Automate show to become annual event after setting attendance record

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The organizers of Automate, the North American robotics and automation trade show,  say the show held in late May in Detroit enjoyed record attendance and will now become an annual event.

“Due to the extraordinary demand for automation and the growing need companies have – both to learn how automation can benefit them as well as connect with partners who can help them deploy automation solutions – the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) will now hold Automate annually,” the organizers said in a release.

More than 30,000 people from around the world registered to visit the sold-out show floor featuring 757 exhibitors during Automate’s four-day run May 22-25, 2023 in Detroit.

“As this show demonstrated, demand for robotics and automation technologies is accelerating as companies in every industry seek automation solutions to improve their competitiveness,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3

Previously held every other year, the show featured four halls of exhibits, keynote speakers each day, relevant show floor theater sessions, a start-up competition, and a comprehensive educational conference attended by over 1,000 people with courses on topics such as robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision and motion control taught by more than 200 industry experts. Attendees said the mix of exhibitions, discussions and people energized the show floor all week.

“We found tremendous value exhibiting at Automate,” said Kevin Barker, president of Beckhoff Automation . “The audience was knowledgeable, engaged, and excited about automation technology and we look forward to continuing to participate every year moving forward.”

Startup Competition Highlights

On the second day of Automate, nine technology startups went head-to-head to win the Phoenix Contact Startup Challenge.

ESTAT Actuation was selected by a panel of venture capital judges for its game-changing technologies and received a $10,000 cash prize. ESTAT electroadhesive products are 10x lighter, 10x more compact, and 1000x more efficient than conventional versions, enabling groundbreaking new solutions for robotic joints, end of arm tooling gripping, and untethered robot designs.

“Automate was incredible for generating customer interest and connections. Everyone loved seeing and experiencing our hardware demos, and winning the startup challenge gave us a great avenue to build awareness of our products and gain industry advocates,” said Stuart  Diller, CEO of ESTAT Actuation.

Engelberger Award Winners Honored

Recipients of the 2023 Engelberger Awards, the world’s most prestigious robotics honor, were celebrated at the Joseph F. Engelberger Awards Dinner and Ceremony on May 24. Roberta Nelson Shea of Universal Robots was recognized as the Application winner for her outstanding work in global robotics safety; and Jeff Burnstein of the Association for Advancing Automation was honored in Leadership for his work promoting the robotics industry for the past four decades at the Association for Advancing Automation.

Automate Rewind

For anyone unable to attend the event live or who missed keynote speeches and discussions, there’s still a chance to check them out. Automate Rewind will be launched the week of June 12, 2023. It will feature an entire digital library of content from Automate 2023, including recordings of keynote sessions, theater talks, Automate LIVE interviews, exhibitor spotlights, and more. Automate Rewind will be available here.

2024 and 2025 Event Details

Next year, Automate will be held May 6-9 at McCormick Place in Chicago and the show will return to Detroit May 12-15, 2025. 2024 booth space is already more than 60% reserved. If your company would like to reserve space, contact Jim Hamilton, A3’s VP of Sales, here to book a booth or explore sponsorship opportunities.

For more details on Automate, visit

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