Robotics Overview • History • Current Applications • Future • Social Implications • Further Readings
Menial Labor • Robot, which is derived from a Czech word meaning "menial labor," got its modern meaning from a 1920 play, R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), by Czech playwright Karel Capek (1890-1938).
The Meaning of Robots - What Defines a Machine as a Robot? "A dictionary defines 'robot' as a mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human, and is capable of performing a variety of often-complex human tasks on command, or by being programmed in advance. But engineering professor Ken Goldberg of the University of California at Berkeley has a more exact definition. 'It responds to its environment and it can manipulate its environment. It can do things,' he says, in reference to modern dishwashers that can sense how dirty the dishes are and change its own settings accordingly." According to the Robot Institute of America (1979) a robot is:"A reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through various programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks". According to Webster a robot is:"An automatic device that performs functions normally ascribed to humans or a machine in the form of a human." Joseph Engelberger, a pioneer in industrial robotics, once remarked "I can't define a robot, but I know one when I see one."
What It Takes to Make a Robot full size
History • With Pictures • Business Week • The BBC
Applications: Robots are creeping into mainstream society and could become a multibillion-dollar market in a few years. The UNECE report predicts that the biggest growth over the next three years will be in domestic robots • Examples: Roomba, Electrolux’s talking washing machine, Robomower, Ralph: The Home Assistant, cye
Manufacturing • Manufacturing: Industrial robots go back over 40 years, when they first began to be used by carmakers. Unimate, the first industrial robot, went to work for General Motors in 1961. ... Industrial robotics is a $5.6 billion industry, growing by around 7% a year. • Examples: industries
Service Robots Robots serving humans : • Hazardous Tasks: HazBot, Houdini, Pioneer • Space Exploration:NASA, ERA • Military: R-Gator, PackBot, SUGV, DARPA Grand Challenge, Talon • Entertainment: Japanese humanoid robots, Robosapien, Aibo dog, a few others • Health Care: da Vinci Surgical System, care for the elderly such as carebot, cyborgs • Agricultural Robots • Research
Benefits of Robotics • Robots offer specific benefits to workers, industries and countries. Industrial robots can improve the quality of life by freeing workers from dirty, boring, dangerous and heavy labor. Robots can cause unemployment by replacing human workers but robots also create jobs: robot technicians, salesmen, engineers, programmers and supervisors.The benefits of robots to industry include improved management control and productivity and consistently high quality products. Industrial robots can work tirelessly night and day on an assembly line without an loss in performance. They can greatly reduce the costs of manufactured goods. As a result, countries that effectively use robots in their industries will have an economic advantage on world market.
The Future • William "Red" Whittaker from CMU believes that the economics of the robot market could function a lot like those of the PC industry in 20 or so years. • Jonathan Fowler: By the end of the decade, the study said, “robots will not only clean our floors, mow our lawns and guard our homes but also assist old and handicapped people with sophisticated interactive equipment, carry out surgery, inspect pipes and sites that are hazardous to people, fight fire and bombs.'" • Humaniod pieces • The most important piece
Ethics and Robotics in the 21st Century • Four Questions • More Questions • Will Spiritual Robots Replace Humanity By 2100? • Will Robots Inherit the Earth?
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