5th Anniversary Edition of RBR50 displays tremendous diversity and superb technical skill
By Tom Green
February 15, 2016
Change and re-imagining
Lists of anything from Oscar nominees to used cars to best hospitals can offer up both strange and compelling insights and subtexts behind the names of those making the lists, and very often, to those missing from the lists altogether.
Our fifth anniversary edition of the global 50 best in robotics list for 2016 tells an intriguing tale about where robotics is headed and why.
There’s a story of incredible change and re-imagining happening right before our eyes.
To glean new directions, to recognize change and to satisfy their curiosity is part of the reason why hundreds of thousands of visitors annually pour over the RBR50 interactive list, making those pages by far the most popular, clicked over and most closely followed at Robotics Business Review.
For five years running, the RBR50 list has been pretty good at mirroring what is happening worldwide in robotics.
A quick look at the countries making the list one year and then not doing as well the next can be quite telling.
Check this out:
The RBR50 for 2016 represents fifty organizations across three continents and twelve countries: Canada (3), China (2), Denmark (1), Germany (3), India (1), Israel (1), Japan (9), Korea (1), Switzerland (1), Taiwan (1), United Kingdom (3), and the USA (24).
The RBR50 for 2015 represents fifty organizations across three continents and eleven countries: Canada (3), Denmark (1), France (1), Germany (8), Japan (9), Korea (1), Netherlands (1), Switzerland (3), Taiwan (1), United Kingdom (3), and USA (19).
Look at the hit that Germany took in losing five (5) companies on the list. France and the Netherlands are gone; Switzerland is down to a single company.
Then look at the 2016 newbies on the list: Israel, India, and China. Any double take would have to be directed at the USA for gobbling up five more spots on the list.
What has happened or is happening across the robotics ecosystem?
Here’s a list of what the RBR50 list for 2016 might be telling us. You decide.
- Innovation in robotics throughout Europe is slumping badly and needs to recover in a hurry.
- India’s GreyOrange has arrived big time in logistics and has a wonderful opportunity in Asia for its mobility products. It’s all alone and way out in front in Asia.
- China’s robotics industry is for real. Siasun in industrial robotics and DJI as world’s biggest drone maker are just the tip of this rising behemoth.
- Japan retains nine on the list, but boy oh boy what those nine are quietly up to: reasserting Japan as the kingpin of world robotics and falling into lockstep behind Shinzo Abe’s “Robot Revolution”.
- Korea, trying to keep pace in a down economy, is reaching for its ace high-tech giant, Samsung, to get a foothold in assembly robots and robot parts.
- Taiwan is marginalizing itself by putting all of its eggs into a single basket, Hon Hai’s.
- The UK is treading on some very interesting ground with Delphi, Soil Machine Dynamics, and Open Bionics. Amazingly Joel Gibbard’s teeny Open Bionics has made the RBR50 list two years running!
- Canada remains strong with Clearpath, Robotiq, and newbie Titan Medical.
- Intuitive Surgical, long the standard machine in OR’s just about everywhere, has two tyros on its tail: Google/Ethicon’s Verb and Titan Medical.
- Young turks in the US are gunning for the logistics industry in a big way. Very much in the newbie class but pushing hard are Fetch Robotics, Locus Robotics, and IAM Robotics; old-guard medical logistics suppliers, Aethon and Vecna, are pushing machines into material handling space; and monster Amazon Robotics is rolling an eye at warehouses everywhere.
- Seegrid reinvents itself, rolling out its new VGV (vision-guided vehicle) while casting glances at other applications for its 3D navigation software.
- From London to Manhattan, ULC Robotics is pioneering new techniques for reclaiming infrastructure with its underground pipeline robots.
- And with Jibo, coming our way this May, the “family robot” makes the list toting along $50 million in investments to help get it into every living room in the world.
Yes, the RBR50 list can tell us a lot about how robotics is maturing and settling into industries with powerful solutions for lots of needs and nagging problems.
Take a spin through the RBR50 list for 2016 and see for yourself what’s afoot in global robotics.
Robotics Business Review also gathers up all RBR50 list members’ Facebook pages, Tweets, product and corporate videos, YouTube channels, as well as editorial that Robotics Business Review has generated on the company, plus any and all general content on each company that we’ve gathered from across the Internet.
All of that specialized information is indexed beneath each company’s logo, management team, and contact details.
It’s a highly useful cache of specialized information on any of the RBR50 companies all collocated in one place.
The RBR50 has helped companies to meet business partners and then to do business together. Individuals have met one another and shared ideas and technology together. Some readers even use the RBR50 to prospect for employment or prospect for anyone to whom they can pitch their wares or ideas.
The RBR50 is an information trove that functions as an active marketplace for everything robotics.
Go ahead give it a whirl.