Robert J. Eaton, chairman and CEO of Chrysler Corp., on July 1 becomes chairman, too, of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). A mechanical engineer, Eaton has held corporate positions in various areas of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and General Motors--including engineering, manufacturing, product planning, and quality and reliability. He has been a member of NAE since 1989 and has served on NAE's Industry Advisory Board since 1994. What does Eaton plan to do in his two-year term as NAE chairman? His primary goal, he says, will be to draw attention to the national need for well-trained engineers, both at the college level and through K-12 programs. "Students are lacking in technical literacy," he explains. "This country cannot afford to overlook this problem any longer, especially as our society becomes increasingly dependent on technology."
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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