Sunday, August 12, 2012

Robotic Start-up Companies - A Glimpse At Our Robotic Future


By Frank Tobe, Editor/Publisher, The Robot Report

Click to enlarge and see details.

This mash-up of our list of 159 robotic start-up companies onto Google's global map graphically displays how widespread robotic inventions and inventors are dispersed around the world and particularly around major robotic research centers. For the purpose of this mash-up, we are defining a robotic start-up as a company established to develop a concept or product or robotic-related service for sale but doesn't yet have it all together. They have established a business and are in motion toward their goals but haven't made any sales or aren't fully funded, haven't finished developing the product, or all of the preceding.

Each red marker shows the start-up company name, city and website link. This is good free publicity for start-up companies, good for job-seekers, good for the robotics industry and informative for investors and gadget freaks everywhere. Robotics is happening, and it's happening at a rapid pace all over the globe! And this mash-up is just a tiny reflection of that revolution.

Interestingly, there are very few industrial robot start-up companies; mostly the new companies are service robotic companies, a generic term for every form of robot except those used for industrial-grade manufacturing: surgical; healthcare; defense; space; security; personal service; shop assistance; unmanned aerial, underwater and ground vehicles; toys; vision enabled, etc.

These start-ups appear to be clustering in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley) of California, around Boston, Pittsburgh, Tokyo and Stockholm - all of which correspond with the locations of notable government or university-sponsored robotics research facilities, and in and around New York City. Each of those areas have ongoing entrepreneurial assistance programs for technology projects and provide nurturing and social get-togethers with prospective investors and fellow inventors and roboticists.

Many other young robotic companies have pushed beyond the start-up phase into one of our other directory categories shown below. And many more are missing because they are too stealthy to have a web or social media presence just yet or are in a language that is difficult to search and translate. Hence my personal request: if you know of a robotics start-up that isn't included on the map, please send the information to: info@therobotreport.com. Thank you.

Although only 159 start-up companies are plotted, The Robot Report’s database has over 1,800 robotics links separated into the following categories:
... Industrial robot manufacturers
... Service robots for governmental and corporate use
... Service robots for personal use
... Ancillary businesses serving the robotics industry
... Start-up companies
... Educational and research facilities
Later this year we will be producing another mash-up from our database. Red markers will show the industrial robot makers, blue markers will show where service robotics companies are located, and green will be for start-up companies. Stay tuned! This one should be particularly illuminating.