Top 10 Noteworthy Robotic Systems at Automate 2023

Automate 2023 highlighted the current state of industrial robotics and offered a glimpse of what's to come.

Eugene Demaitre

While they didn't make our top 10, the Kawasaki Unimate and Kawasaki J-series robots were a fun blast from the past and reminders of how far the industry has come.
Automate 2023 highlights included a skin-like add-on for industrial robot arms, high-paylod cobots, and a new wireless charging system designed for smaller mobile robots.

DETROIT—Automate 2023 could very well have been the Association for Advancing Automation's most-packed trade show yet. There were several interesting developments, including product launches, new collaborations, and insights into where robotics is heading in the next few years.

More than 30,000 people registered for this year's event, with 757 exhibitors on the show floor, according to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3).

Robotics 24/7 has rounded up the most interesting or impressive robots we saw at Automate.

One notable trend is that industrial automation and collaborative robot arms are converging in capabilities, as cobots increase in size and industrial robot arms get outfitted with new sensors and components designed to make them safer to use.

Another is that automotive industry continues to be the show's most dominant market, which makes sense given that retooling vehicle manufacturers are once again the biggest customers of robots, according to A3 and the International Federation of Robotics.

Automate provides a peek at the future

While excitement around automation may have died down a bit in the face of inflation and a dearth of venture funding, robot makers are seeing a strong demand for their systems as labor shortages continue, a trend that analysts expect to continue for the foreseeable future.

Automate has helped both attendees and exhibitors “stay ahead of the curve,” keeping them informed about the state of the art, according to A3. With that in mind, Automate will now be an annual event, and Automate 2024 will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“As this show demonstrated, demand for robotics and automation technologies is accelerating as companies in every industry seek automation solutions to improve their competitiveness,” Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, said in a statement.

Check out the slideshow on the right (bottom on mobile) of the top 10 systems that we saw last month.

Editor's note: Eugene Demaitre contributed to this article. For more about Automate 2023, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.

About the Author

Cesareo Contreras's avatar
Cesareo Contreras
Cesareo Contreras was associate editor at Robotics 24/7. Prior to working at Peerless Media, he was an award-winning reporter at the Metrowest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts. Contreras is a graduate of Framingham State University and has a keen interest in the human side of emerging technologies.
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Eugene Demaitre

While they didn't make our top 10, the Kawasaki Unimate and Kawasaki J-series robots were a fun blast from the past and reminders of how far the industry has come.

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