Loup Ventures Creates A ‘Robot Fear Index’

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By Lee Schafer, Star Tribune

“The partners of Loup Ventures in Minneapolis have come up with a Robot Fear Index even though they aren’t afraid of robots at all.

These venture capitalists envision a future with the technology of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, robotics and virtual reality used every day, by nearly everyone. So why publish an indicator of how much many of us fear that kind of future?”

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Digi-Key Electronics Is Planning a 1 Million Square Foot Expansion

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logo_dk“THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn., March 6, 2017 — Digi-Key Electronics, the Thief River Falls-headquartered global distributor of electronic components, announces that it is reviewing several potential options for a one million square foot fulfillment, value-added manufacturing and warehouse center with an investment value of between $200-$300 million. While multiple options are under review, Thief River Falls would be its preferred location, contingent on both local approvals and legislative changes required.”

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Land O’ Lakes Launches $150k Drones For Ag Contest

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Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 8.35.12 AMBy Nick Williams, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal

Land O’Lakes Inc. is challenging the tech industry to come up with new ways that drones can be used to benefit agriculture. Through Aug. 1, the company will run a crowdsourcing competition seeking innovations that will help farmers use data and images to better manage their farms.

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U of M Researchers Use Brainwaves To Control Robotic Arms

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Via News Release

“Researchers at the University of Minnesota have made a major breakthrough that allows people to control a robotic arm using only their minds. The research has the potential to help millions of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases. The study is published online today in Scientific Reports, a Nature research journal.”

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How Robots Are Changing Minnesota’s Workforce

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By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost

“On the main floor of Minneapolis-based Atlas Manufacturing, Baxter is hard at work: She places metal pieces on a giant machine in a process that bends and punches parts before picking up the pieces and carefully arranging them on a nearby counter.

It’s a repetitive task, and at times, agonizing. But Baxter doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she’s able to do the work around the clock throughout the year — without requiring lunch breaks. Or sick leaves. Or health insurance. Or vacation benefits.”

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MN Drone Startup Sentera Taps Distributor Down Under

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“MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sentera, LLC, a global provider of remote sensing hardware and data management solutions signs a reseller agreement with Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions, Australia’s leading provider of custom drone systems to the aerial agriculture, mining, cinematography, and industrial industries.”

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Bone Bots: More Minnesota Surgeons Are Using Robots

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screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-5-25-17-pmBy Joe Carlson, Star Tribune

“The bone bots are coming. A new wave of robotically assisted tools for knee and hip replacements is moving into specialty centers and hospitals around Minnesota, and the number of procedures appears poised to spike in 2017.

The surgical robots carry big price tags, but people who use them say the cost is made up in quicker recovery times and more predictable results, especially in complex cases.”

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Medtronic Invests Another $20M In Mazor Robotics

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By Sam Schaust, Twin Cities Business

“Medtronic on Monday completed a $20 million investment agreement from May with Mazor Robotics, an Israeli manufacturer of spine surgery guidance systems.  The $20 million paid by Medtronic, which holds its U.S. operational headquarters in Fridley, will be equivalent to a 3.4 percent ownership of Mazor.  Medtronic’s latest investment is technically the second tranche in a multi-part agreement that could net the company 15 percent equity stake in Mazor, a deal priced at roughly $52 million.”

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Ask An Indie: Martin Grider, Abstract Puzzle

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MartinThis is Ask An Indie where we interview local independent game developers to learn how they make, do and create.

The Indie: Martin Grider, Lead Developer, Abstract Puzzle.

What inspired you to start making games?

One theory is that creativity is not learned, but that we “unlearn” is as we grow older. I think play is the same way. Watching my 6-year old, she’ll make up more stories and games in a half-hour of make believe than I can manage in a week. It’s like her brain is doing what our brains only do while we are asleep — leaping from one idea to the next with only tenuous connection between them, if any.

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Medtronic Inks $42m Deal With Mazor Robotics

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by Brad Perriello, Mass Device

Mazor Robotics said today that it inked a 2-phase deal with Medtronic for its robot-assisted spine surgery technology that includes a co-promotion agreement and an equity investment that could see Medtronic wind up with a 15% stake in the Israeli company for as much as $42 million.

Caesarea, Israel-based Mazor said the 1st phase of the deal calls for Medtronic to acquire 15 Mazor systems this year. It also makes Medtronic Mazor’s sole partner for developing and commercializing robot-assisted spine surgery devices.”

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