Our Focus:

ROBOTICS

OUR FOCUS FOR 2015:ROBOTICS


Because our membership has such a diverse professional background, and research interest, each year the NEOACM Professional Chapter will adopt a different focus. That focus will dictate the subject matter and type of events and activities for that year. In 2014, our focus is “ROBOTICS”. We will sponsor lectures, workshops, and challenges on some of the most important issues in robotics facing professionals, organizations, government, and our society.

ROBOTICS AS A KEY ECONOMIC ENABLER

NORTHEAST OHIO

“ ADVANCING THE COMPUTING PROFESSION IN NORTHEAST OHIO”

PROFESSIONAL ACM CHAPTER

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Over the past 50 years, robots have been primarily used to provide increased accuracy and throughput for particular, repetitive tasks, such as welding, painting, and machining, in hazardous, high volume manufacturing environments. Automating such dirty, dull, and dangerous functions has mostly involved implementing customized solutions with relatively specific, near term value. Although a sizeable “industrial” robotics industry has developed as a result, the applications for such first generation robotics solutions have proven to be relatively narrow and largely restricted to static, indoor environments, due to limitations in the enabling technology.


Within the past five years, however, tremendous advancements in robotics technology have enabled a new generation of applications in fields as diverse as agile manufacturing, logistics, medicine, healthcare, and other commercial and consumer market segments. Further, it is becoming increasingly evident that these early, next generation products are a harbinger of numerous, large scale, global, robotics technology markets likely to develop in the coming decade. Owing to the inexorable aging of our population, the emergence of such a next generation, “robotech” industry will eventually affect the lives of every American and have enormous economic, social, and political impact on the future of our nation.

Robotics has made significant progress toward enabling

full autonomy and shared autonomy in tasks such as

driving vehicles, human physical therapy, and carrying

heavy parts (using cobots). Leveraging these advances

to enable autonomy and shared autonomy in other tasks

such as assembly and manipulation poses a significant

challenge. Automotive industry experts recognize the

benefits of automation support for human workers either

in the form of humanoid assistants or smart machines

that safely interact with human workers. To define

research milestones we propose three levels of assembly

line ability:


1. 2. 3.

Level I Ability: humans require no special skills and < 1 hour of training. examples: pick and place, insertion, packing. A canonical benchmark that can be used for testing and comparison between groups might be generic tasks such as threading and unthreading a standard 1” nut and bolt.


Level II Ability: humans require minor skills and 1-10 hours of training. examples: cutting / shaping, soldering, riveting. A canonical benchmark might be disassembling and reassembling a specific standard flashlight.


Level III Ability: humans require skill and > 10 hours of training. examples: specified standard welding, machining, inspecting benchmarks.


The roadmap for robots working with humans is as follows.

5 years: Demonstrate a prototype assembly-line robot with sensors that can detect and respond to human gestures and movement into its workspace while consistently performing at Level I ability (see above) alongside a human for 8 hours without requiring any intervention from the people nearby.


10 years: Demonstrate a prototype assembly-line robot with sensors that can detect and respond to human gestures and movement into its workspace while consistently performing at Level II ability alongside a human for 40 hours without requiring any intervention from the people nearby.


15 years: Demonstrate a commercially available assembly-line robot with sensors that can detect and respond to human gestures and movement into its workspace while consistently performing at Level III ability alongside a human for 80 hours without requiring any intervention from the people nearby. Source: A Roadmap for US Robotics From Internet to Robotics



Robots Are Becoming Ready to Work Among Us

Traditionally, robots were designed to work separately

from people. That is starting to change as robots

begin working alongside humans to courier medicine

in hospitals and assemble complex machinery. New

legged robots could soon accompany soldiers across

treacherous terrain or perform rescue missions at

stricken nuclear power facilities. But for the most

part, robots still can’t function in human environments

without requiring costly changes to people’s own

working patterns. Source: MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW






OHIO ROBOTICS COMPANIES

ROBOTICS ORGANIZATIONS

A Richly Interactive iPad App featuring the world’s most amazing robots

ROBOTICS LABORATORIES

Unfortunately, the United States lags behind other countries in recognizing the importance of robotics technology. While the European Union, Japan, Korea, and the rest of the world have made significant R&D investments in robotics technology, the U.S. investment, outside unmanned systems for defense purposes, remains practically non-existent. Unless this situation can be addressed in the near future, the United States runs the risk of abdicating our ability to globally compete in these emerging markets and putting the nation at risk of having to rely on the rest of the world to provide a critical technology that our population will become increasingly dependent upon. Robotech clearly represents one of the few technologies capable in the near term of building new companies and creating new jobs and in the long run of addressing an issue of critical national importance.  Source: A Roadmap for US Robotics From Internet to Robotics

INTRINSICALLY SAFE ROBOTS WORKING WITH HUMANS