India has its “Make in India” strategy, China has “Manufacturing 2025,” and Europe has its Horizon 2020 projects. To see what the U.S. is up to, you should attend RoboBusiness U.S. next week.
These and other government initiatives reflect a new push by nations and regions to invest in, develop, and use robotics and artificial intelligence to grow their economies and geopolitical influence.
Several countries have recognized automation as crucial to their futures, so there has never been a better time for officials from around the world to pay attention to this industry. At RoboBusiness 2017 in Santa Clara, Calif., you can see firsthand how robotics, AI, and unmanned systems are taking off.
RoboBusiness U.S. is a chance for government employees to learn how these disruptive technologies work and how companies and institutions are applying them.
Without this “grassroots” knowledge, creating policies to guide or regulate robotics will be difficult. At the same time, international attendees can learn from one another how to use specific technologies in unique ways.
Here are four conference sessions that will serve as a powerful catalyst to help governments formulate or enhance their robotics and AI policies.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Terry Fong from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will speak in RoboBusiness’ Expo Theater. He will examine the robotics projects that NASA is working on for space exploration and how the private sector plays a role.
This may not seem relevant to most nations, but NASA has long been a symbol of what countries can achieve in science and engineering, as well as how spinoff technologies can benefit citizens back here on Earth.
Since sending humans into orbit and beyond is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and dangerous, robots are naturally playing a major role. This has allowed multiple nations to get involved in exploration without the training infrastructure needed for human spaceflight.
Harmonic Drive and AMS will follow with descriptions of their own work to support NASA. Understanding the ongoing role of robotics in space exploration and how it creates commercialization opportunities could help countries create their own strategies.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, this presentation in the RoboBusiness U.S. “How to Get ROI From Robotics” track will look at the need for startups and established robotics suppliers to protect their intellectual property.
In addition, there are several efforts under way to create standards for robotics operations. Different nations have different schemes, so multinationals must be prepared to comply with varied rules.
While the importance for foreign attendees and governments may not be apparent, understanding how the U.S. approaches technology regulation can serve as a model for other countries. It can also help overseas companies understand potential barriers to international trade. Both can affect the global robotics landscape.
Nearly every nation is working to lure robotics businesses to set up shop within its borders. Most look to Silicon Valley, but there are other approaches to stimulating robotics research and development.
For instance, the types of end users, the investment climate, and local government incentives can all create a friendly climate for the robotics ecosystem.
A conversation on Sept. 28 between representatives from host state California, Massachusetts (particularly metropolitan Boston), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) should provide ideas for every government interested in benefiting from automation.
Also on Sept. 28, I will be participating in a “fireside chat” in the RoboBusiness U.S. Startup U. on security concerns around automation. We’ll explore how governments and businesses need to approach protecting the data that robots are gathering, generating, and sharing through the Internet of Things.
Regulators should not just stand by as aerial drones, household robots such as vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars, automated financial systems, and more become part of our everyday lives.
How can you control disparate systems and protect sensitive corporate data, consumer privacy, and ultimately, national security? This is more than a question of robotic ethics; it will also determine how government can affect commerce and prosperity.
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Charting your own path at RoboBusiness
These are just a sample of the many presentations that can help governments advance business with a robotics strategy or begin to create one.
RoboBusiness U.S. comes at a time when certain countries are taking big steps to maintain robotics leadership. This year, China has unveiled $89 million (600 million yuan) to jumpstart dozens of robotics projects, and one of the investment sessions will focus on investing with China.
In addition, India recently announced that it will be banning self-driving cars to protect jobs. This is a very different example of how governments can react to automation and help or hinder business.
The biggest question for government representatives attending RoboBusiness 2017 isn’t whether they will learn about robotics and AI, but what they will take away. Some will want to learn about AI developments, while others may be concerned with industrial automation. That means RoboBusiness U.S. isn’t just a learning ground for governments interested in robotics, but it’s also a launch pad for the future of robotics around the world. Register now!