September 21, 2017      

Global robotics is in a state of flux. Each country is adopting a different automation strategy to pursue or at least maintain its economic and geopolitical power. RoboBusiness 2017 next week will be a good place to learn about incorporating these concerns into your own plans for developing or using robots and artificial intelligence.

For instance, the U.S. Army is forbidden from using drones from China’s DJI because of cybersecurity fears. South Korea has unveiled what can only be described as the world’s first “robot tax.”

In addition, Germany is tightening its rules on foreign investment to stop Chinese companies from acquiring its technology firms — many of which are involved in robotics and AI.

All of this is further proof of the need for what I described last year as a “georobotics” strategy. The idea is that as governments around the world adopt different approaches to automation policy, multinationals need a plan that responds to changes in different places.

Local environments are unique because of demographics, culture, educational institutions, and more. This spells the end of a simplistic automation strategy because every nation will need a tailor-made approach.

At RoboBusiness in Santa Clara, Calif., startups, leading roboticists, executives, and more will gather to compare notes on where technology and business are heading. This has ramifications for the booming global automation ecosystem, as well as for the governments that are preparing robotics policies.

This could be viewed a train-carriage approach to manufacturing, supply chain, and many other industries. Every carriage is connected to the other, and every carriage means something else, leading to the next.

Forecasting global robotics

If you want to get a glimpse of how the varied global landscape is shaping up for robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things, you should attend certain sessions during RoboBusiness U.S.

For example, at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, my father will be participating in a session at the Chief Robotics Officer (CRO) Network Summit on “Separating Hype From Reality — Selling Upward and Setting Expectations.” It will look at how advances in robotics and AI actually translate into business strategy and practice.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m., “Identifying New Applications for Automation” will look at how automation can be applied in new areas of production, as well as outside of the factory.

In addition, on Sept. 28 from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., a general session on “Investment Trends in AI and Robotics” will explore how venture capitalists see the robotics market and opportunities for growth.

These three sessions and others touch on core areas of robotics that are connected, setting the scene for what global robotics will look like in the coming months and years. This can provide the foresight that robotics users and suppliers can use to build their automation strategy for different markets.

Where RoboBusiness will excel

If RoboBusiness 2017 is a window into the future of robotics and AI and thus, a look at how enterprises businesses should create a georobotics strategy, then there are several less-touted benefits for attendees.

Asia-centric robotics: Not only is China the world’s largest market for industrial automation, but it is working hard to become a major developer and producer as well. Southeast Asia is hoping to join Japan and South Korea as robotics leaders, and U.S. and European companies are debating the best levels of engagement.

An automation strategy can start at RoboBusiness 2017.

From executives with years of experience in Asia such as Aseem Prakash to investors such as STM Shanghai’s Georg Stieler, there will be many chances for people to gain insights into how to work with Asian governments and companies.

Lab-to-market time: The second area where conference will excel is in helping you shorten lab-to-market time. Unlike at other conferences, where advances are often merely prototypes, many of the products that will be showcased in the RoboBusiness Expo Hall are already on the market or are close to being released. This should provide an accurate gauge on which component technologies are evolving, what end users should expect, and what kinds of automation strategy local and national governments should consider.

Employment fears: Lastly, RoboBusiness should help the industry address the widespread fears of job displacement from robotics and AI. Whether technology will actually extend human productivity or replace workers, the perception of massive displacement affects public policy.

Will some governments tighten regulations, raise taxes, or simply ban self-driving cars or robots in certain sectors? How will this affect global trade and competitiveness? How are different regions working to stimulate investment in robotics and AI, expand educational and retraining opportunities, or collaborate with industry?

At RoboBusiness, attendees can learn how robots and a sound automation strategy can actually build morale, how collaborative robots are increasingly safe and flexible, and use swarms of robots and drones to help people during natural disasters.

More on Global Automation Strategies:

Use RoboBusiness to build your automation strategy

Both robotics vendors and their customers are dealing with a rapidly growing market and localized challenges around the world. E-commerce in the U.S., agriculture in Europe, and manufacturing in Asia are transforming as robotics adoption continues. Who will be the leader in applying AI?

Just about every enterprise and government needs an automation strategy to solve their socioeconomic, geopolitical, and environmental problems, and the companies that serve them should properly build or adapt technology to local needs. For instance, see the movement toward “frugal” robotics in India and Germany.

To understand how to use robotics and AI to create profits, solve problems, and stay flexible, RoboBusiness 2017 is the place to start making those connections. Attendees and speakers will connect and share their hard-earned lessons from laboratories, factory floors, investor boardrooms, and the halls of government. Then they can craft the automation strategy that will shape the future of global robotics.