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Driven by advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence and deep learning, the mobile robots market is projected to grow to $54.1 billion by 2023 from $18.7 billion last year, according to Markets and Markets. But for robotics to progress, security for the internet of things (IoT) needs to be addressed fast, before the reputation of the entire industry suffers a permanent setback.

Every industry segment has a journey to maturity that involves ramping up how seriously it takes security. For robotics, that time has come. Failing to start robotics projects on the right software foundations will see confidence continue to drop, impeding the rate at which new solutions are created.

The future of robotics rests firmly on the shoulders of the IoT. Robots act as one part of intelligent ecosystems—they depend on IoT to link various sensors and smart meters, and pass data to and from third parties.

The self-driving car, for example, is a robot orchestrated by various smaller devices and smart sensors. In fact, robots are being created to tackle every conceivable problem. Take the Google-funded RangerBot, an underwater machine designed to track down a species of starfish responsible for coral reef destruction, or Small Robot Company, a startup tackling farming deficiencies with bots that autonomously feed, seed and weed arable crops.

However, while IoT is an established concept and connected devices are now mainstream, its full potential has not been realized in part because of security concerns. Ninety percent of consumers lack confidence in connected devices, according to a recent survey. These concerns are more than valid, as nearly half of companies are unable to detect when a breach occurs, and only 15% of budgets are earmarked for IoT security.

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