Welcome to another edition of Fictiv’s Hardware Roundup, your monthly collection of news and findings that we’ve found interesting and that are hopefully relevant to you! Read on for articles on surgical robots, LiDAR, real time ship tracking, tool guides, and more.

Want to share an interesting article, job posting, or event in Hardware Roundup? Submit your link here, and we’ll do our best to include it in the next issue with a credit to you.

Industry News

  • Apple’s machine learning team went into detail on their blog about how deep learning algorithms for Face ID work on the iPhone X and the challenges of exponential memory, storage, and computational resources they overcame. + Mashable interviewed the senior Apple execs about how the product was brought to life beginning three years ago.
  • The Economist did a piece on the rise of surgical robots and the key players in the industry. + The New York Times wrote about how after six years, radiation hardened underwater robots finally reached the heart of Fukushima’s reactor.
  • The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has issued a $26.3-million contract to Lockheed Martin to design, develop, and build a high-energy laser for tests in a tactical fighter jet, which puts “a weapon traveling at the speed of light onto an aircraft capable of traveling the speed of sound, while targeting threats likely also traveling at supersonic speeds.” [via Wired]
  • Velodyne announced VLS-128, “the best LiDAR sensor on the planet,” which has 128 laser beams, double the previous version, and triple the resolution.+ Elon Musk believes LiDAR is not needed to make Tesla’s capable of autonomous driving.

Hardware Knowledge



  • By now, you’ve likely heard that TechShop is closing its 14 locations—we’re deeply saddened by the news. Make has put together a list of alternative resources for each city affected.
  • We’re moving to a bigger space (still in SF’s SoMa neighborhood) and looking for hardware buddies to join us. If you’re interested in leasing office space, learn more here.
  • The 2018 State of Hardware Survey is live—tell us about your experience moving from design to production for an exclusive Fictiv T-shirt and a chance to win $1,300 in hardware tech.
  • Check out the latest engineering and manufacturing positions at Bantum Tools, eero, Molekule, Formlabs, and Proterra.

For the Love of Engineering

An electronic musician programmed Kuka industrial robots to play multiple musical instruments for his new album. + The Kuka “Robutt” simulates 10 years of seat usage in a few weeks.

Until next month!

Fin, Hardware Evangelist at Fictiv