State of the art robotics

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November 10, 2012


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I, Robot today? Not yet but the current state of research seems to be only a few steps away from it if you have a closer look at state of the art robotics.

Many people connect the topic Artificial Intelligence mostly with robotics. This is very superficial because robotics is only one part of the big puzzle that is AI research. You could call it the “give AI a shell” part. Furthermore some AI personalities take the view that embodiment is one fundamental factor for Artificial Intelligence. Independent from that view there is a lot of research and development concerning robotics.


Robots provide efficient and practical utility for business and particularly for the military. Never sleeping, never tired, never bored, never having lack of motivation and never being sick. That is why robots are already preferred over humans in some areas. I hope you don’t believe that robots are still inflexible like the one on the left side.



Let’s have a look at the military research first. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is responsible for new technology that can be used by the military. Having an annual budget of $2.8 billion it is no wonder that following technology can be build:


DARPA Robot Masters Stairs



Certainly there are other robot concepts. For researching AI and for testing the embodied mind thesis (that says a body is needed for intelligence) a robot child approach is implemented within the iCub project.

The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at IIT […] It has 53 motors that move the head, arms & hands, waist, and legs. It can see and hear, it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration) and movement (using accelerometers and gyroscopes).
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iCub is able to recognize objects in its environment and is able to interact (grab, move or play) with them.


Robot learns like a toddler

The robots above are not suitable for business and industrial purposes yet. So let’s finally have a look at business. Zappos one of the biggest shoe stores is also one of the first corporations that is using advanced robot technology for managing their warehouses. With less complicated robots but good organization nevertheless intelligent behaviour is possible. The following video reminds me in some ways of an ant nest.


Warehouse Robots at Work

Now you have seen some examples of what we are capable of today when it comes to robotics. Not only business, research and military profit from robots. In our near future domestic robots will have extended expertise. Vacuuming our floor, assisting us with things like dish-washing and entertaining us.

The human pet version 2.0: never sleeping, never tired, never bored, never having lack of motivation and never being sick.

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About the Author

Ruslan H.

Is interested in most topics of Artificial Intelligence, likes challenges and expects great technological advancement in the next decades. Read more...

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