21 May InnoRobo & Future Robotics
InnoRobo 2017, Paris.
As NJMC continues to grow its understanding of the important Robotics sector last week we attended another Robotics event, Innorobo. 2017 marked the sixth edition of Innorobo and was held at Docks de Paris. Some 200 exhibitors from 21 countries attended and interacted with more than 11,000 visitors of 57 nationalities.
InnoRobo is now renowned as Europe’s only international event 100% dedicated to robotics and all disruptive innovations from around the world. It is an expo that showcases technological innovations that offer solutions to challenges in industry and living that are facing society today. It brings together an ecosystem of decision making people, researchers to directors of groups, educational leaders, institutions, and start-up companies.
In previous years InnoRobo was largely about robotic factories of the future. While this is probably the largest aspect of the expo (just), to medicine, agriculture to smart cities and homes the show presented a great deal of food for thought. There is little doubt that the creativity, ingenuity and vision that is going into robotics is happening at a rapidly accelerating pace. If I cast my mind back just one year to I am struck by just how quickly products by one company alone had moved forward (Ascodero).
It is not just the speed of forward development that is striking. Robotics are moving laterally outwards at an even more striking pace into every single sector. If all this was not significant enough something else made an impression on me at InnoRobo 2017, half the attendees there are now decision makers or senior managerial persons. Clearly robotics is well into the shift from the lab into the workplace.
Robots: The Problem
All of this got me thinking…………..
In the last century workers transitioned from the fields to the factories. Now they are moving from factories to service counters and healthcare centres. The migration of labour to a technological and robotic workforce is inevitable, this means that goods produced anywhere in the world with expensive labour will cost much more than imported goods produced with robots somewhere, almost anywhere else in the world. No amount of “cheap” labour from Vietnam or anywhere else will compete with robots. Trade deficits will increase and jobs will be lost due to reduced demand, this will set off a spiral downwards.
The USA has lost about five million manufacturing jobs since 2000, that is a fall of about 30%. Trump rather simplistically blames trade with China and Mexico. In his election campaign he promised to bring 25 million jobs back to the USA but if he had researched a little more he would have seen that this is an entirely hollow promise, the jobs will not be coming back. He might bring back manufacturing IF he acts logically and sensibility for the long term (little about him suggests that he would be capable of doing this) but he will not bring back jobs because those jobs will be done by robots, be they in South East Asia or in the USA.
Robots: New Approaches
The potential negative impact could be managed if countries can adapt themselves to create robotics technologies locally. In doing so, countries will be able to move away from:
- Labour-intensive production methods, enabling them to become more competitive in global markets.
- Increased robot automation could mean less reliance on cheap overseas labour and more on indigenous robotic capabilities.
Local robotics capabilities will make it less compelling for business owners to relocate production facilities to cheaper labour markets such as China. The development of local robotics abilities would then stimulating the growth of local economies. The development infrastructure would create highly skilled jobs locally.
Robotics: The New Frontier
Clearly we are entering a new era, and potentially a very frightening one, but we must all turn and face it head on and strive to be leaders of it, not lead by it so that we can be part of shaping it. This is the very reason NJMC is investing so much in learning about this field and how we can help by being part of it .
Politicians and the media need to be urged to examine, to think and to adapt to a fast changing environment in an intelligent and applied manner. If anything it is not Robotics that scares me, recent history shows both politicians and media to be far more scary.
NJMC: Looking Forward
In addition to our regular service offerings we are currently developing Programme/Project Management Office (PMO) service specifically orientated towards Research & Robotics start-ups that will allow the incredibly creative and inventive people to focus on what they do best by letting NJMC assist by doing what we do best;
- Risk Management.
- Scope Management.
- Labour demand & supply.
- Knowledge Management.
- Finance Management.
- Collaboration/Partnership Management.
NJMC want to help you in shaping this new era – call us, lets talk.