I am absolutely astounded by what I have found out. Recently, I started a new business. I wanted to do two things- make small computer related devices and also start a live, over the web simulation. The simulation has a small robot in a "sound stage" that is laid out to mimic a setting such as the Moon or Mars. Classrooms can schedule "missions" and run them live and get results back, just as if they were using a real roverbot. Simple. Very easy to do, fun to set up and operate. Now, I get the quotes from insurance companies- most have utterly declined to provide coverage, and one quoted $10,000 per year, and another $30,000 per year! Come on, the building is only $900 per month and I have no employees- and my projection is no more than 5 employees within a year! They stated that the dangers were extremely substantial- like what the hell is going to happen, one of these little robots is going to go terminator and reach through the webcam and choke somebody? These things are confined to a stage setting, remotely operated by a computer, and are about as dangerous as a radio controlled car. What a damned racket the insurance business is- and no wonder that robots are stuck in the lab or in hobbyist's garages. I was essentially told that I could start a business but it would be pretty much bagging groceries.
Chip Shults My robotics, space and CGI web page -