Advanced Robotics

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The importance of Robotics for European industry and economy

Advanced Robotics opens new emerging fields, some expected, others that the science fiction anticipates or nobody may imagine. Autonomous robots is one of the foreseen, with peculiar features in terms of mobility and intelligence, able to cooperate with other robots and with humans, able to perform complex, unhealthy, dangerous or simply boring tasks for the humans. 

The scope of robotics is dramatically expanding, from the traditional industrial applications to pervasive robotics in everyday life, the robot companion, assistant, co-worker, the smart (robotic) transports, hospitals, cities, as well as to the growing branches of extreme robotics for space, underwater, rescue, fire and any disastrous event generating unhealthy and dangerous environment for humans. This is clearly acknowledged by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) which has published their 2011 statistics book in two volumes, splitting industrial and service robotics, showing the strategic relevance that service robotics is taking. The worldwide market of service and pervasive robotics, of about 3 B€ in 2010, is foreseen to reach 15 B€ per year in 2015 (UNECE, IFR) and to overcome 55 B€ by 2025 (EUROP, IFR). Following a report of the Financial Times, based on IFR data and market evidences, the market of industrial robots is expected to double and reach 25 B€ by 2015 while the growing market of service robots will clearly overtake it in 2018, with companies in service robotics concentrated in North America and Asia.

To gain a predominant position in the future market of robotics, the transfer and cooperation between research and industry in Europe must be dramatically improved, and the European research and industry must build strategic partnerships in Asia, where manufacturing is and will be concentrated for several decades in the future.



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