Having been on the same NASA trip, Steve, I can second your statement that the engineers and the programs there are astounding. If there is still time, I strongly encourage readers to take the few minutes to put their names into the contest. As we saw on our trip, there are no strings attached. Littlefuse treated the contest winners likes kings and queens.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.