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AI and Robotics Gain Ground: 3 Pure-Play Stocks in Focus

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About a month ago the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to the humanoid robot Sophia, developed by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics. If this was not intriguing enough, in another groundbreaking move, New Zealand-based entrepreneur, Nick Gerritsen, has recently developed the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) politician, Sam, who can address local issues related to education, housing and immigration. So, it may not be too wrong, at this point of time, to foresee a future where bots live cheek by jowl with humans!

The incredible developments in the AI space hollers for investors’ focus on companies that are principally engaged in this groundbreaking field.

Moreover, according to a survey of 260 large organizations conducted by Vanson Bourne, a leading technology industry market research firm, 80% are investing in AI and 30% are planning to increase their investments in this space over the next three years.

Proliferation of AI & Bots

Car manufacturer Tesla TSLA is in pursuit of a driverless future and has already dished out successful electric variants such as Model S, Model X and revolutionary Model 3. Northrop Grumman NOC is a pioneer in training drones to land — and avoid landing — on aircraft carriers.

Accuray ARAY develops and markets the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, which extends the benefits of radiosurgery to include extracranial tumors in the spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas. Online retail giant Amazon.com AMZN has adopted robotic technology to its advantage in its fulfillment centers.

Given the prominence that bots are gaining, let’s take a look at some of their creators. These companies bode well for investors with foresight and perseverance.

Stocks in Focus

Back in 1990, three MIT graduates came together to form the first company that comes to our mind when we mention robots. This is Massachusetts-based iRobot IRBT, which designs robots to perform dull, dirty or dangerous missions in style.

Its proprietary iRobot AWARE Robot Intelligence Systems technology implements advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence that form the lifeblood of its behavior-based family of consumer and military robots. Naturally, this is the stock if you are futuristic and have faith in technological evolution. Supporting our view is this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s impressive VGM Score of B.

We are also keyed up about FANUC Corp. FANUY, the Japanese manufacturer of factory automation and robots for pretty much anything and everything. Its claim to fame is its commitment toward minimizing factory downtime. FANUC products have carved a niche not just on its home turf, but also across the world with the United States, Europe and other Asian countries being its markets.

With an encouraging Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), we don’t see why you should not consider the stock for your portfolio. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Milwaukee, WI-based Rockwell Automation ROK is a leading provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions for manufacturing. This Zacks Rank #3 company offers complete automation solutions to top brands.


Recently, Rockwell Automation rejected a takeover bid by Emerson Electric fearing disruption to its growth and competitiveness in this evolving market. Obviously, Rockwell Automation has huge confidence in its strategic direction and ability to continue delivering superior levels of growth and value creation. It is witnessing solid thrust in its business as indicated by its Momentum Score of A.

Fast Forward

Remember the pre-mobile era when moving around with a phone was beyond imagination, let alone one that can double up as a camera? It may well be the same with automation and bots.

Agreed, the travails of robotics are an open secret. From astronomical investments to painstaking research to technical snafu, companies with high autonomous aims are giving their all to stand the test of time. As an investor, AI and robotics give you something to look forward to.

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