Robotic Industries Association (www.roboticsonline.com) has reported that robot sales in North America rose by 19 percent in 2003 from the prior year. A total of 12,367 robots valued at $876.5 million were ordered, the RIA says, and the value reaches $913 million when orders from outside North America are considered. According to the RIA, which now tracks orders by the end-user industries, the 2003 figures show that 68 percent of the North American robots went to automotive-related applications, while 32 percent went to non-automotive markets such as food and consumer goods, plastics and rubber, life sciences, and electronics. Meanwhile, material handling remained the largest application area for 2003 North American robot orders.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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