The Devil is in the Details in Robotics and AI Investing

Common business sense says that rising competition is one surefire way to know you’re on to something good. Clearly, ROBO Global’s approach to investing in robotics and AI has been validated—in spades! In the past 24 months, more than 10 new ETFs have come onto the market in an attempt to generate returns by investing in robotics and automation. With the heightened competition, however, come questions. How should investors sift through the noise? What should investors be looking into when choosing a robotics ETF?

The answer lies in experience. Beyond traditional financial metrics like market cap and so forth, investors need to ensure they are partnering with tried and true experts in the space—not just professionals with degrees and credentials in finance, but rather a team of professionals that combines financial expertise with a decades of knowledge, research, and focus on robotics and AI.

Robotics and AI is so disruptive that its expected trajectory is every investor’s dream. Machine learning. Logistics automation. Robot-assisted surgery. 3D printing. These and other key innovations are already creating massive transformations in productivity and capability in nearly every industry and every region worldwide. Like the Internet has changed the world as we knew it—giving us instant, global communication, eCommerce, social media, and more—robotics and AI are poised to drive even greater change, and in ways we can only imagine. Hold on to your hats: the robotics and AI revolution is here!

That said, wise investors know that investing in robotics and AI requires serious due diligence and research, and building expertise in these fields takes time. Because of the sheer momentum of the industry, everything about robotics and AI is changing at lightning speed. New ideas are morphing into real technologies and applications at an incredible pace, and business models are being rewritten overnight. That means that today’s top stock picks are far from tomorrow’s sure bets, and names that aren’t even on the radar of industry outsiders may be delivering the greatest returns just 6 months from now.

As the CIO of ROBO Global, that’s precisely why I’m thrilled that I get to work with an amazing team of true industry insiders every day. Our amazing (and growing) team of strategic advisors includes 7 PhDs, and every one of these individuals is a bona fide expert in the field.

Wyatt Newman literally wrote the book on robot programming with ROS. Raffaello D’Adrea and Henrik Christensen are two of the biggest brains behind today’s machine learning and factory automation. Daniela Rus heads MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and has been helping drive robotics innovation for more than 30 years. Ken Goldberg is a professor and chair at UC Berkeley and a prolific researcher in geometric algorithms and machine learning for robotics and automation in surgery and manufacturing. Manish Kothari applies his knowledge of deep-learning architectures to his work at SRI International, holds multiple patents, and publishes regular research. Illah R. Nourbakhsh is professor of robotics and the director of the Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) lab at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a founder and chief scientist of Blue Pumpkin Software, and CEO and Chairman of Airviz.