• The utilization of robotics in manufacturing is currently a $5B industry and is projected to grow to a $20B industry (Source: A Roadmap for U.S. Robotics, From Internet To Robotics - 2013 Edition). A major contributor to the projected growth will come from small to mid-size users in a variety of industries where historically the demand was from the very large corporations in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Counter to traditional industrial robots that are big, noisy, and costly, companies are developing innovative lightweight robots designed for small to mid-sized users.

  • In July of last year I posted a blog about the CHIMP robotic platform.  CHIMP stands for CMU Highly Intelligent Platform.  It was one of 16 entries under the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Agency Projects) sponsored Robotics Challenge program with the goal of developing robotic technologies that can be used in harsh environments such as man-made or natural disasters in lieu of humans.  The robots will be required to open doors, turn valves, connect hoses, use hand tools to cut through panels, drive a vehicle, clear debris, and climb a ladder.

  • The tragic earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that devastated the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan just over 2 years ago points to a great potential use of evolving robotics technology.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created a competition among industry called the Robotics Challenge.  The challenge is to develop robotics technology that can eventually replace the need for humans to don those highly fashionable and comfortable HAZMAT suits as they go into very dangerous environments to keep a bad situation from growing worse.