Ecosystem mapping case study

Ecosystem mapping and foresight on emerging tech spaces and actors for a global foundation


A Europe-based robotics manufacturer sought an AI strategy in light of competitive threats from more AI-enabled players in the market. Cambrian Futures conducted internal research on corporate aspirations, goals, and relevant existing programs with the management board member responsible for R&D (the project owner) and the newly hired head of AI within the group. The team further conducted external research on the evolution of AI applications within the robotics and automation industry and their plausible future trajectories. Our project leads then synthesized and reviewed the existing strategy and pressure-tested it against the forces and dynamics we had distilled. We paid particular attention to business model evolution toward multi-sided RIaaS (Robotics Intelligence) platforms in the market generating network effects, as this enables speedier learning and ramp of new AI-enabled services for the client. Weighing the pros and cons of such an approach of the client acceding to an existing platform vis-a-vis the client building their own AI systems and platforms proved critical, as the benefit of speed needed to be weighed against different choices of competitive differentiation for the client. This 6-week project facilitated a more robust, pressure-tested strategy for the client, who had had no prior experience with AI and cognitive robotics.‍