This is but one example of semis/nanotech lowering research costs dramatically. These self guided sailing drones do ocean research for less than one tenth the cost of a ship and like any other tech, the costs will continue to drop. This combination of robotics/automation/semi/nanotech is but one example of feeding on itself to continuously lower cost and in increase functionality at an ever accelerating rate. This trend now as to be taken into account on almost any project of any type now and because it is feeding on itself and this will have to taken into account more and more as time goes on. This "Great Acceleration" is creating a moving target in everything that is always moving at an accelerating rate. Keeping track of these trends and how they impact almost all projects will become a science unto itself and I see a future for companies who sell timelines to other companies to figure out the road map to follow so the literally don't fall into a trap of changing technology that causes their products to become obsolete before they even pay for their research costs for the company and their operating cost for the customer. This will create a whole new field of business intelligence in and of itself. There are numerous examples of companies that have fallen into this trap in the past and unless changes are made, ever more companies will have the same fate. New ways of increasing utilization will be needed to assure faster and faster pay backs. Product will not be sold, but use procured on a subscription, rental and sharing basis with ever more business models of increasing utilization in new and imaginative ways. TSM has done this internally by taking leading edge technologies and applying them to older fabs per Morris Chang in a conference call.

Fleet of sailboat drones could monitor climate change’s effect on oceans | Science | AAAS