Why is the U.S. government getting so concerned about international standards? Growing numbers of U.S. firms are finding trade gates swung shut as compliance with standards developed overseas becomes the price of admission. So complains NIST Director Raymond Kammer. Equally disturbing is the way foreign firms determine conformity with their standards. U.S. companies often must demonstrate adherence not just through testing at home, but also by duplicate, costly, and time-consuming testing overseas. "It is fair to say that European governments and industries believe they can create a competitive advantage in world markets by strongly influencing the content of international standards," Kammer contends. "Europe does have a strategy, and it is up running at full throttle."
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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