There are three tech trends that are impacting the industry positively and certainly Moore’s Law is one of them. What Moore’s Law means to the robot industry is that things like machine vision become more affordable for robots. So robots will have a better ability to understand their environments and take on more complex tasks and higher-value missions.
The second is the video gaming industry. The Xbox game sensor made by PrimeSense is an incredibly disruptive sensor because now for a very low cost–under $100–your robot can have a gestural interface. The multibillion-dollar game industry is investing in gestural interfaces at a scale of investment inaccessible to the robot industry at this point.
The last and certainly the biggest trend is the mobile computing revolution where the mobile industry is now solving problems that the robot industry thought it had to solve. So voice and video over IP, machine vision, object recognition, human-independent voice recognition, very sophisticated man-machine interfaces.