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    Exploratory

Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

able to grace,

execute much more complex routines with much greater

dexterity,

and

speed

than

they

are

now

capable

of.

Control systems need to be alternately stiff

along

cide

different axes in space

with

joint

coordinates).

(which do not This requires

and compliant generally coin-

much

more

so-

phisticated cross-coupled are presently employed.

servo

control computations than

Furthermore/

robot

structures

are

typically

quite

massive

and unwieldly. their own weight.

Most robots can lift only about one tenth of

Many

cannot

even

do

that.

New

mechanical

designs epoxies

using light weight and hollow tubular

materials such construction

as carbon filament

are

needed.

Ad-

vanced weight

control systems that can take advantage of such light

structures

and

high

speeds

will

be

a

major

research

project.

Much also remains to be done in gripper design.

Typically,

robot

hands consist of pinch-Jaw grippers with only one de-

gree of freedom -- open and shut. human hand which has five fingers,

Contrast this with the each with four degrees of

freedom,

No robot has come close to duplicating the

ity of the human

hand, and

this

century.

Certainly,

it is not likely that one

dexterous

hands

with

dexter- will in Jointed

fingers

for industrial robots

The

problem

is

not

so

much

in

are a long

way in

the future.

building

such a

mechanical

structure,

but

to design

control

in controlling

it.

algorithms

to

make

No one use of

has any idea how

such

complexity

and

very

little

research

is

being

done

in

this

area.

Third, sensors of many different types

must

be

developed.

Robots must become able to

see,

feel, and sense the position

different

ways.

faster

and be

Processing of able to determine

of objects in

visual

data

a number of

must

become

3-dimensional shapes and relationships.

Robot

grippers must

become forces

able to developed

feel. the presence on those ObjectS.

of objects Proximity

and sense

the

sensors

are

needed on robot fingertips to enable the robot to the final few millimeters before contacting (objects.

measure Longer

range

proximity

sensors

are

needed

on

the

robot

arm

to

avoid

colliding sors are

with unexpected obstacles.

Force and

touch

sen-

needed

to

detect

and

measure

contact

forces.

A

variety of acoustic, electromagnetic particle detectors are needed to sense }

optical, x-ray, and the presence of vari-

ous materials such as fluids, and limp goods, in parts and assemblies .

metals,

ferromagnetic,

and to Both

detect various types the sensing devices

plastics,

of flaws

and

the

software for analyzing sensory data represent research and development problems of enormous magnitude.

Robot sensors is

an area

tivity.

Robot

vision

where is by

there is

far

the

much

research

ac-

most

popular

research

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