The 2021 Robotics & Artificial Intelligence (RAI) Industry Showcase was the biggest and best in the show’s history.

The three-day virtual showcase, held in May 2021, saw over 1,000 visitors attending 28+ individual sessions from more than 70 innovation and research-driven organisations. Delegates came from 34 countries and from a wide range of industries including health and social care, finance, and manufacturing and engineering, making it the biggest and furthest reaching iteration of the event since it started in 2019.

Marie Emerson, Knowledge Transfer Manager for RAI at KTN, says: “I’m absolutely thrilled at the success of the RAI Industry Showcase this year. From the feedback we’ve received, it’s clear that so many people got so much out of it, beyond just learning about all the latest robotics and AI innovations. Attendees were networking, finding collaborators, meeting potential customers and even investors too. It was fantastic!”

Key innovations on display include that of Vivan Therapeutics, who use robotics and AI to sequence the mutational profiles of cancer tumours and recreate them in thousands of fruit flies in order to test every possible combination of cancer medication to find the best treatment for human patients.

Also showcased was the technology of IGS, who use advanced robotics to create a vertical crop growing system that is completely self-contained, allowing for precise control over the growing environment. Their system also requires no human intervention, reducing the risk of losses from pests and diseases, giving it applications not just in the UK but also in developing countries where growing conditions are more challenging.

Andrew Tyrer, Robots for a Safer World Challenge Director, says: “Each RAI industry showcase allows the projects we’ve funded from across the offshore, nuclear, space, mining and cross-cutting sectors to present their incredible robots to the community. Despite having to go online in 2021, KTN managed to deliver an event that not only raised the profile of our projects but provided a platform to highlight the strength of the UK robotics and AI industry.

“It’s clear from the ground-breaking work being undertaken and the enormous potential that can be seen from the research analysis, that the use of robotics and AI can provide critical solutions for science, industry and society across the UK.”

Emerson continues: “It’s clear that the record-breaking attendance was in part due to the fact that the event was hosted online, which means less time commitment and travel and expense for attendees. But we certainly missed the physical presence of the incredible robotics that were on display, and networking just isn’t as easy from home. We plan to marry the best of both worlds in the next event and hope to bring back the live show with an online offering for those that can’t attend in-person.”

If you want to watch the videos from the 2021 conference and stay up to date, click here.

Share this article