Automation 2013

Robots, robots, robots.. All shapes, all sizes. Single function, multifunction. Big and small.. Growing up, I always thought by the time I was an adult that robots would literally be everywhere, but that is mostly thanks to the influence of science fiction books and movies. Not too long ago out of the blue I made an attempt at creating my own small robot for the first time from scratch for a particular project. In the process I learned a little about electronics, motors, and micro-controllers. Even though my creation was relatively simple and only partially functioned as intended, I still put a tremendous amount of work into it and I am really proud of my small accomplishment.

So when my friend asked me if I wanted to check out this show Automation 2013, I thought to myself it might be quite interesting! It was a lot more impressive than I had imagined it would be, but to be honest I wasn’t even sure what to expect. The robots at the show put my little homemade robot to shame, and I tip my hat to the brilliant folks behind those creations. Here is a pretty sweet highlight video I edited together of a few of the beautiful machines I got to see at the show.

The amount of effort that goes into programming, building, and testing these industrial strength robots so that they can perform their functions must have been pretty intense. I’ve spent a ton of hours programming instructions in micro-controllers just to be able to do some simple things with motors and lights, I can only imagine the amount of time the professionals put in.. Some of the machines seem to truly be pushing it to the limits in terms speed and power.

There were a number of humanoid robots as well, which was kind of surprising because it seems like it would not be necessary for a factory robot, but in some ways it makes sense. In anthropomorphizing the robots, I think it can in some cases help humans nearby feel more connected emotionally to the robots. Not everyone of course will be so taken by them, some people will never feel comfortable around robots no matter how attractive their shell. There are a lot of interesting thoughts and concerns that come up.

I was surprised by the aesthetics of all the various machines, they all looked pretty nice considering that they will spend their lonely lives most likely isolated in a factory somewhere. No matter the purpose, humans have to turn it into something attractive when in competition with each other. Check out this longer video I also put together showing some raw footage of the show.

If you want to know more about the show, go to

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