Director's foreword(2013)

International Center of Excellence in Intelligent Robotics and Automation Research ( NTU-iCeiRA) has been achieved short-term success in the second year. In order to provide information services for cooperative partners and relevant academic institutions, NTU-iCeiRA releases the first issue of e-paper which integrated whole domestic and foreign trends and research findings of center. Moreover, we expect that the quarterly e-paper could help to promote intelligent robots and the development of forward-looking technology.

International Federation of Robotics( IFR) pointed out that industrial robot, medical robot, domestic( household) robot and entertainment robot industries had growth potential. According to development trend, the current e-paper is focus on cognitive robotics and intelligent automation of key technologies. In addition, it mentions about technical information of the integration of manufacturing automation of intelligent robots, medical and health care robots and intelligent service robots.

The high demand for industrial robots is continuing from 2013 to 2016. In 2013, global robot sales will increase by about 2% to 162,000 units. Besides, worldwide robot sales will increase by about 6% on average per year between 2014 and 2016 Furthermore, the annual supply of industrial robots will reach more than 190,000 units.

Medical robots are the most valuable service robots and the most important applications of them are robot assisted surgery and therapy. Sales of medical robots increased by 20% compared to 2011 to 1308 units in 2012, accounting for a share of 8% of the total unit sales of professional service robots. The total value of sales of medical robots increased by 10% to US$ 1,495 million, accounting for 44% of the total sales value of the professional service robots.

In 2012, according to the IFR Statistical Department, it was estimated that two million domestic robots, which include vacuum and floor cleaning, lawn-mowing robots, were sold 15% more than in 2011 and the value was about US$697 million. Moreover, as for entertainment and leisure robots, including toy robots, hobby systems, education and research, was about 1.1 million units were counted in 2012, 29% more than in 2011. Therefore, the increasing sales of robots indicate the continued strong growth of service robotics in this field.

The development of intelligent robots and automation industry is expected to become to trillion-dollar industry. In addition to improving the quality of human life, it is also an important foundation for industrial development. By reaching to humanization, intelligent and international development trends, for Taiwan, it would be an important opportunity for the next generation to become worldwide product design and manufacture of intelligent robots and application services center in 2020. Also, by promoting intelligent robots and automation industry to become the leading industry and create high added value.