Could Apple products revolutionize robotics?
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Could Apple products revolutionize robotics?

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich recently suggested that Apple could eventually move into the home robotics market -- though such a move is likely more than a decade away. As Quantum International ( works to capitalize on hot new trends in the booming robotics sector, the company says the Apple technology in your pocket could be poised to spark a billion-dollar explosion in demand for new robotics products.

"Robots for the home would represent a new category, require substantial innovation, and leverage Apple's ease-of-use knowledge and brand." He believes that Siri could be key here, with the voice tool likely to play an increased role in future Apple products," Milunovich said. "We’re already seeing the first wave of high-potential ideas emerge in robotic toys.”

The folks at Quantum International thinks Apple iPads and iPhones, the same devices that have revolutionized personal computing and communications, could soon do the same for a wide variety of robots. With their groundbreaking combination of sensors, CPU, display and network connectivity, modern smartphones and tablets have all the makings of compact, powerful robotic brains.

An increasing number of gifted roboticists are turning to Apple devices to program, control and connect their projects. So the incredible wave of innovation in mobile technology could be set to drive new, smarter robots out of the lab and into the marketplace. Quantum is already making plans to capitalize on this highly promising trend.

"We’re already seeing the first wave of high-potential ideas emerge in robotic toys," says Quantum CEO Robert Federowicz. "New products such as Orbotix’s Sphero toy and Parrot's AR.Drone quadrotor helicopter have revealed just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential for smartphone- and tablet-ready robots. We think consumer demand for iPhone-controlled robots could increase very sharply as the technology improves, and we’re working to position Quantum on the ground floor of this entirely new category."

Even Apple itself could potentially be getting into the robotics industry soon, he thinks. The talking voice assistant technology known as Siri is already built into the electronics giant’s popular iPhone 4s product and could one day prove to be an invaluable piece of a truly game-changing line of user-friendly robots.

-- Dennis Sellers

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