Automatica is just around the corner — one of the world's biggest and most exciting trade fairs focused on automation and robotics.
At Robotiq, we have been going to Automatica for years. This will be our fourth outing as a team. Every time we go, we get dozens of unique insights into what's new in our industry and what we need to keep an eye on over the following years.
What valuable insights did we learn in previous years that can help you prepare for this year's show?
As always, this year we'll be bringing the latest news and developments directly to you… right from the floor of Automatica itself. We'll be live blogging and posting to social media throughout the event.
Here are some things we learned in the past…
What do you think has changed post-pandemic?
The last incarnation of Automatica was in 2018, two years before the global Covid-19 pandemic. They had to cancel the planned event in 2020.
Most industries have experienced seismic changes over the last few years. How do you think these changes will affect the automation industry?
I think there are 3 possibilities for how the global situation has affected our industry and the many companies within it:
Nothing has changed. Perhaps everything has been “on pause” during the pandemic and we will see few changes at Automatica. This seems unlikely, but it's possible.
There are vast changes! Perhaps the pandemic has turned the automation industry completely on its head. Maybe we will see massive shifts in the market with dozens of new entrants to the automation space and completely new trends.
A steady pace. Or perhaps the automation industry has just been advancing at a stable rate. There will be some new entrants, but many of the existing players will still form the backbone of the industry.
Personally, I think there will be a mix between all 3 of these. Some companies will have stopped adapting and gone into “preservation mode” during the pandemic. Others will have changed up their offerings completely.
Overall, I reckon that the industry will keep advancing at a steady rate. This is what the robotics industry has done over the last 30 years, after all.
5 lessons we learned at the last Automatica
Our predicted steady growth of robotics and automation is something we have seen in previous versions of Automatica.
For example, here are 5 things we learned at Automatica 2018:
1. The growth and acceptance of cobots was now here
We have watched the evolution of collaborative robots since Robotiq's story began in 2008. Over that time, cobots have seen an initial skepticism, a growing status as “the new trend,” and a final acceptance into the industry.
Automatica 2018 was the first year when it felt like cobots had finally “arrived.” They were no longer the new kid on the block, as they had been at previous years.
2. Smart factories were everywhere
One fun aspect of Automatica 2018 was the plethora of smart factory demos. For example, we highly enjoyed the KUKA smart factory booth, where you could order a bespoke robot model to be made on-the-spot in their factory demo.
This fun type of demo is only possible thanks to the ease and portability of modern robots. We hope to see some similarly fun demos this year!
3. There was a trend towards teeny tiny robots
An interesting trend in 2018 was the race for robot manufacturers to create “the world's smallest robot.” We saw several tiny tabletop robots, from ABB, Comau, and Yaskawa.
Will this trend towards tiny robots continue in this year's Automatica? We will have to wait and see.
4. Easy robot programming was The Big Thing
At Robotiq, we have been championing easy robot programming for years. But Automatica 2018 was truly the year when easy programming became the “must have” feature.
It seems likely that easy robot programming will continue to be important at this year's show. We expect there to be even more options for programming.
5. Advanced vision got the “easy programming treatment”
One trend at Automatica 2018 was robot vision solutions. There were laser-based systems, 3D bin-picking solutions, and various other advanced vision sensing technologies.
A lot of vision solutions are complex to program. However, at the last Automatica, we were seeing more easy programming options for vision applications. We brought announced updates to our Robotiq Camera at the event, for example.
Will we see these same trends at Automatica 2022?
In the robotics and automation industry, trends often to advance at a steady rate.
At each Automatica, you can usually see the “seeds” of the new trends that will become The Next Big Thing.
This time, we have had 4 years of a gap between versions of Automatica. We have also had a whole global pandemic!
Will the trends we saw last time also be big at Automatica 2022?
We can make some guesses as to what will be the big trends this year (and we'll do that in an upcoming post). But we'll only know for sure when we get to the show itself!
Keep your eyes out for our live Automatica coverage!
Do you want to hear about the latest trends in robotics as they come out?
This year, we'll be live blogging again from the floor of Automatica 2022. Even if you can't make the show itself, you can experience the action through our blogging coverage.
You can follow our coverage here on the blog and on our social media channels.
And if you can make the show, come and say “Hello!” to us. Our booth this year is Hall B4.502.
Can't wait for the show? Don't hesitate to reach out to us.