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Peter Feuilherade


Peter Feuilherade is a UK-based writer and regular contributor to e-tech, published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Geneva. He has an M.Phil. in African History from SOAS, University of London. Peter is a former BBC World Service journalist who worked at the BBC Arabic Service and BBC Monitoring, where he specialized in the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.

Emily – short for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard – is a remote-controlled rescue boat used by lifeguards to save people’s life at sea (Photo: Hydrolanix – EMILY robot)

This article was first published on the IEC e-tech website.

Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots and drones can be deployed quickly in areas deemed too unsafe for humans and are used to guide rescuers, collect data, deliver essential supplies or provide communication services.

The market for agricultural robots has the opportunity for significant expansion: the farming world needs to increase global production whilst it also faces challenges such as reduced availability and the rising costs of farm labour.

The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people in their own homes.

From robots delivering small packages in cities, to driverless trucks transporting bulk loads over long distances, advances in robotic delivery in the next decade will lead to significant changes in retail markets, the freight haulage industry and transport in general.

Global sales of surgical robotic systems are projected to reach $28.8 billion by 2020, according to a 2016 report by US research consultancy Allied Market Research (AMR). According to AMR, the increased adoption of advanced robotic surgery over conventional open surgery, a growing number of surgical procedures and the rise in gynaecological, neurological and urological disorders are the major factors that will boost market growth. As a result, the surgical robotic procedures market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% during 2015‑2020, fostering the growth of the surgical robotics market.