One of the fastest growing fields is that of robotics. In 2006 this trend will continue as it continues to get a financial boost from military research and development funds, as well as orders for new equipment. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV robotic aircraft have been one of the fastest growing robotic sectors, partly due to the changing battlespace and Future Fighting Force Military Roadmaps, but also largely due to logistical issues, Iraqi Freedom and the surveillance needs in the War on Terror.

Also leading the field in robotics is a push from NASA, which extends all the way down to the elementary and high school level with contests, which challenge our youth to think outside the box and come up with new innovations. After our 2005 Hurricane Season robotics were also discovered to have extremely useful advantages in search and rescue and environmental remediation. Again in the Pakistan quake robots were employed to look for survivors.

In 2006 we will see a trend of better-designed robots from companies such as iRobot, as the robotics market touches the consumers in their own homes. In manufacturing, warehousing and logistics there is little areas where robotics will not cut costs and thus help corporations with increased efficiency, increased shareholder value and increased year over year net profits.

One emerging trend is prosthetic devices and the integration of man and machine, as these devices end up closer to the “Six Million Dollar Man” than any potential hardship or handicap for the individual. We will see much more of this in 2006 and the consumers, businesses and government will continue to look towards robotics to solve the most important issues which challenge mankind. Think on it; think robotics.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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