Robotic News: What's Trending in September 2021

What's the trending news in the robotics field for September 2021? Welcome to the 24th installment in our monthly series, What's Trending in Robotics News! We cover all the breaking news, hot issues, trending stories, and cool stuff that's happening — or has happened — in the robotics industry.

There were plenty of amazing things happening in the robotics industry throughout September. Let's see what caught our attention this month with the trending news in the robotics field for September 2021:

Spot, the Good (Employed) Dog

Ever looked at your dog, just hanging out all day in your living room, snoozing on the couch for hours and hours, and thought, "Boy, I wish he'd get a job"? Well, guess what: Spot, the famous Boston Dynamics robot dog, is actually going to work! Spot is the newest "factory patrol" and watchdog employee at Hyundai, keeping the factory safe. This story got an enormous amount of coverage recently; you can find articles about it in FuturismEconotimesManufacturing GlobalMotoriVentureBeat, and CarBuzz, among others. It seems like Spot is finding its way to more and more industries; would you welcome this into your place of business? What could you see it doing for your industry?

The Robotic Food Industry Delivers

There are more and more developments in the autonomous food delivery industry. Covered in Nikkei, there are SoftBank-run robots helping Grab (a food app) make deliveries. The Takeout has a tremendously entertaining (also, to their words, "mildly terrifying") slideshow that details 11 ways robotics are affecting the food takeout industry. From comes the story of Tally the robot, helping to stock shelves in a supermarket. Robotic Gizmos has a profile of Dax, the food delivery robot. Finally, The Verge has a look at autonomous food delivery developments for Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C. The bottom line? Robotic food delivery is on the way to your doorstep sooner rather than later. Are you ready to accept your pizzas from a robot?

It's the Sound of the (Robot) Police

Major developments in the world of robotic police officers (no, it's not another RoboCop reboot). Singapore has a new robotic cop called Xavier (there's a little X-Men tie-in for everyone too). This robot earned coverage in SlashGearRobotic GizmosReutersAnalytics India, and Tech Times. It's designed to roll through areas looking for all sorts of bad behavior. Talk about the potential for a "slippery slope" kind of worst-case scenario. Are you comfortable with robots taking over some of the traditional jobs done by the police forces?

From Air to Water, Via Robots

Here's something Matt Damon's character in The Martian would have loved. Earning coverage at KTVU.comInteresting EngineeringCGTN, and WeForum, there's a new, Egyptian-designed robot out there with the potential to create water on Mars (the process turns air into water droplets). How exciting is this? How many years could it be before we could deploy the robot there, do you think? And how would it change every sci-fi movie from here on out?

What's New in the Industry?

How about a quick hit from around the industry?

The disinfection robots are at it again? Take a look at this article from The Guardian, which profiles a futuristic office in Bucharest dressed to the nines with all sorts of anti-COVID elements. These include thermal body cameras and, yes, disinfection robots to protect the workers employed there. Something interesting to ponder as we continue to adjust to the COVID environment. Would you expect the same sort of protection measures with your new office? What kind of levels would you demand and expect when you went back into your office?

What's to Come?

There is a lot of news out there — but these are the stories that caught our eyes this month. If we could give one big theme for the month, it would be "expansion." What do we mean by that? Well, it looks as though the trending news in the robotics field for September 2021 really focused on growth and spread into both new worlds and new ventures. Food delivery robots are everywhere suddenly; they're helping fill in empty shelves, bring food to people, travel around to neighborhoods for fast-food drop-offs. Robot police are patrolling everywhere. "Spot" the famous robot dog is helping to patrol Hyundai's floor. Oh, and in the coolest (and most David Bowie-esque news story), there's a new robot that may be able to produce water on Mars (and here on Earth). How amazing is that?

The bottom line: Robotics, as a whole, are on a roll. They're adapting to every aspect of our lives and touching every element of what we do, from how we eat to where we will go as a species. Our best advice? Sit back, enjoy the ride, and enjoy every second of it. One more thing, readers — if you have anything we should add for the next edition, let us know! What caught your attention in the robotics world throughout September? Comment below, and we might feature it in our next issue!

Picture Credit: Hyundai, Boston Dynamics, Starship Technologies. Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

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