Robot Sales
Survey: Industrial Robot Sales Show Boom

From the article:This price trend is why, over the next decade or so, employers will be able to buy very sophisticated robots for very low prices and start replacing millions of workers in the service sector (see Robotic Nation for details).

See also the the UN press release and this CNN article.


Robotic Security
Martial arts robots hit Asian tech fair

From the article:According to Frederic Kaplan, at Sony's robotics laboratory in France, "One of the key things we are looking at now is developmental robotics, where a robot learns."

Right now, we don't have any robots capable of learning and responding to situations with human-like intelligence. But scientists and engineers will eventually solve these problems in one of two possible ways:Either way, we will have intelligent robots walking and talking among us in 20 or 30 years. Now we can see that these robots will be able to karate-chop and sumo-wrestle their way right through crowds of unruly humans...


Robotic Education
New champion of fire safety: a robotic dog

From the article:From this ad:One very common rationalization used to argue against the Robotic Nation is, "Human beings will never let robots replace humans in the workforce, especially in areas like teaching." Yet here we have robots interacting with kindergartners as the preferred means of education -- robots are better than humans at teaching fire safety to children.

This will be true in every area of education. Robots and computer-based video training will be more entertaining, more energetic, more "kid friendly", much more consistent and far cheaper than humans in the classroom. Human teachers will be just as vulnerable during the robotic revolution as everyone else.

The same will be true in day care centers. For example, Disney now has a wireless animatronic robot roaming in one of its amusement parks:

This article offers several other photos. This article also has a nice description. Right now these are not intelligent robots -- they are operated instead by humans using remote control joy sticks. But as robotic intelligence advances over the next 20 to 30 years, these creatures will become intelligent, autonomous beings.

Where would your child rather go to day care -- to a center staffed by bored teenagers and 20-somethings with minimal training and not a lot of interest, or to a center staffed by Barney the purple Dinosaur and his friends, all programmed to be constantly happy, caring and interested all day long?

Would teenagers in high school rather be taught physics by a human, or by a robot who looks like Albert Einstein? Would they rather be coached in PE by a human, or by a robot who looks like and plays like Michael Jordan in his prime? The choice is obvious...

See also: Why millions of teachers will soon be out of work.

Robotic skin
E-textiles, robot 'skin' among advances at IEDM

From the article:Robots don't have a sense of touch right now, but touch combined with vision and a little software makes it easy for robots to have dexterity similar to that of a human being.


Robotic AI using Neural Nets
Artificial Development To Build Biggest Spiking Neural Network

From the article:So, in 2003, we have supercomputers running at 5 teraflops. Applying Moore's Law, we would expect to see machines that are 1,000 times bigger than that in 2023. That means a machine with 5 petaflops, 1.5 petabytes of RAM and 80 petabytes of disc space.

In other words, in 2023 we will have inexpensive supercomputers with the power of the human brain.

By 2043, supercomputers will have the power of 1,000 human brains. Inexpensive desktop machines will be running at 5 petaflops, and we will have inexpensive autonomous humanoid robots with the equivalent brain power of a human being. See Robotic Nation and Manna for details.

Robotic Speech Processing
Microsoft Makes More Speech Server Noise

From the article:This related article contains the following quote:For those unfamiliar with the character named Data, he is a humanoid robot (played by Brent Spiner) who speaks and understands speech at a level equivalent to a human being. So, by 2023 or so, the industry is predicting completely fluid, human-level voice interactions with robots.

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