Homepage / Technology / Toyota research arm takes first step into Israel’s start-up scene with investment into robotics for the elderly
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election


Toyota research arm takes first step into Israel’s start-up scene with investment into robotics for the elderly

Japan’s Toyota has just announced itself on the Israeli start-up scene, confirming on Tuesday that it has led an early-stage funding round in Israel’s Intuition Robotics.

Toyota Research Institute, TRI, the automaker’s initiative in artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and home robotics, has a treasure chest of $1 billion and says it has led a $14 million series A round investment in the Israeli company.

“This investment is our first Israeli company, it will not be our last,” TRI’s Vice-President for Data and Business Development, Jim Adler, told CNBC.

“We’re looking at Israeli start-ups across the board, from robotics, autonomy, data cloud, general artificial intelligence, deep learning.”

TRI, set up in 2016, is part of a big push by Toyota into artificial intelligence for autonomous driving and home robotics with an emphasis on robotics for the elderly, the field in which Intuition Robotics is active. The Japanese automaker last month, said that it is considering more active strategies into autonomous driving, including mergers and acquisitions.

While TRI is based in the U.S., its interest in Israel reflects the changing Israeli-Japanese relationship over the last couple of years. Japan and Israel signed new business and cybersecurity agreements in May this year that are intended to double trade, which stood at some $3 billion in 2016, officials said.

“We’re quite bullish on Israel,” said Adler. TRI’s interest in home robotics, with an emphasis on the elderly, flowed naturally from the autonomous driving push, he explained: “Cars are really just robots with wheel.”

With rapidly aging populations both in Japan and the U.S., the overlap between autonomous driving and robotics for the elderly, was obvious, he said.

“One of the first things an older adult loses is their ability to drive and with that comes a real impact on their freedom and dignity. Accessibility to driving is really important.”

Intuition Robotics, based in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv, is developing a home robot for the elderly, to help with “active aging”, called ElliQ. TRI’s fit was immediate, said Adler, in terms of market, in terms of technology and also in attitude:

“We thought the company was taking a really thoughtful approach, not trying to do too much, approaching the problem with real thoughtfulness and respect, that’s relatively unique in that space.”

Other investors in the series A investment, besides TRI, include OurCrowd, iRobot, early seed investors Maniv Mobility, Terra Venture Partners, Bloomberg Beta, plus additional private parties.

Intuition Robotics’ co-founder and CEO, Dor Skuler, told CNBC that the investment was not the only way that TRI and his company cooperate. “We’ve already started doing joint R&D in the field of motors and movement,” he said.

The two companies complement each other, he said, because TRI is, “spending a lot of research and development dollars and attention on building the mechanical side of robots.”

While Intuition Robotics, is working on the “social aspect” of robots. “A focus on the elderly population is a shared goal of both companies,” said Skuler.

Intuition Robotics has opened a sales office in the U.S. and the investment is partly aimed at helping it grow its North America operation. It will be the first focus of the company’s roll-out of ElliQ, possibly followed by Japan, said Skuler.

The focus on North America was not only a marketing decision but has to do with the way the interactive robot has been developed, he explained: “ElliQ in her first release only speaks English but more than English she also has a persona and that persona is built for the North American market.”

The robot, which cannot move around the house but does have moving components to mimic body language as well as a screen on which it can show images or video, is meant to be a proactive companion to the elderly. It could prod users to go for walks, or call their children.

“We do have a feeling that people in other parts of the world might expect a different persona to be motivated. Also the design of the product might need to be different for an Asian customer than let’s say a North American customer,” said Skuler.

The benefits of having ElliQ in the home as an “active aging companion” could be innumerable but still have to be proven. Skuler cited research on loneliness among the elderly and associated physical and mental decline. To tackle all that, he admitted, was an “ambitious project for a company from Ramat Gan.”

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: Tech CNBC
Toyota research arm takes first step into Israel’s start-up scene with investment into robotics for the elderly

Comments are closed.