Advantages of Robotics in Engineering written by: Other advantages of robotics are due to freedom from human characteristics like boredom and the ability to do dangerous tasks.
It is being published on the Web as part of ScientificAmerican. Alert pundits now foresee a world saturated with powerful computer chips, which will increasingly insinuate themselves into our gadgets, dwellings, apparel and even our bodies.
Yet a closely related goal has remained stubbornly elusive. In stark contrast to the largely unanticipated explosion of computers into the mainstream, the entire endeavor of robotics has failed rather completely to live up to the predictions of the s.
In those days experts who were dazzled by the seemingly miraculous calculational ability of computers thought that if only the right software were written, computers could become the articial brains of sophisticated autonomous robots. Within a decade or two, they believed, such robots would be cleaning our oors, mowing our lawns and, in general, eliminating drudgery from our lives.
It is true that industrial robots have transformed the manufacture of automobiles, among other products. But that kind of automation is a far cry from the versatile, mobile, autonomous creations that so many scientists and engineers have hoped for.
In pursuit of such robots, waves of researchers have grown disheartened and scores of start-up companies have gone out of business. Rather it is the computer-based articial brain that is still well below the level of sophistication needed to build a humanlike robot. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the decades-old dream of a useful, general-purpose autonomous robot will be realized in the not too distant future.
By we will see mobile robots as big as people but with cognitive abilities similar in many respects to those of a lizard.
The machines will be capable of carrying out simple chores, such as vacuuming, dusting, delivering packages and taking out the garbage.
ByI believe, we will nally achieve the original goal of robotics and a thematic mainstay of science ction: Reasons for Optimism In light of what I have just described as a history of largely unfullled goals in robotics, why do I believe that rapid progress and stunning accomplishments are in the ofng?
My condence is based on recent developments in electronics and software, as well as on my own observations of robots, computers and even insects, reptiles and other living things over the past 30 years. The single best reason for optimism is the soaring performance in recent years of mass-produced computers.
Through the s and s, the computers readily available to robotics researchers were capable of executing about one million instructions per second MIPS. Each of these instructions represented a very basic task, like adding two digit numbers or storing the result in a specied location in memory. Thus, functions far beyond the capabilities of robots in the s and s are now coming close to commercial viability.
For example, in October an experimental vehicle called Navlab V crossed the U.
Similar robotic vehicles, built by researchers elsewhere in the U. In other experiments within the past few years, mobile robots mapped and navigated unfamiliar ofce suites, and computer vision systems located textured objects and tracked and analyzed faces in real time.
Still, computers are no match today for humans in such functions as recognition and navigation. This puzzled experts for many years, because computers are far superior to us in calculation. The explanation of this apparent paradox follows from the fact that the human brain, in its entirety, is not a true programmable, general-purpose computer what computer scientists refer to as a universal machine; almost all computers nowadays are examples of such machines.
To understand why this is requires an evolutionary perspective. To survive, our early ancestors had to do several things repeatedly and very well: The ability to do mathematical calculations, of course, was irrelevant for survival. One of the hallmarks of such a machine is its ability to follow an arbitrary set of instructions, and with language, such instructions could be transmitted and carried out.
But because we visualize numbers as complex shapes, write them down and perform other such functions, we process digits in a monumentally awkward and inefcient way.
A tiny minority of people are born with the ability to do seemingly amazing mental calculations. Computers, by comparison, are millions or billions of times faster.
Can Hardware Simulate Wetware? Implicit in my assertion that computers will eventually be capable of the same kind of perception, cognition and thought as humans is the idea that a sufciently advanced and sophisticated articial system—for example, an electronic one—can be made and programmed to do the same thing as the human nervous system, including the brain.
This issue is controversial in some circles right now, and there is room for brilliant people to disagree. At the crux of the matter is the question of whether biological structure and behavior arise entirely from physical law and whether, moreover, physical law is computable—that is to say, amenable to computer simulation.
My view is that there is no good scientic evidence to negate either of these propositions. On the contrary, there are compelling indications that both are true.The Development of Robotics and Its Advantages for Our Society, Engineering and Human Life Today PAGES 8.
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This would include the ability to learn just about anything, the ability to reason, the ability to use language and the ability to formulate original leslutinsduphoenix.com › HowStuffWorks › Science › Engineering › Robotics.
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