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The Bot Brief

POSTED 12/18/2022

"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."       

- Victor Hugo                        



Bots In the News:

The swings in the price of energy were manifest this week in their impact of the shares of Oceaneering International. The prior week’s 13% decline due to a negative swing in oil was reversed by this week’s oil upswing. Consequently, shares traded 7.82% higher for the week in leading the Bot Index’s list of 30 components. The only other gainer of consequence was Hiwin Technologies who gained 2.42%.

The meager number of gainers in the Index were far outweighed by significant losers. The worst performer for the week was Tesla who fell 16.09%. Both Tesla and NIO, the other EV stock in the Index, have performance issues over the past several weeks. NIO declined 8.16%.

The other double-digit decliner was 3D Systems. Its 10.69% slide contributed to the Bot Index’ 2.29% drop for the week and a relative performance lag with the S & P 500 of about 50 basis points.

And About 3D Printing:

Irrespective of the tumble experienced by 3D Systems over the past couple of weeks, there was some interesting news regarding the industry. First, NASA awarded a $60 million contract to ICON Corp. (an Austin Texas based homebuilder) to develop a 3D printer designed to be carried to the moon and used to build facilities. Viewed as essential for the development of a long term ‘colony’ on our satellite, NASA’s concept is to utilize moon dust to create the buildings needed to support

human life on the harsh environment. With a goal of starting construction on the moon by 2026, the initial projects will be a launch and landing pad.

Meanwhile, in Maine, the University of Maine is seeking a solution to the housing shortage in the state. Using the sawdust from the state’s lumber milling industry, researchers have built a 600 square foot house using 3D printing methods. Since most 3D printing of large projects such as housing, utilizes concrete, the new method is renewable and inexpensive.

Subject to the house’s ability to ‘weather’ the extremes in temperature and moisture of the Maine winters, production will expand in the near future. The researchers believe the process can be refined to create multiple homes in the space of two days. The enterprise is being hailed by environmentalists and politicians alike for its ability to solve multiple problems in short order.




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The Bot Brief is a weekly newsletter designed for economists, investment specialists, journalists, and academicians. It receives no remuneration from any companies that may from time to time be featured in the brief and its commentaries, analysis, opinions, and research represent the subjective view of Balcones Investment Research, LLC. Due to the complex and rapidly changing nature of the subject matter, the company makes no assurances as to the absolute accuracy of material presented.