While the European Commission today feels it is necessary to specify a set of rules, namely in terms of liability, transparency and accountability for AI and robotics companies, 220 experts in robotics and Artificial Intelligence ethics signed an open letter in April 2018 to dissuade the Commission from making robots legally liable for their acts or omissions.
Generally speaking, cleaning activities entail a great variety of manual tasks requiring the people who carry them out to be highly mobile. Many robotic or mobile handling systems could be of interest in this type of situation. The very context of cleaning requires systems that are simple to implement with minimum constraints for operators.
Industry 4.0 is all about streamlining the manufacturing/production process and the supply chain by incorporating new technologies such as sensors, IoT, informatics, digital, AI, connectivity, 3D printing, robotics and others. Industry 4.0 is obviously highly technological, with an aim of efficiency, and humans may or may not be physically present in the process. It involves practical execution of manufacturing. Optimization does not only mean improved productivity, of course. By focusing on humans, Industry 4.0 above all helps to eliminate overly strenuous or mind-numbing work.
Tell us a bit about Locus Robotics and how you got started.
Locus Robotics is an autonomous warehouse robotics company to support critical e-commerce fulfillment operations for retailers and 3PL providers.
Locus was incubated inside of Quiet Logistics, our e-commerce fulfillment company, which had been using Kiva Systems robotic technology until Amazon acquired the company in 2012. We were then informed that Amazon would consume all Kiva capacity for the foreseeable future and that we would no longer be able to use Kiva technology.
The technological transformation is generating an influx of innovative “breakthrough” products and services. This surge is shaking things up, forcing us to ask new questions and is sometimes frightening. This can be seen today with the arrival of “active” robotics – autonomous, often mobile devices that interact with humans and their environment – which is increasingly being deployed in a wide range of sectors, from medicine and logistics to maintenance, surveillance, exploration and others.
Christian Wolf is associate professor at INSA in Lyon and LIRIS since 2005. Since 2017, he is on leave with INRIA and CITI. He is interested in computer vision and machine learning, deep learning, especially in the visual analysis of complex scenes in motion and robotics: gesture and activity recognition and pose estimation.
I am Matthias Schmitt, the founder of Still Human, a robotics start-up and industrial design & engineering firm. For 3 years now, Still Human has been working with several start-ups and companies in the digital sector on various subjects such as robotics and IOT. Still Human’s uniqueness lies in its expertise as a roboticist and designer.
– What is the interest of design in robotics? Is it just a question of aesthetics or a means of improving the robot’s performance?
The advancements in robotics has given rise to the manufacturing of affordable educational mobile robots. Due to their size and cost, they possess limited global localization and mapping capability. The purpose of producing these robots is not fully materialized if advance algorithms cannot be demonstrated on them. In this paper, we address this limitation by just using dead-reckoning and low bandwidth noisy infrared sensors for localization in an unknown environment.