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The Bot Brief

POSTED 02/19/2023

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

- Victor Hugo


Bots in The News:Bot Index vs. S & P 500

The declines in both the Bot Index and the S & P 500 were negligible in last week’s trading. Only down a few basis points and within shouting distance between the two, there were several notable gainers and decliners. While the low priced Japanese company, Cyberdyne was the major loser with a decline of over 10%, the most significant slippage occurred by the vision company Cognex. Long felt that Cognex was impervious to the business cycle, the company reported a five cent miss on fourth quarter earnings and declines in year-over-year revenues that were 2% below Wall Street consensus of $245.7 million. That report, together with less than exciting guidance by management, led the stock lower by 9.27%.

On the positive note, stock of Rockwell Automation was a leader of the gainers with a 4.40% upswing. Benzinga reported, “Rockwell Automation Analyst Sees Stock as Well Positioned Over the Next Several Years.” The analyst, from Morgan Stanley, reaffirmed his ‘Buy’ recommendation and upped his target stock price to $335. The stock closed at $297.72.

Shares of Tesla gained 5.80% with speculation that Elon Musk will be contacting Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador regarding the construction of a new plant opportunity in Mexico. The company also hinted at obtaining some position or outright purchase of Sigma Lithium to add to its battery businesses. Sigma Lithium is a Canadian company, but its largest shareholder is the Brazilian concern which owns 46% of the voting stock.

Faro Technologies gained 4.12% as its 4th quarter revenues rose 4% and 2% over the twelve months of 2022. Earnings beat consensus by 4 cents in the quarter which marked three consecutive quarters of exceeding analysts’ expectations.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  - Nelson Mandela

The Bot Brief has frequently interviewed teachers and students involved in STEM studies and their application in robotics. As our byline quote from Victor Hugo suggests, we feel that the Robotic Revolution will be the equal or will exceed the impact of the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution on its positive impact upon mankind. The FIRST Program, the Houston Rodeo and Livestock’ Robotic Competition and the Vex Events are all geared to start students at elementary age, through middle school and on into high school and college regarding the fun, camaraderie, and practicality of robotic competition. All the programs are geared to have students perform tasks, working as teams to design, develop and construct robots that will exceed their competitors’ (frequently in international events) capabilities.

The Vex Competition was named, in 2018 as the largest robotics competition in the world by Guinness World Records. Dallas hosts the world championship each spring and competitors are lining up to participate in this year’s event. While competitions are popping up everywhere, a new venue at the University of West Virginia just kicked off its first hosting of its experience this week. The sponsor, NASA Education Resource Center supports more than 40 qualifying tournaments around the state each year. The director of NASA’ ERC, Todd Ensign, stated this week, “It’s an important mission for NASA because the next generation of talent will come from the pool of highly qualified elementary, middle and high school students who can think on their feet, communicate their ideas and solve real world problems. That’s what’s gonna help us solve our next big problems in our world.”

We couldn’t have said it better!



Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association, Member IEEE.


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.