You are at Topic Wiki - Robots -> Future advancements of robots
(Courtesy of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
Listed below are the various robotic fields under intense research and development:
Honda's Research & Development robotics program
On the year 1986, Honda announced an ambitious research program: to invent revolutionary two-legged humanoid robots with immense mobility that will benefit humankind and live in harmony with people. In that year, Honda released its first robot, the E0 model. Since then, Honda has been very successful with its project and released newer and better robots with greater mobility. In the year 1993, Honda released their first P series robot to replace the E series models. In the millennium year, Honda came out with a robot that marked a milestone in their project, the ASIMO. Newer models of ASIMO has been released until this day, and better models will be rolled out in the future.
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Domo is a robot being developed in MIT by Aaron Edsinger that is capable of handling many manual tasks that robots could never have done before. The feature that differentiate Domo from the many robotic projects ongoing nowadays is its emphasis on safe manipulation in a human environment.
Domo is different from other robots as it "has compliant, force sensing actuators (SEA) through out its body from the neck down. These actuators tradeoff precise, stiff position control for safe, compliant force control".1 The project is a good indication of a future with closer human-robot interaction.
The idea of a future where cars drive themselves have been widely imagined and discussed by people all over the world. A classic fictional example is the Batmobile, which can drive itself to Batman's location.
Cybercars are road vehicles envisioned with fully autonomous driving. They are being developed under a host of projects with multi-billion budget supported by the European Union.
Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)
Personal Rapid Transit is being developed by many countries around the world. It has the potential to completely revolutionize today's transportation system. It is a crossover between personal and public transport system, with various advantages:
- Public transport with personal space
- Very energy efficient
- Cheap and light railway can be built overhead above existing roads
- No stops toward destination
- Final stop is off main railway - will not interrupt main traffic
This project is still under testing.
Robonaut is a humanoid robot created under the DARPA-NASA project. It is intended for EVA (extra-vehicular activity) use. It is not designed to be a stand alone robot but more of a helper role in space activity. It has to be in humanoid form to carry out some of astronaut's tasks and researchers hope to make it more dexterous than a suit wearing astronaut. It currently is still being tested on Earth in space simulation test.
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA)
Refers to activity conducted in outer space by astronauts outside the spacecraft. There is inherent risks in EVA (e.g. collision with space debris traveling at very high velocity) which endanger the astronauts. Hence, Robonaut could one day be able to replace human in EVA.
Swarm robotics is a new field in robotics studying the coordination between simple robotic devices in a system that consists of a "swarm" of robots.
A research project by iRobot, the company which brings us Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot. Sentinel system consists of multiple tank like robots which can navigate in coordination to each other to reach a specific way point using a specific path. The tiny tanks have collision prevention and detect their positions using a combined GPS/INS system.