Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Archive for the ‘warehouses’ tag

Artificial Intelligence: time to “invest in soft-robotics”

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The increasingly popular field of soft robotics is set to have an enormous impact on the service and manufacturing industries. … The concept of ‘soft’ in robotics applies to multiple levels: literally soft to the touch – skin, tissue on body surface, muscles, tendons – soft as in natural movements in contrast to manufacturing robots or many walking robots, and soft as in safe interaction with humans. …

And there is no need to be concerned that automation will put people out of work – the reverse is true as jobs that would otherwise be outsourced to China can be protected. …  As John Dulchinos, the chief executive of Adept, the largest US-based manufacturer of industrial robots, argued in a recent interview, the US has lost several million jobs in manufacturing to China because they did not automate their production lines but outsourced them to cheap labor countries.  …  moving people from dull or unhealthy jobs to more interesting ones, according to Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou.

We expect soft robotics to have an enormous impact on the service robotics industry because we will share our living space with these machines, and we will closely interact and cooperate with them.

The European Commission is doing an outstanding job at supporting basic research and development in the area of robotics and related fields with the 7th framework programme, and in the future with Horizon 2020. Examples of soft robotics basic projects include ECHORD, the European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development, which has the aim of bringing industry and academia – basic research – together.

Cognitive Robots is leading one of the ECHORD research projects, C-Kompai. The objective of the project is to enhance the companion robot Kompai by Robosoft with the cognitive capabilities provided by the Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics of Cognitive Robots.

Read the full article by professor Rolf Pfeifer (11 April 2012) – deputy director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research Robotics and director of the artificial intelligence laboratory at the University of Zurich-: http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/1772/time-to-wake-up-and-invest-heavily-in-robotics-technology

Kiva Robots sold to Amazon for $775 Million – imagine adding intelligence to the robots!

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Amazon just bought robotics manufacturer Kiva Systems for $775 million.  Kiva specializes in warehouse fulfillment robots.

While quick and precise, this technology was available 20 years ago, for autonomous forklifts in warehouses: following wires on the floor.

What remains missing is the addition of intelligence to the robots so that:

– The whole infrastructure of the warehouse floors – a costly investment in itself – wouldn’t be necessary.

– Any change in the environment or in the robots performance wouldn’t need to redefine the whole system.


Here is a video of the Kiva robots performance.