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    Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

located. Eventual1y, such the automatic generation describing how a finished each stage of an assembly

internal models might be used in of robot software; for example, by assembly should look, or even how or construction task should appear

in sequence. Sixth, techniques for

developing

robot

software

must

be

vastly improved.

Programming-by-teaching is impractical for

small lot production)

especially

sensory

interaction

is involved.

for complex tasks where Shop floor personnel un-

skilled in computers must be able to instruct robots in what

to do and Eventually programming

what to it will be languages

look for in making sensory decisions.

necessary to have a and debugging tools

whole range

of

at each level

of

the sensory-control hierarchy.

The development of compilers

and interpreters and well as techniques for vironment derived from

making use

of knowledge of

the

en-

a number of

different

sensors

and

CAD

other software development tools,

as

data-bases are research topics person-years of highly skilled

that will require hundreds systems software talent.

of

Seventh,

interfaces

need

to

be

defined

in

some

standardized

way,

so

sors,

and

that

large numbers of robots, machine tools,

control

computers

can

be

connected

together

in

sen-

in-

tegrated

systems.

Trends

in the field of computer-aided-

manufacturing are toward distributed wherein a large number of computers, tools all interact and cooperate as an

computing

systems

robots, and

machine

integrated

system.

This

creates

enormous

software problems.

Particularly in

the case where sensors are used

to detect variations in

the

environment

and

to

modify

the

control

output

to

compensate

for those ficult to

variations, the software can become extremely dif-

write

and

virtually

impossible

to

debug.

In

order

for

such

systems

to

work

at

all,

it

is

necessary

to

parti-

tion

the

control

problem into modular

develop ponents 3.

interface standards by which the can communicate with each other.

components and then various system com- See Figures 2 and

It on

is a

often felt that standards are an inhibiting newly developing field –- that they impede

influence innovation

and stifle competition.

Well

chosen

interface

In fact, just the opposite is true. standards promote market competition,

technology development,

it

possible

for

many

and technology transfer.

different

manufacturers

They make to produce

various assure operate

components of modular systems.

Standard

interfaces

that

multivendor

systems

will

correctly.

Individual

modules

can

fit

be

together optimized

and and

the entire system it possible for

obsolete. automation

Inter- to be

-- one module at a time,

Systems

upgraded

without making

face

standards

also

make

introduced

incrementally

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