When the Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NasdaqGS: ROBO) debuted on Oct. 22, 2013, critics asserted it was too much of niche play and one that would not catch on with investors.

Inflows to the ETF say something else. As of Jan. 28, ROBO had over $28 million in assets under management, according to a statement issued by ROBO-STOX LLC.

“The past year was a breakout one for the robotics and automation sector as Wall Street and the wider investment community took notice of the industry’s progress on a variety of fronts,” said Rob Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of ROBO-STOX, in the statement. “As more and more businesses around the world incorporate robots into their operations, investors can utilize our Fund to participate in the accelerating growth of this sector.”

As of Feb. 5, ROBO’s AUM total was north of $79.1 million, according to issuer data. ROBO has been highlighted as a way of gaining access to previously high-flying 3D printing stocks, but some of those names have been a drag on the ETF this year as the fund is down 4%. [Robotics ETF Holds Some 3D Printing Stocks]

Some of ROBO’s largest holdings currently include medical device maker Intuitive Surgical (NasdaqGM: ISRG), iRobot (NasdaqGM: IRBT) and Faro Technologies (NasdaqGM: FARO). Bank of America’s U.S. Trust 2014 Investment Strategy Overview stated that the proliferation of robots will likely become further solidified this year. In addition, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT Technology Review listed 3-D printing technology for automated precision manufacturing as one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2013, according to the statement.

Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.