Robots are part of our future!
There is no doubt about it; human evolution and performance are limited. Our intelligence and physical abilities are restricted and we cannot survive without vital nutrients, air and other elements, necessary for our frail human nature. Therefore it is vitally important we improve and protect our abilities, and what better way to do so, then with mechanically engineered devices.
nThe development of robots has helped us in our endeavors, be it for national defense purposes, on an industrial level where they are part of many manufacturing processes, or on a personal level at home where all kinds of gadgets help us in mastering our chores. But where is the world of robotics leading us? Will the world soon be overrun by androids, cyborgs and other automatons?
nPeople already rely on artificial intelligence in many aspects of their daily routine and even if most of them do not have humanlike features, they may surround us as cleaning tools, who know when to return to their docking station after their cleaning cycle is done, or when their battery runs low, or they may act as toys mimicking and behaving like favorite domesticated pets, to name just a few.
nIf science fiction gets it right, soon a multi-tasking robotic butler, complete with arms, legs and speech will become a common household feature. Many breakthroughs in the development of artificial interaction, locomotion, navigation, manipulation and intelligence have already been made, and various scientists are working equally hard on finalizing muscle-like, spring-based motors that will upgrade the limps of their mechanical life forms and increase their humanoid’s efficiency and reaction time. Progress in skin development has enabled more lifelike robotic hands to sense objects and their movement. This means that if a bottle would be slipping through the robot’s hand, the ‘speed bump’ sensors embedded in the skin would record the pressure change, react to it, and stop the bottle from falling.
nRobotic Science has come a long way and many laboratories have the structures to prove it. “Domo” is a robot like no other. Born and built at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Domo is the first robot able to give a hug. With less rigid ‘elastic actuators’ in his fingers, wrists, arms and neck, and joints that are more flexible than those used in other humanoids, this robot feels not only the object, but also its pressure and touch flexibility. This allows Domo to fine-tune its grip, make handshakes less ferocious and hugs more temperate.
Posted Date: 2008-12-04 21:31:37