According to the rankings of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2003-2004, the U.S. is well prepared for sustained economic growth, though not quite as much as first-ranked Finland. The rankings take into account a country's macroeconomic environment, quality of the country's institutions, state of the country's technology, and supporting infrastructure. The U.S., while performing well in the technology area, is weakened somewhat in quality of public institutions and macroeconomic environment; public finances, in particular, rank the U.S. 50th of the 102 surveyed countries. For more information, go to www.weforum.org/gcr2003.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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.