Robotics, Automation & Business News Index: 2018

Robotics | Automation | Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Advanced Manufacturing | 3D Printing

Welcome to 2018

The Year of the "Smart" Robot and Intelligent Manufacturing

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index regional

The Asian Century & The Xi Effect
Asia’s Rendezvous with the Future Is Arriving Fast
The world’s showcase and continent-wide laboratory for robot-driven automation in this The Fourth Industrial Revolution

East Asia Bears Watching
Something very big is going on here: Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo

Southeast Asia: The Bounty & Promise of ASEAN
Food, consumers and industry in exchange for investment and automation technology

China’s Big Push: Xi, Robots and Productivity
Leap to manufacturing economy based on invention and technology demands increased productivity

Emperor of All Robots Put to the Test
Saving Japan from itself with robotics: Competition and productivity
for a shrinking workforce

Korea Awakens, Reacts…and Accelerates
Economic urgency spurs demand for advanced manufacturing robots

Crunch Time for Taiwan: Robotics and Automation
Aware of its limitations and very tardy, Taiwan hurries to catch up with East Asia

Robots for India: Industry’s Troubling Headwinds
Robots, automation, Gandhi and “premature de-industrialization”I am text block. 

index months

May 2018

What If China Automated Its Cut-Flower Industry?Cut-flower cultivation the size of New Jersey—with zero automation—is now worth $11 billion. An automated future could treble its value

Why Is My Factory Smarter Than Your Factory?
Upping the robot ante: When preventive maintenance and non-stop work are not enough

Digital Disruption Is Not New! It’s as New as 1949
Digital disruption began in an old laundry building at 10,000 calculations per second

Around Asia
Interesting Robot Innovation on the Grow
Robot trials, tryouts and auditions going on seemingly everywhere at once.

The Way Forward Is Difficult, but It’s the Only Way
The Asian Century will witness the rise of the world’s first automated society

April 2018

Part 1 of a 2-part series

Grippers as Brainiacs!
Who are the gripper-meisters? What are they mastering now…and why?

Part 2 of a 2-part series
Gripper Disruption: Topping Off a Robot’s Arm
Will grippers become the brainy aristocrats in factories and warehouses that run the show?

Preview to 2-part article series
The Gripper Chronicles: The Rise of the “Smart” Gripper 
What next for the all-important, business end of every robot…the gripper?

Make Way for the Kiva Killers: Geek+ Has Arrived
Fleet of Chinese logistics robots debut in North America

Siemens Encamps Global Robot Research HQ in China
Manufacturing gets an upgrade as robots, automation and manufacturing converge and merge


March 2018

Dueling Euros Square Off in China
KUKA, ABB & Siemens vie for leadership in the “Internet of production”

AI in China: 中国 人工智能 的崛起
China’s ascent into the rarefied air of being an official AI juggernaut has been swift and powerful…and paid for in full

KUKA & Midea Powering Up Factory of the Future
Is the KUKA/Midea smart factory team making a breakout move?

Buying and Selling Cobots the WeChat Way
Once commoditized, cobots will be ordered online like laptops are today…together with financing, insurance, maintenance, and engineering expertise…all via WeChat

A Place Where Robots Are a Godsend
Where because of robots there is work; and where without them is unthinkable

Korea’s Robots Pull Off World’s First at Winter Olympics
Largest-ever meetup between robots and people…plus! most days logged, most hours, most mileage—and most smiles

Will ABB’s Robots Contend for the IIoT Crown?
Will great support tech, money, a new boss, and AI be enough?

February 2018

Storm & Stress in the Workplace as AI Draws Near
The future of work arrives: AI, robots and automation

These Days, Time in Asia Moves Faster Than Anywhere Else
The pace of Asian automation is beginning to lap the field. What’s next, AI?

Korea Showcases Its Robot Innovations at the Olympics
Show of solidarity and engineering prowess will be on display daily for 80,000 attendees and 3 billion TV viewers

Bonfires of the Teslas?
The Lithium-Ion Battery: Power King or Pretender?

Olympics Here We Come
Meet the Smart Family of Intelligent Robots

January 2018

Part One of a Two-part Series
The Promise of Cobots…Delivered!
Initially dismissed as a non-factor, this brilliantly-conceived robot arm has turned the robotics industry on its head. Now, a cobot is a must-have in every robot maker’s product line, or else!

Part Two of a Two-part Series
Is Disruption Ahead for the Cobot Revolution?
Does the cobot revolution need the revolution of e-commerce to drive wide-scale adoption?

Predictors, Predictions & Portents: The Workplace 2018
Robots, automation & AI: There’s a lot more than work in the workplace this year

Meet the Family: Introduction to FutureRobot
From CES 2018 to the Winter Olympics with the smart family of intelligent robots

Robots, Automation, and the Kra Canal Project
Often proposed, never attempted, the $28B project has now taken on special meaning

It’s Not Robots Taking Jobs—It’s Technology!
The rise of the humble, low-tech shipping container is an object lesson in what’s to come for robots and jobs

Legacy Automation Arrives: “Dumb” Robots vs. “Smart” Robots
Coming sooner than we think: Robots won’t be programmed to work, they will be taught to work. They will “learn” to work!

The Influence of Asian Industrial Robots on Manufacturing in North America
In 1983, there were 50 U.S. industrial robot builders, while in 2018 there are zero.  Logistics robots are the only bright spot. What happened…and what are the consequences?

September 2018

CIIF: What’s the Robot Buzz in Shanghai?
Don’t get fooled. Was the 20th China International Industry Fair 2018 a good barometer of the status of robotics & automation? Maybe.

How to Say “Ausbildung” in Mandarin?
Could the German dual-learning apprenticeship program help millions of China’s displaced workers to survive and thrive in a future of Industry 4.0?

Clash of Titans: Robot Makers vs. Robot Hackers
Who has the early advantage, how should industry respond, and how best to cyber-harden a robot?

Jack Ma Retires…Then Unretires
What next for the Jack Ma effect? How about the Alibaba of education?

Labor Day 2030: What Could Be?
The EMMA Coalition: Putting New Meaning into the 1st Monday in September

Your “Robotics” Pin-up for 2019…and 2020!
Here’s what a little “intelligence” can bring to the life of a machine.Robot Gear Works Under the Hood
Japan’s kingpins battle for share: Critical importance of robot parts gets pushed to the max

Kai-Fu Lee on AI, China, U.S. & the Future
Cutting through the “Fog of AI”

Seegrid Expands Suite of Automated Solutions
Smart Platform, GT10 Series 6 Plus, raises autonomy level of Seegrid
self-driving vehicles

Malaysia’s Robot City Gets Cranking
Seeking its own piece of Industry 4.0, Malaysia looks toward digitally-driven manufacturing for an edge in productivity…and a better future


August 2018

Thailand’s $45 Billion Leap to Industry 4.0
Newly approved plan favors 10 key industries, with robotics and logistics carving out a $6 billion share

$321B in ASEAN Infrastructure Funding to Drive Automation
May well be the jewel in the crown of Asia’s future

The Gripper Chronicles
PROFILE: Robotiq Rolls Out New Line of Adaptive Grippers
Three new smart grippers for cobots debut at AUTOMATICA 2018

Making Pepper Run or Atlas Think …or Both
Doing it “together” Japan’s best chance ever of breathing “sonzai-kan”
into a machine

SCHUNK Defines New Benchmark in Assembly Automation.
For the first time, complete handling systems can be assembled based on 24V from grippers, rotary gripping units and linear modules

Just in Time, Korea Leans on Technology for Help
The Robot Act of 2008 gets revamped, redirected and refinanced

Asian E-Commerce to Double: $2.7T by 2020
Looming, mega-logistics challenge that only robot-driven automation can remedy

Never Better! Selling Robots, Cobots, Grippers, AGVs & Parts in China
SMEs pick up $9.7 billion in government subsidies; guarantees on $73 billion in loans over the next three years (to 2022)

What If Toyota Made Cobots…by the Millions!?
Cobot manufacturers have a looming problem: Capacity. Is cobot disruption nearby because of it?

Is the West Trying to Hijack Xi’s Rising Star?
What does the flap in the South China Sea and the trade war mean for Asian robotics and automation?


Data Forecast: Golden Age of Asian Robot Sales
Hans Rosling’s bubble data and Morgan Stanley’s bullish research align to explain why there’s such an amazing Asian decade ahead (through 2027)

Robots, Prosperity and Asia’s Middle Class 2018
So much automation, so quickly! History’s first middle class to arise together with the Internet, robots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). And it’s not “just” all about China!

How We Got to 2018: Blast Off in 2017
Here in a special 5-part article series is a look behind the scenes at the most incredible transformation in history. It all began in the spring of 2017

Hard-Hat Robots: Building a New World in New Ways 
3D printed homebuilding finally comes of age. What next?

Creating Value in Robotics …Unexpectedly
In an algorithm-driven world a little bit of the unexpected goes a long way in refreshing our zest for discovery

Robot & Automation Paradise in the Making
Kra Canal Project: Often proposed, never attempted, the $32B project has now taken on special meaning

Rising Cobot Tsunami: Who Will Lead?
Cobot sales forecast to double by 2020, surging to 700k by 2025

Robot Advantage: Drug Discovery Faster, Cheaper, Better & Error Free
Japan: Specialized, dual-arm laboratory robot poised to shake up a trillion-dollar industry

Indian Logistics Catches a Huge Break
Benefits of recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) already making sourcing, distribution, and warehousing easier, faster—and cheaper!

Surgical Robots, AR & the Future of the Digital OR
Converging technology and the next logical step toward “intelligent” operating rooms

Which Asian Countries Are the Best at Going Digital?
Getting “smart” means going digital, and the “going digital” competition in Asia is ramping up.

June 2018

What AUTOMATICA Told Us: Cobots and Grippers Rule!
How important are “smart” grippers to Industry 4.0?

East Asian Robotics: Automation Ramps Up
Japan, Korea & China brace for changing roles amid hectic transformation

“Made in China 2025” Takes a Big Leap Forward
Terry Gou and Foxconn move to reinvent themselves for a leadership role in smart manufacturing.

Reinventing the Robot: A Job Only AI Can Do?
Everything about an industrial robot has changed since Unimate (1961), except the robot. Isn’t it about time something was done about the “except”?

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AI and Robot Hysteria Gets a Little Clarity
Recent OECD research on how best to transit into the new world of automation

Feeding Asia: Robots, Automation & Four+ Billion Mouths to Feed
From farm to chopsticks: Not enough land, not enough water, too few farmers, and $470 billion in annual food spoilage

Is Esben Østergaard the Henry Ford of Robotics?
Arguably the creator of the cobot industry that democratized industrial robots for the rest of us

The Great East-West AI Clash: China vs. U.S.
Not since the Cold War has technology anchored such a high-stakes power struggle. The real winner: Technology

December 2018

Make Your 2019 a Very Special Year for Automation
“Robotics systems $103.4 billion in 2019” MarketWatch. Advertise with Asian Robotics Review…and outreach to the world of automation

Studs Terkel, Robots & Our Jobs
Technology reaps…and sows, and we need to be ready faster for both!

SCHUNK Expert Days: Never Been? …Go!
A moveable feast: Expert Days heads north. Fostering the exchange of great ideas among roboticists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines

A Special Something Between Robots and Humans?
Four of the most revolutionary robots of the 21st century all work closely with humans. What’s the message?

China’s Best Christmas Gift Ever
Keeping the sheen on Deng Xiaoping’s Big Idea

Are Robots the Remedy for Lonely Hearts?
Is a “human-like” companion just as good as the real thing? With loneliness rising to alarming levels, how about lonely hearts clubs where humans and robots hook up for lifelong companionship?

Robot Grippers for ‘General Manipulation’
LET’S HEAR FROM A BRAINIAC: Robotic Materials, Inc. develops robotic grippers with built-in 3D perception, tactile sensing, and computation

Neo-Ag: Farming with Robots, AI & Ingenuity
A “Google moment” for agriculture that’s ultra-precise, data-driven, and brimming with special-purpose robots is also powering lots of new thinking

Industrial Robot Adoption Key to Productivity
In the West it’s a must-have for the future; in Asia it’s a desperate race for survival.

November 2018

What’s Your Gripper World Look Like?
We’re Calling All Brainiacs to see what’s going on in their world at bringing intelligence to the end of a robot’s arm.

Workplace Survival Skills in an Age of Automation
With research showing corporations better than governments at workforce reskilling, Littler launches the EMMA Coalition to forge new directions

Southeast Asian Update 2018
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): The $2.4T Powerhouse

Myanmar Awakening: New Automation Frontier
Forecast to nearly triple GDP by 2030: $69B to $200B

The Influence of European Technology on “Made in China 2025”  
Dueling Euros Square Off in China: 2016-2018

ABB’s Shanghai Showcase
This changes everything: China’s first smart factory where robots build other robots autonomously by the tens of thousands
The EMMA Coalition: Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow
Getting ready for “the greatest human talent challenge of the last one hundred years.”

October 2018

The End of the Great Robot Scare
Is it a lull or true change? Something new is in the air…and it’s been a long time coming

Asia’s New Frontier: Medtech Robotics
Surgical robots top the list of must-have devices; a quality, low-cost competitor could propel Asia to world leadership

The Lithium-Ion Battery: Power King or Pretender?
Should robots, EVs and autonomous vehicles beware their energy supplies?

Can We Guess China’s Future from Knowing Its Past?
A first for the planet! No country has ever done so much so fast.

Global Robotics 2018: All’s Well that Ends Well
Getting ready for 2019 & 2020: End-of-year snapshot on industrial robot sales and deployments, AI/robot convergence, VC & corporate investments, Asian GDP forecast, and a look at a big year ahead for cobots in China

Asia’s Millennials, Robots and the Future
By 2020, with millennials the majority in the workforce, it will be millennials who will be the first to confront large-scale robot displacement of jobs

Curse of the Digital Workplace: RoboBully
Study Finds Robots Easily Bully Office Workers

Robots in Manufacturing: Enterprise View
“The integration of business and manufacturing is what enables “extreme manufacturing”

Rethinking Rethink Robotics
Let us now praise famous robots: After $150 million in investments, why did Rethink end so badly?

Go Global with Asian Robotics Review! 
Reach out to the Americas, Europe & Asia from a single publication with a global reputation, presence & reach in robotics and automation news. 
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