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Proceedings Paper

Ideas on a system design for end-user robots
Author(s): R. Peter Bonasso; Marc G. Slack
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Paper Abstract

Robots are being used successfully in factory automation; however, recently there has been some success in building robots which can operate in field environments, where the domain is less predictable. New perception and control techniques have been developed which allow a robot to accomplish its mission while dealing with natural changes in both land and underwater environments. Unfortunately, efforts in this area have resulted in many one-of-a-kind robots, limited to research laboratories or carefully delimited field task arenas. A user who would like to apply robotic technology to a particular field problem must basically start from scratch. The problem is that the robotic technology (i.e., the hardware and software) which might apply to the user's domain exists in a diverse array of formats and configurations. For end-user robots to become a reality, an effort to standardize some aspects of the robotic technology must be made, in much the same way that personal computer technology is becoming standardized. Presently, a person can buy a computer and then acquire hardware and software extensions which simply `plug in' and provide the user with the required utility without the user having to understand the inner workings of the pieces of the system. This technology even employs standardized interface specifications so the user is presented with a familiar interaction paradigm. This paper outlines some system requirements (hardware and software) and a preliminary design for end-user robots for field environments, drawing parallels to the trends in the personal computer market. The general conclusion is that the appropriate components as well as an integrating architecture are already available, making development of out-of-the- box, turnkey robots for a certain range of commonly required tasks a potential reality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1992
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1829, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III, (1 November 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.131712
Show Author Affiliations
R. Peter Bonasso, MITRE Corp. (United States)
Marc G. Slack, MITRE Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1829:
Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III
Jon D. Erickson, Editor(s)

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