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Tesla reportedly made its 100,000th Model 3

Tesla may have just hit a symbolic milestone in its quest to speed up Model 3 production: according to an Electrek source, the company has produced its 100,000th Model 3. It technically reached the mark earlier in the week if you count engineering a...

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Industrial robots startup Gideon Brothers raises $765K led by TransferWise co-founder

Gideon Brothers , an ambitious startup out of Croatia that is building autonomous robots to put to work in warehouses and other industrial logistics, has quietly raised $765,000 in funding. The round is led by TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, who has become an increasingly active investor, recently backing fintech Cleo , legal tech startup Juro , and satellite company Open Cosmos . Ex-Wired U.K. editor David Rowan and a number of unnamed Croatian angels have also participated in Gideon Brothers’ seed round. Founded in early 2017 and comprising a 40-plus team of deep learning and robotics experts — which includes 5 PhDs and 27 Masters of Hardware and Software engineering and other related disciplines — the company is developing an AI-powered robot for various industrial applications. Dubbed “The Brain,” the technology combines 3D computer vision and deep learning to enable Gideon Brothers’ robots to be aware of their environment and operate autonomously, similar to self-driving vehicles. “We have been developing a technology we call a ‘robot brain’,” co-founder and CEO Matija Kopic tells me. “We believe that robots of the future will rely on the same type of vision that you and I rely on, which is basically stereo vision. We’ve deployed deep learning on top of stereo vision to give our robots a new type of perception of their environment”. The startup’s first product is described as an “autonomous and modular intralogistics robot” that is capable of safely handling large pallets in manufacturing, warehouse and commercial environments.

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Tesla sues former employee for $1 million over trade secret theft

Tesla is suing a former employee for $1 million, alleging the man hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims the employee leaked false information to the media. The lawsuit against the former process technician Martin Tripp was filed Wednesday in Nevada. Tesla declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was first reported by CNBC . The lawsuit only lists the legal team representing Tesla. Efforts to reach Tripp have so far been unsuccessful. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made allegations of sabotage and filed lawsuits against former employees claiming theft before, at least one of which was dropped after the parties reached an agreement and no wrongdoing was discovered. Earlier this week, Musk sent an email, which CNBC first reported on, about a factory fire and referenced possible sabotage. Another email from Musk alleged that he had discovered a saboteur at the company. Two years ago, an investigation into possible sabotage was launched at Musk’s other company, SpaceX, after a rocket exploded while being fueled up. And in Musk’s view, sabotage is a forever looming and real threat

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Nvidia prices Jeston Xavier AI platform developer kit at $1,299

Today at Computex in Taipei, Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang announced the availability of a drastically upgraded version of Issac. Nvidia calls the next-gen robotics system the next step in autonomous machines as it reportedly brings AI capabilities to a new set of industries. The company has been talking about this platform some time, touting its capabilities and use cases. A Jetson Xavier SoC provides the processing with more than 9 billion transistors, it delivers over 30 TOPS (trillion operations per second). Inside the Xavier is a Volta Tensor Core GPU, an eight-core ARM64 CPU, dual NVDLA deep learning accelerators, an image processor, a vision processor and a video processor. The platform developer kit will be available in August for $1,299 and includes the Isaac robotics software. “AI is the most powerful technology force of our time,” said Huang in a released statement. “Its first phase will enable new levels of software automation that boost productivity in many industries. Next, AI, in combination with sensors and actuators, will be the brain of a new generation of autonomous machines. Someday, there will be billions of intelligent machines in manufacturing, home delivery, warehouse logistics and much more.” The Isaac Robotics Software includes the Isaac SDK, a collection of APIs and tools to develop robotic algorithm software, the Isaac IMX, Nvidia-developed robotics software, and the Isaac Sim, a virtual simulation software to train autonomous machines. The availability of the developer kit should mark a turning point of robotics development. It provides serious processing power and capabilities in a ready-made package.

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Augmented reality display maker DigiLens nabs $25 million

Though content creators in the augmented reality space are still struggling to find engaging use cases for early mobile augmented reality platforms, there is still a feverish amount of excitement inside the space from big tech companies and makers of key components that are plugging along in developing technologies that will enable consumer AR headsets. One such startup, augmented reality display manufacturer DigiLens , announced today that they have raised $25 million of a Series C round from automotive parts manufacturing giant Continental. DigiLens manufactures “waveguide displays,” which have been in use for a while but are pretty much the best technology available for making AR headset displays. While VR headset manufacturers are able to use conventional LCD or OLED displays to render an entirely new world while perhaps relying on passthrough feeds from cameras to simulate “mixed reality” environments, hardware manufacturers interested in making glasses-like AR headsets that aren’t incredibly ugly have had to rely on waveguides, which reflect light that is shined into the edge of a sheet of glass and bounced around inside by reflective elements before being shined directly into a user’s eyes. It’s all a bit more complicated than that, but importantly it allows for a mostly transparent screen that users can gaze through to see what’s going on in the real world. What distinguishes DigiLens is that their manufacturing process relies on them “printing” these reflective elements directly onto the sheets of glass, a feature the company says helps them keep costs lower than its competitors. Though Sunnyvale-based DigiLens has perhaps gotten the most press for its work on miniature waveguide displays perfect for the first generation of augmented reality headsets, like many other display makers in that space they’ve found more immediate opportunity in making heads-up displays for cars and motorcycle helmets. This significant investment from Continental now pins the company’s equity stake in DigiLens at 18 percent, the company tells me. DigiLens has raised $60 million in funding to date from investors, including Sony and Foxconn according to Crunchbase .

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What is the latest suave geek toy on market? – Robotics and Automation News (press release)

Robotics and Automation News (press release) What is the latest suave geek toy on market? Robotics and Automation News (press release) Right from fitness, to car accessories , to survival gear, to video games, to smart tech gadgets, there's something for everyone. ... Keyboard Waffle Iron – For someone who loves food as much as they love computers , this is a must-have. ... Other than ...

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Starting a robotics company out of school? Not so fast, suggest investors

Every once in a while, a college student or recent graduate dares to launch a robotics startup and . . . everything goes as well as could be expected. Such is the case, for example, with Alex Rodrigues and Brandon Moak, two former University of Waterloo students who worked on self-driving technologies together in college and formed their now venture-backed , self-driving truck company, Embark , instead of graduating. (Originally called Varden Labs, the startup’s trip  through Y Combinator undoubtedly helped.) Still, to capture the sustained interest of robotics investors, it helps to either have experience in a particular industry or to pull in someone, quickly, who does. That much was established yesterday at UC Berkeley, when three veteran investors — Renata Quintini of Lux Capital, Rob Coneybeer of Shasta Ventures, and Chris Evdemon of Sinovation Ventures — took the stage of a packed Zellerbach Hall to talk about where they’ve invested previously, and where they are shopping now. Though the three expressed interest in a wide range of technologies and plenty of optimism about what’s to come, each lingered a bit on one point in particular, which was the difficulty robotics founders face who are completely unfamiliar with the particular industry they may hope to reshape with their innovation. You can catch the entire interview below, but we  thought college students — and their professors and mentors — might want to pay particularly close attention to this concern if they’re thinking about hitting up investors in the not-too-distant future. Quintini on how comfortable she and her colleagues at Lux are when it comes to backing recent college graduates: What we care the most about what is your unique insight and what do you know about tackling a certain market or problem that’s not obvious or easy to replicate. In some cases, it’s very fair for someone right out of university who finds a technological breakthrough and .

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EcoFlow raises $4M from unconventional investors to grow its mobile power business

EcoFlow , a Chinese hardware firm developed by former JDI engineers that sells portable power stations, has pulled in a Series A round of over $4 million ahead of the imminent launch of new products and an international sales expansion. The Shenzhen-based company has taken an interesting route. Founded in 2016, the startup burst on to the scene when it launched its River product in an Indiegogo campaign that pulled in $1 million . Today, River is available in the U.S. where it is sold via Home Depot, Camping World, Amazon, HSN and the EcoFlow website for $699 upwards. That’s pretty impressive progress for a young company, and CEO and co-founder Eli Harris told TechCrunch in an interview that relationships with key partners are at the core of that. In particular, EcoFlow has raised strategic investment from supply chain partners rather than traditional VC and that is the case again. This new $4 million came courtesy of battery makers Guangzhou Penghui Energy and SCUD Group, industrial design tooling factory ESID, and supply chain-focused firms Delian Capital and Chunjia Assets. Names that aren’t known in Silicon Valley, for sure, but the key is what they bring to the table. “Our investors are almost entirely vertically integrated with every component in our supply chain,” Harris said. “That gives us access to these top-tier manufacturers that no startups could enjoy and help us get direct access to vendors at large companies.” Aside from reaching quality components and getting a good price, relationships with these component makers help EcoFlow with its cash flow — always a challenge puzzle piece for hardware startups. Harris explained that the relationships allow his company to delay paying for components rather than having to pay upfront — before product is sold and revenue comes in — which optimizes the books and means the capital can be put to work on R&D, sales and marketing and more. The River itself is touted as industry-leading portable power. Aside from an aesthetic nice design, the li-ion-based device has a total output of 500 watts, weighs just 11 pounds and features two quick-charge USB ports, two USB type C ports, two standard USB ports, two AC outlets, two DC outlets and one 12V car port. Now EcoFlow is doubling down with plans to launch two new products before the end of this year.

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