Between June 7 and June 9, AUVSI New England held the second annual ROBOTICA trade show and conference in Devens, MA. For those of you who are unaware, AUVSI stands for Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. This event celebrates the continued adoption of robotic technologies that promise to make our lives easier and safer while molding a more productive society in general.
Successful Robotics Systems Depend on Expert System Integration
Development of successful robotic systems involves the tight integration of a wide range of complicated technologies from a variety of independent vendors. The many components required typically include advanced sensors, optics, electromechanical actuators, lightweight power systems, advanced battery technology, electronics, and software/firmware to control the device. The integration of these components is what sets one player apart from the other.
During the course of the three-day show, there were twenty-seven different presentation sessions, and a total of 100 different industry experts served as speakers. The technical competence of these speakers attracted audience members from both vendors and key local-area participants. The show successfully became a kind of breeding ground for effective networking. By participating in this show, Columbia Tech (CT) was able to establish key local industry connections that could prove fruitful in the days ahead.
Diverse Presentations Provide an Exciting Vision for the Future of Robotics
Peter discussed the deployment and peripheral benefits of using Kiva robotics, such as the ability to move a massive fulfillment warehouse in just forty-eight hours. Peter also discussed the plans for Kiva moving forward, which includes the development of robots to pick and pack the orders. Toward that goal, the company sponsors the Amazon packing challenge; they hosted an event in Seattle, Washington, in 2015 that included twenty-six teams from around the world competing to pack a variety of objects in a period of half an hour. With the massive variety of items to pack, the results clearly demonstrated that the technology certainly has a long way to go.
Speakers also discussed the state of the overall robotic industry from a business and economic perspective. The robotics segment is currently strong and expected to continue that way for the foreseeable future—it is projected to grow 10% per year through 2025. From a worldwide geographic perspective, five economies are expected to account for nearly 80% of the robot shipments through 2025—these economies include the US, Japan, China, Germany, and South Korea. From an implementation perspective, it is anticipated that the countries most aggressively implementing robotics will be in Asia—specifically Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The United States, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, and the UK all fall jointly into the next category, titled the “fast adopters.”
These exciting developments and trends in the robotics industry allow us to dream of new and innovative solutions to current problems. Designing, building, and maintaining these machines will require a highly skilled workforce with honed, technical training. At Columbia Tech, our Caring Associates plan to usher forward the future by supporting educational opportunities in the engineering and technical industries; providing high-quality, comprehensive manufacturing; and offering system integration services to innovative robotics OEMs.