iRobot - i like

iRobot - i like

What's not to like about robots? Well, there's plenty to like (utopian future), not like (dystopian future) or somewhere in between. Robots conjure up a whole range of emotions and have been fictionalized for decades, even centuries.

As a wave of industrialisation was sweeping through China in the late 19th century,  intellectuals of the late Qing Dynasty were already figuring out a place for robots 'in redesigned Confucian utopias'.  

In 1897, an article appeared in Shanghai’s Sin Wan Pao (新闻报) titled ‘Rise of the Machines’ (机器盛行), this wasn't the basis of the script for the third Terminator film 105 years later. This article was the first of many non-fictional or fictional renditions of a debate that mixed techno-utopia excitement with trepidation of what mechanical humanoids could do for the working class.

Let's fast forward 121 years later in Shanghai's  former "fleet street", a robot makes cocktails in a cafe founded by former Yum! China CDO Gavin Pathross. You'll find this cool (I mean in body temperature) bartender in action below.


Humor wasn't installed as a module yet but I reckon we're not far off from robots with an attitude being shipped out. AI as a conversational mate is already available as a technlogy. Just read through the transcript of Blake Lemoine's conversation with LaMDA.

Amusement aside, more than a half million new robots went into a service in 2021. Robots take over tedious, repetitive, and complicated tasks. The kind of tasks we'd rather not do. Whether it's helping efficiency at ports and factories, delicate medical operations, or anything that's just plain dangerous.

And this is a bit of problem these days, where are the workers? I'm hearing shortages at the local pizzeria, airport bagage handlers or VPs of digital marketing. The list can go on. Amazon's worried that they're going to run out of workers by 2024 so they're going to need a lot of shiny new robots too.

One of my digital expert partners,  IoT ONE released a report that covers the whole spectrum of this space from analytics & modeling, PaaS, network & connectivity, drones, processors & edge intelligence, functional applications, and automation & control.

The report showcases the most influential robotics companies in the global IoT ecosystem. The team looked at 3,000+ IoT solution providers to create the Top 10+10 robotics domain index. Our ranking criteria considers company market share, growth rate, product innovation, and thought leadership influence.

So for most of you not actually making robots yourself, this report might be helpful for you to look at the emerging space as part of any internal discussions you may be having. How is the use of robotics is evolving in your planning, strategy formulaton and policy making?

If you are actually working for a robot maker, please note that this ranking is not a definitive evaluation of all IoT robot companies. We know the market is constantly changing. For sure there will be relevant companies that were excluded from this analysis and alternative assessment methods that could create a different view of the category's leaders. We are confident that the data set of companies covered in the report represents most industry leaders.

Click on the report below to download.