Experts Warn of Technology Drain; seek federal intervention
Washington, May 21, 2009 Robotics have the potential within the next decade to become as prevalent as computers in daily American life, but the country lags behind others worldwide in recognizing the importance of this technology.
In a report released today, titled National Robotics Technology Roadmap, (link forthcoming) a group of 140 experts from industry, federal laboratories, and leading academic institutions assert the United States lags behind other countries in its ability to compete economically unless more investment is made in this technology.
To address this issue, the Roadmap urges Congress to increase spending in the FY 2010 budget and calls on the Obama administration to establish a high profile position at the White House to coordinate and integrate robotics policy throughout government.
Unfortunately, the United States lags behind other countries in recognizing the importance of robotics technology. While the European Union, Japan, Korea and the rest of the world have made significant R&D investments in robotics technology, the U.S. investment, outside unmanned systems for defense purposes, remains practically non-existent. Unless this situation can be addressed in the near future, the United States runs the risk of relinquishing its ability to globally compete in these emerging markets putting the nation at risk of having to rely on the rest of the world to provide a critical technology that our population will become increasingly dependent upon.
Robotics technology holds the potential to transform the future of the country. The next generation robotech industry will affect the lives of every American and have an enormous economic, social and political impact on our future. Human-robot interaction is central to many of the most exciting application of robots, including the use of medical robots, assistive robotics, prosthetics, rehabilitation, transportation, human augmentation, entertainment and education. Other applications on the horizon include factory and military robots, domestic service robots, a team of search and rescue robots and exoskeleton man-amplifiers the report explained.
The National Robotics Technology Roadmap was the result of an unprecedented level of cooperation among members of the business community and academia. This effort was led by the Computing Community Consortium and sponsored by the Computing Research Association via a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The Computing Research Association is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies. For more information, visit www.cra.org.
The Computing Community Consortium is an activity of CRA that supports the computing research community in creating compelling research visions and the mechanisms to realize these visions. For more, visit www.cra.org/ccc