Robotics technology has created many never-before-seen applications over the last decade. But even now, people still easily expect more than what a robot is actually capable of. To shorten the cognition gap, robots need to be more intelligent, flexible and safe, which is one of the challenges I have been researching and working on for more than 10 years. This article discusses the limitations of existing technology and introduces the concept of adaptive robots, which I believe to be the right direction a robot should evolve towards.
The limits of existing robots
Industrial robots have been used to automate all kinds of production lines for more than 60 years. Traditional industrial robots are designed for fast and precise position control. They are perfect for tasks that can be fully described as a trajectory – for example, moving an object from point A to point B, cutting a circle on a metal part, painting a car shell, etc.
For tasks like these, robots are far more capable than humans in terms of speed and accuracy, thanks to their well-developed hardware and control system.
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