The Bot Brief
"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
- Victor Hugo
Bots in The News:
Both the Bot Index and the S & P 500 fell a bit over two and a quarter percent in the first week of August trading. The downgrade of the U.S. domestic debt by Fitch to below AAA forced investors to reappraise the impact of rising rates on the debt’s interest cost and the likely impact on the dollar and national budget. Higher rates are an obvious competitive vehicle relative to equities and those apprehensions drove investors to the sidelines. Further exacerbating the investment climate was a weaker than expected jobs report, rising oil prices, falling manufacturing production. Next week, both the CPI and PPI will report with each expecting an increase over June numbers.
While Rockwell Automation was the only double-digit decliner in the Bot Index, four of Japanese companies contributed to the Index’s weakness. Faunc Corp. fell 9.39%, Yaskawa Electric declined 7.3%, OMRON Corp. slid 7.1% and Keyence Corp. retreated by 6.15%. Rockwell’s fall was a result of its third quarter earnings of $3.01 not meeting Wall Street consensus of $3.19.
Faro Technologies was the favored stock in the week’s trading, rising 11.68%. After having lost nearly a third of its value earlier this year and the replacement of its CEO, Faro reported second quarter earnings $.26 ahead of expectations and revenue increased 10% year over year. EBITDA rose to $.9 million from $.5 million.
2020’s Decade of Bot Index Performance
Robots in the Field Again!
While we have reported frequently on the use of automation on the farm, an Israeli firm, Tevel Aerobotics Technologies has introduced a novel robotic harvesting tool. While robots are frequently in use in the harvesting of grains and low growing produce, the picking of fruit from trees and bushes is considerably more difficult. Tevel produces robotic drones that “hover next to fruit trees, effortlessly picks the ripest fruits with suction arms, and carefully deposit them in a collection bin.
The hovercrafts are tethered to a source of power on the ground, allowing them to pick continuously day or night. The systems within the mechanical components have cameras that assess the fruit’s size and color such that only the ripe fruits are selected.
Due to a worldwide shortage of produce pickers, a considerable amount of fruit remains on the trees to rot in any harvest. With an ever-growing world population, this higher level of efficiency will help to feed consumers and add currency into the farmers’ pockets.