Robotics crypt? Expectations?

In another thread, someone mentioned that robotics seems in the decline. While I agree, I also wonder why.
Maybe it is expectations vs possibilities.
In the first Star Wars, R2D2 seemed doable. In the late 70s and 80s, robots on the screen were obviously guys in suits or interesting boxes that pretty much could be built by you or me.
These days, Roomba, does pretty much what a lot of hobby robots will eventually be able to do. Then there is peer ridicule, "Hey look what I did?" "Yea, so, my Roomba can do THAT." Even getting a robot to balance on two wheels is kind of a hollow victory, "So what, you built a segway."
I mentioned this earlier, maybe it is like electronics hobbyists, gone with Heathkit. People no longer want to build things?
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I don't think that robotics is in decline, I see enthusiasm and new products out there all time! FIRST, BEST, FLL, etc. all are based on robotics. There are dozens of active clubs all over the US and the world. The sumo competitions are active, the biped BOBO-ONE competitions are the belle of the ball these days, everyone wants one! We've got so much interest that an RC controller leader Hitec came out with a kick butt Robo-one style robot kit. We've got more toys than we know what to do with and even LEGO has come out with a really new Mindstorms. The energy is there, the people are there, the products are there - why the doldrums folks?
What has really happened is that with the internet to hand and broadband being everywhere we're ALL linked together all of the time. We don't all come together in one place, there are hundreds of places to go and we're all too busy to visit them all. As was mentioned before, we have: Yahoo groups (all pretty active) Blogs chat rooms local groups regional meets our OWN interests...
That's a lot of stuff for a single person to keep up with!
The world has changed and we've not been able to come up with a good way to all keep in touch. Time has speeded up, we're all going so fast we've no time to do everything we want. For better or worse, the original ones of us that got the ball rolling out there have also gotten older, had kids and FURTHER diversified our interests! Things go in cycles because we have to wait for the kids to grow up and in. This isn't a smooth continuum you know, live evolution, it goes in jumps!
I'm not discouraged by anything but the availability of time!
IMO, YMMV, DLC (heh, my other interestests are here: http://users.frii.com/dlc/brendan/brendan.html which helps to explain my sporadic activities!)
DLC
: In another thread, someone mentioned that robotics seems in the decline. : While I agree, I also wonder why.
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* Dennis Clark snipped-for-privacy@frii.com www.techtoystoday.com *
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"Dennis Clark" wrote <snip>

<snip>
I agree with Dennis, from my own experience. I believe I am a newbie to intermediate roboticist (if not for accumulated knowledge, at least for the time I spend trying to build my robot). I started my project a bit more than a year ago, and I depend a lot on the internet to extract knowledge and wisdom. Happens that as the robotic field is so wide, the internet is likewise spread. For example, when I'm designing an electronics board using my CAD tool, I'll go to eagle's newsgroup to ask a question. When the issue is with my microcontroller, I'll go to the piclist, and so on. Nevertheless, I check this newsgroup everyday because there are a lot of good people here willing to spend time answering my stupid questions.
I believe that on the contrary, general public interest on robotics is increasing. New publications are flourishing (I just received the #1 issue of Robot), number of kits is increasing and etc. Although, at some point, hobby roboticists will start struggling with the need of deeper knowledge. Following a line is one thing, but creating a vision algorithm to detect landmark objects is something else.
Cheers
Padu
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I'm working on a CPU/motherboard combo with: auto nav (assembly) PID (assembly) vision (assembly)
should be done in 6 months... put it on your base with wheels/sensors, and you've got an autonomous robot :-)
the goal is $150 price. should be no problem.
has video output, keyboard input, so you can program on the robot...
ethernet will be an add-on
Rich
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in nevada county/placer county (california) sierra college community college just started "mechatronics" class, due to industry demand.
mechatronics is a fancy word for computer controlled mechanical things... IE robots, CNC, etc.
it isn't declining... it's just starting to catch on.
Rich
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Indeed! Factory automation is a HUGE industry. If you're not afraid of a little bit of machine oil and grease, you can command $100K plus salaries in many markets. As American car makers retool to largely automated plants, there will be considerable activity here.
I know a LA-based consultant that works part-time (because he can) as a automation troubleshooter, and he makes $180/hour.
-- Gordon
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mlw wrote:

Decline??!! Not at all!
I'm not the first to notice that robotics has the same energy and widespread appeal that PCs did in the mid '70. This industry is just starting.
To be sure, we have a long way to go. Glorified radio control cars and line following toys that dominate the discussions today will give way to real vision systems with sophisticated responses. The computers and systems that appeared on Stanley, the Grand Challenge winner, need to become the minimum base for all of our future designs.
Bob Smith
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Bob Smith wrote:

I think you perhaps misread the posts. The comment was not that robotics itself seems in decline, but rather this particular usenet group.
dpa
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