Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Futurist Forecasts Robot Revolution

Paul Saffo is the director of think tank Institute of The Future, member of the Association of Professional Futurists and renowned technology forecaster. He was recently interviewed by Michelle Quinn for the silicon Valley newspaper Mercury News.

He is expecting that robots will take off in popularity like PC's. Partly his conclusions are based on the popularity of the Roomba vacuum cleaner robot and the friendly, accepting relationships people make with them. But also on the technological advances in sensors...

Every decade is shaped by a cheap enabling technology. The 1980s were shaped by cheap microprocessors and the poster child was the personal computer. The '90s were shaped by cheap lasers and the poster child was the World Wide Web.

This decade is being shaped by cheap sensors, eyes, ears and sensory organs for our machines.

The next big consumer phenomenon -- the big revolution that will surprise everyone -- robots. The geek on the cover of Business Week and Time is going to be someone making robots.

The cover of Business week will be a robot-building geek? Why not a robot? It will be even more telling when we see Asimo on the cover of 'People'.

MercuryNews.com | 06/11/2006 | Peeking at what's around the corner


Blogger Al Brown said...

Saffo is absolutely right. Once cheap robots can do many different things, the average person will find robots to be well worth the purchase price. The key is programable robotic platforms that create an ecosystem for application developers.

11:15 PM, June 13, 2006  

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