Robots Mean Business

Business bot by Elys Dolan ¨He'll do your tax return and wear a tie but draws the line at shirts¨.

Robotic advancements are boosting existing industries and paving the way for entirely new ones.

In the business world, robots are basically placed in either one of two categories: industrial or service. Industrial robots are the ones that help us manufacture cars, process food and assist in a great many tasks where repetitive assembly is required.

Presently, the number of industrial robots greatly surpasses that of service robots. According to the World Industrial Robotics 2011 report, there were 1,035,000 industrial robots in place and working in 2010. While industrial robots dominate the scene, service robots are rapidly becoming more abundant and the market for them is growing just as quickly. Applications for service bots include: agriculture, healthcare, domestic, space, security and surveillance, scientific research and entertainment just to name a few.

A number of robots that are used in some of the applications listed above have become so prevalent they might already be part of your everyday life. For example, a robot may have assisted your doctor during the process of a surgery or perhaps a roomba vacuum keeps your floors spic and span every afternoon. Today, however, there’s room for robots outside of the ordinary and we’re not talking about Sci-Fi narratives. Start-up companies and research labs are starting create some seriously innovative products stretching from advanced prostheses to sophisticated multifunctional assistants. In fact, an increasing number of Industrial robot manufacturers such as KUKA and Bosch are beginning to shift into the service sector.

Forums such as Robobusiness 2011, which took place in Boston during November of last year, gather: scientists, engineers, users and executives for discussion on a wide range of topics pertaining to the industry of robotics . A common point separately mentioned by the CEOs of irobot and Aethon is that we need to make robots that matter. This means starting with a real world problem, engaging in robotics research, seeking out industry experts, and doing what it takes to understand the needs of the customers who will be using the technology.

Robot Companions for Citizens is a European initiative which aims to drive a vast range of integrated industries and services including: software manufacturing, transport and social security. More information HERE


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