Five Questions with Jeff Burnstein

This month we reached out to Jeff Burnstein, President at the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). The ARM Institute and A3 have worked closely since the institute’s formation in 2017 to support our goals of advancing the use of robotics and automation technologies through our respective members, many who work with both of our organizations.  Jeff shared his thoughts on our collaboration, changes at A3 and overall industry trends.

1. Jeff, our readers may know about your association through A3 or the RIA or perhaps one of the other groups. Can you tell us about your mission and your current rebranding effort?  

For nearly five decades our association has been the global advocate for organizations involved in robotics, machine vision, and motion control. Each technology had its own association: RIA, AIA, and MCMA.  Over time these technologies have converged, and users and suppliers alike often need solutions that incorporate all technologies and more. As the technologies converged, our association decided to converge into one entity: The Association for Advancing Automation (A3).  Instead of multiple websites, we will have just one: Automate.Org.  As the use of automation accelerates, it is important for people to have a trusted resource for information and education on how to successfully apply automation, which we believe is the role A3 plays in the automation ecosystem.

2. A3 has been a great partner with the ARM Institute since our formation in 2017, and we are a relatively young organization compared to yours which has been in place since 1974. What value do you think our collective members receive from our partnership?

We are strong believers in the mission of the ARM Institute.  Many of A3’s members are also actively involved in the institute, and together we are helping develop a future where people and automation work together to solve many of the world’s most difficult challenges.

3. Both yourself and A3’s Director of Education Strategies Robert Huschka are serving on ARM’s Stakeholder Executive Council and Education and Workforce Council, respectively. Why have you decided to devote this time to work with the ARM Institute?

Because we believe in the important role the ARM Institute plays, we want to be sure to help shape its efforts for the benefit of everyone impacted by institute’s work. Creating awareness of the ARM Institute and its activities is important to a large segment of the A3 membership, so we make sure to include ARM Institute in leading events so they can reach the widest audience possible.

4. As someone with great insight into the robotics and automation industry, what trends are you particularly enthusiastic about that will add significant value, particularly to the manufacturing industry?

I believe we are in the early days of adopting robotics in the US and globally.  I’m very keen on how robotics, AI, vision and related IIoT technologies are allowing people to use their brains and not their brawn in an increasingly automated world; how safer, better and higher paying jobs are being created due to automation; how robotics is helping fill the STEM skills gap in manufacturing that is being exacerbated by demographic trends; how new technologies are being developed that make robots easier to use and faster to implement; and how robots are helping all of us lead longer and better lives, which was never more apparent than during the pandemic when robots were used to build ventilators, produce masks, develop and analyze COVID tests, disinfect work places, help companies create social distancing so they could keep their plants running, and help make sure that all of the unprecedented number of goods we ordered online could be delivered in a timely fashion.

5. Can you share some upcoming events or research that may interest our readers?

 The success of Automate Forward, which attracted nearly 8500 registrants, a few weeks ago,  was the first in a series of major virtual educational events we have planned this year.  Next up are three events focused on machine vision.  The first is CVP Basic Week, May 10-14, followed by CVP Advanced Week, May 17-21, then Vision Week, June 8-10.  We have updated all CVP courses and added a new advanced course on Machine Learning.  Vision Week will feature exhibits and in-depth conference presentations on vision technology and applications.

CVP Basic

CVP Advanced

Vision Week

We will once again host our annual International Robot Safety Conference this fall (October dates to be announced, most likely virtually in 2021, but live again in the fall of 2022). The other upcoming events that I believe are “must attends” for people in interested in robotics are the annual A3 Business Forum (January 31-February 2, 2022 in Orlando) and Automate 2022, June 6-9, 2022 in Detroit, the largest robotics and automation trade show and conference in North America.


The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute accelerates the development and adoption of robotics technologies that are the foundation of every advanced manufacturing activity today and in the future.  The Institute leverages a unique, robust, and diverse ecosystem of partners across industry, academia, and government to make robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence more accessible to U.S. manufacturers large and small, train and empower the manufacturing workforce, strengthen the U.S. economy and global competitiveness, and elevate our nation’s security and resilience.  Founded in 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA by Carnegie Mellon University and operating as an independent public-private partnership funded by the Department of Defense, ARM is part of the DoD Manufacturing USA® network. Learn more at, follow @ARM_Robotics on Twitter or ARM Institute on LinkedIn.

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