Reporting Matt Brickman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A report out this week from the International Federation of Robotics is predicting big things for the robotics industry: 1 million jobs worldwide in the next five years.
“We’re just figuring out how to use these systems and the next 20 years is going to see a lot of different experimentation, a lot of different figuring out what works what doesn’t and most importantly who are going to be the big winners and losers,” said Peter W. Singer, author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.
On Thursday, leaders from the robotics industry came together to make sure the “winners” are in Minnesota.
“Minnesota is in a unique position to take advantage of that with its industrial base, its academic base & its historical success in electronics,” said Alan Bignall, President and CEO of Recon Robotics.
The applications are only growing, already in widespread use by the military, robotics is even spreading to farming.
On display Thursday was a robot that resembles a stealth fighter plane. Made of carbon fiber, it weighs only six pounds, but can travel up to 135 mph. It’s intended use is to fly over farmland so farmers can more efficiently manage their crops.
“It’s the beginning of a whole new industry, it’s not about there’s a magic bullet there tomorrow, but if we don’t position as a region to take advantage of it, we will miss this massive growth,” said Bignall.
If they’re successful, it could mean a big boost to the local and regional economy, according to Andrew Borene or Recon Robotics.
“I believe we could secure tens of thousands of jobs in the next decade in this industry.”