U.N. Report: A Robotics Population To Explode
The growth of robotics is expected to take off and gather momentum in both home and industrial markets, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) reported in a new survey of the world's robots.
"The chances of having an obedient robot do unwelcome or dangerous jobs have increased tremendously," the report stated. The World Robotics Survey 2004 was produced by the ECE and the International Federation of Robotics.
Japan leads in the use of robots with 320 robots per 10,000 employees, while the U.S. has only between 50 and 80 robots per 10,000 employees. Japanese auto manufacturers, for instance, use one robot for every 10 workers, the report noted.
The report predicted healthy growth for the use of home robotics, forecasting home-robots use would jump sevenfold, from 610,000 today to more than four million in 2007. Service robots for home cleaning, including vacuum bots and for lawn cutting, were predicted to lead the way. "They will not only clean our floors, mow our lawns and guard our homes, but they will also assist old and handicapped people with sophisticated interactive equipment," the report stated.
Industrial-class robots will continue to grow and continue to extend their record 18 percent rise in the first half of the current year, the report said. The report added that "medical robots, underwater robots, surveillance robots, and demolition robots" will lead the way in the the industrial-robotics field.