In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of ROBO on October 21, Exchange Traded Concepts and ROBO Global rang the opening bell on Wall Street today. “As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ROBO ETF, we look forward to the future with even greater anticipation,” said J. Garrett Stevens, CEO of Exchange Traded Concepts.
VettaFi Head of Research Todd Rosenbluth said, “The success of ROBO helped jump-start the broader thematic index ETF industry. After years of advisors seeking to choose between winners and losers in disruptive technology, ROBO offered the benefits of diversification. The hundreds of index-based thematic ETFs have benefited from ROBO’s initial success.”
Robotics in 2013
Firms that focus on robotics date back to 1967 in Japan, according to VettaFi Senior Research Analyst Zeno Mercer. However, it wasn’t until ROBO emerged in 2013 that ROBO gave the investing an index that centered on the space. In a recent What Makes That Ticker Tick segment, Mercer said, “The premise 10 years ago when the index was created was that nobody had mapped out robotics, let alone the robotics subsectors that comprised the universe of robotics.”
Today, automation, robotics, and AI are all seeing tremendous interest from investors. Accordingly, this is due to their enormous potential to transform the way society functions. Overall, 41% of the ROBO portfolio falls to “enabling technology,” which tracks the technology that allows robots to exist. Basically, these technologies range from actuation to integration to AI and more. The rest of the portfolio covers industries that are being transformed by robotics. As such, logistics firms and even food and agriculture are all poised to benefit from automation.
Ringing the Bell for ROBO
Robotics and AI are poised for explosive growth. “We expect robotics, AI, and general automation to serve an even greater purpose across more facets of society,” added Mercer. “Increasingly, they are becoming a larger percentage of and contributor to GDP. We expect continued growth in manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction, and healthcare.”
“Additionally, we anticipate growth in newer categories such as drones, autonomous vehicles, humanoid robots, smart cities and homes, enterprise & consumer areas, and personalized healthcare,” he noted. “Ultimately, there is a virtuous super-cycle where advancements in AI and robotics converge to greatly increase the utility and value of robots.”
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