In the area of “human-friendly machines”, we can expect advances in robot-assisted surgery, and implantable sensors and actuators. Other areas that will benefit from mechatronic advances may include robotics, manufacturing, space technology, and transportation. The future of mechatronics is wide open.
It is definitely a deliberately provocative front cover heading designed to attract attention – ‘the rise of the drones’. The Air Force dislikes the term ‘drone’ mainly because of the media headlines about drone strikes taking out Taliban insurgents that imply that drones are autonomous robots, all-seeing omnipotent machines that find and destroy their targets without human input.