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Pioneering small robot maker symbolises manufacturing’s “big wave surfer”

Ken Thurber, author of Big Wave Surfing, Extreme Technology Development, Management, Marketing and Investing, says today’s leaders need to recognise the tides of continual technological change and rebuild manufacturing.

"We’ll need to grab onto the big wave surfers who create technology and develop innovative manufacturing schemes. We can rebuild our economy but we must embrace change and disruption," says Thurber.

According to Thurber, up to now, big wave surfing has been unique to technology but this ‘experience’ is now extending to the manufacturing sector. "A major part of our standard of living is based on having, conceiving, exploiting, and developing the best and most advanced technologies," says Thurber. "The idea that America can sustain its traditional manufacturing base with our labour rates is simply an unrealistic dream. Yet we can succeed."

One such pioneer is the innovative and agile Minnesota-based ReconRobotics, a manufacturer of small robots designed for harsh environments. Manufactured and designed in the US, this company addressed a need for small, low-cost robots that can be placed in harm’s way and give emergency response units, law enforcement and military units advanced situational awareness.

ReconRobotics is one of the fastest-growing companies in the robot product space and maintains a dominant position in the area of low-cost small robots. Again, one of the key attributes of the company is the use of innovative manufacturing techniques and rapid product turnaround for new designs.

Thurber says, like the physical surfers who ply the big waves at a beach like mavericks, this new concept of manufacturing won’t "always be pretty and in fact it may be downright dangerous. There will be winners. There will be wipeouts and losers. But if we don’t boldly embrace the next wave, the innovation economy, then profound structural changes will occur in American society."

Kenneth J. Thurber developed the concept of "technology big wave surfing" to empower readers to understand and harness the opportunity of an ever-changing technological marketplace.

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