My title

Robots steer Automate 2015 toward greater innovation

Robots steer Automate 2015
toward greater innovation

by JOSH SIMONS | March 25, 2015

This week, BuiltWorlds got yet another glimpse of the future at Automate 2015, the largest solutions-based showcase of automation technologies in North America. Started in 1977 as the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show, the renamed, biennial conference sponsored by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) has ratcheted up the disruption for aerospace, automotive, and electronics even more this year, and public interest is on the rise. Some 30,000 attendees were registered, improving upon the 2013 turnout by 40%.

Frank DeCord of Vulcan Engineering demonstrating the firm's latest hand-control systems. (Photos by Josh Simons)

Frank DeCord of Vulcan Engineering demonstrating the firm's latest hand-control systems. (Photos by Josh Simons)

According to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, 72% of executives at U.S.-based manufacturing companies with sales of at least $1 billion say they plan to invest in additional automation or advanced manufacturing technologies within the next five years.

The Chicago event previewed where some of that money may be headed, featuring technologies from Rethink Robotics, Universal Robots, Yaskawa Motoman, Mitsubishi Electric, and more. There was no shortage of automated answers for industries from food and beverage to design and construction. In fact, some answers were even still looking for their questions, it seemed. I spoke with Frank DeCord, a special projects manager with Vulcan Engineering, which was showing off its new, specialized, hand-control systems. "We don't even know all of the areas this technology could be utilized in," he said. "We come to these trade shows to find out."

Aside from the action on the show floor, Automate 2015 also did a great job of providing social and networking opportunities. One of them, the "Automate Madness" networking party even featured NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton! Meanwhile, Automate's Launch Pad Startup Competition provided an opportunity for young startups rooted in robotics, vision, and motion-impacting automation the opportunity to learn from established robotics companies and win up to $10,000!

Domo arigato, Automate, for an awesome conference! 

Google+ Google+