By Jeffrey A. Burnstein, Executive Vice President, Robotic Industries Association
I attended the 2008 Adept Global Conference in Livermore, CA last week. John Dulchinos, Adept’s President, said this at the opening of the conference and I couldn’t agree more. Despite concerns about the U.S. economy, the mood among the 250 or so attendees was very upbeat. Great presentations highlighted the opportunities for robotics in areas such as medical equipment manufacturing, solar power, and food. Many system integrators in the audience reported to me that customer demand for robotics was increasing. With robot prices falling and capabilities increasing, the future for robotics looks very bright. Adept is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Coincidentally, I’m celebrating my 25th year at RIA. During this quarter-century, RIA and Adept have both seen their share of ups and downs. Even in the worst of times, when RIA and the robotics industry (and possibly Adept) were left for dead, we’ve managed to recover and grow again. So, while I have no doubt that there will be future bumps along the road, I’m very optimistic about the future of the industrial robotics industry (and RIA) and quite energized by all of the new market opportunities that are emerging, especially in non-automotive sectors. Happy anniversary to Adept, and continued success to everyone involved in trying to drive the robotics industry forward!