In my latest column at Forbes …
A decade ago the DARPA Robotics Challenge pumped tens of millions of dollars of investment into American robotics innovation, stimulating development of everything from humanoid robots to self-driving cars. Today overall government investment seems to be slowing, putting U.S. robotics leadership at risk in a world that is rapidly building better humanoid and other form factor robots. That’s in spite of past success that has made the U.S. a hotbed of humanoid robotic development.
“I think the race is on,” Apptronik CEO Jeff Cardenas told me recently in a TechFirst podcast. “I think one of the reasons that you see the U.S. leading right now is because the U.S. government has invested so much money.”
The problem: that funding was a decade or more ago. And now it’s drying up.