For the past five years, Robotics Business Review has asked for nominations to its prestigious RBR50 list of industry leaders. Each year, we get more submissions, as new companies join the race, existing enterprises devote divisions to robotics, and companies form new partnerships to meet business needs. The 2017 RBR50 list includes the global best of the best among robotics innovators, suppliers, and influencers.

Naturally, many of the 2017 RBR50 listees are in industrial automation, which continues to be the biggest user of robots. However, continued refinements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and collaborative robots are spreading automation to sectors beyond automotive manufacturing and into small and midsize enterprises.

2017 RBR50

Which 10 countries are represented on this year’s list? It’s no surprise to find companies from Japan or the U.S., but we found a few worth watching in other parts of Europe and Asia as well, as investors and end users everywhere take note of robotics and related technologies.

Like the robot-enabled ride shown above, the robotics industry has had many twists and turns as it grows. We’ve seen several companies pivot from hoping to serve consumers to selling to commercial markets instead. For example, exoskeletons, many aerial drones, and social robots have proven to be too expensive for individuals and are now being touted for use by hospitals and rehabilitation centers, infrastructure inspection, and retail, respectively.

Self-driving cars are still being tested, but the amount of money being poured into autonomous vehicle R&D (not to mention the hoped-for spin-offs in AI and and other applications) makes them impossible to ignore.

Did your company make the 2017 RBR50? Even if it didn’t, note that we’ll be breaking out the top 10 companies later this year in more specific sectors, which we plan to look at more closely.

Congratulations to the companies on the 2017 RBR50 list, which we’ll be watching throughout the year!

More on the 2017 RBR50 and the Robotics Industry:

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