Physicist Michio Kaku wrote that listening to people talk about robotics and AI is like listening to people who are trying to build a tower to the moon. Every year they get all excited about how much bigger their tower is and they never notice how far they still are from the moon.
Fair enough. The promise of motion control has outrun the reality for a long time, and it may continue to do so in 2014. Still, there are some trends to watch:
- Integration has been a trend for a while, and we don’t expect a downturn in this trend in the coming months. Integrated servomotors put together a motor, controller, feedback, and drive for a complete system in a single unit. Single cable solutions are part of this trend.
- Energy efficiency continues to be a focus. Automation is green and getting greener. Rexroth is a leader in energy efficiency for motion control, but most manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon. no wonder! Retailers, consumers, and governments are playing favorites with companies that reduce their carbon footprint, so it’s become cost-effective to go green.
- Robotics is expecting to have another good year, with or without amazing improvements in AI. Advances in nanotechnology and acceptance of robots by consumers and the C suite alike are fueling this trend. With a continued push to raise the minimum wage and the reshoring of manufacturing, it makes financial sense to automate routine tasks. Motion control is the hero in this scenario.
We’re expecting to have a great year in 2014 and we hope you will too. Keep our number handy just in case!