Trade Shows have finally sprung back to life and whilst we will only visit national (UK) shows this year, we have plans to visit they key European and North American shows in 2022.
We visited two trade shows at the National Exhibition Centre on 3 Nov, 2021: Advanced Manufacturing (link) and Saltex (link).
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, Nov 3-4, 2021
The Advanced Manufacturing show focuses mainly on materials, but also includes a bit of handling, especially robotics handling. However, if you visit this show to see robots, you will be disappointed.
There were plenty of arm-robots on display, typically as part of a larger solution or to pick something from a station, etc.
Plenty of advanced composites and materials specialists exhibiting so this is a perfect show if you want to use non-metal equipment or know more about 3D printing.
We did, however, see this very exciting piece of development by Cyclopic Ltd (link). Although the construction required three drives for each wheel and the payload was somewhat limited, there appears to be significant scope for developing this product in the future.
Ok, the show was not completely void of robots, although there appeared to be a focus on mobility. The team responsible for the Mars Rover (Airbus) exhibited as well.
SALTEX, Nov 3-4, 2021
This was a weird show for STIQ to visit, but it was collocated with Advanced Engineering and we had the time... and we also write about Farm Robots, remember?
Saltex focuses on Sports Amenities Landscaping, which pretty much means communal grass spaces, communal parks, etc. including football or sports pitches.
As a result there were plenty of lawn mowers on display. Strikingly, there were plenty of robots on display at this show (compared to at Advanced Engineering). In fact there were so many robots and remote controlled machines that we were almost overwhelmed... perhaps we need to write another report on Lawn Mowing robots?
One of the questions we had at the show was "is this a B2B lawn mower?". However, we quickly realised that the difference between a B2C and a B2B lawn mower is simply the size of the machine. B2B machines may be able to manage larger fields than a garden, whilst keeping the cost of a machine to a minimum. So, in short, any lawn mower can be a B2B machine, which should be useful for business owners to buy one on company expenses... :)
Several robots on display managed painting lines for various sports pitches.
And plenty of remote controlled machinery on display... We were told that these machines could also be used with autonomy stacks.
Perhaps the most interesting among these was the field printer robot (image coming)