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15 biggest robotic wins on Kickstarter

Posted: 13 May 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Kickstarter  robots  robotic technologies  Silicon Valley 

Once just a dream, robots are now very real—and showing up at home, in hospitals, in factories, and more. The seeds of this trend can be seen in Kickstarter where campaigns bringing a variety of robotic technologies to market have invited a groundswell of support.

The total world robot market has reached ₹83,108.11 crore ($12.3 billion). Better still, there's no end for growth in sight. Global robot demand will rise 10.5% annually through 2016 to ₹1.36 lakh crore ($20.2 billion), according to recent figures from the Freedonia Group. The United States, Japan, Germany, China, and South Korea, will continue to dominate, with the U.S. staying in the top spot as the largest national market. "Smaller, less expensive service robots will outpace more sophisticated, high-value industrial and medical robots," the report said.

Although the home is a key market, robots are also transforming other sectors. The market for rehabilitation robots, which accounted for a mere ₹1,495.95 crore ($221.4 million) in 2015, is expected grow dramatically to reach ₹7,432.43 crore ($1.1 billion) by 2022, market research firm ReportsWeb estimated. Industrial robots, meanwhile, will also be integrated into the business landscape as well. The industrial robotics market is expected to grow at CAGR of 11.92% between 2016 and 2022, and reach ₹5.38 lakh crore ($79.58 billion) by 2022, MarketsandMarkets reported.

"It is encouraging to see so many new companies adopting robotics for use in their operations," said Jeff Burnstein, president of Robotic Industries Association (RIA) in a written statement. "Companies of all sizes are realising that robots are more affordable than ever before and can help them increase their productivity to remain competitive in today's global economy."

Industry use, over and above automotive industry, soared in the first quarter of 2016, the group reported. Robots ordered by the semiconductor and electronics (90%) and food and consumer goods (82%) grew substantially over 2015. While its still the largest industry in terms of robotics volume , orders to the automotive industry grew only one per cent in the first quarter of 2016.

There's no easier way to witness the phenomenon than by taking a look at popular Kickstarter projects. A quick glance offers a plethora of options, from educational toys to robots that will take over boring household chores, help makers create products faster, or even mix up cocktails. It shows that we want to buy robots for ourselves, and we definitely want to support all those budding engineers out there with cool tech playthings. These projects make it clear that we have a shared goal in the electronics industry: Robots for everybody. And it's a worldwide trend: Many of the top projects originated in the Silicon Valley, but Europe and China were well represented as well. All exceeded their funding goals. One company (Makeblok) even got two products on the list.


Figure 1: The Pocket Drone—Your personal flying robot

Initiator: AirDroids

Funding Goal: $35,000 (₹23.65 lakh)

Pledged: $929,212 (₹6.28 crore)

Backers: 1,946

Location: San Diego, CA

Description: The Pocket Drone is the personal flying robot that enables anyone to capture amazing video and photos from the sky. The year 2014 is going to be the "Year of the Drone." Personal and professional photography is literally beginning to take off. Everybody can already take great looking photos and videos with their camera phones and share them online, but they have been limited to what could be seen from the ground. Now with the Pocket Drone, it's never been easier to capture spectacular aerial images that open up a whole new perspective and insight that had previously been unseen.


Figure 2: Dobot: Robotic Arm for Everyone (Arduino & Open Source)

Initiator: Dobot

Funding Goal: $36,000 (₹24.32 lakh)

Pledged: $615,600 (₹4.16 crore)

Backers: 1,208

Location: Shenzhen, China

Description: Our dream is to bring the industrial robot arm to daily life, let everyone can enjoy the joy of it and simplify the life from doing repetitive tasks. So we tried to create a high repeat precision (up to 0.2mm), stepper motor, Arduino-based, easy to control, low-cost desktop robotic arm. It calls Dobot.


Figure 3: Makerarm-The first robotic arm that makes anything, anywhere

Initiator: Makerarm

Funding Goal: $349,750 (₹2.36 crore)

Pledged: $435,433 (₹2.94 crore)

Backers: 340

Location: San Francisco, CA

Description: "As makers, we have ideas all the time––to improve things, to make our lives better. But to make our ideas happen, we need access to tons of machines, materials, and tools that are too expensive. That's why we created Makerarm: a complete digital fabrication system packed into an affordable robotic arm that makes just about anything, anywhere."

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