Kiva Systems Inc
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?
Let's dig into the latest activities of one visionary robotics expert who's so engrossed in the field, he once told a reporter he winced when RoboCop went "belly up"...