IEEE's Erico Guizzo and Hizook.com founder Travis Deyle make several predictions regarding what will be big news in robotics this year.
For example, robots as co-workers and co-inhabitants, known as co-robots, are at the center of the $70 million U.S. National Science Foundation's National Robotics Initiative and they represent a step toward robots moving out of factories and laboratories and into everyday life.
Microsoft's Kinect technology has made three-dimensional (3D) mapping and motion sensing accessible, and this wave of 3D sensor technology could give robots an effective way to scan the real world in three dimensions.
Several research groups are studying the idea of robots that rely on cloud-computing infrastructure to access vast amounts of processing power and data. This approach, known as cloud robotics, would enable robots to offload compute-intensive tasks such as image processing and voice recognition and download new skills in real time.
Making robots with a gentle touch is key to a future in which humans and robots can share spaces and collaborate closely.
Robotics research also can take advantage of mobile technology, which would enable them to move out of the lab and into the marketplace.
From IEEE Spectrum
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