Robotics in business: Everything humans need to know
An executive guide to the technology and market drivers behind the $135 billion robotics market.
BY GREG NICHOLS
One kind of robot has endured for the last half-century: the hulking one-armed Goliaths that dominate industrial assembly lines.
These industrial robots have been task-specific -- built to spot weld, say, or add threads to the end of a pipe. They aren’t sexy, but in the latter half of the 20th century they transformed industrial manufacturing and, with it, the low- and medium-skilled labor landscape in much of the U.S., Asia, and Europe.
Is your washing machine a robot? Is a modern high-end car a robot? It’s a little like Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography: You know a robot when you see one.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot more about robots and robotics over the last couple years. That’s because for the first time since the 1961 debut of GM’s Unimate, regarded as the first industrial robot, the field is once again transforming world economies. Only this time the impact is going to be broader. Much broader. 12 pages