30 Dec '12, 7am

Robotics Trends for 2012 via @IEEESpectrum

Robots typically fall somewhere on a spectrum between direct teleoperation and full autonomy. Unfortunately, teleoperation can be cumbersome, and full autonomy is often illusive. Somewhere in the middle lies a compelling trade-off, where humans and co-robots collaborate to perform practical tasks, such as delivering medication to a person (pictured below). Co-robots are at the heart of the $70 million National Robotics Initiative (NRI) and they represent a definitive step toward robots migrating out of factories and academic labs and into our everyday lives. According to the NRI , co-robots must be safe, relatively cheap, easy to use, available everywhere, and interact with humans to “leverage their relative strengths in the planning and performance of a task.” “A lot of us are turning our attention in that direction,” said a researcher from our panel of experts. (No wonde...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hard...

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