As an active robotics investor, a leading authority on the business of robotics, and the author of The Robot Report and Everything Robotic, you are at the pulse of the field’s economic development. In a nutshell, what’s happening in robotics today?
I think the biggest thing happening today is the acceptance of the low-cost Baxter and Universal robots into SMEs and small factories everywhere. Sales will likely be 2% of the total; 5% in 2014, and possibly 15% in 2015. That’s growth! And that’s before the big four robot makers start selling their low-cost entry robots for SMEs. This has more near-term promise than unmanned aerial or ground vehicles in agriculture and elsewhere. These co-robots are proving that we need more high-tech people and fewer low-skilled people in this globally competitive economy.