This boring robot world record tells us a lot about the future of commerce

Robot workstations equipped with the company’s technology successfully picked up and placed 131,072 items over the duration of this year’s MODEX show, the supply chain industry’s largest event in North and South America.

This boring robot world record tells us a lot about the future of commerce

RightHand Robotics, which makes software and intelligent grippers for piece-picking robots used in the supply chain industry, just helped set a world record that probably didn’t have you on the edge of your seat.

Robot workstations equipped with the company’s technology successfully picked up and placed 131,072 items over the duration of this year’s MODEX show, the supply chain industry’s largest event in North and South America.

Even if you don’t care how many times a team of small industrial robots can pick up and put down various objects during a trade show, the results speak to broader trends in automation that amount to a veritable revolution in how global commerce functions.

Indeed, this year’s MODEX was all about the robots. The industry has been racing to fill the hole left after Amazon acquired fulfillment automation leader Kiva in 2012. It’s safe to say a new generation of flexible automation solutions for fulfillment and logistics has more than made up the lost ground.

Virtually everything you order online passes through the mechanical end effectors of a pick and place robot or is shuttled along part of its journey by an autonomous cart.

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  • Publisher: ZDNet
  • Author: Greg Nichols
  • Twitter: @ZDNet
  • Citation: Web link

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Here are 64 startups that launched today at Y Combinator’s W18 Demo Day 1

Y Combinator has made progress ramping up diversity in its startup school. Thirty-five percent of this batch’s companies are internationally based, 27 percent have a female founder, and 13 percent have an underrepresented minority founder. The 50-person YC team now includes 18 partners, with Eric Migicovsky of Pebble joining to help out hardware companies and explore the accelerator’s opportunities in China.

The question on everyone’s minds is which startups will join the 15 previous ones like Stripe, Dropbox, and Airbnb now worth over $1 billion. But with YC’s portfolio moving beyond social apps and enterprise tools towards hard science innovation, and 18 percent of this batch’s companies coming from health and biotech, many of the software investors seemed a little overwhelmed. We’ll let you choose your favorites from our write-ups of all 64 that pitched on the record today. Check out our top 7 picks from today’s startups, and our full coverage of all the startups from day 2. Come back Wednesday morning for our top picks from day 2.

Bear Flag is building autonomous tractors. They claim to be able to reduce input by 20 percent and increase production yield by 11 percent. They’re already testing tractors in the field in California. They plan to charge about $4,000 per tractor per month.

Juni is an online education program for kids that is targeting the $9 billion after-school market. The idea is to start with teaching kids computer science in a virtual, one-on-one setting by pairing them with tutors. It charges $250 per month for once-a-week classes Juni says it’s grown 25 percent month over month in the last six months. The company also says it’s profitable, with a 95 percent monthly renewal rate. Without adequate computer science courses in schools, and the skills becoming clearly critical future employment, Juni could educate the next generation of programmers.

Macromoltek wants to ‘change the drug discovery process,’ by building software that designs antibodies. The startup uses academic research combined with technology to help drug companies. So far, Macromoltek has ten paying customers, generating $50,000 in revenue for 2017. They’ve also secured $500,000 in LOIs (letter of intent) to design new antibodies.

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  • Publisher: TechCrunch
  • Date: 2018-03-20T01:18:05+00:00
  • Author: Josh Constine
  • Twitter: @TechCrunch
  • Citation: Web link

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