|Credit: Google Car|
Robotics has developed from science fiction into a strategic technology to revitalize industries, secure welfare and develop society. In recent years new robotics visions and roadmaps have been developed by leading roboticists proposing new concepts such as Japanese "Humanoid Servants", Korean "Ubiquitous Robotic Companions", European "Soft, Sentient Robot Companions for Citizens", or American "Unmanned Robotic Army".
In a serie of reports Robotland will describe some global robotics trends to create awareness and insights that might affect markets, industry and society in the near future.
Military applications account for a growing number of robot installations. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world are betting big on the role of aerial drones. Especially in the United States the U.S. military has set clear goals on the capabilities of future unmanned systems. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it had just a handful of drones. Today, U.S. forces have around 7,000 unmanned vehicles in the air and an additional 12,000 on the ground, used for tasks including reconnaissance, airstrikes and bomb disposal. In 2009, for the first time, the U.S. Air Force trained more "pilots" for unmanned aircraft than for manned fighters and bombers.
Unmanned Ground Vehicles for Safer Trafic