Trends at ICRA 2014

We just finished up at ICRA 2014 in Hong Kong.  It was hot, muggy, and a fantastic time where we got to meet and talk with the cutting edge of researchers and academics who are pushing the edge of the field in robotics and computer vision.  We’re also heading to CVPR 2014 in Columbus Ohio.

But we wanted to highlight some of the trends that we saw from the research groups and academics who met with and talked with us:

    • Autonomous vehicles – Especially cars. Big turn out from large R&D labs and car manufacturing doing work on self-driving cars…
    • Quadcopters – Lowering costs for these units – especially from folks like Parrot and DJI.  The higher ends are focusing on autonomous navigation features (potential use case pairings with Occam camera self-localization and ego motion, as well as SLAM) like Ascending Technologies.
    • Robotic Arms + Hands – Arm and hand manipulation for end use cases of medical, handicap assistance were especially popular.
    • Agricultural Robotics – Field inspection, potential harvesting applications.
    • Oil + Pipeline Inspection Robots - Either paired with UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) like autonomous quadcopters or smaller UAV planes, as well as lower powered robotic units operating within the pipelines themselves that would inspect for holes, blockages, or other potential debris inside or outside of the pipelines.  Popular with various oil and natural gas folks.


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