17Robotics, drones, and 3D/4D printing technologies

Introduction

The overarching theme of the digital technologies discussed in this chapter is the ability to outsource surveillance (e.g. drone-based surveillance), physical actions or activities (e.g. robot-based action), and manufacturing (e.g. 3D printed objects) to smart machines (e.g. drones, robots, 3D printers). These capabilities of drones, robots, and 3D printers represent significant product innovation, cost saving, productivity improvement, operational effectiveness, risk mitigation, customer experience enhancement, staff engagement optimization, and organization agility opportunities. While initially seen by many as fads or playthings, commercial applications of these technologies ...

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