As the year winds down and we focus our attention on 2019, the editors of Robotics Business Review have reviewed our analytics to select the top 10 robotics trends articles for 2018 on our site. From AI explanations to robotic surgery, here’s what drew the most attention on our site this year:
10. How Robots Can Help Your Small Business
It became clear this year that robotics and automation is impacting not just large manufacturers, but small and midsize manufacturing as well. In this article from March, Rachel Jackson offers four ways that robotics can help the small business owner.
Other stories focusing on small businesses and the chief robotics officer (CRO):
- Safety Assessments, Evolving Standards Guide Industry for Cobots, Mobile Robots
- Distribution Centers: the New Home Field for Robots
- How Robotics Can Help Small and Midsize Businesses Thrive
- How to Pick the Right Cobot for Your Business
9. Pollination Drones Seen as Assistants for Ailing Bees
As the world continues to demand more food for its growing population, it has become clear that agriculture will need some assistance from unmanned systems and robotics. In this story, author Peter van der Schaft highlights several research projects in which scientists are looking to create robotic bees to help combat the dwindling bee population, but also support growing demand for more food.
Other stories around agriculture, robotics and drones:
- 4 Ways Robotics Will Affect Agriculture in 2019
- Flying Into the Future: Drone Technology Forecasts for 2019
- How Agricultural Drones are Planting the Seeds for Growth Market
- Infographic: Agricultural Drones Grow Big Data, Profits for Farmers
8. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality Converge With Robotics
While efforts in the consumer space around augmented reality and virtual reality have shown mixed results, it has become clear that AR and VR is gaining ground for commercial and industrial use cases.
In this article, contributor Abishur Prakash highlights several areas where AR is being used in conjunction with robotics in manufacturing, the military, and healthcare.
Other stories around AR and VR:
- Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality Are the Training Tools of the Future
- Augmented Reality Drone Overlays Feed Data to First Responders
- AR, VR Are Transforming the Nature of Work, Says PTC on Manufacturing Day
- How thyssenkrupp Found Success in Digital Transformation With Robotics, AR/VR
7. How Autonomous Mobile Robots Are Changing the Logistics Landscape
One of the biggest trends in 2018 was the growing number of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) being deployed in distribution centers and e-commerce warehouses around the world. In this June piece, correspondent Andrew Williams highlights early efforts to integrate these robotic systems into the warehousing environments with three separate case studies.
Other related stories in the supply chain, logistics robotics market:
- Consistency Key to Warehouse Automation, Says Accenture’s Akiona Before CRO Online Summit
- Why Is Warehouse Automation So Important for AI Watchers?
- Robotics Evolves Into the Distribution Center
- How to Get Started With Warehouse Automation and Sell It Internally
6. Infographic: An Introduction to the Internet of Things
After years of being used as a buzzword, the Internet of Things, a.k.a. IoT, finally saw some movement in 2018. More “things” are being connected to the Internet, providing businesses with loads of data. This includes the world of manufacturing and robotics, which saw many new companies with offerings to help companies make sense of all this new sensor data.
In this infographic, Marc Alringer provides a primer on the basics of IoT to get you started on the IoT journey.
Other IoT-related stories of interest:
- Smart Cities are Getting Smarter, But Challenges Remain
- Analytics at the Edge Could Help Manufacturers With Predictive Maintenance, Says Greenwave VP
- Infographic: Industry 4.0 in the U.K. – a Revolution in the Making
- How AI and IoT Smart Sensors Are Preserving a Lake Ecosystem
5. Top 10 Reasons Why Robotics Startups Fail
They say the biggest way to be successful is learning from failures. Unfortunately, the robotics space this year suffered a few high-profile failures. In this analysis from March, expert Adam Shayevitz highlights several reasons why robotics startups end up failing.
Other articles about startup challenges from 2018:
- Robot Startup Lessons From Rethink Robotics’ Fall
- Halloween Tricks and Treats: Creepy, Scary, and ‘Mostly Dead’ Robots
- Virtual Assistants Evolve, but Will They Be Integrated in Robots?
4. How AI-Assisted Surgery Is Improving Surgical Outcomes
As robotics moves away from manufacturing and the supply chain, health care is an area that most experts say will be impacted in the next few years. In this article, author Phil Britt discusses ways that AI is impacting not only robotic surgery, but general surgical procedures.
Other related stories in the healthcare robotics space:
- Medical Robotics Has an ‘Incredibly Exciting’ Future, Predict Experts
- Robotic Surgery Market Grows Rapidly in Response to Disease, Technology
- As Surgical Robotics Market Grows, Competition Could Lower Costs
- Robot Investments Weekly: Money Flows to Mobile, Medical Robots
3. 2018 RBR50 List Names the Leading Robotics Companies of the Year
The best way to get a sense of the robotics market is to see which companies are leading each market. In this year’s RBR50, we decided to break up our report of the biggest 50 companies by market – manufacturing, supply chain, AI, unmanned systems (including vehicles and drones), and robotics components.
Other event recaps from the past year:
- 5 Robotics Takeaways From RoboBusiness 2018
- 6 Trends and Takeaway Messages from the 2018 AI World Conference
- 5 Robotics and AI Takeaways from EmTechNext 2018
- 5 Machine Vision and Cobot Takeaways From The Vision Show
2. How Manufacturing Automation Is Evolving
While the robotics market continues to explore new markets, such as agriculture, health care, and construction, it’s clear that manufacturing automation remains king. In this article, Nathan Sykes looks at ways that cobots and other robotics trends are affecting the manufacturing space:
Other related articles in the manufacturing sector:
- Veo Robotics Brings Collaboration to Industrial Robots
- Global Industrial Robot Sales Doubled Over Past Five Years, Report Says
- Reshoring and the Supporting Key Technologies
- Industrial Automation Providers: A Look at the Top 10
1. What is Artificial Intelligence? Understanding 3 Basic AI Concepts
AI and its concepts continue to attract interest in the robotics space – whether it’s adding intelligence to “dumb” robots, or using AI and machining learning to help drive autonomy in mobile robots and self-driving cars. AI will continue to converge with robotics in new and exciting ways, but before you jump into those articles, take a look at the most popular article this year – an AI primer by Paul Sciglar that outlines three basic AI concepts.
Other AI-related articles to peruse: