The robotics industry faces many of the same challenges that the personal computer business faced 30 years ago. Because of a lack of common standards and platforms, designers usually have to start from scratch when building their machines.
Another challenge is enabling robots to quickly sense and react to their environments. Recent decreases in the cost of processing power and sensors are allowing researchers to tackle these problems.
Robot builders can also take advantage of new software tools that make it easier to write programs that work with different kinds of hardware. Networks of wireless robots can tap into the power of desktop PCs to handle tasks such as visual recognition and navigation.