RECAP: Cheers to an amazing 2023 Automate Show!

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Moments after the last remaining attendees walked out of Huntington Place, people were already reminiscing about their favorite moments in the 2023 Automate Show. We spoke to a lot of attendees and the overwhelming sentiment was: “best Automate ever.”

Record-setting attendance

There were certainly enough people to make that judgment. With over 30,000 registrants, attendees strolled along the show floor, viewing thousands of new solutions presented by 757 exhibitors. Attendees watched a flat AMR drive a two-ton weight around the room like it weighed nothing at all. Exhibitors showed off the world’s thinnest rotary encoders. And through it all, robots played golf and served beer.

Speakers of note

It wasn’t all cutting-edge robots and transparent monitors, though. Automate’s keynote speakers delivered lectures to rapt audiences, tying experiences in science, business, and even coaching to automation’s ever-expanding role in society. Gregory Robinson, former director of NASA’s James Webb Telescope program, described the importance of soft skills and collaboration in achieving ambitious goals. Legendary basketball coach Tom Izzo talked about the power of empathetic leadership.

On the corporate side, Siemens Corporation USA President and CEO Barbara Humpton explained how Industry 4.0 is already here and where it takes us next. Finally, Jan Diekmann, Ericsson’s Technical Account Manager, closed out the week with a speech about the ways 5G and data integration will unlock new value on and off the factory floor.

Recruiting a new generation

Automation is already ubiquitous in our personal and professional lives—and it’s even more integrated into the everyday lives of students across the world. Recognizing an opportunity to reach these automation experts- and enthusiasts-in-waiting, the show-hosting Association for Advancing Automation (A3) took big steps:

NextGen Student Tours

Lucky students and their educators had the chance to take a guided tour of the Automate Show and see the endless possibilities of a career in automation. Some eager students even handed out resumes!

FANUC Education Pavilion

There are many career paths and training opportunities in automation. Automate, in conjunction with FANUC, offered curious students and other enthusiasts an avenue to discuss those opportunities and gain hands-on experience with the latest robots, collaborative robots, and CNC controls. Nineteen entities—colleges, podcasts, and career centers among them—provided insight into what a future in automation looks like.

A3 Educator Networking Luncheon

Students weren’t the only ones who got a long look at the latest trends in automation. Instructors, professors, and teachers at all levels took the opportunity to take their knowledge of robotics and automation to the next level. Leaders from sectors across the field discussed the latest trends in the industry and how to apply them to curricula.

Starting up new innovations

The Automate Show is as much about the future as it is about the solutions available right now—and it’s always looking out for exciting new developments. To that end, a panel of venture capital experts evaluated presentations by nine tech startups in the Phoenix Contact Startup Challenge. The winner, ESTAT Actuation, showed off a new form of electroadhesive and took home $10,000 (along with a good deal of accolades from witnesses on the show floor).

REWIND to relive

Attendees who want to relive the show floor or check out content they didn’t quite have time to see: good news! In addition to daily recap videos, A3 offers Automate REWIND, a wealth of digital content from the show. Exhibitor spotlights, interviews from the Automate LIVE stage, keynote speeches, and more are all available. All you have to do is hit REWIND (note that you’ll need to sign up for an account to view non-A3 member content).

A good year—every year

Until now, the Automate Show has occurred every two years. But if the 2023 show’s growing success proves anything, it’s that automation is more important and in-demand than ever before. Companies of all kinds are incorporating it into their operations (or intend to). Professionals and enthusiasts alike want to learn more and make new connections. And of course, everyone wants to see more robots.

For these reasons and more, the Automate Show is officially going annual, with the next show taking place May 6–9, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Booths are already filling up. People are already asking when registration opens. Subscribe for updates and stay tuned for more details to come!

All in all: best Automate ever…at least, until attendees arrive in Chicago in 2024.

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