Robotics; Year End Review and The Road Ahead

2005 has been an incredible year for robotics, with the iRobot going public and the use of surveillance robots in the War on Terror. Indeed we have seen in 2005 a car drive fully autonomously thru the desert over 200 miles with no driver or remote control in the Famous DARPA Grand Challenge Part II. In 2005 robots assisted in the Pakistan Earthquake to search for survivors and also after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when there was no way for anyone to get thru. Still we see robotics in that region monitoring lake water quality and assisting in environmental controls.

Will 2006 be a repeat in the robotics industry as these trends continue. Yes, this will be the case but there will be a quickening of the pace. Not only here on Earth but also in another race, that is to say the race for space. Robotics will become the tool of choice for monitoring our Space Assets, Repairs and building of the Lunar Colony. Robots will become smarter using the latest artificial intelligence, thus be much more suited to serve us as a helping hand. Not only at home entertaining our pets and vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn or fetching us a cold one from the fridge, but also assisting us in driving our cars, running our railroads and flying our planes.

Luckily for us we are already bringing up the next generation of robotic scientists to assist us in our robotic future. There are contests going on all over the United States in Grade School, High School and Colleges to build better, more capable and smarter robotic systems. This will help us with new innovations in every human endeavor from healthcare to public safety and to new Worlds as mankind reaches out to boldly go. Think on this.