Over the past 20 years robots have evolved very quickly. From giant, hydraulic behemoths to very small delta robots (aka: spiders). This is remarkable, given the constraints, costs versus real capability, and general acceptance in the material handling industries. At this time, the ROI for material handling robotic palletizers is almost second nature to the industrial environment. In fact, demand in the United States has grown significantly over the past decade to the point that manufacturers have created divisions strictly devoted to the science of material handling (picking, packing, and palletizing). Going nowhere without software Advances in robotic software, robotic manufacturers, and material handling integrators continue to improve the sophistication and complexity of robotic solutions, so that end users can get the most out of their robots. This is only exacerbated by the influx of young minds flooding into the robotic industry. At a recent local meeting of FIRST (www.stlfirst.org) – which is a community organized group of pre-college kids (about 400 in St. Louis) that build anything from Lego© robots to full blown, original robots. (Just amazing to see what these young minds come up with, when presented a challenge). My point here is that as these kids go on to college and learn formal robotic programming – the amount and quality of robotic solutions in many fields will be staggering! In summary – the robots are getting better, faster, cheaper and the capabilities are growing at an alarming rate. What do you think this means??? I challenge the reader of this article to take a moment, dream, and then tell me what robotics will look like in 10 years? 20 years?
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