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

Ignition. Blast Off! Asia’s New Normal: Spending Billions on Robots.

Maybe it was Xi Jinping going to Davos that year, or maybe Shinzo Abe going to the White House, or maybe even Jack Ma going to Trump Tower that were tipoffs in early 2017 that Asia was making a strong move on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Asia is spending big and spending fast for a technological advantage that can outrace a rapidly-ageing workforce; outrace the children of that workforce who want better jobs than their parents; and outrace the staggering needs of a burgeoning middle class that will number 500 million (China), plus another 500-600 million when combining the middle-class populations of the ASEAN with India and Indonesia.

blastoff art

We’ve Got Liftoff…Finally!
1H2017 was the countdown we’ve all been waiting to hear

Part One: Grins & Gains
Robot Blast Off: China Spends Its Way to Victory
Tremors in Tokyo, and it’s not an earthquake

Part Two: The Guru of Shanghai
Forecast for Industrial Robots Through 2020
Georg Stieler’s purview on robot automation after six years in China

Part Three: Robot Parts
Critical Importance Amid Explosive Growth
Factory of the Future would grind to a halt without them

Part Four: China’s Robot Reply
China’s Reply: Aim High, Be Bold
Will foreign robot suppliers dominate China’s million-plus factories?

Part Five: Magical Mystery Tour
KUKA: Total Access for China’s Robot Insider 
China and KUKA team up for a magical mystery tour into robotics, AI, and a massive high-tech IP database

rocket up

Welcome to 2018: Intelligent Manufacturing won’t need industrial robots; it will demand “smart” industrial robots. Smart robots tricked out with sensors and AI will be the next great leap in automation. That great leap will take place—at scale!—in Asia.