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India has its “Make in India” strategy, China has “Manufacturing 2025,” and Europe has its Horizon 2020 projects. To see what the U.S. is up to, you should attend RoboBusiness U.S. next week.
These and other government initiatives reflect a new push by nations and regions to invest in, develop, and use robotics and artificial intelligence to grow their economies and geopolitical influence.
Several countries have recognized automation as crucial to their futures, so there has never been a better time for officials from around the world to pay attention to this industry. At RoboBusiness 2017 in Santa Clara, Calif., you can see firsthand how robotics, AI, and unmanned systems are taking off.
RoboBusiness U.S. is a chance for government employees to learn how these disruptive technologies work and how companies and institutions are applying them.
Without this “grassroots” knowledge, creating policies to guide or regulate robotics will be difficult. At the same time, international attendees can learn from one another how to use specific technologies in unique ways.
Here are four conference sessions that will serve as a powerful catalyst to help governments formulate or enhance their robotics and AI policies.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Terry Fong from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will speak in RoboBusiness’ Expo Theater. He will examine the robotics projects that NASA is working on for space exploration and how the private sector plays a role.
This may not seem relevant to most nations, but NASA has long been a symbol of what countries can achieve in science and engineering, as well as how spinoff technologies can benefit citizens back here on Earth.
Since sending humans into orbit and beyond is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and dangerous, robots are naturally playing a major role. This has allowed multiple nations to get involved in exploration without the training infrastructure needed for human spaceflight.
Harmonic Drive and AMS will follow with descriptions of their own work to support NASA. Understanding the ongoing role of robotics in space exploration and how it creates commercialization opportunities could help countries create their own strategies.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, this presentation in the RoboBusiness U.S. “How to Get ROI From Robotics” track will look at the need for startups and established robotics suppliers to protect their intellectual property.
In addition, there are several efforts under way to create standards for robotics operations. Different nations have different schemes, so multinationals must be prepared to comply with varied rules.
While the importance for foreign attendees and governments may not be apparent, understanding how the U.S. approaches technology regulation can serve as a model for other countries. It can also help overseas companies understand potential barriers to international trade. Both can affect the global robotics landscape.
Nearly every nation is working to lure robotics businesses to set up shop within its borders. Most look to Silicon Valley, but there are other approaches to stimulating robotics research and development.
For instance, the types of end users, the investment climate, and local government incentives can all create a friendly climate for the robotics ecosystem.
A conversation on Sept. 28 between representatives from host state California, Massachusetts (particularly metropolitan Boston), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) should provide ideas for every government interested in benefiting from automation.