Robotics towards 2020



Robotics towards 2020
Robotica verso il 2020?
Giuseppina Gini
Wizard of Oz Tinman
L. Frank Baum invents one of the literary world's most beloved robots in
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: the Tin Woodsman, a mechanical man in
search of a heart. The character is seen as a symbol for the
soullessness of mechanized industry.
Capek’s Robota
Czech playwright Karl Capek popularizes the term "robot" in a
play called "R.U.R. (Rossums Universal Robot)." The word comes
from the Czech robota, which means forced work. The play ends
with robots taking over the earth and destroying their makers.
Film director Fritz Lang releases Metropolis, a silent film set in a
futuristic urban dystopia. It features a female robot--the first to
appear on the silver screen--who takes the shape of a human
woman in order to destroy a labor movement.
Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics
American science fiction author Isaac Asimov publishes a short story,
"Runaround," that introduces the "Three Laws of Robotics"--rules that
every robot is programmed to obey:
1. A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a
human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings except where
such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection
does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
George Devol and Joseph Engelberger (pictured) form the world's
first robotics company, Unimation..
Unimate, the world's first industrial robot, goes to work on a
General Motors assembly line.
The Artificial Intelligence Center at the Stanford Research Center
begins development of Shakey, the first mobile robot. It is
endowed with a limited ability to see and model its environment
and is controlled by a computer that fills an entire room.
HAL 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) appears
in the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey, written by Arthur
C. Clarke. The artificially intelligent computer runs the spaceship. The
character reflects concern about the increasing power of intelligent
machines over man.
R2-D2 and C-3PO appear in George Lucas' Star Wars films.
An eight-legged robot named Dante attempts to explore
Antarctica's Mount Erebus volcano. It is remotely controlled from
the U.S. and collects a small amount of data before mechanical
difficulties end the experiment. But the landmark effort ushers in a
new era of robotic exploration of hazardous environments.
A fuzzy, batlike robot called Furby becomes the must-have toy of
the holiday season. The $30 toys seemingly "evolve" over time,
first speaking in gibberish but soon developing the use of
preprogrammed English phrases. More than 27 million of the toys
sell in a 12-month period.
Gadget lovers develop a serious case of puppy love for Sony's robot
dog AIBO.
Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO steps onto the stage. Standing 1.3
meters tall, it can walk and run with a near-human gait.
The Roomba robotic vacuum from the iRobot Corp. is released.
The Frisbee-shaped device has sold over 2 million units to date,
making it the most commercially successful domestic robot in
Robot market forecast
Rapporto 2008
2007 6.5 milioni di robot nel mondo
Crescita 3% nei robot industriali
Crescita 15% in Europa
Giappone è il principale mercato
Germania è il primo mercato in Europa, Italia
il secondo
Robot density
310/10000 lavoratori del manufacturing in
234/1000 la Germania
poi Korea, Italia, USA, Svezia
Applicazioni industriali
Robot industriali in uso
Service robots
Industrial robot - ISO
• Un robot è un manipolatore multifunzionale
automaticamente. Un robot deve avere tre o
più assi. Può essere fisso oppure spostarsi
su carrello o rotaia.
• Un robot mobile è un sistema in grado di
spostarsi in ambienti più o meno strutturati
tramite vari apparati di locomozione (ruote o
zampe). Di solito questi robot sono dotati di
sensori che permettono di esplorare
Classificazione - secondo applicazioni
montaggio ed assemblaggio,
guarnizione e sigillatura,
packaging (es. alimentare),
trasferimento fra
assistenza allo stampaggio o
taglio laser 3d,
controllo qualità con sensori,
fonderia (manipolazione,
rimozione forme di colata,
chimica combinatoria
laboratorio analisi
applicazioni speciali
applicazioni chirurgiche
telechirurgiche, etc.),
per medicina (robot mobili per
assistenza con manipolatori
nucleari (prevenzione ed
militari (veicoli robotizzati,
geologiche (esplorazione),
sicurezza impianti (robot e
manipolatori per ambienti
movimento terra
Classificazione - secondo mobilità
su rotaie
su ruote
su cingoli
su zampe …
secondo tipologia articolazioni,
a 3 dof, a 4 dof, a 5 dof, a 6 dof, oltre 6 dof
composti (es. antropomorfi)
secondo topologia parallela/seriale,
Classificazione - secondo precisione
alta precisione e ripetibilità (robot cartesiani, robot
paralleli. Per lavorazioni e saldature miniaturizzate)
media precisione (es: per manipolazione, montaggio)
bassa precisione (robot articolati con molti d.o.f., es. per
packaging, verniciatura, appl. biomecc.)
secondo velocità
robot lenti, per operazioni con precisione elevata
robot rapidi (es. per packaging, con controllo PTP)
secondo grado evolutivo
• da associazione Robotics Usa
• 1-robot “playback”
2-robot programmabili (comportamento
condizionale, I/O)
3- robot con riconoscimento visivo
4- robot con AI e reti neurali
Technical Coordinating
Unit on
Robot Planning
• Problems and challenges in Robot
• State of the art
• Technology maturity
• What needs to be done
• Research at TCU Nodes
A summit of AI peeople - USA
CHARLES PETIT: We have predictions that in 30 years there will be robots
that walk and talk like people and have emotions. They'll take your kids to
the soccer game, tell you when to get up in the morning, and help pick out
groceries. They'll even sit down and have a talk with you about how you're
getting along with your wife or husband. But if we don't even understand
how our own brains work, how will we be able to build something that
intelligent? What do you think, Marvin? Is such a future possible?
MARVIN MINSKY: Oh, I'm sure it's possible, although one can't predict
how long it will take. And we won't need to know all about how brains
work, because there may be simpler ways. But it seems to me--and I
disagree with most of the other people on this panel--that building
mechanical robots that look like people so that they evoke emotional
reactions is just a waste of time. It hasn't led to any improvement in
knowledge about how to do the important things that would make
machines really smart. The key problem is how to imbue computers
with what John McCarthy and I call "commonsense reasoning."
There's no robot "alive" today that knows general things, like if you let go
of something, it will fall. No robot knows that you can pull something with
a string but you can't push it with a string. Little things like that. The
average 5-year-old knows a few hundred thousand of those things and an
adult a few million. Today there are only a handful of people working on
commonsense reasoning, so you can't say how long it will take before
robots are truly smart
Summit 2
CHARLES PETIT: John, we were talking about interfaces and whether robots
ought to be made into companions and almost members of society. How
do you feel about that?
JOHN McCARTHY: Well, I agree with Marvin substantially. It's probably
easier to program in emotions than intelligence. Allow me to sharpen up a
couple of points that have been made so far. Imagine that we have robot
servants that will do housework, and imagine a child who is born into a
family with robot servants. In my opinion, the robots need to be
designed so that they will be regarded as appliances rather than as
people. We don't want robots that people will hate or fall in love with or
anything like that. We have enough trouble treating other people decently
without inventing a new oppressed minority. Also, we are not yet within
development range of a general-purpose household servant. There are
conceptual problems to be solved. In a certain sense, a large part of the
field of artificial intelligence is following the wrong tracks, and I'm sure
I'm following some of them.
Summit - 3
CHARLES PETIT: Joe Herkert, Is there also an ethical dimension to having
machines look and act like people?
JOE HERKERT: Yes, I think so. We're very good at the how of technology, but
we're not as good at the why. I'm particularly troubled by suggestions that we
ought to be making robots that are so humanlike, both in terms of intelligence
and emotions, that they become indistinguishable from humans. In the near term,
it makes it more likely that people might shun contact with humans. We see this
already--and I'm as guilty of this as anyone else--with our computers and tvs.
Technology, while it presents possibilities for contacting others, also presents
possibilities for isolating us from others. If I have a robot as a best friend, then I
am less likely to have a person as a best friend.
JOE HERKERT: Well, I would much rather have a person as a best friend.
MARVIN MINSKY: Yeah, but why? You're not speaking as a person but as an
ethicist. Suppose that the robot had all of the virtues of people and was smarter
and understood things better. Then why would you want to prefer those grubby
old people?
Summit - 4
JOE HERKERT: Well, for one, I doubt that the robot would have the virtues.
MARVIN MINSKY: You can doubt it, but what's your basis? Now you're not
speaking as an ethicist but as a skeptic. Suppose that robots will have all the
virtues of people and more. Then where do you stand?
JOE HERKERT: Well, that's an assumption I can't accept. I can't accept that
a robot would have ethics, for example. Only people can have ethics. But
let's take it for granted that what Marvin and I were just jousting about can be
achieved. Then I see a serious problem in human life being devalued. If we can
have robots who have all our virtues and can do jobs more efficiently and
never complain, why would we need imperfect humans? I fear that the people
who would be most in jeopardy are the people who are marginalized in
society--the poor, minorities, perhaps women, people in developing countries.
MARVIN MINSKY: That's what they said when Darwin started to promulgate
his theory. I don't see anything wrong with human life being devalued if we
have something better.
Summit - 5
ERIC HASELTINE: If you want to adapt technology to people, you have to go to where
people are. You don't want to bring people to the technology.
MARVIN MINSKY: It's true they have to be somewhat familiar, but nobody hangs faces
on toasters. We don't make most appliances look like people. The new point to me is the
idea that we don't want people to learn to order around servants that look like people,
because that's catching. If you tell a household robot to do unspeakable, disgusting, or just
boring things, you'll get the hang of telling other people to. And most human interactions
are rotten already. People lie, they cheat, they do all sorts of awful things. We've got to be
careful not to say that things are OK as they are and that we want them to stay that way.
CHARLES PETIT: Plus we don't want to teach the robots to be rotten.
JOE ENGELBERGER: There's no necessity for robots to be evil unless, as Marvin says,
we deliberately generate evilness in them.
ERIC HASELTINE: As with any technology, there is the potential for abuse, and it
undoubtedly will happen. Robots will evolve pretty much like prime-time tv shows, based
on the evolutionary forces in the marketplace. Whether we like it or not, what we as
humans want is going to dictate the shape that robots take.
from Intel
What are the biggest challenges facing robotics researchers today?
One of the key challenges in robotics over the last 20 years has been the issue of localization
- that is, how does a robot actually know where it is? Intel is tackling this challenge
through research such as the Precision Location project. Over the next few years, Intel's
mobile group is preparing to deliver a universal location framework that will enable a
mobile device-a PDA, cell phone, or laptop-to know where it is and what computing
resources are in the local area. This framework will be useful in the robotics
environment. If a robot moves through a network dead zone, for example, and it knows
there's network connectivity a short way ahead, and it needs some computing assistance,
the robot would know to move into that area to get the information it needs.
We think that Intel's research in the areas of localization, mapping and navigation will be
very useful to the robotics community. If Intel can provide a framework for doing that
work, researchers can focus on some other hard problems, like how to train a robot to do
something useful, such as picking up a trash can without bumping into plants or other
The hardest problem that robotics researchers face is something Intel can't address,
and that's where we're looking for our commercial partners to help. The problem
involves how robots interact with the physical world. Today robotic systems are
driven by electric motors, which have a very poor power-to-weight ratio. Honda's
Asimo robot can't pick up more than a quarter-pound hamburger. Here is this 120pound object walking around, and when it tries to pick something up and it can
only pick up four ounces.
So the real problem is not providing the computational horsepower to get a robot to a
EU - Funzionalità e tecnologie
Cognitive Systems,
Interaction, Robotics: 7° EU
artificial systems need to be more…
adaptive - to changing tasks and situations;
robust – against surprise;
effective – improve performance through
anticipating or predicting the future;
natural - in dealing with humans and human-like
In a nutshell:
artificial systems should be able to function
effectively in circumstances that were not planned
for explicitly when the system was designed
… an engineering goal
Cognitive system perspective
Functionality -> Technology
¾ 3D Imaging
¾ Artificial Life
¾ Broadband
¾ Data Capture
¾ Human Interfacing
¾ Image Recognition
¾ Information Displaying
¾ Information Retrieval
¾ Language Understanding
¾ Embedded System
¾ Multimode
¾ Person Identification
¾ Seamless Ubiquitous Access
¾ Sensing
¾Virtual Presence
• A functionality is a
request in order to
pursue a certain goal.
• They
characterized by what
services and how
they provide it.
• Each functionality is
enabled by one or
more technology.
Artificial Life
• research into human-made
systems that possess some of
the essential properties of life.
•to understand high-level
behavior from low-level rules; for
example, how the simple rules of
Darwinian evolution lead to highlevel structure, or the way in
which the simple interactions
between ants and their
environment lead to complex
trail-following behavior.
Alife to robotics
The construction of living systems out
of non-living parts is clearly the most
ambitious of all the areas of Artificial
At present, two largely independent
– the creation of life using the classical
building blocks of nature (carbon-based
life) - attempting to construct selfreplicating molecules
– the creation of life using the same
principles but a different medium for
implementation: the computer- by
simulating simple populations of selfreplicating entities
an impressive engineering effort is
geared towards the construction of
adaptive autonomous robots. This
work differs from the classical robotics
approach, in that the robotic agent
interacts with its environment and learns
Artificial Life - keywords
in health care
Drug syntheses
Fast Mapping
Human Genoma
¾ Technological evolution, the availability of novel
functionalities and the widespread adoption of new services
is likely to create new ways of living.
¾Transformation of Products into Services
¾ The Disappearance of the Computer
¾ Ubiquitous seamless connectivity
¾ Changing Traffic Patterns
¾ Infinite Bandwidth
¾ Disposable Products
¾ Autonomous Systems
¾ From Content to Packaging
¾ The emergence of Virtual Infrastructures
From Products to Services
• Selling products limits the interaction with the
client at the selling point (in space and in time).
• In a service sale the contact continues through the
usage of the service
• On the other hand selling a product means making
the intended margin as the sale is sealed. In a
service relationship revenues are distributed over
• Technologies are getting cheaper and accessibility
to central management, distribution centres is
becoming easier. This is enabling the
transformation of products into services.
• Rather than selling hardware companies are
moving into providing hardware (at very low cost
or even for free) to run the services
From Products to Services
¾ Technological Enabling Factors
ƒ Embedding of communications capabilities
ƒ Rising of profiling
ƒ Cheaper production processes
ƒ Embedded Systems
ƒ Seamless Ubiquitous Access
ƒ Communications
From Products to Services
¾ Technological Enabling Factors
¾ Market Driven Factors
ƒ Products becoming commodities
ƒ Loss of differentiation capabilities
ƒ Increased copycat possibilities
From Products to Services
¾ Technological Enabling Factors
¾ Market Driven Factors
¾ Industry Impact
ƒ Transformation into service companies
ƒ Shortening of products’ life cycle
ƒ Strong increase in call centers
ƒ Automated customised assistance
ƒ Increased globalisation of the market
ƒ Restructuring of the value chain
From Products to Services
¾ Technological Enabling Factors
¾ Market Driven Factors
¾ Industry Impact
¾ Market Sectors Affected
ƒ Health care
ƒ Entertainment
ƒ Transportation
ƒ Consumer appliances
ƒ Education
Presentation to the American

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