HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 5/5
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It All Depends on What You Want to Do
Rob Spiegel   2/1/2012 3:22:07 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree Jon. Your porpoise analogy is a good example. Automation is a good name for it. A good portion of consumer goods are effectively made by robots, since the automated line is really a robot. The preference consumers have for the automated teller machines is proof that we don't need to dress up our automation to look like people.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
It All Depends on What You Want to Do
Jon Titus   2/1/2012 1:21:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Mention "robot" and many people think of something from "Star Wars" or "The Day the Earth Stood Still."  Perhaps it's better to think about automation.  When people wanted to create an automated piano they didn't create a mechanical "humanoid" to press the keys and replace the human player. Instead they used a roll of paper punched with holes to control the keys.  Automation in Detroit took a different approach--human-like robotic arms that sprayed paint and welded metal.  You design the automation to fit the task.  If I want an aquatic robot that can swim quickly, it will look like a porpoise and not like a human or a movie-prop "robot."

Many people might feel comfortable around human-like robots, but they all look a bit creepy to me.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Biomimetics
Rob Spiegel   2/1/2012 10:52:09 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Dave. Robots may mimic human actions or the actions of other living things. The most successful use of robots so far seem to be in the automated production of goods. These robots mimic hand and arm motions somewhat, but that's coincidental. Ultimately, robots will be successful as they reduce costs, improve performance, or perform in areas humans can't reach, such as in space or toxic environments. 

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Biomimetics
Dave Palmer   2/1/2012 10:03:03 AM
NO RATINGS
I don't have a strong opinion on the aesthetic, psychological, or cultural implications of humanoid robots.  But there are practical reasons for employing aspects of human form and function (as well as the form and function of other living things) in robot design -- and engineering design in general.

Over a timescale of billions of years, living things have evolved all kinds of interesting solutions to mechanical problems, such as locomotion, which I strongly doubt any engineer would be intelligent or creative enough to come up with on his or her own.  Living things also give us examples of self-assembling, nanostructured, multifunctional materials, such as bone or spider silk, which rival any of our current industrial materials.  That's not to mention sensing methods, self-organization, etc., all of which have been perfected by living organisms.

When I look back on my education, one thing which I really regret is the fact that I never took a single biology class after my freshman year of high school.  I'm trying to remedy that now, with an MIT biology class which is freely available on OpenCourseWare.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Robots should look like people AND machines
williamlweaver   2/1/2012 8:02:45 AM
Humans are genetically programmed to see faces...the kind of faces hiding in the bushes that are friendly, spying, about to attack, or have a mouthful of sharp fangs that wish to devour you. Since we see faces in just about everything anyway, why not design a face or humanoid style into the product on purpose. At least that will allow the designers to control the "happy" or "aggressive" perception that users get when they see their product. Rather than, for example, purchasing an automatic rocking chair that just happens to look like a hungry tarantula...

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Robots should look like people AND machines
Beth Stackpole   2/1/2012 7:22:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Definitely an interesting question, Alex, and one I'm sure you'll get plenty of feedback on. I agree with the sentiment expressed in your post that people are essentially human programming machines, thus more likely to mimic their own behaviors and patterns in the robots they design especially as those robots get more sophisticated.

Still,  I think there's got to be a place for both kinds. For industrial applications deep in the factory or in out in space, for example, there's no reason why a robot should exhibit any ressemblance to humans. However, for applications where there is heavy human interaction, then it's probably quite comforting and even more productive to deal with a machine that has human-like traits as part of enhancing the collaboration experience.

<<  <  Page 5/5


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
From wearables to design changes to rumors of a car, Apple has multiple things cooking up in its kitchen. Here are six possibilities from Apple next week, with likely more than one coming to light.
The key to the success of alt energy is advanced automation, which is still relatively new to the energy scene.
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
New fastening and joining methods are making it possible to join multiple materials and thinner sheets in consumer and medical portable electronics, as well as automotive and aviation systems.
An upcoming Digi-Key Continuing Education Center class on designing motor control using MCUs and FPGAs will show you how to choose the best hardware and tools to speed up your development time.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Mar 9 - 13, Implementing Motor Control Designs with MCUs and FPGAs: An Introduction and Update
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service