Industry Headlines


September 1, 2003
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The global robotics market is expected to reach $16 billion in 2007.

NORWALK, CT—The global robotics market, currently estimated at $8 billion, is expected to reach $16 billion in 2007, averaging an annual growth rate of 14.7%, according to RG-270 Robots/Automation Devices, a new study by Business Communications Company Inc.

Although robots used in industrial processes will continue to be applied to currently automated manufacturing activities, the most pronounced gains in whole-robot consumption will be reflected in the now-in-development families of mobile robots, the report says. By 2007, autonomous mechanical creatures will find their way into current environments primed for cost-effective automated control, including hospitals, battlefields and the home.

In addition, parts and software for both industrial and autonomous mobile robots will capture greater market sales by 2007. In particular, PC-based software and safety devices that make automated tasks easier to implement in industrial settings will flourish throughout the forecast period. There will also be substantial gains in nano-positioning robotic tools, as electronic devices—and the chips built to run them—become smaller and demand the precision of robotic placement and handling.

Specific robotic applications, too, will see impressive growth, the report says. Robots that perform hazardous and tedious duties, although not generating comparatively high revenue figures, will nonetheless produce attractive annual growth rates, mainly because of the world’s growing concerns about terrorist attacks.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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