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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Robotics will be the next big industry for Taiwan

Johnny 5 robot from PlayRobot

Taiwan´s Vice President Vincent Siewat said at the first Taipei International Robot Show (TIROS), that the show not only serves as an important milestone but also indicates that robotics will be the next big industry. He cites Bill Gates who predicts that robotics is the next big industry. Siew said: "The prospects present in the robotics industry are the same as those in the personal computer industry when it was about to boom."

Chen Chao-yi, director general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Industrial Development Bureau, said Taiwan has the advantage to edge into the robot market in a short time, as it has a complete industrial supply chain and the ability to adjust to the fast-changing industry. The Industrial Development Bureau has already invested NT$35 million (US$1.11 million) to help companies develop robots and the investment is expected to generate an output value of NT$1.4 billion, according to Chen.

Taiwan's robot manufacturers are aiming for a share of the global market, which is worth a total of $17 billion annually, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Industrial robots are expected to increase from about 951,000 units by the end of 2006 to 1,173,300 by the end of 2010, representing an average annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, the IFR said.

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