When it comes to breakthroughs in the fast-moving robotics field, the mainstream media is once again bringing up the rear.
Last week, the major news outlets were abuzz with details about how two patients paralyzed from the neck down used their minds to control robots.
No doubt, this is a worthy breakthrough. On the other hand…
I first wrote about a similar case back in early January, four months before the New York Times got onto the story. That’s when my report on how the tech sector delivers life-changing gains ran on our sister website, Money Morning.
In fact, I got so much great feedback on that and other stories like it, I decided to launch the Era of Radical Change.
I mention this not to brag, but to remind you that by subscribing, you really will learn about key trends in cutting-edge tech long before the general public.
And that’s clearly true when it comes to robots. Just two weeks ago I wrote to tell you how a new series of smart machines will have a profound impact on the world around us.
Here’s what I said:
“Robots of all sizes are already capable of doing some very complex tasks: They can perform surgery, hair transplants, and even climb inside the human body – through the mouth – to “eat” stomach cancers.”
You may recall that I also told you to keep an eye on Heartland Robotics, a startup based in Boston that I believe is a good IPO candidate. The firm says it will produce a range of machines that will serve as “the PC” of robots.
Today, I’d like to tell you about another startup that’s pushing the boundaries of the robotics revolution.
You may not live or work with any robots today… but you will soon.
The robotics market is about to explode.
I predict that, in the next few years, we will see swarms of robots entering the workplace. Of course, we’ve had bots working in factories for years now. But as they get both cheaper and smarter, we will find lots of new jobs for them to do. And they’ll do those jobs better and better.
Robots of all sizes are already capable of doing some very complex tasks: They can perform surgery, hair transplants, and even climb inside the human body – through the mouth – to “eat” stomach cancers.
To understand the scale of the robotics revolution, just look at what’s happening in China.
Cheap labor in that nation not only stole U.S. jobs, it vaulted China to the front ranks of fast-growing markets. But now robots are invading Chinese factories in a big way. Take the case of Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., which is based in Taiwan and makes electronic components and other goods for big computer firms (it supplies parts for the iPad, iPhone, Xbox, and Kindle).
Well, Foxconn announced it plans to buy enough robots to replace roughly half the firm’s 1.2 million workers in China. This is the largest robotics rollout in the history.
The trade group the International Federation of Robotics says there are about one million industrial robots now in use around the world. So, based on Foxconn’s rollout alone – one company in one country – we know that figure is set to more than double by the end of the decade.
The robotics revolution is here.
So what’s a clever tech investor to do?
iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) made the right decision.
And the Pentagon just proved it.
The small-cap robotics leader knows only too well it needs to increase its private sector sales as America works to cut defense spending.
That’s why iRobot Corp. has reorganized to target the health care, retail and security industries.
For investors, the timing couldn’t be better.
After all, the Defense Department has announced several new robotics breakthroughs in recent days.
This shows the U.S. military is still completely committed to using robots to win the War of the Future.
But now that American troops have left Iraq, the Pentagon’s top brass is pinching pennies like never before.
And yet… it has new robots to brag about.
Here’s a 100 billion reasons why space technology should be on your radar screen -especially if you’re interested in robotics.
According to the journal Nature, the Milky Way Galaxy alone contains at least 100 billion planets.
Now forgive me if I sound excited…but that is huge.
After all, just 20 years ago, astronomers still widel y believed that our own tiny solar system contained allof the major planets.
So when I talk about how we are entering an Era of Radical Change, this is exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s not about tiny incremental changes but gigantic shifts in thought.
And here is something else to ponder…
With all of this new data, scientists now believe the universe may contain more than 150 billion galaxies. The math is enough to make your head spin.
How Nuclear-Powered Robots Are Winning the New Space Race
All this brings to mind one key point: The odds that we are alone in the universe grow smaller and smaller every day.
That puts us on the cusp of a New Space Race – one that will undoubtedly favor robots.
That’s why I think NASA’s new Spidernaut is such an important piece of technology. It’s an eight-legged robot that looks like it crawled right out of a sci-fi movie.
NASA plans to use these robots to help construct a new generation of space-science platforms that are so large and fragile they’ll have to be built in orbit.
As it turns out, spiders are really nimble creatures. NASA designed the prototype arachnid robot to have the grace and weight distribution of real spiders.
If the technology works as planned, these giant spider robots would crawl across a “web” of space tethers so as not to damage delicate equipment.
Now how cool is that?…
It all goes to show you that despite the soft global economy and budget cuts, we’ve actually never had more interest in space exploration.
But this time it’s not just the United States and Russia. Indeed, China, India and Japan are also funding major programs.
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