Architecture and Hardware Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

The state of robotic technology has surpassed sci-fi imagination in many respects, moving beyond technoserf status to more human-like agents. Today’s robots can operate in autonomous and intelligent ways. We find them collecting samples on the surface of Mars or the floor of the deepest ocean. We find them on the battlefields of war or the aftermath of terrorism. Robotic devices were among the first search and recovery equipment sent to the World Trade Center collapse. A series of Packbots (created by iRobots, a leading robotics firm cofounded by Rodney Brooks) searched parking areas, while smaller telepresence robots crawled through the rubble.

Our special section focuses on the astonishing progress in robotics in five emerging areas of research: humanoids that interact with people; shape-adaptation to suit environments; the use of haptics; robot control based on the theory of probability; and the positive effects of robot soccer on robotics research. Our thanks to guest editors Gaurav Sukhatme and Maja Matari cacute_l.gif for bringing together some of the leading experts in these areas to give us their firsthand accounts.

Also in this issue, Richard Grenci and Peter Todd navigate the maze of options that link product customization and e-commerce. (Can you find more than one successful path to solving the maze on page 64?) John Cameron points out that when it comes to work products, the key to success is keeping the focus on what is actually being produced. Huaiqing Wang, John Mylopoulos, and Stephen Liao describe how intelligent agents can monitor financial transactions and alert management to potential financial disasters. Vincent Lai and Wingyan Chung explore the findings of a recent study where multinational corporations ranked the top 10 global communications challenges.

Does information overload really prevent work from getting done, or should we, as Peter Denning suggests, change our perception and adopt practices for managing our commitments? Meg McGinity speculates on the huge role the technology sector will play in U.S. economic recovery. And Ananda Mitra examines how the Internet creates a global time warp. To live in such a world, how do Netizens decide who to trust?

Diane Crawford,

Join the Discussion (0)

Become a Member or Sign In to Post a Comment

The Latest from CACM

Shape the Future of Computing

ACM encourages its members to take a direct hand in shaping the future of the association. There are more ways than ever to get involved.

Get Involved

Communications of the ACM (CACM) is now a fully Open Access publication.

By opening CACM to the world, we hope to increase engagement among the broader computer science community and encourage non-members to discover the rich resources ACM has to offer.

Learn More