Robots are not just for Christmas. If you are stuck for ideas on what Christmas presents to buy for the tech-lovers among your friends and family, there are a number of robotic options that you should consider. From robot vacuum cleaners for the adults to robot boxers and footballers for the kids, there’s something for everyone. So, to keep you up to date, here is your robot update for November. 

By Leah Elston-Thompson, senior account executive at Stone Junction

We now regularly see innovative automated technologies branching into new applications, and there are some really cool ones you should know about.

An extra hand (or two!)
Earlier this month, it was announced that Keio University's Graduate School of Media Design in Tokyo had designed a robot backpack. The robot, called Fusion, is designed to enable two people in different locations to work together on a project or task.

The robot’s arms can be remotely monitored by another user wearing a virtual reality headset. Its head contains cameras that enable both individuals to share the same field of view. One suggested use is that it could be used in manufacturing businesses to train new employees.

Small robots in farming
Bristol-based Small Robot Company has appeared in the news this month with its agile farming robots. The small farming robots could improve crop yield and lessen the environmental impact of farming. Much lighter than tractors, the robots cause less compaction of the earth.

The company produces a robotic workhorse named Jack, which can be customised for different applications. For example, it can be adapted to place seeds in the ground at optimal spacing and depth, or to kill weeds using lasers.

The company claims it could help cut chemical emissions by 95 per cent and reduce costs up to 60 per cent. The robots are still in development, but we can expect to see them available for commercial use in 2021.

Is there life on Mars?
The American space agency, Nasa, has announced that it is sending the 2020 Mars rover to Jezero Crater to investigate the possibility of ancient life on Mars. Previous satellite images indicate that there could previously have been a river that flowed into a lake via a delta system in Jezero when Mars was warmer and wetter. The rover will look for traces of previous life, such as organic molecules.

If you’re an automation company looking for help with its technical PR, or just a robot geek like me, give me a call on 01785 225416 or e-mail me at

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