One of the most bizarre years of my lifetime is finally coming to a close. At Drishti, we saw some of our highest highs yet: securing our Series B funding round, announcing our first public customers, receiving recognitions from NVIDIA and Forbes and hiring the best and brightest minds are a few of the milestones that made 2020 unforgettable.
But the world outside of Drishti ranged from abnormal to tragic. The coronavirus pandemic fundamentally changed the world forever, and the lives lost to COVID-19 can never be replaced. Global civil and political chaos and a U.S. government administration change cap months of economic and policy uncertainty. The manufacturing sector was roiled by shutdowns and labor churn like no other time even as the PMI crashed to 41.5 before soaring to 57.5 most recently. With a vaccine imminent, manufacturers are finally beginning to see normalcy on the horizon.
But what will define “normal” for manufacturing in 2021? In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting a three-part blog series that sheds light on what we can look forward to in 2021 and beyond in a post-COVID-19 world.
- Part one will take a macro-level, global view of manufacturing. I’ll talk about the shifting trends of supply chain regionalization and manufacturing neighborhoods. This installment is live now.
- Part two will zoom in on the United States, and what these trends mean for domestic manufacturing. How will the U.S. adjust its labor market to accommodate these changes, advances in digital technology on the factory floor and the onshoring of production?
- In part three, I’ll examine the technologies that will be crucial to making this shift work; in particular, we’ll look at what’s on the horizon for AI, the impact of video in production and advances in technology like edge computing that will make more possible on the factory floor. Look for parts two and three in the coming weeks.
We’re all ready to turn the page on 2020. Together, let’s eagerly look to a bright future for the manufacturing sector, the United States and the global community.
Dr. Prasad Akella transformed manufacturing in the 1990s as leader of the General Motors team behind the world’s first collaborative robots (“cobots”), projected to be a $12 billion market by 2025. With cobots, Akella advanced robotics to safely amplify workers’ physical capabilities. With Drishti, Akella returns to the factory to again enhance workers’ capabilities—this time, by driving advances in computer vision and AI.