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Increased funding is essential, they said, if Europe is to exploit robotics' vast economic potential and compete with projects in the United States, Japan, and South Korea.
Each year, the commission and EU nations combined spend $100 million on robotics research. Japan and Korea each spend about the same, while the United States spends up to $500 million — largely because of the huge demand for military-related robotics, researchers and EU officials say.
In contrast, several robotics experts said, Japanese projects tend to be showier in hopes of making a media impact and attracting funding.
The Cyberhand team and other European robotics research groups have been more apprehensive than the Japanese about bringing robotic technology into everyday life