January 03, 2017      

We say this each year, but it’s true — the pace of news around the robotics industry is accelerating! 2016 was no different, with more deals, new and shifting players, and maturing technologies for robotics and artificial intelligence in multiple industries. See which robot stories were our most popular for the past year.

10. Robots at the Warehouse: Changing the Face of Modern Logistics

Thanks to cheaper sensors, new software, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), mobile robots are rapidly expanding in supply chain operations. It’s just in the nick of time, as robots save money, speed e-commerce order fulfillment, and come from proliferating providers.

Industry 4.0: Robotics Presents a Golden Opportunity

9. Industry 4.0: Robotics Presents a Golden Opportunity

Germany and China typify central planning for encouraging the adoption of robotics, but that situation is changing worldwide, according to author SOren Tranberg Hansen. As manufacturing and logistics continue to apply automation more widely, this presents a challenge and new markets for investors, startups, and suppliers.

8. Denmark Is Driven to Lead European Robotics

Denmark, which hosted this past spring’s RoboBusiness Europe in the city of Odense, is determined to be a major hub of robotics research, development, and commercialization in Europe. A strong university base, the success of Universal Robots’ cobots, and an array of local organizations provide a role model for other regions.

7. Top 5 Ways President Trump Could Change U.S. Robotics

Regardless of your politics, the latest U.S. elections will have a direct effect on technology policy and the global economy. Every industry and robotics business will be watching the incoming administration’s priorities, and here are some hints on what to expect.

6. Why Robot Law Around Industrial Automation Varies Worldwide

If you’re in the business of providing robots to multinational manufacturers, don’t assume that there’s anything close to a one-size-fits-all solution for robotics. Each country’s legal framework reflects its history and priorities, and integrators and employers should be aware of how worker-safety requirements apply to collaborative robots.

More Noteworthy Robot Stories From 2016:

A vertical farm can produce crops unaffected by the weather.

5. Vertical Farm Lets Growers Apply the Right Amounts of Automation, IoT

Drones are being used for monitoring fields, dairies have gone robotic, and vertical agriculture promises greater productivity. Indoor farms actually bear a startling resemblance to distributed networks, but are farmers ready to accept them?

4. A New Robot Density Must Track Global Robotics Growth

The number of robots per 10,000 workers is often cited as a measure of how advanced a country is in adopting automation. However, this doesn’t account for other types of robots beyond manufacturing, wrote columnist Abishur Prakash.

Lineup of Boston Dynamics' robots

3. Five Takeaways as Google, Boston Dynamics Part Ways

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas, Cheetah, Big Dog, and Spot Mini are among the best-known robots on the Internet, but they weren’t a good fit for what Google wanted. What can other businesses learn from the problematic partnership?

2. Robotics Observations From CES 2016

Just in time for this week’s 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, see some of what we learned from last year’s event. What got all the buzz in Las Vegas, and how successful did the household robots, 3D printers, self-driving cars, and service advancements turn out?

1. Five Robotics Predictions for 2016

A year ago, we made some predictions — some bold, some safe, and all with a close eye on a dynamic industry. From robot stories on industrial automation and drones to AI and household robots, we looked at it all. More recently, we assessed how accurate we were.

These are the robot stories that you and your peers found the most interesting. What are your predictions for the coming year? We’ll post our own soon!