K robotics innovation is taking centre stage this summer, with the announcement of a nationwide


elcome to a very

special issue of Automation, which marks the 20th anniversary of the magazine’s launch. To celebrate this important milestone, this month we have included a special supplement which contains a number of articles charting the developments that have taken place in the industry over the last two decades. It’s been a time of constant innovation that’s seen industrial automation reap the benefits of technological advances in electronics, micro processing, control systems, machine vision, networking and communication, which has led to the start of what is now commonly referred to as ‘Industry 4.0’, or the fourth industrial revolution. During my time as editor I’ve

witnessed industrial automation go from something only known about and understood by engineers, to a subject covered by the mainstream media and discussed outside of the manufacturing industry. With the increasing interest in robotics and other automation technology for everyday use, this trend is likely to continue and lead to an even faster development pace in the next few years. Neil Mead - Managing Editor

programme of exciting events for the first ever UK Robotics Week (25 June – 1 July 2016). Events for people of all ages are being held up and down the country, spanning public lectures, open labs, schools and academic competitions, hackathons, tech weekends for children, and cutting-edge robotics showcases. The build-up to UK Robotics Week will be kicking off

at the Imperial Festival 2016 on Saturday 7 May and Sunday 8 May at Imperial College London. The festival, which is free to attend and open to all ages, will include opportunities to take part in robotics activities, including the ‘design a robot bug’ and autonomous driving challenges. Four challenges are at the core of UK Robotics Week –

competitions aimed at pushing the boundaries of what is possible with robotic technology. These are the School

Robot Challenge 2016, open to all UK schoolchildren and students aged four years and older; Design a robot bug, make it 3D and teach it to move using free software that has been specially created for the challenge; Autonomous Driving Challenge 2016, open to everyone to design a vehicle and teach it how to drive; and Surgical Robot and Field Robotics Challenges which are international competitions aimed at postgraduate students and researchers from academia and industry. UK Robotics Week, to be held annually during the last

week of June, is an opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art robotic technology, discuss the role of robots and artificial intelligence in our lives, and to inspire the next generation of designers and engineers. More information about the activities planned for UK Robotics Week can be found on the website: and by following UK Robotics Week on Twitter - @ukroboticsweek


ockwell Automation has announced that its board of directors has elected Blake D. Moret (seen on the left), a 30-year veteran of the company, as president and chief

executive officer, effective July 1, 2016. At that time Keith D. Nosbusch, 65, who has been president and chief executive officer since 2004, will transition from those roles while continuing as chairman of the board. Moret, 53, is currently senior vice president of the company’s Control Products & Solutions segment. Nosbusch said: “It has been an honour and privilege to lead Rockwell Automation over the past 12 years. While as a team we enjoyed tremendous success, I have no doubt that we are well positioned for an even greater future. Blake is the ideal executive to move

Rockwell Automation forward in its next chapter. He brings a strong customer focus, as well as a deep understanding of the company’s values, culture, people, and technology, and how each of these power the company’s success.” Moret said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead Rockwell Automation and its talented employees into

an exciting future. We have a deep management team, unmatched technology solutions, domain expertise across a broad range of industries, and enduring customer relationships around the world. We are committed to continue to deliver customer and shareowner value in the years ahead.”

Want to keep up to date? Then follow us on Twitter: @CI_AutomationUK and/or ‘Like’ us on Facebook!


osch is fuelling the imagination of young women engineers with the launch of a

campaign aimed at bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) to life. The #BetweenUsWeCan campaign, which supports efforts to improve gender diversity within engineering, will include an online competition that seeks out the best new applications of the IoT. Three winners will get the chance to pay a

two-day visit to Bosch’s state-of-the-art Renningen and Reutlingen research and development facilities near Stuttgart, in Germany. This is where IoT technologies are being developed and brought to life for Bosch. The winners will also receive a year’s mentoring from Bosch engineers. Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch in

the UK, said: “The UK is facing a critical shortage of new engineers entering the workforce and the problem is made worse by the lack of women entering the profession. Women have the ambition to solve problems and change the world, and the talent to deliver


it. Our competition aims to shine a light on their imagination and their skills. Bosch wants to fuel the imaginations of the brightest young women engineers by asking them to think how the IoT might transform our lives.” Entries for the competition will be shortlisted and assessed by an expert judging panel including: Professor Danielle George, associate dean for teaching and learning at the University of Manchester and presenter of the Royal Institution’s 2014 Christmas Lectures; Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch UK; Jon Excell, editor of The Engineer magazine; Cat Dow, Connected Vehicle Technologies editor, Just Auto magazine; Sarah Claridge, qualified engineer; and Lauren Childs, digital and marcomms specialist at Bosch UK. The IoT is pulling together the many strands

of digitisation, ushering in a world of intelligent devices. It is already being applied across multiple sectors, from Bosch’s Smart Home that integrates heating, light, doors and windows, to multi-functional smart tools in factories.

To enter the competition, entrants aged between 18 and 25 will need to describe an innovation that, by harnessing the universal connectivity of the IoT, would make the world a better place. The competition will run from March to May 2016, with the winners being announced in the lead up to National Women in Engineering Day (23 June 2016). Entries can be emailed to For more information on the campaign visit


Photo: Business Wire

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