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With Robotics Rebounding, ABB Robotics Technology Days Draws Record Crowd

After a painful 2009, the North American robotics industry saw a rebound in this year’s first quarter, according to Joe Campbell, vice president, sales and marketing for ABB Robotics (

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“The big question on all of our minds is how sustainable is it. We have an ongoing debate about whether this is a bounce, or whether it’s the real start of a long-haul growth curve,” Campbell notes. “We’ll have to see how that plays out in the next couple of months.”

Campbell’s remarks came at ABB Robotics’ annual Technology Days held April 21-22 at its North American headquarters and training center in Auburn Hills, Mich. A record attendance of more than 1,100 for the event included current and potential customers, system integrator partners, technology equipment partners, members of the media, and for the Thursday Open House, a steady crowd of industrial robot enthusiasts of all ages.
The 55,000 square foot exhibit floor included more than 40 live robot related demonstrations from ABB and more than a dozen peripheral equipment technology partners. Featured were the latest in robotic technology specific to a wide range of applications including metal fabrication and welding, picking, packing and palletizing, and machine tending. Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen attended the event, and recorded the following additional Web resources:

• The complete podcast interview with ABB’s Joe Campbell, at

• A podcast interview with Roberta Nelson Shea, chair of the Robotic Industries Association’s R15.06 robot safety committee, on coming changes in robot safety standards, at

• A video showing an experimental platform using a truck-mounted ABB robot for improvised explosive disposal. Will Eakins, senior technical engineer at the ABB U.S. Corporate Research Center, describes the action, at

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