SIDO Paris 2022: Machine Vision and Service Robots take Center Stage

Subscribe To Download This Insight

4Q 2022 | IN-6785

SIDO Paris 2022 gathered some of the main players in the European tech world, with special emphasis on open source, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics. Computer vision and service robots were at the center of events, and though the gathering was perhaps a bit too French-centered, France is one of the biggest tech markets in Europe and the event was a good representation of what part of the European market in these sectors looks like.

Registered users can unlock up to five pieces of premium content each month.

Log in or register to unlock this Insight.


The Second Edition of SIDO Paris


SIDO Paris 2022, a meeting geared toward the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and Extended Reality (XR), took place for the second time in Paris in November (over the years, SIDO has had a greater presence in Lyon—the hub of technology in Europe). SIDO Paris was actually composed of two events: the Open Source Experience and SIDO itself. Having the two events side by side resulted in a two-day meeting with more than 200 exhibitors, 40 conferences, and more than 100 speakers. As far as AI and robotics are concerned, plenty of interesting developments were on display, mostly on computer vision and service robots, while the Open Source Experience event proved to be a gathering of many of the main players in the European ecosystem, which provided a snapshot of the state of the sector on the continent, a point that was also true of SIDO itself to some extent. Among some of the vendors worth mentioning from SIDO, in alphabetical order and across the two events, ABI Research noted the presence of Axyn Robotique, KORE Wireless, Microsoft, Pudu Robotics, NVIDIA, NXP, QENVI ROBOTICS, Red Hat, Siemens, Visual Behavior, and WYCA Robotics.  

Open Source, Computer Vision, and Service Robots Were the Stars of the Show


The Open Source Experience was, apparently, the first such event in Europe, and was clearly set up with the goal of gathering this particular ecosystem in one place. With over 80 exhibitors, it certainly offered the right setting for the free software community in France, which constitutes the biggest market for the open source industry on the continent. Organized by Systematic Paris Region and the European Deep Tech cluster, the focus fell on data management, the IoT, the cloud, and blockchain, for the most part, with Microsoft and Red Hat possibly the most prominent booths, boasting impressive demonstrations and outreach. Red Hat celebrated 10 years of its OpenShift solution, a fully open-source, hybrid Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering for enterprise developers, while Microsoft showcased the implementation of PostgreSQL on Azure (Microsoft also offered a Very Important Person (VIP) bar only accessible to some speakers, which sat a bit awkwardly within an open source meeting).

SIDO itself was mostly about AI software, and within this space, about computer vision. Visual Behavior offered an interesting take, with its solution sold on the principle of applying some well-known principles of human cognition, particularly the visual system, which makes use of depth perception to calculate distances, directly into something that is, in fact, seldom done in the AI sector, despite the constant references to achieving some kind of general intelligence on par with human cognition (depth perception is usually achieved through a number of sensors, as mentioned below). Other properties of human cognition that Visual Behavior is aiming to apply to its solution are object permanency and geometric information, which will certainly garner the attention of cognitive science, from which AI originated. On the side of robotics, the star of the show was the service robot, not the least in the hospitality sector, and various robots were literally circling attendees at the event, demonstrating their ability to take things to people, with the cat look-alike BellaBot from Pudu Robotics perhaps the most persistent of the lot. These robots made use of Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM) technology to map a floorplan, Red, Green, Blue plus Depth (RGBD) vision sensors for Three-Dimensional (3D) obstacle avoidance (thus, achieving depth perception), and additional sensors on each tray, from which the goods are picked up—part and parcel of the touchless delivery sector that companies like Pudu Robotics are involved with (i.e., restaurants, bars, hotels, and even hospitals).

Regarding the rest of the field, Axyn Robotique showcased its telepresence solutions to make robots useful for telemedicine support, making people’s lives easier. KORE Wireless described how its Embedded Subscriber Identity Module (eSIM) technology can help provide seamless and reliable connectivity for smart solutions as part of the digital transformation of cities. NVIDIA exhibited its Isaac Software Development Kit (SDK) and edge computing, NXP exhibited some technology on new Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs), and Siemens focused on 5G solutions, edge computing, and robot integration with other applications. QENVI ROBOTICS presented some of its tracking and autonomous robots, customizable and tailor-made from its understanding of Collaborative Robots (cobots), with a robot assisting a user by accompanying them in their tasks by employing movement control algorithms.

A Rather European (i.e., French) Gathering


If nothing else, SIDO Paris 2022 belied the fact that although the tech sector is certainly international, albeit mostly dominated by American companies, there are also some geographically based idiosyncrasies, and local knowledge (and a different language!) is a huge asset to have for both vendors and analysts. SIDO Paris was a rather “French” event in some ways; most talks and workshops were given in French, for instance, and the majority of exhibitors and attendees spoke in French. Nevertheless, there was a sizable presence of other Europeans and English played the role of lingua franca, as it often does, and a general pattern could be observed. For a start, there seems to be more public funding in Europe’s tech world than elsewhere (even in a market like the United States; however, given its obsession with private investment, there are significant subsidies and much of the current technology started in the public sector in embryo form). And with this come certain perspectives, or sensibilities, which also have a place in the market, some of which have to do with the goals and purposes of the solutions on display (e.g., service robots as opposed to robots in manufacturing). Nevertheless, many of the discussions, talks, and demonstrations at SIDO were certainly as per usual at these events, with the local flavor added in, and ABI Research recommends that tech vendors attend and exhibit at as diverse a number of events as possible for the very intrinsic value diversity entails, if nothing else. SIDO Paris was such a place, and ABI Research is reliably told that SIDO Lyon holds much promise, as a bigger and wider-ranging event.