Intelligent robot trends and predictions for the new millennium

Ernest L. Hall, Terrell N. Mundhenk, David P. Casasent
1999 Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XVIII: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision  
An intelligent robot is a remarkably useful combination of a manipulator, sensors and controls. The current use of these machines in outer space, medicine, hazardous materials, defense applications and industry is being pursued with vigor but little funding. In factory automation such robotics machines can improve productivity, increase product quality and improve competitiveness. The computer and the robot have both been developed during recent times. The intelligent robot combines both
more » ... ogies and requires a thorough understanding and knowledge of mechatronics. In honor of the new millennium, this paper will present a discussion of futuristic trends and predictions. However, in keeping with technical tradition, a new technique for "Follow the Leader" will also be presented in the hope of it becoming a new, useful and non-obvious technique. Today's robotic machines are faster, cheaper, more repeatable, more reliable and safer. The knowledge base of inverse kinematic and dynamic solutions and intelligent controls is increasing. More attention is being given by industry to robots, vision and motion controls. New areas of usage are emerging for service robots, remote manipulators and automated guided vehicles. Economically, the robotics industry now has more than a billion-dollar market in the U.S. and is growing. Feasibility studies show decreasing costs for robots and unaudited healthy rates of return for a variety of robotic applications. However, the road from inspiration to successful application can be long and difficult, often taking decades to achieve a new product. A greater emphasis on mechatronics is needed in our universities. Certainly, more cooperation between government, industry and universities is needed to speed the development of intelligent robots that will benefit industry and society. 1 Email: : WWW: We live in a truly amazing, high technology world. The state of the art has a host of known problems with known solutions. The World Wide Web is making a tremendous amount of information available to everyone. Computers can now even be obtained free. However, from reading the newspaper, I believe the following pressing current problems are known but not solved. I have divided them into two topical issues: social and physical. SOCIAL Peace. World peace is still not within our grasp. Defense is absolutely essential in order to survive. Hunger. People are still starving. Food is not distributed to everyone. Disease. AIDS and other diseases are for the most part unchecked. Injuries: People kill people. Machines kill people. Human resources. People are not used effectively. Over 1 million people are in jail in the US. Prejudice. Intolerance of humans by humans causes many problems. Jobs: A healthy economy is very important. Morality. Humans are not naturally good. Population. The world population is still increasing. PHYSICAL Climate. The weather is not controlled and can be devastating. Environment. Our world is being threatened by our technology. Energy. Energy is a scarce resource. Oil and coal will run out. Other natural resources. Everything we need is limited. Life on earth. Extinction of species, even the human species, is conceivable. We are not totally safe. These problems are known but the solutions seem to be unknown. Solutions that require changing human nature are difficult indeed. Each new generation must again be taught to play nicely together and share and educated in the wealth of technological information that is our heritage. Different classes of problems that are quite difficult to solve are the ones that are unknown. Unknown diseases, events from outer space, what will happen when we really understand the human brain are a few possibilities. Perhaps our greatest danger comes from the unknown.
doi:10.1117/12.360303 fatcat:v4mmatkutndnrowsdhjrdgwtry