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Automate 2024: Pittsburgh’s Robotics Industry Makes a Big Presence

By Jonathan Kersting

ESTAT's booth was bustling with activity over the three-day Automate conferenceWhat had more than 800 exhibitors, 200 speakers, 35,000 attendees and one massive presence of Pittsburgh robotics companies? Automate 2024 in Chicago, of course!

Automate is North America's largest automation tradeshow and conference. It features the latest in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision, motion control and other automation technologies. It was THE place to be for everyone and anyone doing business within robotics and automation.

Even with Pittsburgh's robotics industry established as a global leader, making a presence and building connections at trade shows such as Automate could not be important, according to Jenn Apicella, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN). The PRN along with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, ARM Institute and Pittsburgh Technology Council collaborated to build a strong Pittsburgh presence at Automate to address multiple opportunities under one very large roof.

First, the collaborative effort created a platform for a handful of Pittsburgh's robotics companies to receive their first visibility to the world. It not only allowed companies like Voaige, CapSen and ESTAT to receive recognition, but easily find potential partners and customers. From a company and talent attraction standpoint, Automate put the Pittsburgh region in full view for attendees to learn more about the ecosystem and resources here.

“It's been really fun as people walked by the booth. The shocking part about this is how many people have a Pittsburgh connection,” said Apicella.  “There are so many people coming over and they're so excited to see Pittsburgh here. Our mission is to serve this cluster of companies and these businesses. And the time is now. The world is automating. And, people want this kind of technology.”

Dipan Pal of VoaigeFor Dipan Pal, CoFounder of Voaige, it was his first time at Automate representing his company that makes advanced vision systems for robotics. Voaige works with system integrators to deploy robotic automation (pick, pack, sort from a pile), and with end users directly to deploy visual quality inspection & data analytic solutions.

“Automate, I believe is the only trade show where you have technology vendors and customers coming in from different industries. I don't think there's any other show that is cross industry,” said Pal. “You find a lot of customers here. For example, we go to a lot of food and packing trade shows but Automate is special because you we just found a bunch of camera vendors and robot component vendors as well. We found a bunch of customers we did not expect!”

Alex Klinger of Titan Robotics said Automate is a great show to attend just to see what's going on in the automation industry. Titan Robotics’ core software technology can be used to dynamically plan and control multi-axis robotic systems with unique hardware configurations for any surface process application. Fielded applications include painting, sanding, cold spray, laser depaint, taping, drilling, defastening, and various NDI technologies.

“I'm here for really two purposes. One is to be here to represent Titan, as a supplier to industry. You know, how do we deliver our product that is a turnkey system,” said Klinger. “But I'm also here to work with our partners that are out there. So, we buy a lot of components, a lot of sensors, a lot of equipment from the other people who are displaying here. We're working, we're networking with them. We're talking about upcoming projects. And then the third part, I guess, there's really three parts here is we're going out and we're learning what's new. So, we're finding new people that could supply technologies to us so we can evolve our system. How do we get that latest and greatest technology to either have a more efficient system, to have a cheaper system, to just have a better system overall and a better product for our customers?”'s autonomous floor cleaner kept things neat and tidy.Stephen Muck of Advanced Construction Robotics echoed much of Klinger’s value of attending Automate. Advanced Construction Robotics is a world-leading innovator of autonomous robotic equipment. Its robots are transforming the construction industry by filling the skilled labor gap and increasing overall productivity of the construction industry. 

“Yeah, it's been interesting.  We're meeting with vendors who already support us, we're talking with vendors who we might use in the future. We're always looking for better technology, you know, better cameras, better sensors, you know, just always trying to improve what we do,” Muck said. “And we're also meeting with some other robotics friends who are out there, you know, doing battle in the space and trying to go from ideas to commercially viable products. So, it's always great to talk with them and try to help those that are behind us and to learn from those who might be ahead of us. So yeah, it's, it's an exciting space.”

Interviews From the Conference Floor

Dipan Pal of Voaige talks to TechVibe Radio's Jonathan Kersting about his company's advanced vision systems to automate quality inspection and robotic pick pack challenges, that were previously impossible to address.

Thaddeus Magyar and Alex Klinger of Titan Robotics talk to TechVibe Radio's Jonathan Kersting at Automate 2024 about pushing the boundaries of state-of-the-art technologies to deliver flexible intelligent robotic solutions.

Jon Vescio of Lucas Systems talks to Jonathan Kersting of TechVibe Radio about influx of automation in the warehouse and manufacturing floor.

Listen to Alan Hinchman of GrayMatter Systems detail how the company provides critical infrastructure environments with data driven, process automation solutions to both optimize operations, and ensure safe, reliable performance.

Stephen Muck of Advanced Construction Robotics talked with TechVibe Radio's Jonathan Kersting at Automate 2024 to tell him more about the company and why they were at the conference this year.

Listen to Jenn Apicella of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network (PRN) at Automate 2024 for a low down on the Pittsburgh robotics industry's presence at the worlld's leading robotics and automation conference.