These could have been the headlines of the President's Report.
But we decided to have these topics instead:
The new IFR website provides more information on robotics and on our members. A clear structure, an appealing layout and an improved navigation attracts the visitor to use the website as the information base on robotics. Just type http://ifr.org/ifr.org and have a look at it!
Detailed information on the new functions and advantages of the new website is provided in the "Editorial".
The winner of the IERA Award 2009 is Yoshiyuki Sankai, Cyberdyne Inc. for its Robot Suit HAL, an innovative human assistance system using an exoskeleton. Cyberdyne is an exciting start-up company with a new game changing technology. The Robot Suit HAL is a break-through concept that is expected to be applied in a wide range of fields such as rehabilitation support, physical training support in medical field, and support for disabled people, heavy labour support in factories, as well as in the entertainment industry. Cyberdyne has managed to attract substantial investment capital within 5 years with a major R&D facility in Japan, and with plans to expand internationally. Also all other presented innovations showed that the robotics is prepared for further challenges in the future. More information you will find in our report of the IERA Award ceremony. (link to report on IFR website will be indicated)
In 2010 the IERA award presentations will be held in conjunction with the International Symposium on Robotics and AUTOMATICA, the world largest international trade fair for Automation and Mechatronics, both of which will be held 7-11 June 2010 in Munich, Germany.
Since the IFR, the robot suppliers and the national robot associations are working more closely together, detailed results by type, by country, by application and by industry are available. The preliminary results 2008 were distributed to the participants in the beginning of June 2009. The final detailed results will be available within the next few days.
Just a preview: The total supplies of industrial robots stagnated in 2008 compared to 2007. The financial and economical crisis already affected the robots supplies in the end of 2008. This resulted in decreasing robot supplies in main markets like, North America, Japan and Italy. Germany, People's Repulic of China and the Republic of Korea still had an increase of robot supplies in 2008.
Also the IFR Quarterly Statistics is established as just-in-time market overview. The results of the first quarter 2009 were as expected very disappointing. There was a slump in shipments in all regions of more than 50%. The reasons were restrained investments of our customers, financing problems to realize projects, cancellation of orders and a high basis of comparison because of a strong first quarter 2008.
I asked Jeff Burnstein - the President of our member association RIA - what his view was of the resent show. He said :
" The recent International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show in Chicago may yield clues to the direction of the North American robotics market going forward. Heading into the show, there was great concern about the attendance since many North American trade shows had been relatively weak in the first half of the year. However, with an estimated 4000 attendees, this year's event exceeded most people's expectations, based on feedback to date from leading participants. Does this mean that customers will increase their purchases in the months ahead? While it's too soon to tell for sure, it's possible that the better than expected show is an indicator that the robotics market has bottomed out and will be trending upward in the second half of the year. RIA and its members certainly hope so and are working hard to spread the message about the importance of robotics to North American manufacturing companies. "
Our new member association ROBOAT from Taiwan invited us to participate in the TIROS show in Taipei (5-8August 2009). IFR will have a booth free of charge to promote the association and the studies World Robotics 2009 Industrial Robots and Service Robots. We will visit the exhibiting companies to present our organisation and we will invite them to join the IFR. I will be supported by the IFR General Secretary, Mrs. Gudrun Litzenberger.
After the show in Taipei we will visit the Chinese Automation Association in Beijing. Within this organisation there is also a robotics division. We will try to start cooperation between CAA and IFR on robotics. China is becoming one of the biggest robot markets in the world.
It is already a tradition that IFR participates in the IREX show in Tokyo. Also this year our member association JARA will provide a booth for IFR. We will present the World Robotics studies "Industrial Robots" and "Service Robots" of 2009.
Furthermore we will have the meeting of the IFR Executive Board and the Industrial Robot Suppliers Group just before the IREX starts.
In the recent Board meeting of our member association RIA the next steps to harmonize the statistics of RIA and IFR were decided. These efforts will result in a still more improved overall statistics for the North American countries.
Call for Proposals and topics of the joint conference of the 41st International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2010) and the 6th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK 2010) from 8-10 June 2010 in Munich is published.
The joint conference of the 41st International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2010) and the 6th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK 2010) takes place in the International Congress Centre Munich in Germany from June 7 to 9, 2010. The joint conference is organized in conjunction with the robotics exhibition AUTOMATICA which will be held June 8-11, 2010.
Again, the simultaneous organization of these three events will provide a number of benefits to the participants:
The joint conference offers the latest results in the fields of research and development in robotics as well as in new applications.
The trade show AUTOMATICA will present the latest products, systems and components for robotics, machine vision, assembly and handling.
These were a lot of good news in bad times. So finally we also should report on the robot statistics:
Despite the bad results reflected in the robot statistics and the unsure economical situation we do not stop and wait for better times. The innovations of the IERA Award, the recent and the upcoming robot shows and symposia demonstrate: There is no real standstill in robotics. The robotics industry is prepared to meet the challenges of a recovering automation industry.
The IFR is supporting you in improving our service to our members and the public relation activities. Step by step IFR has been recognized as the "Voice of Robotics" in the world.