“Robots for economic growth, improved quality of life and empowerment of people”: this is the statement that opens the 2016 report titled: “A Roadmap for US Robotics – From Internet to Robotics” (1). This document calls for better policy frameworks to safely integrate new technologies, such as self-driving cars and commercial drones, into everyday life. The report also advocates for increased research efforts in the field of human-robot interaction to develop intelligent machines that will empower people to stay in their homes as they age. We read also about an overview of robotics in a wide range of areas, from manufacturing to consumer services, healthcare, autonomous vehicles and defence. The roadmap’s authors make recommendation to ensure that the United States will continue to lead in the field of robotics, both in terms of research innovation, technology and policies.
This research is strictly connected with the National Robotic Initiative, a program that supports the fundamental research that will accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. First announced by President Obama in 2011, the National Robotics Initiative was officially established in 2012 by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The growing applications for robotics and automation across the industrial, service and consumer sectors, connected with global governments programs to drive investment into robotics as well as increased M&A type activity from the private sector, is a clear indicator of the growth to come from robotics and automation.
From a financial point of view, one of the main indexes covering this increasingly important trend is the ROBO Global® Robotics and Automation UCITS Index, first to market in June 2014. This UCITIS compliant index covers 13 sub sectors and 15 geographies. The index methodology follows a modified equal weighting scheme and rebalances on a quarterly basis to respond to new entrants and maintain diversification.
Technically speaking, we can start to compare this index with two technology indexes and the Msci World Index; the first technology index is the Nasdaq 100, commonly viewed as the “Technology” index (but in reality contains only the 53,96% of stocks of the technology sector). The second technology index is the MSCI World Information Technology Index, designed to capture the large and mid-cap segments across 23 Developed Markets countries: all securities in this index are classified in the Information Technology sector as per the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS).
It seems from the graph, that the best performing index is the Nasdaq 100 index, but something is changed in the last period. If we look to the historical relative strength graph between the Robo Global Index and the Nasdaq 100 index, we see that from January 2016, the Robo Global Index started to reverse his relative strength trend.
If we zoom the chart putting together performance and relative strength from January 2016, we note that the Robo Global Index has surpassed all its competitors.
From a technical point of view, we see an interesting relative strength curve, but its history is still young. At the same time, this macro-trend is grafted on the theme of technological innovation, which, according to many new technology researches, will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate over the next years (2).
Mario Valentino GUFFANTI
CFTe - SAMT Vice President – Swiss Italian Chapter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: the above article is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.
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