Too many robot designers assume that their products will be operating with little human contact. So claims a team of NASA engineers who have devised a procedure to assure that safety as well as performance is stressed in the design of robots. The methodology involves five main steps and a number of subsets. For a given application, the procedure assigns minimum acceptable values for performance specifications, such as robot-tip velocities, payloads, position, force accuracy, and dexterity. It also provides values for safety requirements, for example, robot static and impact contact force, pinch forces, and crushing forces from robot weights. For a description of the procedure go to www.nasatech.com and access the Technical Support Package under the Machinery/Automation category.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.