6 Most Exciting Robotics Technologies to Watch
September 01, 2017      

The 13th edition of RoboBusiness takes place Sept. 27-28 in Santa Clara, CA, bringing together the best minds in AI and robotics to discuss how businesses can succeed in the new age of robotics and business.

Leaders throughout the industry, including robotics suppliers, end users, investors and more, will be sharing their experiences and insights at RoboBusiness. With just a few weeks to go before the show, we asked some of the RoboBusiness experts to share the robotics technologies they’re most excited about.

Mobile Robots

Mobile piece-picking robots. We have companies that are doing really well with designing the robotic arms, and have companies that are doing really well with the autonomous travel piece. There are few companies I know who have started working on putting them together, and I think it’s only matter of time where they become more robust and the price point to come down.

– Justin Ha, director of solutions design, DHL Supply Chain

It is exciting that mobile robotic technology is finally at a point where the demand is high enough and the costs are low enough to jump-start the mass adoption of these solutions. Until recently, large-scale use of mobile robotics in industry was still aspirational, for a number of reasons. But now, given increasing consumer expectations and global competition, “Automate or Die” is becoming an accepted idea in business.

Even more exciting is seeing how technology can continue to make life better for everyone on the planet. Automation enables efficiency, which enables prosperity, which enables generosity, which enables solving many of the world’s toughest problems. These include access to food, clothing, shelter, education, loans, internet and security for everyone on the planet.

– Daniel Theobald, founder & chief innovation officer, Vecna Robotics

Come meet IAM Robotics at RoboBusiness 2017

AI, Cloud Computing, Computer Vision

I have quite a few, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Advancements in vision are enabling new applications in all categories of automation; AI and its ability to enable robots to adapt and respond without human intervention is creating new opportunities everywhere; Cloud-based computing, even though it’s been around for a while, is just starting to become recognized as the game-changer it is.

RoboBusiness 2017 Lineup: Conference | Speakers | Keynotes | Exhibitors | Expo Programming

For me, it’s really a matter of what the combination of these technologies can do when delivered in a meaningful way, and that’s what drives our company every day.

– Mark Silliman, CEO, Tend.ai

Machine learning applied to bio-sensing technologies. As my work is focused on creating human-machine teams, I’m greatly concerned with the bi-directional flow of both explicit and implicit information for improved communication, cohesion, trust, and a multitude of other team effectiveness, or social factors.

Intelligent bio-sensing technologies provide the nearest approximation of a machine’s perceptual system for learning and adapting to its teammates.

– Charlene Stokes-Schwartz, director, Human-Machine Social Systems Lab, The MITRE Corporation

Stanford will demo its Jackrabbot robot at RoboBusiness 2017.

Robotics and artificial intelligence, of course, if you still call it emerging.

Going forward, the most exciting aspect of technology and applications will be convergence. For example, how will nanobots – floating inside our bodies – deliver medicines at regular intervals based on instructions from artificial intelligence that in turn will get signals from sensors on or in our bodies?

This is just one of many scenarios that are coming our way.

– Aseem Prakash, Global Futurist, Center for Innovating the Future

The possibilities evolving from the increasing capabilities of deep learning, machine vision and voice recognition are all very appealing. Especially, when these technologies act together.

For instance, what does it mean when computers will be able to understand the content of pictures like they have been able to understand text during the last decades?

What also excites me is the outlook that people who don’t know how to program a robot today will be able to tell it exactly what to do in the foreseeable future – just like what happened to personal computers with the introduction of the Macintosh.

-Georg Stieler, managing director Asia, STM Shanghai

RoboBusiness 2017 Lineup: Conference | Speakers | Keynotes | Exhibitors | Expo Programming

Collaborative Robots

The here and now opportunity in the China cobot market. The market is growing at 50+% CAGR and demanding help from experts in the space. Additionally the growth of smart warehousing and smart factories as a result of e-commerce continues to provide great opportunities to our AGV business.

-Josh Inman, VP of Marketing, Kollmorgen

Industrial Internet of Things

One of the most promising emerging technologies, to me, is the realization of the Industrial Internet of Things. It has the potential to revolutionize the entire manufacturing supply chain, dramatically advancing the capabilities of the workforce and businesses by enabling advances in planning, diagnostics, and process adaptability in real time.

Without an appropriate cybersecurity and information quality assurance infrastructure, however, there is just as much potential for danger. The exchange of and instant access to high quality information can revolutionize the entire manufacturing process, but also opens the window for misuse, reliance on noisy or incorrect information, and malicious attacks.

– Jeremy Marvel, computer scientist, US National Institute of Standards and Technology