How Squishy Robotics created a robot that can be safely dropped out of a helicopter

If you want to build a robot that can fall hundreds of feet and be no worse the wear, legs are pretty much out of the question. The obvious answer, then, is a complex web of cable-actuated rods. Obvious to Squishy Robotics, anyway, whose robots look delicate but are in fact among the most durable […]

Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups […]

Uber spent $457 million on self-driving and flying car R&D last year

Uber spent $457 million last year on research and development of autonomous vehicles, flying cars (known as eVTOLs) and other “technology programs” and will continue to invest heavily in the futuristic tech even though it expects to rely on human drivers for years to come, according to the company’s IPO prospectus filed Thursday. R&D costs […]

Uber, Lyft and the challenge of transportation startup profits

Transit has always required subsidies — can Uber and Lyft escape history? Tracey Lindeman 15 hours How much does transportation cost you? In most cities, bus or subway fare might set you back $3 or so. A tank of gas, maybe $30 or $40 depending on your car. An hour of street parking? Sometimes it’s […]

RightHand Robotics debuts a new pick and place system

Reliable pick and place systems have long been a kind of Holy Grail among industrial robotics. The job of moving products in and out of bins is high among the jobs that many warehouse and fulfillment centers are looking to automate. For a few years now, RightHand Robotics has been one of the more exciting […]

Boston Dynamics acquires a 3D vision startup in bid to put its robots to work

Last week’s Handle video was different than past Boston Dynamics releases. Sure, it showcased the same sort of impressive robotics that have made every video from the company a viral hit, but this one took a very different approach than other recent releases: It put the robot to work. There were some clear aesthetic differences: […]

Built Robotics’ massive construction excavator drives itself

I’ve never had a meeting quite like the one I had with Built Robotics. Within about 10 minutes of meeting Built’s co-founder Noah Ready-Campbell, we’re steering an 80,000-pound construction excavator around what is basically his company’s back yard. He wants me to see what it’s like to drive one; how much skill and finesse it […]

Mars helicopter bound for the Red Planet takes to the air for the first time

The Mars 2020 mission is on track for launch next year, and nesting inside the high-tech new rover heading that direction is a high-tech helicopter designed to fly in the planet’s nearly non-existent atmosphere. The actual aircraft that will fly on the Martian surface just took its first flight and its engineers are over the […]

This self-driving AI faced off against a champion racer (kind of)

Developments in the self-driving car world can sometimes be a bit dry: a million miles without an accident, a 10 percent increase in pedestrian detection range, and so on. But this research has both an interesting idea behind it and a surprisingly hands-on method of testing: pitting the vehicle against a real racing driver on […]

Lidar and perception startup Innoviz raises $132 million

Innoviz, the Israel-based startup developing solid-state lidar sensors and perception software for autonomous vehicles, has raised $132 million in a Series C funding round that includes major Chinese financial institutions. The round, which makes Innoviz one of the better capitalized lidar startups, includes China Merchants Capital (SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund, L.P.), Shenzhen Capital Group and […]