U.S. Robot funding well behind other nations

Bot Builders Scramble for Cash: "Bekey said that robotics research funding has been dropping in the United States for at least the last decade, with NSF's funding now at less than $10 million per year.

In contrast, he said Japan's government will spend nearly $100 million in 2005. And over the next three years, Europe plans to spend nearly $100 million on a new program called Advanced Robotics. South Korea, meanwhile, spends $80 million on robotics research annually. "

Don't you mean "US GOVERNMENT robot funding..."?

Is computer vision robot related? How about AI generally?

How about the very next post on lower power chips?
No one country can "do it all". In the future, Japan will be the main supplier to the world for robotic needs. Europe is pushing forward with a lot of stem cell research, so they will no doubt be a main supplier of stem cell technology and therapies in the future, etc. etc.

No one country can or should be the "be all and end all" of technology. This is what the devision of labor and the Free Market are all about. Everyone individual (country) *excells* at something and because of that the entire group (the world) benefits.

For example, South American countries can make better high-quality coffee than any continental American state in the could ever accomplish.

America can not be the best in *every* area. Many reporters are just trying to sell news and make a name for themselves, regardless of the logic of their stories. How about focusing on what America is *excelling* at??

-America created the Internet
-America is the only country to send a humans to the moon
-America develops the vast majority of the software used by the World
-The American movie industry is the largest in the world, and the most prevelant.

Sure American companies may not be leading in robotics or automobile hybrid technology, but we ARE leading in MANY other areas.
Nothing new here. The US is also running behind when it comes to money for stemcell research.

That's the type of crap you get with President Pretzel in charge.
America created the Internet

Okay, that's true.

America is the only country to send a humans to the moon

Yeah, decades ago. But it's true that we're still kicking ass in space stuff.

America develops the vast majority of the software used by the World

How long will this be true?

The American movie industry is the largest in the world, and the most prevelant.

This just isn't true. Bollywood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't think it makes sense to just lie back and say "well, no worries, Japan will make all the robots."

Robots aren't a niche industry, that's the whole point of this blog.
First of all my example were just out of the blue- there are many other areas where America excels *today* (weapons technology for example- our fighter jets are world-renounded and no nation can mass-produce body armor that matches the quality coming from our companies).

I don't think it makes sense to just lie back and say "well, no worries, Japan will make all the robots."

Well sure I would like for America to take a leading roll in robotic development, but it's not really in our culture yet as it is in Japan. If Japan *does* become the world-leader in robot development, as I think they will, then sobeit and good for them. They have invested billions and have a real passion for robots. I am just tired of people focusing on the negative so much- America does do a few good things here and there afterall. Why do we feel guilty about feeling good about what we have accomplished as a nation?
Ivan, yes: He means "US Government robotics funding." You forget, we do not share your fear of government sponsored research programs.

anonymous: You're being foolish.The future is robotics an computers.

Marshall Brain is right; We should be studying how to separate the brain from the body, not making another moon trip. Once you solve that problem, you can take a trip to the moon, to Mars, to just about anywhere you'd like to go.

If the US wants to be a powerful force in the future, then it must instate a national cybernetics program. This would entail research into cities, computers, roads, network security, spectrum, human-machine interface, transport, building methods, brain-machine interface, robotics, algorithms, network military, component systems.

But, what do I know: Perhaps we should become best at crochet. Or, hey, corn! Corn's good, we make a lot of that.

When we ship out the corn, in we can put on the side of the box, "Brought to you by the people who invented the Internet!"

-- Lion
The problem is that, in a given field, there are usually hurdles that are not well met by competing businesses focusing on short-term gains.

To overcome these hurdles, government funding, university research, and business can work together, towards long term goals.

See: Computational Science: Ensuring America's Competitiveness.
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I wouldn't say he ONLY means government funding. I work for a robotics company, and NOBODY (including private funding, VC funding and angel funding) seems to be willing to take a chance on an up and coming company developing robotic toys. WTF??? People complain, but no one's willing to take the risk and invest...
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