When I say that I work in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (RAAI), the first things most people think of are humanoid robots (think Star Wars), AI (think Alexa), or self-driving cars (think Tesla). But the spectrum of RAAI transcends the obvious.

ROBO Global index member Renishaw, the oldest and perhaps boldest player in the world of 3D printing, is just one example. Established in 1973, the company is transforming the application of additive manufacturing—more commonly called 3D Printing—in healthcare, precision measurement, and more. The only UK business that designs and makes industrial machines that ‘print’ parts from metal powder, Renishaw supplies products and services used in applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacturing, dentistry, and brain surgery.

Last week, I was among the fortunate few who were invited to an inside look at the company’s latest innovations. During the all-day session at Renishaw’s headquarters and Innovation Centre in Gloucestershire, UK, I was tremendously impressed by the company’s leadership and culture, by their research processes, and by their products. I walked away feeling a lot like a kid in a robotics candy store.

Renishaw has been a member of ROBO Global Index since the index’s inception in 2013, and the company continues to demonstrate the three primary selection criteria for inclusion in the index: technology leadership, market leadership, and a focus on long-term growth. It’s no surprise they’ve remained so keenly focused on these objectives. Renishaw has relied heavily on the strength of its R&D approach to maintain its leadership position for nearly 50 years. Last week, that R&D focus was evident at every turn.

Related: 3D Printed Boats Could Ease Road Traffic In Cities

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