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When Autonomous Machines Can Do More Than Just Vacuum


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A robomaid prepares for the next household task.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Panasonic Professor of Robotics (emeritus) Rodney Brooks says next-generation domestic robots are "going to have a much richer sensory world than existing home robots."

Credit: Engadget

Rapidly aging populations will drive growth in home-based robotics, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Panasonic Professor of Robotics (emeritus) Rodney Brooks, who writes next-generation domestic robots are "going to have a much richer sensory world than existing home robots."

Brooks says future robots also will benefit from more affordable and capable smartphone sensors, and the wide availability of low-power and miniaturized computing units. "Don't be surprised to see more silicon in phones over the next few years testing out [artificial intelligence] technologies such as deep learning," he says.

Brooks also expects future domestic robots will feature additional sensors linked to their processors and in-device data handling.

He cites MIT professor Dina Katabi's exploration of Wi-Fi radio signals as a possible tool for physiological readings of humans by domestic robots. "If our robots bypass the way that we experience the world with direct technological access to information, it will be hard for them to understand our limitations," Brooks notes.

From Scientific American
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