Keay, Vice President of Global Robotics; Robby Komljenovic, Chairman & CEO, Acieta; Richard Browning, Technologist and Founder of Gravity Industries; and Barbara Humpton, President & CEO of Siemens

Join IMTS+ Host Marley Kayden for IMTS Today, Friday, September 16: Featuring: Dr. Jeffrey Ahrstrom, CEO, Ingersoll; Meaghan Ziemba, Owner, Z-Ink Solutions, Founder & Host, Mavens of Manufacturing; Mitch Free Founder & CEO, ZYCI and Trusted Source; and John Dyck, CEO, CESMII: The Smart Manufacturing Institute.

Join IMTS+ Host, Marley Kayden for IMTS Unwind. Featuring live interviews with: Tim Shinbara, Chief Technology Officer, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology; Jeremy Nyenhuis, Owner of J3 Machine & Engineering, LLC.; and Courtney Tate, Owner of Ontime Quality Machining. Additional live interviews with social media influencers James Soto, Founder & CEO, INDUSTRIAL and Partnership Advocate; and Charli K. Matthews, Founder & CEO, Empowering Pumps & Equipment, and Champion of Women.

Seeing the robots at #ICRA2022 through the eyes of a robot

Accessbility@ICRA2022 and OhmniLabs provided three OhmniBots for the conference, allowing students, faculty and interested industry members to attend the expo and poster sessions. The deployment of telepresence robots was greatly appreciated by everyone, from people with medical conditions or visa issues preventing them from attending, to people who were able to sample a little bit of the conference as an introduction, including future conference organizers. 

There were more than 60 requests to “Tour ICRA 2022 via Telepresence Robots” from as far away as Africa, India, Asia Pacific, Australia and Europe, as well as across the USA. 24.6% of requests came from interested industry people, with an additional 1.8% from the investment community, 1.8% from the media and 5.3% was interest from the general public.

ICRA 2022 General Chair George Pappas commented that “​​The telepresence robots were a big hit! It added a very nice innovation and was discussed very positively on social media, particularly from registrants that could not make it.”

Thuc Vu, the CEO of OhmniLabs, the company that provided ICRA with telepresence robots, was delighted to see a conference that was taking a meaningful step for people with accessibility issues. OhmniLabs provide telepresence robots for hospitals and schools as well as for manufacturing or workplace settings and have seen first hand the difference that having a physical ‘body’ and the ability to move around makes in the experience, compared to a video call.

One ICRA researcher presented their poster session via robot, and several faculty who couldn’t attend in person were able to be there for their student’s poster sessions. 12.5% of the requests for telepresence robots came from people who had a paper or poster accepted at ICRA but couldn’t travel. PhD Student at The Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (SIRIS) at Sydney University, Ahalya Ravendran said, 

“Did I tell y’all I bot-suit myself for my conference #ICRA2022 poster session? @RobotLaunch was kind enough to allocate a slot for me during my poster session and oh I had a lot of fun touring with the telepresence robot, via @OhmniLabs

“Hi from Robotic Imaging Team

Sabine Hauert, Publicity Chair at ICRA, President of Robohub and Associate Professor of Swarm Engineering at Bristol University was unable to attend ICRA in person due to pregnancy, but she still visited her student’s poster sessions and explored the conference Expo, saying 

“That was fun! The height of the telepresence robot is even accurate 😉 Thanks @OhmniLabs, @RobotLaunch and @ieee_ras_icra for making it possible for this very pregnant lady to attend #ICRA2022 remotely. Congrats on the nice work @m_alhafnawi.”

Sabine’s PhD student Merihan Alhafnawi was delighted,

“Such an amazing surprise having @sabinehauert visit my poster remotely at @ieee_ras_icra! I presented MOSAIX, a swarm of expressive robot Tiles that we designed & built. Work done with Sabine, @DrEdmundHunt, @skadge & Paul O’Dowd. Check out photos from both perspectives #ICRA2022

Specially Appointed Assistant Professor at Tohoku University in Japan, Seyed Amir Tafrishi said, “I was lucky to join #icra2022 physically by my avatar robot, where two of our papers will be presented. Thanks to #Ohmnilabs for the fantastic experience with the telepresence robot! It was a great experience to talk with different experts. P.S. Person on the robot’s screen is me! :))”

Many people gave us additional information to help us understand why they wanted to access ICRA via telepresence robots, ranging from people stuck in war torn countries, to economic or visa difficulties traveling from some parts of the world. Corporate policy contributed to several people’s inability to attend in person, as sustainably minded companies seek to minimize their carbon impact. 

There was also interest from roboticists researching the telepresence experience as well as from future robotics conference organizers. And there were a wide range of medical reasons underpinning the requests for telepresence. Some medical issues are temporary conditions but some roboticists have permanent conditions requiring accessibility support. As telepresence robots become more of the norm, we will be helping to empower researchers who are otherwise isolated from the rest of the community. 

Kavita Krishnaswamy is a Google Lime Scholar and Microsoft Research Fellow, with a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at University of Maryland working with Dr. Tim Oates. Kavita was one of the researchers who was only able to attend ICRA through the use of a telepresence robot, due to her permanent medical conditions. 

As a professional researcher with a physical disability, Kavita is highly motivated to develop robotics systems to provide assistance and increase independence for people with disabilities. She is developing prototype robotics systems to support transferring, repositioning and personal care, with a focus on usable interfaces for people with severe disabilities. 

Kavita was interviewed by Robohub attending ICRA 2015 via telepresence robot and was excited to hear that IEEE RAS and OhmniLabs are working on making telepresence a permanent conference feature.

And of course, without dedicated volunteers managing the robots and helping visitors maneuver around the conference, we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered, the visitors who shared their experiences with us, and to the team at OhmniLabs for their generosity and support.

Interested in getting an Ohmni yourself? Reach out to Ohmni team at

Links to original tweets or posts used in the report:


Unable to attend #ICRA2022 for accessibility issues? Or just curious to see robots?

We can now offer you a telepresence robot tour of the ICRA 2022 expo hall, competitions and poster sessions, thanks to generous support from our friends at OhmniLabs. OhmniLabs build human-centric robots that elevate quality of life for billions of people worldwide, and they build all the robots right here in Silicon Valley using advanced additive manufacturing.

Join more than 5000 roboticists, researchers and industry from 89 different countries in Pennsylvania for a fascinating showcase of robotics thought leadership. There will be 12 keynote speakers, 6 industry and entrepreneurial forums, 10 competitions, almost 60 workshops and 1500 papers presented. And on top of that there are more than 80 robotics companies demoing their technologies, ranging from Agility Robotics to Zebra Technologies/Fetch Robotics. 

There are many things that can make it difficult to attend an in person conference in the United States and so the ICRA Organizing Committee, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and OhmniLabs would like to help you attend ICRA virtually. Priority of access will be for robotics researchers and students who are unable to travel, particularly if you are an author of a paper or poster, but we welcome applications from people who are simply curious about robots as well. 

Three OhmniBots will be in the main exhibition hall (with all the other robots) from opening to closing on Tuesday May 24th, Wednesday May 25th and Thursday May 26th, with time slots aligning with Poster Sessions, networking breaks and Expo Hall hours. The application form allows you to select several time slots, and we’ll give you feedback as soon as possible about your application, but we won’t be able to confirm your final booking time(s) until Monday May 23.

Telepresence Robot access is also available for media tours, ICRA sponsors, and members of Black in Robotics, Women in Robotics or Open Robotics who’d like to join the networking events. Generally, the robots are limited to the Expo Floor but we might be able to make special arrangements 🙂 

Contact one of the Accessibility Chairs: with subject [telepresence tour]

Or one of the Media Chairs: with subject [media]

Let us know why you need to tour ICRA by telepresence robot!

Seamless transitions between autonomous robot capabilities and human intervention in construction robotics

Congratulations to the winners of the best paper award of the International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction 2021. The team around Cynthia Brosque, Elena Galbally, Prof. Martin Fischer, and Prof. Oussama Khatib did excellent groundwork for construction robotics. With permission, Silicon Valley Robotics is reposting the first parts of the paper below. It is also available on the IAARC website.

GOLDBECK US Inc. helped define construction robotics use-cases that generate real-world value on their job sites. In the first phase of the project, they collected data to understand the tasks on site holistically. Subsequently, simulations on how robots perform the job were created. Using this information, the researchers of Stanford University | CIFE – Center for Integrated Facility Engineering then developed suitable robotic prototypes. GOLDBECK supplied physical building components to test the prototypes under realistic conditions.

GOLDBECK is now hunting for robotics companies to help us transition this research into a real-world robotic application!


Due to their unstructured and dynamic nature, construction sites present many challenges for robotic automation of tasks. Integrating human-robot collaboration (HRC) is critical for task success and implementation feasibility. This is particularly important for contact-rich tasks and other complex scenarios which require a level of reasoning that cannot be accomplished by a fully autonomous robot. Currently, many solutions rely on precise teleoperation that requires one operator per robot. Alternatively, one operator may oversee several semi-autonomous robots. However, the operators do not have the sensory feedback needed to adequately leverage their expertise and craftsmanship. Haptic interfaces allow for intuitive human-robot collaboration by providing rich contact feedback. This paper presents two human-robot collaboration solutions for welding and joint sealing through the use of a haptic device. Our approach allows for seamless transitions between autonomous robot capabilities and human intervention with rich contact feedback. Additionally, this work opens the door to intuitive programming of new tasks through haptic human demonstration.

1 Introduction

In recent years, progress in mobility, manipulation skills, and AI reasoning have started to enable the use of robots in space, underwater, homes, agriculture, and construction [1]. A particularly important area of interest is the automation of dangerous, strenuous, and laborintensive tasks [2].

Construction sites are especially challenging environments for autonomous robots because of their highly unpredictable and unstructured nature [3, 4]. Hence, fully autonomous robots that replace human labor are not the most feasible or ideal solution. The majority of current approaches rely on a human operator that oversees a single task autonomous robot. The operator receives only visual feedback and is limited in the type of input and recovery from failure he can provide due to the lack of an intuitive interface to do so. [4] attributed this lack in technical flexibility of construction robots to the fact that early construction solutions imitated systems initially developed for industrial fabrication [5].

Some tasks are structured enough to be autonomously performed by a robot with little human input, but many require a more flexible approach that incorporates a higher degree of human reasoning and intuition [6]. Given this reality, a method to design construction robots should be flexible enough to allow varying levels of human-robot collaboration depending on the task.

Haptic devices (Fig.1) provide an effective interface for collaboration by allowing the human to (1) feel the contact forces between the robot’s end-effector and the environment [7], and (2) easily intervene and control the robot motion in scenarios that the autonomous behaviors are not able to handle successfully [8]. Additionally, data from these haptic interventions can be collected and used to learn new autonomous skills. Remote robot control using a haptic interface has been tested in fields such as surgery [9] and underwater exploration [1], but has not yet been widely implemented in construction.

In previous work, the authors explored human-robot collaboration solutions to five hazardous and repetitive construction tasks: installing drywall, painting, bolting, welding, and sealing precast concrete slab joints [10]. Our industry partner, Goldbeck, was interested in automating these assembly and finishing tasks that require on-site, repetitive manual effort, ergonomically challenging positions, and working from dangerous heights. [10] outlines a method for designing collaborative robotic solutions with haptic feedback and to assess their feasibility in simulation.

In this paper, we focus on two of the previously explored tasks (steel welding and sealing precast concrete joints) and apply the aforementioned method to design more flexible collaborative solutions. Different from [10], we propose relying primarily on the robot’s functional autonomy and using haptics as an effective and intuitive way to intervene in unexplored or failure scenarios. Force data from the recovery strategy employed by the operator can be recorded and used to learn from demonstration and augment the robot’s autonomy. Over time, the robot will require less human intervention. This higher degree of autonomy could allow a single operator to supervise many robots at once, overcoming the problems of teleoperation in which one operator per robot is needed.

2 Related Work

While factories have typically separated workers from robots due to safety concerns, human-robot collaboration cannot be overlooked in construction, as robots and humans share one workspace [2]. This requires devising solutions that allow us to effectively combine the workers’ expertise with the robots’ autonomous skills.

Construction literature has studied the use of teleoperation devices [11, 12, 7], particularly focusing on construction machinery, such as excavators. These solutions often involve cameras for visual feedback and GPS sensors for navigation, which can be sufficient to accomplish low dexterity tasks with increased operator safety. However, [7] states that complex tasks involving contact greatly benefit from additional sensory feedback such as tactile information. Furthermore, teleoperation solutions rely heavily on the operator’s guidance and do not fully exploit the autonomous capabilities of the robot.

A different set of collaborative solutions currently used onsite have semi-autonomous robots with a human supervisor that oversees the tasks such as drywall installation, concrete drilling, and layout [13]. The supervisor can provide simple inputs to the robot, such as when to start or stop the operation, while the robot handles the rest of the task. This approach makes better use of modern robotics capabilities and allows a single operator to manage several robots. However, the interfaces used to provide inputs to the robot are often too simplistic to allow recovery from failure.

In the event of a robot failure during task execution, joysticks and control pendants do not always provide enough feedback for the operator to intervene in an effective way that enables timely task completion. Additionally, there is currently no streamlined way to learn from the operator’s intervention and use this data to improve the robot’s autonomous capabilities.

By allowing the operator to feel the contact between the robot and its environment, haptic devices increase the range of scenarios in which the operator can aid in failure recovery [14]. Additionally, we can easily record both force and position data during the operator’s intervention. These human demonstrations of recovery strategies can allow the robot to learn new skills [15] and augment its functional autonomy.

Haptic devices have been used by the construction industry in combination with virtual reality for task training purposes [16]. The technology has allowed workers to train in a safe environment with realistic task conditions. However, haptics are still a novel technology in construction applications and field use has not been reported.

Current algorithms for haptic control of robots [17] can handle large communication delays, making them effective interfaces for remote intervention at long distances. In [1] an operator haptically controls an underwater ocean exploration robot from a distance of 100m.

Finally, [18] provides an example that integrates two modalities of robot control: autonomous robot behavior and expert human-guided motion interactions. In this study, a group of mobile robot arms successfully installed drywall boards in simulation with flexible human intervention.

This body of prior work illustrates how keeping the human in the loop with adequate feedback can facilitate successful task automation in complex, unstructured environments. Moreover, it highlights the value of haptics as a way to provide a flexible and effective interface for human-robot collaboration as well as teaching robots new autonomous skills.

Full Text of Paper


Automated mining inspection against the odds

Image from Rajant.

Learn how Rajant Corporation, PBE Group, and Australian Droid + Robot – as part of a #MSHA (U.S. Department of Labor)-backed mine safety mission – achieved a historic unmanned underground mine inspection at one of the US’ largest underground room and pillar limestone operations in this comprehensive IM report.

Using ten ADR Explora XL unmanned robots, a Rajant wireless Kinetic Mesh below-ground communication network, and PBE hardware and technology, a horizontal mobile infrastructure distance of 1.7 km was achieved. This allowed the unmanned robots to record high-definition video and LiDAR to create a virtual 3D mine model to assess the condition of the mine, for the deepest remote underground mine inspection in history.

The inspection made it possible for MSHA to conclude within a very short time that it was safe to re-enter the operation and begin remediation efforts, which included allowing mine personnel back into the mine to re-establish power and communications, after which mining was able to recommence quickly at the site.

The project, in many ways, is the ultimate example of necessity breeding innovation. It also showcased the capability of Rajant wireless mesh networks underground to facilitate autonomous mining operations where underground Wi-Fi would not be up to the task.

What Women in Robotics achieved in 2021 and what’s coming next in 2022

It’s been a hard year for women all over the world, and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to Women in Robotics in 2021, whether you’ve simply shared information about yourself in our community #intros channel, or organized an online event, or made yourself available as an advisor in our pilot mentoring program. Perhaps you’ve been furthering our mission in an ‘unofficial’ way simply by supporting other women, and non-binary people, who are working in robotics, or who are interested in working in robotics. 

We recognize and appreciate the community building work that women do, which is so often out of the spotlight, and on top of everything else. Women’s work has rarely been given economic value as one of my heroes Marilyn Waring wrote in “Counting for Nothing”. She founded feminist economics, now called triple bottom line accounting, and changed the way that the World Bank and other global organizations evaluate economies. 

The pandemic has forced women out of the workforce at twice the rate of men, leaving women’s participation in the workforce lower than it’s been for 30 years. And the pressure shows no sign of stopping. However, I believe that whenever women are forced to step backwards, we move forward again with renewed determination and focus. And so my inspiration is renewed to further the mission of Women in Robotics, to support women and non-binary people who work in robotics, and those who would like to work in robotics. We may all find it hard to find time, but small actions in the right time and place can move mountains. 

In 2021, our annual showcase featured not 25 or 30 but ‘50 women in robotics you need to know about’ from 21 different countries, from industry, startups and academia, with particular mention of the women featured who have fought for the rights of refugees and persecuted women, especially the Afghanistan Women’s Robotics Team. For other women, this recognition has helped to raise their profile within universities or companies, leading to increased opportunities.

Our annual list also means that there’s no excuse for not including women in conferences, articles, policy making, job searches etc. In 2022, I’d love to see us create wikipedia pages for more women in robotics, and create a speaker database, and a citation list, similar to what Black in Robotics has done, and the work of 500 Women Scientists

The work of women in science is still less likely to be cited than that of men. Recent UNESCO research has found that citation bias is the start of career long lack of recognition for women, starting with women citing themselves less often than men do. In 2022, let’s focus on improving citation rates, increasing the number of women in panels, journals and conferences, or holding organizers accountable. We can target increasing the number of women cited in robotics curricula, reading lists and coursework. As an organization we can reach out to universities, labs, conferences and journals in a way that individual women can not.

Another grassroots campaign that we started was the Women in Robotics Photo Challenge, which has already resulted in some great new photos of women building robots joining the image search results. Since then we’ve realized that ordinary google or wikipedia search steer you to Sophia or sex robots, rather than referencing real women building robots. It’s also time to retire the word ‘unmanned’. Women in Robotics is planning to request that any university still referencing ‘Unmanned’ Vehicles should substitute with driverless, uncrewed or a better term.

The lack of in person conferences is severely impacting the benefits of in person networking at a senior level for women in robotics, and so we’d like to finally launch our Advisory Board through an online networking event(s) for senior women in robotics, both in academia and industry..

We piloted our first mentoring program over 12 weeks with 16 women and it was a very successful experience for almost every participant. We know that there is a lot of demand to run the program again but we’ll need more volunteers to help organize the events and match mentors/mentees. This is one area in which sponsorship for Women in Robotics could be useful, but sponsorship comes with a significant administrative cost, so we will only seek sustainable major sponsorships in 2022.

My gratitude goes to CITRIS & the Banatao Institute, through the People and Robots Lab, for providing me with some funding for the last two years that has allowed me to spend some of my time on Women in Robotics, Black in Robotics and the Society, Robots and Us Seminars. 

My call to action is for you to make your volunteer labor impactful by investing your time in a call to action with a big outcome. I hope it’s one of our Women in Robotics actions, but in everything you do you represent women in robotics and allies. Best wishes to you all for 2022. And thank you to the 2021 Women in Robotics Board of Directors! Our full Annual Report is here.

  1. Counting for Nothing (originally If Women Counted) by Marilyn Waring

Reflections from the Women in Robotics Board of Directors:

We are very grateful for the work of our Board Members over the last year and we thank Kerri Fetzer-Borelli, Hallie Siegel and Ariel Anders for their vision and experience on the 2020 and 2021 Board. We are delighted to have them join our Advisory Board in 2022.


Allison Thackston:

Women in Robotics community and support in 2021 was different from previous years when we relied a lot on local chapters, meetups, and networking.  With many offices locked down and people more hesitant to do events in person, we’ve struggled a bit.  On the bright side, we’ve been bringing up our online presence, improving our website, and increasing our social media outreach.  In the year ahead, I hope we continue this growth.

Cynthia Yeung:

Launching the Project Advance mentorship program was a highlight of my service on the WiR board in 2021. We have received lots of great feedback from the inaugural cohort which we can use to improve the programming for the second cohort in 2022. One of the key success metrics was the percentage of returning mentors (demand is unlimited in two-sided marketplaces; supply is the constraint) and we are pleased to report that all mentors are interested in returning for the second cohort. It is personally gratifying to be in a position to implement the kind of program that I wanted to have access to earlier in my career. On a macro level, I believe that strong focus and measurable progress on a small number of initiatives will bode well for WiR’s impact roadmap.

Lisa Winter:

2021 was a year of self-reflection and a test of patience. I think 2022 will be the year when a lot of us take bigger risks as we try to figure out a better work/life balance. I would like to see more communication on the WiR Slack, specifically giving job advice and engineering advice. What I enjoy about other sites that I think we could incorporate is more sharing of personal projects; connecting over them and also learning.

Laura Stelzner:

WiR provides community and  support in a field where it can be lonely being one of the few women at your company/department.  As the field of robotics grows we would like to show women and non-binary people all the amazing career opportunities that exist, by providing them with mentorship,  networking, leadership and career advancement opportunities.

Laurie Linz:

2021 was a quiet year for Boulder/Denver, we didn’t hold any local (in person)  meetings. I do have good news and that is I am in process with setting up some in person events again. We’ll approach with caution given the covid situation, but happy to be starting again. 

WiR helps women level up or launch their career in robotics. We welcome those not ready to launch with networking and educational support. Learn, launch, level up.

Sue Keay:

One of the concerns that keeps me awake at night is wondering what important challenges we might have solved already and what technologies are missing because of the lack of diversity in robotics. That’s why Women in Robotics exists, to help to support the small number of women who are contributing to developing robotic technologies and to encourage more to join our ranks. The global list of women in robotics has been an important way to signal the important contributions that women are making in this space and to raise the profile of robotics as a valid career choice for women. Joining WiR is acknowledging that we can be doing better with diversity in robotics and may provide much needed support to a woman in robotics who may be questioning their reason for remaining in such a male-dominated field. My own experience has been that women have always been my greatest supporters and I feel less alone by being part of WiR.

Sue Keay (Robotics Australia) with Erin McColl (Toyota Research Institute) with a Ghost Robotics platform.

Robotics innovation infiltrates 2022 Consumer Electronics Show

Casinos and robots? It must be CES time! A few years ago, the only robots at CES were toys. And as the robot toy makers at Ologic can attest, having your robot featured as the leading image for CES was still no guarantee that your robot would make it into production (AMP is pictured above). Luckily Ologic have transferred their consumer electronics experience into building robots of every other kind. And CES now showcases robots of every shape and size, from autonomous cars, trucks and construction robotics, to food production, health and rehabilitation robots. The 2022 CES Innovation Awards recognize a range of robotics technologies as Honorees, and feature three in the “Best of Innovation” category as well.


See & Spray

By John Deere

Best of Innovation



Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

See & Spray is a technologically advanced, huge robot for the agriculture industry that leverages computer vision and machine learning to detect the difference between plants and weeds, and precisely spray herbicide only on the weeds. This groundbreaking plant-level management technology gives a machine the gift of vision and reduces the use of herbicide by up to 80 percent, benefiting the farmer, the surrounding community and the environment. This revolutionary approach of technology is unprecedented in both the technology and agriculture industries.


By Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon

Best of Innovation


The BLK ARC is an autonomous laser scanning module for robotics applications. It provides a safe and autonomous way to capture, in 3D, the images and data of areas that are difficult or dangerous for humans to reach. Professionals in architecture/engineering/construction (AEC), manufacturing, plant, public safety, and media and entertainment attach the BLK ARC to a robotic carrier to capture data that is used to build 3D models and recreate situations. For example, man-made or natural disasters, automotive plants, bridges, and movie location sets. The product’s speed, accuracy, flexibility, and modular design provides fully autonomous mobile LiDAR scanning and navigation.

WHILL Model F – Foldable Personal EV

By WHILL, Inc.

Best of Innovation


WHILL Model F is a foldable personal electric vehicle for everyone, including seniors and people who have difficulty walking. Unlike wheelchairs, which are typically built for patients in a medical environment, Model F is designed to fit an active lifestyle for everyday use. It is lightweight and foldable, which makes it easy to load in cars and convenient when traveling by air. The WHILL smartphone app allows you to drive and lock the Model F remotely, as well as check key device information such as total mileage and battery level.



DROWay – Intelligent UATM Ground Control Platform



Drones & Unmanned Systems

DROWay is an integrated and expansional multi-mobile platform that goes beyond former mobility control services. (Part of DROW4D service) – Multi-heterogeneous mobility HW integrated control and real-time monitoring control system – Automatic multiple flight path generation and flight simulation in a 4D airspace(corridor) – Indoor/Outdoor Swarm flight & simulation (DROW World/DROW ART Manager) – AI based ground control data managing & analysis

DJ25 – Fuel cell powered VTOL (with JOUAV)

By Doosan Mobility Innovation


Drones & Unmanned Systems

DJ25 is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell VTOL(Vertical Take Off and Landing) commercial drone solution. Doosan and JOUAV successfully integrated its advanced PEMFC(Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) technology to VTOL air frame, With this collaboration make the flight time achieve up to 5 and half hours. DJ25 can cover up to 500km in a single flight, and it is suitable for long distance inspections, large scale site surveying and mapping compared to the ordinary batter drone. and also hydrogen-powered version has low noise and no vibration during power generation. It is stable and efficient when loading various mission equipment.


By GUSS Automation


Drones & Unmanned Systems

Mini GUSS is the world’s first and only autonomous vineyard, hops, berry, and high density orchard sprayer.

Drone Charging Station “ON STATION”



Drones & Unmanned Systems

High Mast Drone Charging Station consists of a pole, drone hangar, control box and other accessories if necessary by the users. The high mast pole can raise and lower automatically by the control box and the drone hangar can be stored up to 50 feet tall so drone hangar or other accessories such as anemometer, CCTV camera, rain sensor, solar panel module, LED lights or even the weapon (M60) can be added on the pole for the purpose of end user’ s circumstance.

Delivery AMR:Mighty-D3

By Piezo Sonic Corporation


Drones & Unmanned Systems

The AMR for transportation: Mighty-D3 is designed based on the technology of Japanese lunar exploration robots, and uses Piezo Sonic Motor for the steering mechanism. It is designed based on Piezo Sonic’s 3C concept (Cool, Cute, Compact), so it has both design and functionality. Mighty-D3 is capable of climbing over bumps of up to 15cm, turning on the spot, and moving horizontally, allowing it to avoid obstacles and travel autonomously to its destination in both outdoor and indoor environments. Mighty-D3 can be used as a transportation support robot for urban areas, hospitals, commercial facilities, and big apartments.


By RanMarine Technology BV


Drones & Unmanned Systems

To contribute to the huge challenge of cleaning and monitoring our world’s waters, RanMarine Technology developed the patented WasteShark. It is the world’s first autonomous aquadrone designed for clearing marine plastic waste. At a running cost of 20% of other marine waste removal solutions and with zero emission operation, the intelligent WasteShark is easy to operate and maintain. The WasteShark is our first model and our roadmap includes products based on the WasteShark such as the OilShark and MegaShark. It is accessible to public and private entities that aim to contribute to restoring the marine environment to its natural state.

SPIDER-GO ; Warehouse Inventory Automation System



Drones & Unmanned Systems

SPIDER-GO is an automated warehouse inventory system that periodically scans and updates the inventory status in real time. The key features include automated modelling of the warehouse layout, presenting the inventories on the 3D map, and inspecting the inventory status through remote control. It is also equipped with functions that allow monitoring by CCTV, detecting fire, and remote updating. Conventional warehouse management systems have had issues like frequent errors in loading and picking, discrepancies between the system and the actual inventories due to human input errors. SPIDER-GO can innovatively improve the visibility and efficiency for proper warehouse inventory management.

Whiz Gambit – 2-in-1 AI-powered cleaning & disinfection solution

By Avalon SteriTech Limited



Whiz Gambit, is a 2-in-1 AI-powered cleaning and disinfection robotic solution jointly developed by Avalon SteriTech and SoftBank Robotics Group. The robot is the first disinfection robot to achieve Performance Mark by SGS, the world’s leading verification and testing company, with proven efficacy to eliminate >99% microbial bioburden. Importantly, Whiz Gambit greatly minimizes potential health risks in communal areas with its effective, consistent cleaning and disinfection performance. It has been a trusted partner for hospitality groups, shopping malls, schools, and offices around the world.

The Essentials; The Ultimate Building Blocks for Mobile Robots

By Avular



Avular proudly presents the world’s first end-to-end solution for mobile robots. The Essentials are modular hardware and software building blocks, specifically designed to (1) rapidly build new mobile robot applications, (2) turn existing machines into autonomous ones, and (3) develop robust and scalable end-products. The Essentials cover all the core functionalities a mobile robot needs, allowing you to focus on your specific application. Our products already enable entrepreneurs and engineers to build robots that make the world a better place in the fields of food, safety, energy, and more.

CygLiDAR_h3 (2D/3D Dual Solid State LiDAR)




It is a Solid State LiDAR product that does not operate mechanically, and it can measure 2D and 3D at the same time. Most robots use 2D LiDAR to identify their position and 3D Camera to determine obstacles while driving. CygLiDAR, you can get 2D and 3D data together with one product. CygLiDAR allows robots to reduce the number of sensors used and to produce robots that are competitive in design and cost.

Doosan NINA (New Inspiration New Angle)

By Doosan Robotics



As an achievement of Project NINA (New Inspiration. New Angle.), Doosan created an unprecedented camera robot system that empowers everyone to become professionals, opening next-level creativeness. To democratize filming robots, Doosan innovated software with intuitive UI that helps content creators to film effortlessly, including sharing presets of camera movement on Doosan’s platform. Another key part of the system is that the robot shoots 360-degrees and tracks shooting objects, simplifying complex camera moves to allow filming at any angle. It can be controlled by hand and/or joypad so that people with no experience with robot operations can handle it without difficulties.




Computer Peripherals & Accessories, Fitness & Sports, Robotics

Using computers for an extended number of hours with poor posture results in forward head posture syndrome (FHP), a very common problem that causes neck pain and fatigue. Doctor visits and therapy are both time consuming and expensive. DOT STAND is a patent-pending, smart monitor stand that uses an AI sensor to analyze the user and automatically self-adjusts any monitor’s position to induce better posture – without the user even knowing it. DOT STAND relieves pain and improves concentration and work efficiency and improves average cervical curve ARA by up to 8%.

Hey-Bot(AI-based, Smart Disinfection&Guide Robot)

By Hills Engineering co.,ltd. / HANSEO UNIVERSITY



‘Hey-Bot’ is an AI-based self-driving disinfection and guide robot for convention centers, hospitals, negative pressure wards and other important but vulnerable places. The robot protects people from the coronavirus pandemic by minimizing chance of getting infection. It effectively kills the virus and limits unnecessary social contacts in guiding one’s way to his or her destination and sanitizing a given area based on its self-driving, guide and disinfection functions. ‘Hey-Bot’ is highly advanced intelligent Disinfection & Guide robot that can open safe and convenient “with coronavirus” era where people can be reassured for living and working.

RGB-D AI Robot

By Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)



The RGB-D AI Robot is the world’s first collaborative robot that includes smart 3D vision as a built-in standard for high-precision object recognition. The integration of a 3D camera and MEMS laser scanning projector, along with the auto labeling technology, allows the robot to quickly learn through visually acquired data and perform hand-eye coordination skills. The miniature size of the optical sensor makes it easy to install in robotic arms and can lower installation costs. This innovation can be applied to human-robot collaboration in both manufacturing and service sectors.

Lumotive Meta-Lidar™ Platform

By Lumotive


Robotics, Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

The Lumotive Meta-Lidar™ Platform is the mobility industry’s smallest and most cost-effective 3D sensing solution comprising a Lumotive tiny lidar sensor with patented beam steering technology, real-time control software, and a reference system design. Unlike previous generation lidar systems that use mechanical spinning assemblies and are known for being big and expensive, Lumotive’s solution is tiny and scalable for a range of size, performance and power requirements.  The Meta-Lidar Platform removes barriers to greater proliferation of 3D sensing in automotive, industrial and consumer applications.

Monarch Tractor, MK-5

By Monarch Tractor



Monarch Tractor, the world’s first fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor, enhances farmer’s existing operations, alleviating labor shortages, and maximizing yields. The award-winning Monarch Tractor combines electrification, automation, machine learning, and data analysis to set a new standard in tractor technology and capabilities.


By Naio technologies



Ted offers a sustainable, serviceable and smart winegrowing solution combining high edge technology in robotics and AI. Ted is the first robot dedicated to vineyards, an alternative to the use of herbicides that respects your soils and improves your working conditions.

Autonomous Box Truck

By Gatik


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Gatik, the leader in autonomous Middle Mile logistics, delivers goods safely and efficiently using its fleet of light and medium duty trucks. The company focuses on short-haul, B2B logistics for Fortune 500 retailers such as Walmart and Loblaw. Gatik’s Class 3-6 autonomous box trucks are live for customers in multiple markets including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Ontario. In April 2021, Gatik launched its strategic collaboration with Isuzu North America, marking the first time a global OEM is working in the medium duty category with a Middle Mile trucking company. Gatik’s autonomous driving.


By XenomatiX – True-Solid-State-LiDAR


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

XenoLidar-X is a true-solid-state LiDAR designed for high resolution and accurate analysis of the vehicle’s surroundings. It is a stand-alone, off-the-shelf solution with no moving parts, intended for autonomous and industrial applications. XenoLidar-X comes in two versions: Xact for mid-range, and Xpert for long-range measurements. Both versions include XenoWare, the 3D point cloud software enabling perception solutions in ADAS and up to fully autonomous driving.

4Sight M

By AEye, Inc.


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

4Sight™ M is a high-performance, software-configurable adaptive LiDAR sensor designed to meet the diverse performance and functional requirements of autonomous and partially automated applications. Its solid-state reliability, combined with industry-leading LiDAR performance (extended range from 1cm to 1,000 meters), integrated intelligence, advanced vision capabilities (10-20x more accurate than camera-only systems), and unmatched reliability make it an ideal fit for mobility, trucking, transit, construction, rail, intelligent traffic systems, and aerospace and defense markets.

Eos Embedded Perception Software

By Algolux


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicle (AV) systems today are not able to support many driving environments, weather conditions, and challenging scenarios. Driving in low light, snow, rain, and even tunnels are just some of the situations where perception systems often fail due to a lack of robustness. Eos is an award-winning embedded perception solution that delivers up to 3x improved accuracy across all conditions, especially in low light and harsh weather. Its efficient end-to-end deep learning architecture can be quickly personalized to any camera lens/sensor configuration or for multi-sensor fusion.

Nova Lidar

By Cepton Technologies


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Nova is a miniature, wide-angle, near-range lidar built for modern vehicles at a target volume price below $100, to help increase vehicle safety and enable autonomous driving capabilities. Powered by Cepton’s patented MMT®, Nova can be elegantly embedded all around a vehicle to provide a complete 360° view of its immediate surroundings without disrupting its design aesthetics. Nova is designed to help minimize perception blind spots and reduce accidents and vehicle damage. Nova is a transformational sensor that fundamentally changes the game for near-range sensing applications.

Automated Steering Actuator

By Nexteer Automotive


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Nexteer’s Automated Steering Actuator: High Availability, Output & Durability offers high safety coverage through a combination of software, electrical hardware, mechanical & sealing redundancies – plus increased durability & reliability performance required for higher loads due to increasing vehicle weights (battery mass) & more demanding use-cases of Shared Autonomous Vehicles without driver manual back-up. Our Automated Steering Actuator facilitates broader adoption of Shared Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs), like people movers, to be capable of higher loads and higher speeds, compared to current last-mile, geofenced and neighborhood vehicles on the market.

1-box Brake System for Highly Autonomous Driving

By Mando Corporation


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Mando’s Integrated Dynamic Brake is a 1-box electro-hydraulic brake system replacing and integrating multiple components of a traditional brake system into one unit. This promotes the reduction in vehicle mass and simplifying the assembly step by requiring less electrical and hydraulic components. ‘IDB for Highly Autonomous Driving’ is a world-first product that secures braking functional redundancy contained within the same 1-box system, eliminating the need for additional components. Moreover, in the unlikely event of failure, it provides fully redundant brake functionality and performance.




Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

NODAR’s Hammerhead™ camera-based 3D vision software technology is a crucial component in the development of ADAS and autonomous vehicles bringing safety, advanced performance, and cost-effectiveness to the automotive market. NODAR’s 3D vision platform, Hammerhead, delivers reliable, ultra-precise, and real-time 3D sensing at long-range (up to 1000 meters), providing better than LiDAR-quality at the price point of camera technology. Between 2025 and 2030 a projected 250 million vehicles will require L2 and above autonomy to understand their environment and provide the high-level of safety required as autonomous systems control more of the driving function.


By TriEye


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

TriEye’s SEDAR (Spectrum Enhanced Detection And Ranging) is the ultimate imaging and ranging solution for automated driving applications. SEDAR’s sensing modality, uniquely operating in the Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) spectrum, enables imaging and 3D mapping of the road within all visibility conditions – in one sensory modality The SEDAR is based on two significant world’s first innovations: TriEye’s Raven (HD CMOS-based SWIR sensor) and TriEye’s UltraBlaze (Eye-safe SWIR pulsed laser illumination source). TriEye’s first-of-its-kind technology is suited for mass production, offering a 10X cost reduction compared to current LiDAR solutions on the market.

Phoenix Perception Radar

By Arbe


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Arbe’s Perception Radar, Phoenix, revolutionizes autonomous vehicle sensing, providing unmatched safety to the market. Ultra-high resolution transforms radar as a sensor to support advanced perception capabilities at mass market price, with top performance in all environments, weather, and lighting conditions. It is the first radar to detect stationary objects — a notorious stumbling block for autonomous radars — meeting NHTSA and NCAP requirements and resolving the factors behind ADAS and Autopilot related accidents. With an Advanced Free Space mapping and object tracking in all corner cases, Phoenix closes the sensor gap to achieve truly safe autonomous driving and Vision Zero.

‘Real-to-real’ – Unique ADAS Technology

By Cognata LTD – Ella Shlosberg


Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation

Cognata is proud to launch its ‘real-to-real’ technology, which accelerates the global program for ADAS validation in order to meet worldwide regulatory requirements. The proprietary AI technology developed with Cognata transforms the super-high resolution data set to sensor inputs “as seen” by new sensors in new vehicle applications. Meaning, it is now possible to re-use previously collected video data to test a camera in a new position or with a new optical path and record multiscopic images and apply AI SLAM – based image transformation.

Robot Express for Smart Transportation and Logistics

By Mindtronic AI


Smart Cities

The Robot Express is a smart logistic service that leverages the public transportation network for delivering goods. The advantage is that the sender and receiver can utilize the bus stop as express station. With the density and frequency of the shuttle bus, both service coverage and delivery time can be improved. Another advantage is energy saving because the shuttle not only transport the passengers but also the goods at the same time.


By Macroact Inc.


Smart Home

The social robot Maicat incorporates AI into Robotics, combining beneficial characteristics of a cute, engaging companion pet with the intelligence of AI, generating empathetic and personalized experiences for the user. Autonomous control and AI technology enable the robot to understand and adapt to its environment while its mobility, passive and active sensors support it to navigate and operate in the home, and allow an easy integration with other smart home technology via third-party Application, making it the center of the smart home. Being with Maicat adds another dimension to your life!

Mind-linked Bathbot

By Amorepacific


Health & Wellness

Mind-linked Bathbot is the first beauty solution that produces bath bombs with customized fragrances and colors instantly, based on an individual’s electroencephalogram (EEG) data. The EEG signals are measured in real-time using a wearable headset and combined with a technology that has been developed to enable the quantitative evaluation of emotional indicators. These emotional indicators enable the identification of the fragrance and color that will provide a unique experience to the user. This user-optimized information is then transmitted to the Bathbot (bath bomb-making robot). This is the first technological invention to produce a customized bath bomb within a minute.

AVATAR 3D system (AVT-2020-700)



Health & Wellness

A next-generation system for quantification of animal behavior experiments that can replace the existing preclinical scoring that consists of human standards. As a fusion system of multi-vision hardware and AI software, all behaviors of mice, a representative animal of preclinical testing, can be quantified in real time with markerless and simulated in a 3D virtual space.




Health & Wellness

rebless™ is an FDA-registered robotic, exercise therapy device for both upper and lower limbs, providing motion to the elbow, wrist, ankle, and knee joints. With multiple operating modes, rebless™ allows for passive, active, active-assisted and active-resisted exercise and range of motion measurement, so therapy can be customized based on each individual patient’s condition and progress. Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) and Assist-as-Needed technology allow patients to change exercising modes depending on their rehabilitation abilities.

OMO Smart Trash Can

By GD International Inc.


Home Appliances

The OmO Smart Can is a new and first of it’s kind self-sealing and touchless trash can.  A built-in motion sensor and compatible feature with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant gives you a hand-free approach to tidying up.  When it’s time to take out the trash, an internal thermal sealing mechanism seals trash in and opens the inner bin for a ready to throw bag.  A replacement bag automatically deploys once the bin closes back up and is ready for the next dispense.


Narwal World First Self-Cleaning Robot Mop and Vacuum

By Narwal Robotics Corporation


Home Appliances

Narwal J2 is a robotic cleaner with automatic mop-cleaning base station. Users can select between vacuum or mop modules to meet their cleaning needs. The spinning mop with 10N pressure applied against the floor, which greatly enhances the cleaning effect. It utilizes Lidar and SLAM technologies to intelligently navigate and map the environment. When the intelligent algorithm detects dirtiness of mopping pads, it automatically returns to base station to wash pads and resume work from where it stopped. Users do not need to deal with dirty mops at any time, saving hands from coming in contact with allergens or dirt.



By Preemadonna Inc.


Home Appliances

Nailbot is a connected, at-home manicure device that instantly prints on nails any photo, emoji, image or any self-created design. Along with the product experience, comes a built-in community of Gen Z creators via a mobile app art marketplace. Preemadonna is the maker of Nailbot.


The full list of CES Innovation Award Honorees is here,

What happened in robotics in 2021?

Here are some postcards from 2021 and wishing you all the best for 2022!

Founded and Funded in 2021

According to Crunchbase, 26 robotics startups were founded and funded in 2021. Many others were founded but not funded, or funded but not founded. :)

AION Prosthetics
Electronics, Manufacturing, Medical Device, Robotics
AION Prosthetics develops a prosthetic system designed to provide an adjustable, durable, and affordable future for amputees.

Augmented Reality, EdTech, Education, Edutainment, Leisure, Personal Development, Robotics, Subscription Service, Virtual Reality
Atorika offers edutainment that adapts to any child.

Big Data, Robotics

Autonomous Vehicles, Mechanical Engineering
ContRoL focuses on developing a range of vehicles for controlled release.

Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Machine Learning, Robotics, Software
Diwö is accelerating the transition into safe AI using autonomous UAVs and Robotics

Drone Express
Artificial Intelligence, Delivery Service, Drones
Drone Express is a full-service logistics company that uses airborne autonomous drones for local package delivery.

Eco City
Artificial Intelligence, CleanTech, Machine Learning, Mobile Apps, Robotics, Service Industry, Smart Cities
Mobile App, Robotic, AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, E-service

Eight Knot
Artificial Intelligence, Navigation, Robotics
Eight Knot designs and develops autonomous navigation system for water mobility using robotics & AI.

Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles, Cyber Security, Software
We redefine mobility with the truly digital car

General Systems
Construction, Industrial Automation, Robotics
Construction Tech, Robotics, B2B, Automated Building Masonry

Helgen Technologies
Agriculture, Consulting, Farming, Mining, Oil and Gas, Robotics, Software, Software Engineering, Waste Management
Software and hardware services for industrial robotics

Mach9 Robotics
Machine Learning, Robotics, Software
Mach9 Robotics builds integrated hardware and software to make utility infrastructure inspection more accurate at a lower cost.

Meili Technologies
Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles, Software
Meili provides automatic, contactless, in-vehicle medical emergency detection and interface with EMS to protect riders and make roads safer.

Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Automation, Intelligent Systems, Robotics, Software
Mowito provides software tools for mobile robots, to enable them to navigate intelligently in indoor facilities.

Food and Beverage, Food Delivery, Hardware, Robotics, Transportation
Pizza cooked en-route to your door & delivered in as little as 5 minutes. Currently piloting in Philadelphia.

Outlift AI
Artificial Intelligence, Health Care, Information Technology, Robotics
Outlift AI develops robotic process automation designed to assist and automate back-office healthcare work.

PhiGent Robotics
3D Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles
PhiGent Robotics offers autonomous driving solutions.

Qiangua Technology
Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles
Qiangua Technology is a Chinese autonomous driving truck company.

Serve Robotics
Food Delivery, Logistics, Robotics
Serve Robotics connects people with what they need locally via robots that are designed to serve people.

Socian Technologies
Aerospace, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Machine Learning, Software
We create safer societies using AI-enhanced UAV technologies.

Tergeo Technologies
Industrial Automation, Machinery Manufacturing, Robotics, Waste Management
Tergeo Technologies is a developer of robotic solutions to sanitation challenges.

Urban Machine
Building Material, Robotics
Salvaging the past to build the future- Stealth Startup

E-Learning, Education, Robotics
Wiingy is a unique combination of multiple learning and skill development methods including 1:1 live classes, DIY robotics kits.

Xbotod Technologies Ltd
Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Electronics, Embedded Systems, Internet of Things, Robotics
Shaping the next generation of technology and cities with Artificial Intelligence & Internet of Things (AIoT)

Artificial Intelligence, Electronics, Robotics
Zbeetle is a robotics innovation company engaged in producing cleaning robots.

Machinery Manufacturing, Robotics
Ziknes develops printing technology on industrial manufacturing of metals.


Robot density nearly doubled globally

The use of industrial robots in factories around the world is accelerating at a high rate: 126 robots per 10,000 employees is the new average of global robot density in the manufacturing industries – nearly double the number five years ago (2015: 66 units). This is according to the 2021 World Robot Report. By regions, […] (Click here to read more)

2022 robotics predictions from industry experts

Leading robotics experts such as Juan Aparicio and Ken Goldberg, share what they’ll be keeping an eye on in 2022.

The post 2022 robotics predictions from industry experts appeared first on The Robot Report.

Investors warn Deep Tech founders about these 12 pitfalls

Firstly, what is Deep Tech as opposed to Tech or technology enabled? Sometimes Deep Tech is regarded as a science based startup, sometimes it is regarded as disruptive to the status quo, sometimes it is regarded just as slow and hard, capital intensive, with a long ROI horizon. Or as something that investors aren’t ready […] (Click here to read more)

Mind-controlled robots now one step closer

Researchers teamed up to develop a machine-learning program that can be connected to a human brain and used to command a robot. The program adjusts the robot’s movements based on electrical signals from the brain. The hope is that with this invention, tetraplegic patients will be able to carry out more day-to-day activities on their own. (Click here to read more)

Top 10 robotics stories of December

China’s new five-year plan for robotics and Toronto banning sidewalk robots topped our coverage in December 2021.

The post Top 10 robotics stories of December appeared first on The Robot Report.

Creating the human-robotic dream team

Using autonomous vehicle guidelines, a team has developed a system to improve interactions between people and robots. The way people interact safely with robots is at the forefront of today’s research related to automation and manufacturing, explains a researcher. She is one of several researchers who are working to develop systems that allow humans and robots to interact safely and efficiently. (Click here to read more)

How AI and robotics are reconstructing a 2,000-year-old fresco in Pompeii

Computer scientists and archeologists are working together to solve this ancient puzzle. (Click here to read more)

Bonus material!

Children as Social Robot Designers – IEEE Spectrum

What happens when you let kids design their own social robot from scratch. (Click here to read more)

Holiday robot videos 2021 (updated)

Happy holidays everyone! Here are some more robot videos to get you into the holiday spirit. Have a last minute holiday robot video of your own that you’d like to share? Send your submissions to […] (Click here to read more)

Investors warn Deep Tech founders about these 12 pitfalls

Firstly, what is Deep Tech as opposed to Tech or technology enabled? Sometimes Deep Tech is regarded as a science based startup, sometimes it is regarded as disruptive to the status quo, sometimes it is regarded just as slow and hard, capital intensive, with a long ROI horizon. Or as something that investors aren’t ready for yet. But the amount of money going into Deep Tech investing is increasing, and the pool of Deep Tech investors is increasing. One of the key points I made in a recent GIST Tech Connect Deep Tech panel is that most investors, including the most successful Tech investors are not able to invest seriously in Deep Tech startups because they lack the technical awareness and depth of commercialization experience specific to a Deep Tech startup. GIST or the Global Innovation in Science and Technology Network is the US State Department program to encourage and support global entrepreneurship.

In fact, if you do the research into the failure rates of some high profile Deep Tech startups, it seems that certain large funds have a much higher failure rate than others, so at best, their growth pathway is not compatible with Deep Tech startups. At worst, they are simply cherry picking some Deep Tech startups for their publicity value. Startups should always do their due diligence on investors and how they treat founders, particularly founders with similar startups.

Universities play a huge role in derisking, funding and commercializing Deep Tech startups but there is still a ‘Valley of Death’ in the transfer stages. And a Deep Tech startup can come out of any university but not all universities have real commercialization experience and a supportive startup ecosystem. Silicon Valley Robotics and Circuit Launch have provided a ‘halfway house’ for a lot of Deep Tech startups by providing affordable workspace with prototyping facilities and a startup ecosystem. But the first question I always ask entrepreneurs is if they have leveraged every advantage that their university connections can provide. Universities can provide greatly discounted lab space and testing facilities, also connections to scientific experts in most any field who can be leveraged as consultants and advisors.

The SBIR program, or the American Seed Fund, which is about a $4 billion non dilutive funding from the federal government in the form of R&D dollars, contracts and grants to small businesses and startups gives you the opportunity to derisk a lot of the technology very early on. You can really do a detailed scope and scan, and then couple that with the iCorps program and you get the opportunity to do deeper dives into customer discovery, to really understand if this is something that’s just a nice to have, or is it a real must have. Although the SBIR program is American based program, a lot of the countries around the world have been creating similar ones. A good example of that is EU Horizon 2020 grants.

Grants catalyze and do a certain amount to de-risk technology, extending the runway through non-dilutive funding and by creating a technology roadmap which validates the science as significant. Corporate venture funds or strategic investors also play an important role, alongside non-dilutive grant funding. Not only can they be a check, they can be a customer, they can be an advisor and a partner in the early prototype to manufacture stages. The best strategic investors play a huge role in helping Deep Tech startups succeed, because they need the technology you are creating.

Here’s a collection of tips for Deep Tech founders gathered from the GIST TechConnect Panel on Deep Tech with Nakia Melecio from Georgia Tech, Nhi Lê from WARF, Andra Keay from SVR and The Robotics Hub, G. Nagesh Rao from US Dept of State. Also tips from Six red flags that send investors running the other way by Sara Bloomberg, San Francisco Business Times. Quotes not attributed to other investors are my thoughts or recollections from the event.

Accelerator hopping

“When you start going from accelerator to accelerator looking for funding, then you’re doing it wrong. Accelerators only fund you to participate in their program. Their program and mentors are the real value.” Nhi Lê, WARF Accelerator

You also dilute your equity and become uninvestable.

Taking the first check, giving away too much equity in early rounds

Always negotiate terms. But don’t focus solely on the financials and at the risk of throwing away the less obvious value that a good investor can bring to you.

“Deep Tech startups may take longer to get to revenue than a traditional tech startup, so you need to think about grant funding as a source of revenue, and any contracts that help you develop part of your technology.” Nhi Lê, WARF Accelerator

Not budgeting for IP defense

“Companies often say that they’re investable because they have a patent, but they haven’t budgeted anything to defend it. Your IP is only as good as your ability to defend it. Universities play a great role in protecting and defending IP that they’ve licensed.” Nhi Lê, WARF Accelerator

Not having a plan for the whole journey

“When you go into your first funding meeting, you must be thinking about the long term journey, all the way to exit. It’s never going to be just one check, you’re growing a company.” G. Nagesh Rao, US Dept of Commerce

Not doing diligence on investors or accelerators

“Deep tech, especially at the leading edge, is usually expensive, so it’s critical to find the right path to commercialization at scale. Good investors speed up the process and lower your burn rate.” Michael Harries, The Robotics Hub

Have your potential investors brought similar startups to market? Having that experience can make the commercialization process much faster, and it’s critical to manage your resources effectively. Constant fundraising takes founders away from product development. Also, do your investors have patient capital? Or are they needing a rapid return on investment for their current fund? Don’t assume that a well known investor or accelerator guarantees you success, or even finding a good fit with their process.

Ignorance of basic financials

Overreaching on inventory, being unable to meet debts in a timely fashion, structuring the company poorly, all these things are cited by founders who’ve struggled.

Customer discovery never stops

“Focus on the customer and fall in love with the customer’s problem and you’ll never go wrong.” Nakia Melecio, Georgia Tech

Do it from the start, and never stop going to market. You can’t just outsource your business development to people with better sales skills, not until you know that pain points you’re solving for your customers and you can write the scripts for them.

Not doing the research, or using vanity metrics instead of strategy

“If a founder is estimating their market in the trillions of dollars they have either not done the research or they are just delusional.” Swati Chaturvedi, Co-Founder of PropelX

“Founders who are focused only on vanity metrics (growth rate and valuation) and not attuned to developing sound business models are a red flag.” Anurag Chandra, Fort Ross Ventures

Trying to skip steps

“Another red flag is trying to FOMO you into moving quickly. Not only is it bad for arriving at a sound investment decision, it’s an indication of how they do business with customers and partners (ie. not invested in building long term relationships). Anurag Chandra, Fort Ross Ventures

Misrepresentation or withholding data

“Investors can tell when you are avoiding details like actual product or customer development status and it may mean you are misrepresenting your business.” Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck

Cofounder issues, not having a clear leader or not being open to feedback

“There needs to be agreement on who is acting as CEO, and everyone needs to be aligned on that. Another red flag is not being open to advice from experts.” Caroline Winnett, Executive Director of Berkeley SkyDeck

Being disorganized

“Founders should be responsive to requests for more information. It shows if they are organized and in the mindset to do a deal versus spin cycles.” Shruti Gandhi of Array Ventures

An inventory of robotics roadmaps to better inform policy and investment

Much excellent work has been done, by many organizations, to develop ‘Roadmaps for Robotics’, in order to steer government policy, innovation investment, and the development of standards and commercialization. However, unless you took part in the roadmapping activity, it can be very hard to find these resources. Silicon Valley Robotics in partnership with the Industrial Activities Board of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, is compiling an up to date resource list of various robotics, AIS and AI roadmaps, national or otherwise. This initiative will allow us all to access the best robotics commercialization advice from around the world, to be able to compare and contrast various initiatives and their regional effectiveness, and to provide guidance for countries and companies without their own robotics roadmaps.

Another issue making it harder to find recent robotics roadmaps is the subsumption of robotics into the AI landscape, at least in some national directives. Or it may appear not as robotics but as ‘AIS’, standing for Autonomous Intelligent Systems, such as in the work of OCEANIS, the Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous aNd Intelligent Systems, which hosts a global standards repository. And finally there are subcategories of robotics, ie Autonomous Vehicles, or Self Driving Cars, or Drones, or Surgical Robotics, all of which may have their own roadmaps. This is not an exhaustive list, but with your help we can continue to evolve it.

Do you know of robotics roadmaps not yet included? Please share them with us. 

What is the best simulation tool for robotics?

What is the best simulation tool for robotics? This is a hard question to answer because many people (or their companies) specialize in one tool or another. Some simulators are better at one aspect of robotics than at others. When I’m asked to recommend the best simulation tool for robotics I have to find an expert and hope that they are current and across a wide range of simulation tools in order to give me the best advice, which was why I took particular note of the recent review paper from Australia’s CSIRO, “A Review of Physics Simulators for Robotics Applications” by Jack Collins, Shelvin Chand, Anthony Vanderkop, and David Howard, published in IEEE Access (Volume: 9).

“We have compiled a broad review of physics simulators for use within the major fields of robotics research. More specifically, we navigate through key sub-domains and discuss the features, benefits, applications and use-cases of the different simulators categorised by the respective research communities. Our review provides an extensive index of the leading physics simulators applicable to robotics researchers and aims to assist them in choosing the best simulator for their use case.”

Simulation underpins robotics because it’s cheaper, faster and more robust than real robots. While there are some guides that benchmark simulators against real world tasks there isn’t a comprehensive review. A more thorough review can address gaps and needs in research and research challenges for simulation. The authors focus on seven sub-domains: Mobile Ground Robotics; Manipulation; Medical Robotics; Marine Robotics; Aerial Robotics; Soft Robotics and Learning for Robotics.

I’m going to cut to the chase and provide a copy of the final comparison tables of each sub-domain but for anyone interested in utilizing these recommendations, then I recommend reading the rationale behind the rankings in the full review article. The authors also consider whether or not a simulator is actively supported. Handy to know! And the paper is also an excellent source of information about various historic and current robotics competitions.

Mobile Ground Robotics:

TABLE 1 Feature Comparison Between Popular Robotics Simulators

TABLE 1 Feature Comparison Between Popular Robotics Simulators

TABLE 2 Feature Comparison Between Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Mobile Ground Robotics

TABLE 2 Feature Comparison Between Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Mobile Ground Robotics


TABLE 3 Feature Comparison for Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Manipulation

TABLE 3 Feature Comparison for Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Manipulation

Medical Robotics:

TABLE 4 Feature Comparison of Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Medical Robotics

TABLE 4 Feature Comparison of Popular Robotics Simulators Used for Medical Robotics

Marine Robotics:

TABLE 5 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Marine Robotics

TABLE 5 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Marine Robotics

Aerial Robotics:

TABLE 6 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Aerial Robotics

TABLE 6 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Aerial Robotics

Soft Robotics:

TABLE 7 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Soft Robotics

TABLE 7 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used for Soft Robotics

Learning for Robotics:

TABLE 8 Feature Comparison of Popular Simulators Used in Learning for Robotics


As robotics makes more use of deep learning, simulators that can deal with data on the fly become necessary, and also a potential solution for simulation problems regarding points of contact or collisions. Rather than utilize multiple simulation methods to make a clearer abstraction of the real world in these boundary situations, the answer may be to insert neural networks trained to replicate the properties of difficult phenomena into the simulator. There is further discussion on differentiable simulation, levels of abstraction and the expansion of libraries, plug-ins, toolsets, benchmarking and algorithmic integration, all increasing both the utility and complexity of simulation for robotics.

As the field of simulation for robotics grows, so does the need for metrics that capture the accuracy of the real world representation.  “Finally, we predict that we will see further research into estimating and modeling uncertainty of simulators.”

This may have been the first review article on simulation for robotics but hopefully not the last. There’s a clear need to study and measure the field. I found the sections on soft robotics and learning for robotics particularly interesting, as the paper discussed the difficulties of simulation in these fields. And please attribute any errors in this summary to my mistakes. Read the full review here:

Published in: IEEE Access ( Volume: 9)
Page(s): 51416 – 51431
Date of Publication: 25 March 2021 
Electronic ISSN: 2169-3536
Publisher: IEEE
Funding Agency:
CCBY – IEEE is not the copyright holder of this material. Please follow the instructions via to obtain full-text articles and stipulations in the API documentation.
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