robotics award winners These Mexican students won international robotics awards last year.

MX a robotics leader but support is lacking

Engineer launches robotics expo to encourage sector's development

An electrical engineer who wants to keep Mexican robotics talent in Mexico has teamed up with like-minded individuals to stage the country’s first Robots and Technology Expo this weekend in Mexico City.

“Mexico is a leader in robotics. We have the talent, what we need is support,” said Gerardo Hernández, an electrical engineering graduate from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN).

Increasingly, the involvement of robotics has transcended the realm of manufacturing and moved into other areas such as services, health and logistics, among others.

By 2020, the global industrial robotics market is expected to be worth US $44.5 billion. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), that market has reached a $1-billion value in the last decade in Mexico.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has reported that Mexico imports more industrialized robots than any other Latin American country, and is the fourth largest importer worldwide.

All these figures, coupled with the consistent triumphs of Mexican students — from public and private institutions alike — in international robotics, animatronic and artificial intelligence matches led Hernández to wonder what was holding back the sector’s advance in Mexico.

He concluded that youths receive little to no support or media coverage. “Most of them opt to migrate to foreign projects; our talent is working in firms in Japan or the United States.”

The realization is behind the launch of the first-ever robotics exposition, which began today at the Digital Culture Center in Mexico City. Organizers want it to become a platform where information technology students and professionals show their talents in robotics.

The event is divided in two main themes: robotics and artificial intelligence.

The first will consist of matches in which robots and their teams will have to prove themselves at different tasks and tests. An estimated 300 to 400 robots will participate this weekend, coming from schools in Mexico and guest countries including Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

The expo will also offer presentations and workshops on artificial intelligence and robotics programming for beginners.

“Mexico has more engineers than Brazil or Germany and we may not know it yet but we really are leaders in engineering and robotics. We must not close our eyes but encourage this type of initiative,” Hernández said.

Source: Netmedia (sp)

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