Robotics development and commercialization reached new highs in 2016, with notable events including Google DeepMind’s victory at board game Go, Midea Group’s acquisition of industrial automation leader KUKA, and national strategies such as “Make in India.” As with other technologies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is at the forefront of robotics innovation. DARPA robot funding could have wide-ranging effects.
Among other things, the U.S. Department of Defense’s research and development agency launched the Internet in 1969, the Global Positioning System in 1973, and some of the first digital maps in 1979. These three inventions make modern-day robotics possible.
“That’s what we’re looking for every day: breakthrough technologies that will give an advantage to our war fighters,” said Stephen H. Walker, acting DARPA director, at an event at Harvard University last week. “Part of what we do is to invest in technology, but we never forget who we’re working for. The war fighter is our customer, and what we do is about protecting the nation.”
DARPA hasn’t slowed down but in fact has been actively pursuing numerous robotics and AI projects in the past year. Here are five DARPA robot projects that start with military systems and could affect the entire industry.
The global military robotics market will grow to $21.11 billion by 2020, predicts Markets and Markets, and the U.S. defense budget is also expected to grow.
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