"Within 10 years, there will not be any such thing as a 'robot' because everything we have will be robotic," said Keay, the managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, a membership organization whose mission is to promote innovation and commercialization of the robotics industry.
The group organizes events, such as meetings between investors and startups, and has co-hosted the Robot Block Party at Stanford University.
Keay, whose background is in researching human-robot interaction, said one challenge facing the industry is a talent shortage, caused by roboticists being in high demand by other industries, such as software, mobile and aeronautics.
"They can have skillsets that can go across platforms: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science," Keay said.
She also said high levels of student debt could contribute to a slower pace of innovation, providing a motivation for recent grads to choose a stable, well-paying job over the uncertain prospect of a startup.
But Keay said as the costs of launching a startup decrease, she expects the availability and affordability of useful robots at the consumer level to increase.
Concerns of the broader technology sector — such as patents and work visas — are also shared by the robotics industry, Keay said.
The three-year-old organization is currently conducting an industry survey to help it set a policy agenda.