IFR President’s Report by Marina Bill – IERA Award Recognizes Innovative Start-Up – Takayuki Ito elected as Vice President of the International Federation of Robotics – Robot Sales in North American Manufacturing Up 12 % – India´s Robot Boom Hits All-Time High – IFR Executive Round Table



Jun 19, 2023

Marina Bill, IFR President

Exciting times for the global robotics industry! We just returned from the Automate show in Detroit, whose lively show floor symbolized the huge opportunities for robotics and automation on the North American continent, with manufacturing industries and logistics investing strongly in technology to overcome the labor shortage.

Dear Reader,

Exciting times for the global robotics industry! We just returned from the Automate show in Detroit, whose lively show floor symbolized the huge opportunities for robotics and automation on the North American continent, with manufacturing industries and logistics investing strongly in technology to overcome the labor shortage.

IFR used this occasion to gather their members in a series of meetings, and also presented the preliminary 2022 figures on the global robot installations ahead of the Executive Roundtable. Total installations in manufacturing in North America rose by 12 % to 42 thousand units. This proves that the US, Canada, and Mexico are key markets in the global growth of robotics automation, and the automotive sector is once again leading the way. We should note that the figures published really are preliminary and should be noted with caution – we still expect substantial changes to the final figures that will be published in World Robotics on September 26, 2023.

Congratulations to the two Engelberger Award Winners, Roberta Nelson Shea and Jeff Burnstein. Jeff does a great job driving the robotics industry in North America, particularly in the US, and deserves the award for leadership recognizing his four decades of commitment for A3. Roberta has received the award for application, honoring her outstanding work over the course of her career in global robotics safety. As a convenor for the ISO TC 299 Working Group on Industrial Safety, she not only greatly contributes to the progress of the safe deployment of industrial robots around the globe, but is also a great role model for women choosing a career path in robotics.

I am also happy to congratulate Zen Koh from Fourier Intelligence for winning the IERA award for Outstanding Achievements in Commercializing Innovative Robot and Automation Technology 2023. The price was awarded for their upper limb rehabilitation robotics device ArmMotus during ICRA 2023 in London.

There is not much time to rest as the Automatica fair will open its doors in Munich soon. IFR has also scheduled some meetings there, and will present the preliminary 2022 figures for Europe during the IFR Executive Roundtable. At the panel discussion, Ralf Völlinger (Fanuc), Enrico Krog Iversen (OnRobot), Adrien Brouillard (Stäubli) and Thomas Burger (SBS-Feintechnik) will discuss how Europe can increase its resilience by investing in robotics and automation.

Looking forward to another busy week of exciting discussions, networking and hopefully meeting you in Munich.

Marina Bill
IFR President


IERA Award Recognizes Innovative Start-Up

Fourier Intelligence named as winner at ICRA 2023

London, Jun 22, 2023

As part of a slate of activities promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in robotics, finalists for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics Award (IERA) presented their projects to a panel of judges at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held in London May 29 –June 2, 2023.

From left to right: Frank Park, IEEE RAS President; Jonathan Eden, University of Melbourne on behalf of Zen Koh; Wolfram Burgard, IEEE RAS Sr. Past President and Awards Chair.


“The IERA Award recognizes category-creating, world-changing robot companies,” said Andra Keay, IERA Awards Chair & Vice President of the RAS Industrial Activities Board. “Previous winners of the IERA Award have redefined the role of robots in the real world and if you asked the average person on the street to name a robot, the chances are that they would name an IERA Award winning robot, like iRobot, Kiva Systems or Universal Robots.”

This year’s finalists were Dr. Aaron Edsinger and Professor Charlie Kemp of Hello Robot for the Stretch Robot; Zen Koh, from Fourier Intelligence for The ArmMotus EMU; Matthew Allan of Australian Droid and Robot for the Explora Robot; and Thomas Hähn of United Robotics Group for Plato.

Zen Koh and the team from Fourier Intelligence ultimately won the IERA Award for The ArmMotus EMU, a 3D back-drivable upper limb rehabilitation robot that adopted an innovative cable-driven mechanism designed for clinical settings.

“Zen Koh from Fourier Intelligence and The ArmMotus EMU are worthy winners of the 2023 IERA Award, exemplifying innovation in robotics with a global impact,” said Andra Keay, IERA Awards Chair & Vice President of the RAS Industrial Activities Board. “The combination of smart adaptive rehabilitation and entertainment technology can transform our healthcare landscape.”

Start-up 2 lllll  The ArmMotus EMU (copyright Fourier Intelligence)

“We are truly honored to have the ArmMotus EMU recognized as a finalist and awarded this prestigious accolade,” stated Zen Koh, Co-Founder and Global CEO of Fourier Intelligence. “This recognition reflects our unwavering dedication to driving continuous advancements in rehabilitation technology.”

Fourier Intelligence was named the winner during the ICRA Awards Ceremony in London, and presented with a plaque and a USD 2000 prize. For additional details on the award and a list of the winners from the previous years, please see the IEEE webpage.

About IERA Award

Established in 2005, the IERA Award is presented annually by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Industrial Activities Board and the International Federation of Robotics. It highlights and honours the achievements of inventors with value creating ideas and entrepreneurs who propel those ideas into world-class products.


  The ArmMotus EMU © Fourier Intellingence – download (570KB)

  IERA_Award_2023_presentation_1600x900.jpg (583KB)


Takayuki Ito elected as Vice President of the International Federation of Robotics

Frankfurt, Jun 15, 2023

The Executive Board of the IFR has elected Japanese Takayuki Ito (Fanuc Corporation) as its new Vice President. Mr. Ito succeeds Kenji Yamaguchi (Fanuc Corporation). Mr. Ito represents IFR along with IFR President Marina Bill.


Takayuki Ito portrait high res (2.4MB)


Robot Sales in North American Manufacturing Up 12 Percent

Strong demand from Car makers

Detroit, May 23, 2023

The North American robotics market showed strong growth: Total installations in manufacturing rose by 12% and reached 41,624 units in 2022. Number one adopter is the automotive industry: companies based in the US, Canada and Mexico installed 20,391 industrial robots – up 30% compared to 2021. These are preliminary results, presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

“North America represents the second largest operational stock of industrial robots in the world after China,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “The United States, Canada, and Mexico are key markets in the global growth of robotics automation, and the automotive sector is leading the way.”

Cyclical demand from automotive

In the United States, demand from car makers and manufacturers of components rose by 48% in 2022. Installations thus display the cyclical demand pattern well-known from this customer segment. After a few years of contraction, down from the peak level of 15397 units in 2017 to 9854 units in 2021, installations surged to 14594 units in 2022.

Installation counts in Canada largely depend on investments of the automotive industry that accounts for 40% of robot installations. Sales to automotive declined by 36 % with 1258 units installed in 2022. This is below the pre-pandemic level of 1897 units in 2019. The robot installations to manufacture parts and accessories for motor vehicles were significantly down by 45 % with 995 units sold. Motor vehicles, engines and bodies on the other hand grew by 99 % with 263 units sold.

Robot installations in Mexico are also determined by the automotive industry that accounted for 66 % of the robot installations in 2022: Sales grew by 16 % and reached 4222 units in 2022 – the second best result since the peak level of 4805 units in record year 2017.

Non-automotive sectors

Installation counts in other industries exceeding the 4000-unit mark in North America are: electrical/electronics (+28 %), metal and machinery (-9 %), and plastic and chemical products (-4 %). They each represent a 9 % market share of industrial robot installations in 2022.

Automate show

Automate – the largest robotics and industrial automation trade show in North America organised by the Association for Advancing Automation – will return in 2024 and then continue as an annual event. McCormick Place in Chicago will host next year’s event May 6-9, 2024, and in 2025 the show will be back in Detroit. Automate, which had historically been held every other year, saw unprecedented demand in back-to-back shows in 2022 and 2023.


Graph annual installation industrial robot in North America – preliminary figure 2022 (109KB)

Presentation on IFR preliminary statistics for North America in 2022 held by Marina Bill during Automate Show in Detroit, 23 May 2023 (1.7MB)


India´s Robot Boom Hits All-Time High

India enters world´s top ten in annual robot installations

Frankfurt, May 03, 2023

Sales of industrial robots in India reached a new record of 4,945 units installed. This is an increase of 54 percent compared to the previous year (2020: 3,215 units). In terms of annual installations, India now ranks in tenth position worldwide. These are findings of the report World Robotics, presented by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR)

“India is one of the world’s fastest-growing industrial economies,” says Marina Bill, President of the International Federation of Robotics. “Within five years, the operational stock of industrial robots has more than doubled, to reach 33,220 units in 2021. This corresponds to an average annual growth rate of 16% since 2016.”

Today, India is the world’s fifth largest economy measured by manufacturing output. According to World Bank data, India´s manufacturing value added in 2021 was USD 443.9 billion, a 21.6% increase from 2020.

The automotive industry remains the largest customer for the robotics industry in India with a share of 31 % in 2021. Installations more than doubled to 1547 units (+108 %). The general industry in India is led by the metal industry with 308 units (-9 %), the rubber and plastics industry with 246 units (+27 %) and the electrical/electronics industry with 215 units (+98 %).

Impressive potential for India

The long-term potential of robotics in India becomes clearer when compared to China: India´s robot density in the automotive industry, which is the number of industrial robots per 10000 employees, reached 148 robots in 2021. China´s robot density hit 131 units in 2010 and skyrocketed to 772 units in 2021.

The Indian government supports growth in the industrial sector as one of the vital figures that affect the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Today, the country´s GDP of about USD 3 trillion ranks in fifth place, head-to-head with the UK and France – behind Germany, Japan, China and the USA – the International Monetary Fund reports.

Outlook for India

“As a result of the recent supply chain disruption, companies are rethinking their nearshoring strategies in Southeast Asia,” says Marina Bill. “India has traditionally been a popular destination for nearshoring in the manufacturing segment. The Indian government wants the country to be considered for new diversification options such as friendshoring, which is partnering with countries that share similar values and interests.”

The manufacturing sector is also expected to benefit from the government’s initiatives to boost its competitiveness and attractiveness for investors. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, for example, currently set to run until 2025, subsidises companies that create production capacity in India in robot customer industries like automotive, metal, pharmaceuticals, and food processing.

Robots help to create new jobs

New manufacturing capacities in India are an important step to provide adequate education and employment opportunities for its people: According to projections of the United Nations, India now has a population of 1,4 billion, surpassing China for the first time. This means that India has a large and young workforce that can drive economic growth and innovation. India is expected to have the largest working-age population in the world by 2027.


http://Graph operational stock in India 2011-2021 (274KB)



IFR Executive Round Table

At the IFR Executive Round Table, experts from Fanuc, OnRobot, SBS-Feintechnik and Stäubli, will discuss how to build resilience for Europe through automation.

When: June 28, 2023, 10:00 to 11:30 hrs CEST

Where: Messe Munich, automatica Forum, hall A5, #330


  • Welcoming and presentation of the participants of the Executive Round Table by Dr. Susanne Bieller, IFR General Secretary
  • Preview of new World Robotics data by Marina Bill, IFR President
  • Discussion on “Building resilience for Europe through automation” – moderator: Dr. Susanne Bieller
  • Questions and Answers


Welcome to ISR Europe 2023

The 56th International Symposium on Robotics –

ISR Europe 2023 – will be held in Stuttgart, Germany on

September 26 – 27 2023.

The ISR Europe 2023 will be complemented by an exhibition

area. The program is completed by the evening event at the

traditional Cannstatt Folk Festival.

In two conference tracks over two days, the ISR Europe

2023 will offer an insight into state-of-the-art robot technologies

to participants from both industry and research.

A special session will be held for ROS-Industrial. In the

ROS-Industrial Community Meeting, new technical and scientific

developments made by the ROS-Industrial community

will be presented and discussed. The meeting will focus on

open-source robot software and applications including navigation,

manipulation, motion planning, software engineering and hardware interfaces.

Symposium Topics

Contributions related, but not limited, to the

following topics of interest are welcome:

  1. Modeling, Planning and Control

„ Mechanisms and kinematics

„ Calibration and identification

„ Theoretical foundations

  1. Components and Technologies

„ Actuators and controllers

„ Robot end-effectors and robot infrastructure

„ Vision, tactile and auditory sensors

„ Visual servoing and tracking

„ Virtual commissioning

  1. Robotics in Production / Industrial Robots

„ Assembly, handling, painting, machining, processing

and logistics

„ Robot programming and languages

„ I ntelligent manufacturing systems

„ Matrix production

„ Digital Twin

„ Open-source software

„ I ndustrial communication

  1. Robotics in Service / Mobile Robotics

„ Autonomous mobile robots and fleet management

„ Service robots for domestic tasks

„ Service robots for professional services

„ Rescue, surveillance, security, defence robotics

„ Assistance, rehabilitation, medical robotics

„ Educational and entertainment robotics

„ Exploration, space, aerial or underwater robotics

  1. Robotics in New Markets / Applications

„ Construction industry, food, pharma and biology robotics

„ Micro and nano-robotics

„ Cognitive robotics, learning and adaptive systems,


and ubiquitous robotics

„ Biologically inspired robotics: humanoid, biomimetic or

legged robots

„ Platform economy

„ Robotics startup culture

  1. Human-robot-collaboration / Future of work

„ Standards, safety, profitability and ergonomics

„ Socioeconomics and industrial engineering

„ Safe human-robot-collaboration

  1. AI in Robotics – Robotic Applications that use AI

„ Autonomous robots, machine vision, mobile robotics

„ Probabilistic reasoning, estimation, decision

„ Use cases


Alexander Verl,


of Stuttgart,


Conference Chairs

Werner Kraus,

Fraunhofer IPA,


The Conference

The ISR Europe 2023 by IFR (International Federation of Robotics)will take place at Hotel Maritim and the ISW in Stuttgart, Germany from September 26 – 27, 2023. The conference is organised in conjunction with the anniversary event 50 years of Robotics.