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The Future of Robotics

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 20, 2012

Ever seen Battlestar Galactica? It looks like we’re headed for that world in short order. Several leading developers are making leaps in robotics technologies even as you’re reading this, and the pace is only picking up.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently bought out Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva creates warehouse “picking” automatons, which can be used to replace carousels and conveyor belts in warehouse operations, eliminating jams. Amazon’s annual warehouse cost runs around $3.5 billion, but the acquisition is bound to have a positive effect on reducing the cost.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Roomba might also develop an intimate relationship. The Boston-based iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), which makes the cute (or terrifying) housecleaning robotic vacuums, is working on “Ava,” a five-foot, three-wheeled robot.

Ava will use an Apple iPad as its ‘brain,’ and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox Kinect sensors will serve as its ‘eyes’. The applications are numerous and enticing to think about, but MarketWatch specifies office work as the bot’s primary intended use.

And taking inspiration from these developments is Quantum International Corp.(PINK: QUAN), which is keeping a sharp eye out on the robotics market for potential acquisitions.

The company is currently researching the Polish Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP) for a possible marketing and/or development arrangement.

PIAP works on a variety of robotic applications in everything from defense to post-disaster recovery and cleanup work.

MarketWatch quotes Quantum CEO Robert Federowicz:

“Amazon clearly sees the potential exhibited by the next generation of robotics solutions, and so does Quantum International. The future for the robotics industry is very bright, with an explosion of better, smarter automation technologies poised to revolutionize robotics just as Apple’s iPhone technology revolutionized telecommunications.

“There is no doubt in our minds that robotics will be the next tech sector to explode. We’re working hard to position Quantum to capitalize on the coming robotics revolution just as Amazon and iRobot have done.”

Quantum today is still in the emergent phase, but it seems to be laying down the groundwork to make some very interesting developments in the area of commercial robotics applications.