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    Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

Machine Intelligence Corporation is

whose

technical

staff

includes

the

another small company, principals who pioneered

robot vision Corporation

at SRI International. manufactures computer

Machine Intelligence vision systems to be in-

corporated into turnkey

assembly

systems.

In

inspection, material-handling and cooperation with Unimation Corpora-

tion, they have developed the Univision

system,

the

first

commercially-available vision system with the

cial

language

“VAL".

“seeing” robot, marrying an advanced PUMA robot, programmable under a spe– They have an NSF Small Business Inov–

novation grant

munication,

to

for research on a method of person/robot com- permit programming a robot without need for a

professional programmer.

ROBOT MANUFACTURERS

The major robot

manufacturers,

substantial

amount

of

researc

h.

of

course, also conduct a Unimation is working on ad-

vanced control systems, systems, and programming

calibration techniques.

techniques,

mobility

Cincinnati Milicron has a research group working on new

trol

system

architectures)

programming

languages

}

con- and

mechanical design.

Prab-Versatran, Autoplace,

Advanced

Robotics,

Devilbiss,

Mobot, Nordson, Thermwood, ASEA, KUKA, Tralfa, U. S. Robots, and perhaps ten other small new robot companies are all ag- gressively developing new and improved product lines.

The is

level of funding for research by the robot manufacturers

proprietary.

However,

based

on

the

aggregate

sales

of

about $150 million for the entire

is

probably

around

$15

million

U. per

S. robot year and

industry, it scattered over

about twenty companies.

One or two of the largest

turers

are

spending

around

%5

Million

per

year

on

manufac- research.

However, spending

it is doubtful if more than three more than $1 million per year.

manufacturers

are

GOVERNMENT RESEARCH

The ed

National Bureau of Standards is pursuing research relat-

to

interface

standards,

performance

measures,

and

pro-

gramming language standards computer-aided-manufacturing

for robot systems and

systems.

This

work

integrated focuses on

advanced

concepts

for

sensory-interactive

control

systems,

modular distributed systems,

sensor

interfaces

to

the

interfaces between

control

systems

of

modules, robots

and and

machine

tools.

Funding from the Department of Commerce is

about $1. 5 million per year.

The Air Force Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing (ICAM)

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