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What do policy-makers need to do to keep pace with economic development in robotics?

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15 July 2013



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Economic policy may not jump to mind as a hot topic for roboticists, but it is a fundamental and influential driver behind the failure or success of the robotics community as a whole. After all, economic policy is what’s behind how governments set their interest rates, determine their budgets, enforce their rules for the labour market and deal with questions of national ownership.

This month we asked Robotics by Invitation panel members Rich Mahoney and Frank Tobe for their take on what policy-makers need to do to keep economic development apace with important developments in robotics. Here’s what they have to say …


Illah Nourbakhsh

Rich Mahoney on “What do policy-makers need to do to keep pace with economic development?”

 

I am not sure how to describe the specifics of what policy makers should do, but I think there are two gaps that policy makers should think about that are associated with the economic development impact of robotics: sufficient funding to support an emerging robotics marketplace; and  detailed descriptions of the innovations needed to solve specific problems …

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Mark-Tilden

Frank Tobe on “What do policy-makers need to do to keep pace with economic development?”

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 might of the big four robot makers start selling their low-cost entry robots for SMEs …

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