Yamaha, big-time Japanese manufacturer, has just bought $12 million worth of shares in a tiny Tauranga-based start-up called Robotics Plus.

The little company builds robots specifically for the horticulture and forestry industries…and with Yamaha’s sponsorship, they could transform those industries worldwide.

Here’s what one of their robots looks like:

NZ Herald

Source: NZ Herald

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This unmanned vehicle is capable of filling in for multiple human harvesters…and could not only save farms thousands of dollars each year, but could help resolve the labour shortage that we face today in New Zealand.

It’s no wonder Yamaha tapped Robotics Plus for their R&D investment…

That is, if you appreciate the trend of automation

Some folks simply can’t come to terms with the unstoppable flood of automation. They see it perhaps as a fad…or some ungodly technology that ought to be destroyed.

Mainly, it could take our jobs!

Here’s the thing — robots have been taking jobs since they were first invented a hundred years ago. And our unemployment rate? Steady at the low, low rate of 3.9%.

Robot/automation technology displaces jobs…and opens up new industries to replace those jobs.

Think about it — we use heaps of these innovative devices every day…and each of them has left a trail of obsolete industries in their wake.

With the GPS, we lost the folding map industry.

With Wikipedia, we lost the print encyclopaedia industry.

With flash drives, we lost the CD and floppy-disk industries.

With smartphones, we lost the landline industry, the music-player industry, most of the wristwatch industry, the public payphone industry, the pager industry, some of the camera industry, the video-camera industry, the voice-recorder industry and more.

But what happened to all those people who worked in those obsolete industries? Did they die unemployed and penniless like many people predicted?

Not even remotely! They simply transitioned to a different industry — and very likely, that industry was spawned from the new tech.

With smartphones, for example, we suddenly had the app industry, mobile payments, the explosion of social media, doubling of the entertainment industry, and more.

And all those new sectors needed people to make it happen.

With Robotics Plus’ new unmanned harvester, some people who hand-picked fruit are going to be laid off. But heaps of new jobs will be created in the higher-skill tier…like engineering and programming.

It’s part of a general trend away from low-skill manual jobs…towards creative high-skill roles.

And we see that today in New Zealand, don’t we?

Timber, agriculture, construction. They’re all experiencing labour shortages, and all are manual labour jobs.

It’s a clear trend…and one where automation/robotics will play a key role. [openx slug=inpost]

If I were you, I’d consider this situation as an opportunity.

You’ve identified a growing trend. You can foresee how it will shake up existing industries. Why not stake a claim in it today? You could see your investment dollars go a long way in a short while.

It’s the essence of investing, isn’t it? To invest today in what will blossom tomorrow?

That’s where the profits are…and that’s how most wealthy investors today earned their fortunes.

If you’re already a savvy investor — or you’re just beginning — and want to learn how to tap into trends like these, you’re in luck. I’m developing a new research service where I’ll not only identify the trends of tomorrow, I’ll isolate specific stocks poised to lead the charge.

Included in those emerging trends is one idea that I truly believe will transform the world. It’s being compared to the Industrial Revolution by some of the top analysts in the financial world.

I call it the ‘Lumière Effect’.

The best part? Today most of the companies in this niche sector haven’t yet hit the mainstream.

They’re not going to be in your KiwiSaver fund…or on your list of recommendations from your financial advisor. In fact, I bet you haven’t heard of them at all.

But they’re out there, I promise.

And very soon they could grow exponentially as the sector blossoms into what Goldman Sachs predicts will be a $2 trillion industry by 2020.

Keep an eye out this week for more details.

But before we wrap this issue up, I want to mention one quick thing.

Trends like ‘Lumière Effect’ and robot harvesters don’t happen in isolation. They’re all interconnected in some way and sit upon a rising tide.

With the internet, we saw the birth (and transformation) of so many industries occur in just a few years…and it made many investors wealthier. Even mom-and-pop investors with just a few dollars invested enjoyed the fruit of prosperity.

But as we look at the markets today, there’s a strong sentiment of gloom. And at Money Morning New Zealand, we too subscribe to the belief that our economy is in for a shock.

We could soon be in for a dark season in our financial history.

But I say this not to cast a shadow on your day. Not at all. Instead, I suggest that while the mainstream market might be in for a real correction, there will be pockets of light bleeding through.

In my opinion, those pockets of opportunity will lie amongst the fringes of the market, where innovation — not market sentiment — drive progress.

If you’re unsure where your investments stand, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at your holdings…to see how you’d stack up if it hits the fan.


Taylor Kee
Editor, Money Morning New Zealand