Automation and related technologies: a mapping of the new knowledge base

E. Santarelli, J. Staccioli, M. Vivarelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


This paper aims to map the current knowledge base centred on robotics and AI technologies. These technologies are investigated both as a whole and distinguishing core and related innovations, along a 4-level core-periphery architecture. Merging patent applications with the Orbis IP firm-level database allows us to put forward a twofold analysis based on industry of activity and geographic location. In a nutshell, results show that: (i) rather than representing a technological revolution, the new knowledge base is strictly linked to the previous technological paradigm; (ii) the new knowledge base is characterised by a considerable-but not impressively widespread-degree of pervasiveness; (iii) robotics and AI are strictly related, converging (particularly among the related technologies and in more recent times) and jointly shaping a new knowledge base that should be considered as a whole, rather than consisting of two separate GPTs; (iv) the US technological leadership turns out to be confirmed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-813
Number of pages35
JournalThe Journal of Technology Transfer
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

JEL classifications

  • o33 - "Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes"
  • o31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives


  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • General purpose technology
  • Technological paradigm
  • Industry 4
  • 0
  • Patents full-text

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