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Mechanical technology, Past, Present, and Future

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  1. Robotics, Past, Present, and Future Susan Eileen Fox Macalester College September 5, 2004

  2. Science fiction robots

  3. Real-world robots Manufacturing, Security, and Exploration

  4. Real-world robots Consumer and Recreational

  5. Classes of robots • Deterministic • Human moves robot through task, robot replicates task • Remote-control • Human actively controls actions • Autonomous • Robot moves independently in the world • Assisted/Assistive • Robot assists human in controlling its actions

  6. Robotics in the past • 1960s: Shakey, first robot arm, SRI cart • 1970s: Voyager space probes, multi-legged robots • 1980s: improved communications and computers onboard! • 1990s: AAAI Robot Competition, Mars rover, Handyboard • 2000s: Affordable robot hardware and software

  7. Macalester robotics: Lego robots • Mindstorm and Handyboard controllers • Lego motors and parts • Sensors: • Touch sensors • Light sensors • Rotational sensors • Sonar and IR sensors • CMU Cam

  8. Macalester robotics: Lauren and Humphrey • Pioneer 2 DX robots • Onboard Linux computer • Wireless Ethernet • Forward and rear sonar sensors • Video camera • Gripper

  9. Current robotics research • Kismet (MIT) • Wheelesly (MIT) • Autonomous vehicles (CMU) • Mars robots (NASA)

  10. Current research test beds • Mars exploration • Robocup • AIBO movie • Search and Rescue

  11. Future of robotics: 10 years • Manufacturing: more “intelligent” robots move in • Security and exploration: • Patrol + surveillance • Miniaturization • More autonomous robots • Consumer and recreational robots: • Lawnmowers, vacuums, kitchen appliances become mainstream • Prosthetics and intelligence wheelchairs hit the market • Automated vehicles/Smart roads • Robot toys of increasing intelligence • NOT: true intelligence, androids, science fiction imaginings