As we approach the close of a whirlwind 2020, connected devices will continue to define numerous industries in the coming year. Several trends continue to gather momentum, fueling IoT's prominence in 2021, from data-intensive experiences that use Internet of Things (IoT) devices (such as self-driving cars or wearable devices) to basic health-and-safety needs as COVID-19 continues to take center stage. At the same time, the IoT landscape remains fragmented, with various prevailing standards, connectivity options and use cases abounding. This fragmentation will continue, predicted Forrester Research, and connectivity options will be diverse rather than standardized. While 5G has been touted as the holy grail for IoT, "there will be a variety of connectivity options," said Michele Pelino, senior analyst within the infrastructure and operations research team at Forrester.
Across nearly every industry automation is fast becoming king. Whether it's through IT automation, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) or some other means of eliminating or reducing manual processes, enterprises across the spectrum seek to speed up all manner of functions to remain competitive -- and IT is right in the middle of this movement. The potential benefits of automating processes can be compelling: faster completion of tasks with fewer errors and at lower costs, for example. It's not surprising then, that demand for automation tools is on the rise. A September 2020 report by research firm Gartner projects that global RPA software revenue will reach $1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 20 percent from 2020. Despite economic pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the RPA market is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024, the firm says.
BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW: The automotive sector has, for years, driven the growth of the robotics industry. But robots are now moving beyond industrial manufacturing environments and into other industries, including agriculture, construction, healthcare and logistics, to name a few. As robots continue to find new applications, alleviating concerns about safety and security are crucial to their adoption, acceptance and success. Thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, many workplaces will in the near future see new robots working alongside their human coworkers. Safety and security must be top of mind as robots can bring risks, and security threats can become safety threats. Constant Internet connectivity is often required for many robots to get software updates or to send and receive data. This connectivity leads to new safety challenges and cyber attack opportunities, and robot designers, system architects, and end users need to consider the safety and security o
Marty was introduced by Ahold Delhaize, Stop & Shop's Netherlands-based parent company. They put these robots, which cost a whopping $35,000 each, in hundreds of Stop & Shops and other stores throughout the U.S. in 2019. The robots have been a source of problems since their arrival, but as the pandemic has reshaped the shopping experience complaints that Marty prevents proper social distancing have started to pop up. When states began issuing stay-at-home orders in March, panicked shoppers flooded stores to stock up on supplies. The robots were initially pulled off the floors to prioritize customer safety, but then gradually reintroduced over the next two months.
Companies that do not invest in digital technologies and reinvent will have to retire some of their businesses, an industry expert said. "Businesses that rely too heavily on manual work and resisted in investing in technology over the years, especially digital commerce, will be badly hit. If they haven't awakened yet to the call and continue as is, their survival is going to be a big challenge," Arup Roy, Research Vice-President at Gartner, said at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo India. Organisations that were digitally sound in a pre-pandemic world could contain the impact on their business, he said and added that the pandemic situation was a wake-up call for many organisations to relook and revive their IT strategies and increase their spending on IT in 2021. "We have seen much of disruptions this year but the good news is that the businesses have responded quite well. The credit goes to the technology and CIOs offices. CIOs are leading their organisations through increasing turmoil," he said.
It is one of several efforts in the industry to improve the usefulness of robots in warehouses, where they are increasingly common. The platform is currently online at one location near Madrid, where it has already reduced integration time for new robot systems by 60%, said Markus Voss, DHL Supply Chain's global chief information officer and chief operating officer. "We're at the beginning of the journey," Mr. Voss said. "We are implementing it as we speak at two additional sites, and we think it has applicability across all of our sites." The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team.
Monash University and Alfred Hospital are developing an artificial intelligence-based system to improve the way superbugs are diagnosed, treated, and prevented. According to Monash University professor of digital health Christopher Bain, infections from superbugs kill 700,000 people every year and by 2050, the world could see 10 million deaths annually from previously treatable diseases. Superbugs are created when microbes evolve to become immune from the effects of antimicrobials. The project, which will be mainly based at The Alfred, has received AU$3.4 million from the federal government's Medical Research Future fund. According to the project's lead researcher, Antony Peleg, the project will look to integrate genomics, electronic healthcare data, and AI technologies to address antimicrobial resistance in the healthcare system.
BERLIN – German industrial robot-maker Hahn Automation plans to invest millions of euros in new factories in China over the next three years, keen to capitalize on an economy that's rebounding more rapidly than others from the COVID-19 crisis. "If we want to grow with the Chinese market, we have to manufacture on the ground," Chief Executive Frank Konrad said of the investment drive, intended to skirt Chinese export hurdles in what Beijing views as a strategic sector. "Our goal is to make up to 25% of our sales in China by 2025," he said, up from roughly 10% now. But while the Chinese recovery may be good news for companies like Hahn, it is complicating efforts by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to diversify trade relations and become less dependent on Asia's rising superpower. Despite Berlin's concerns, German industry is deepening ties with China, which battled the pandemic with stricter measures than other countries, moved out of a first lockdown earlier and saw demand rebound more quickly. Olaf Kiesewetter, CEO of car sensor supplier UST in Thuringia in eastern Germany, shares the same ambition of making 25% of sales in China.
For investors looking for momentum, First Trust Nasdaq Artificial Intelligence and Robotics ETF ROBT is probably a suitable pick. The fund just hit a 52-week high and is up 96.8% from its 52-week low price of $22.51/share. Let's take a look at the fund and its near-term outlook to gain an insight into where it might be headed: This ETF seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before the fees and expenses of the Nasdaq CTA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Index. It has AUM of $137.5 million and charges 65 basis points in annual fees. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the robotics market is flooded with opportunities as robots are being used for jobs such as sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces along with monitoring, surveying, handling, and delivering food and medicines.
Last week, we published the first two of our ten predictions in our report, 'The future unmasked: Predicting the future of healthcare and life sciences in 2025'. This week, we launch predictions three and four, 'Clinicians are empowered by new diagnostic and treatment paradigms' and'The who, what and where of work re-architected'. This week's blog provides an overview of predictions three and four. How COVID-19 is changing healthcare professional's ways of working In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers reorganised their staff and services and provided bespoke training to enable new ways of working. They also introduced new levels of physical and mental health and wellbeing support their staff all while attempting to deliver safe care to patients.