Top Robotics News of 2021
As 2021 comes to an end, it's time to take a step back and take a retrospective look at the events of the past 12 months. Once again, this was a tumultuous year full of plenty of chaos and challenging events for everyone. However, the innovation and ability of the robotics industries again proved to be a light in the darkness. Whether it was helping to battle the ongoing COVID epidemic or just providing hope and wonder with its creations and innovations, the robotics industry again shows that the spirit of knowledge and science remains strong even in the face of tremendous worldwide obstacles.
So, let's take a trip back through memory lane and unpack the last year in robotics, revisiting all the trends the previous year presented us!
As we stated, robots picked up a lot of the slack during the continuing pandemic, doing many jobs and performing many different actions to help out humans. September saw a wealth of stories on food delivery robots, including:
From Nikkei, a profile of SoftBank-run robots helping Grab (a food app) make deliveries.
The Takeout created a slideshow showing 11 ways robotics are affecting the food takeout industry.
WoodTV.com details the story of Tally, the robot, helping to stock shelves in a supermarket.
The Verge took a look at autonomous food delivery developments for Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C.
As detailed in Futurism
, Fox Business
, KLKN TV
, The Drinks Business
, and Business Insider
last October, robot waiters picked up a lot of the slack (and potential danger) for human servers. Sadly, it appears that we're in for even more of these stories in the future, as the pandemic doesn't seem to be a thing of the past.
The "Hub" of Robotics
Those geniuses at Boston Dynamics dominated 2021 with their continued innovations in the field of robotics. Featured in The Verge
, Digital Trends
, and Engadget
, Boston Dynamics celebrated its acquisition in June with a remarkable video of seven of its Spot robots dancing together. In August, the parkour movements of the Atlas robot got coverage in The Verge
, Digital Trends
, New Atlas
, Singularity Hub
, and Popular Mechanics
. Oh, and in October, The Straits Times
chronicled how the famous robotic dog Spot helps to laser-scan structures built on worksites.
Mars seems to be the next logical step in our trek to the universe, so it's only suitable that the red planet gets plenty of attention from the robotics world. There were plenty of stories about robotics on the Martian surface this year. February saw the Perseverance rover set down on the red planet, earning coverage in Engadget
, the BBC
, The Verge
, the Independent
, and The Robot Report
In May, covered by Digital Trends
, The Verge
, IEEE Spectrum
, Technology Review
, the BBC
, and Gizmodo
, the "Zhurong" from China rover became the latest robotic visitor to Mars. Finally, in September came the story of an Egyptian-designed robot that could help create water on Mars (much to the jealousy of Matt Damon, presumably), that earned coverage at KTVU.com
, Interesting Engineering
, and WeForum.
Expect plenty more robotics stories from our planetary neighbor next year!
Finally, here are just a few of our favorite developments from the industry this year:
- From SyFy (of course), IEEE Spectrum, Digital Trends, Interesting Engineering, Futurism, and Boing Boing, the ice robots are here!
- A new "tattoo bot" got coverage in PCMag, Futurism, Design Boom, the New York Post, and Nerdist.
- A robot that looks through walls got profiled in RoboHub, Engadget, The Robot Report, Extreme Tech, SlashGear, and New Atlas,
Saying Goodbye to 2021
Those are just a few of the big stories we saw throughout 2021. As we move into 2022, it's important to remember the positive things that robotics gives us. The spirit of hope, faith, innovation, and discovery is at the heart of robotics; it's that sort of commitment that helps to make the world a better place. When that exists (no matter where it is found or why it occurs), the world is a much better place for it, even in a time that might seem bleak and sad. Let's let the spirit of innovation and creativity light the way into next year.
One final note for everyone: we'd just like to take the opportunity to give you a giant, massive "thank you" for all the support over the year. It's been our distinct pleasure to deliver this news and these insights to you, and we can't wait to see what next year has in store.
Best wishes and happy holidays from everyone at the RobotShop team - and be sure to follow our monthly issues of this blog for more news from the industry throughout 2022!