Crunch time for China’s robot startups as pandemic brings pain and opportunities

By David Kirton

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – With glowing blue eyes and trusting feline features, a new robot cat by Chinese startup Elephant Robotics seems happily oblivious to the worries of CEO Joey Song as he shows it off at the company’s lab in Shenzhen.

Elephant Robotics’ main business is the automation of factory assembly lines but revenue has plunged by a third this year due to the coronavirus, leading the company to cut staff by a fifth.

“It’s tough,” said Song. “Before, we had more than 30 people.”

Due to the downturn, the firm is putting more energy into the robot cat project funded on Kickstarter in December. Readying its first large batch of 1,000 cats for sale, it hopes that as more consumers work from home, interest in pet robots will grow.

“If the industrial robots can’t sell right now, we just focus on other robots to lower

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How The Non-Scripted Business Is Set To Resume Production, Focus On Big-Ticket Development

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The non-scripted business is gearing up for a return to full production, safely of course, over the next couple of months.

L.A. County has allowed the reopening of film and TV production, non-fiction trade group N-Pact, which includes members such as Endemol Shine North America and Wheelhouse Entertainment, released its own health and safety guidelines and Hollywood unions DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Teamsters released their detailed protocols.

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This has led many non-scripted buyers, producers and agents to be optimistic that filming on many shows, including a number of big-scale network series, will resume this July and August.

Below, Deadline looks at how shows such as NBC’s America’s Got Talent and CBSLove Island are proceeding, lays out the challenges of returning safely to production and reveals an optimism about development.

NBC has been working through plans for

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Fashion Week Preview: Lou Dalton

The coronavirus has come for Fashion Week, but Fashion Week is unbowed. With the 2020 edition of LFWM going all-digital, the event’s key designers talk us through how they’ve adapted to showing clothes in a world where showing clothes is (almost) impossible.

What’s been the biggest challenge with producing a lockdown fashion ‘show’

The logistics. With most of the manufacturing support only just coming out of lockdown, delays have occurred.

What’s been the biggest opportunity?

To reset and refresh.

What non-fashion skills have you picked up during lockdown?


How have you seen London’s fashion community come together in the past few months?

It’s been amazing to see the fashion community pull together in such trying times. Emergency Design Network is a marvellous initiative where I have been able to assist in the making of PPE equipment for the NHS.

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