AI powered automatons look ready for the workplace

Research by MIT has improved the physical coordination of robots, prompting the question: how could this new breed of robots make a significant contribution to the workplace?

Always wanted a robot companion? Now might be your chance as new technology makes robots more agile and able to complete more complex roles within the workplace.

Complex movement

Robots have been used on production lines in factories for years, but until now they have been limited, by comparison to humans, by the complications inherent in coordinating multiple body parts at once. Imagine picking up a heavy object, this is not an action that you would perform with your arms alone, you might react to the weight of the object and move your hands to get better grip or even wedge it against your chest to make it easier to carry.

These actions represent a significant amount of coordination which humans might do automatically but robots struggle with as it requires them to make a significant number of interconnected decisions. As a result, robots in factories are often a singular arm with a ‘hand’ which can perform a specific task.

Problem solved?

In order to get robots to perform more complex tasks, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been investigating ways in which AI can support robot decision making, allowing them to make more complex movements. AI is able to use an algorithm that enables robots to make decisions quickly, respond to an object and use their entire structure to perform complex tasks.

Applications for the future

So, what does this mean for robots of the future? The new approach is still being perfected but researchers hope that it will lead to the creation of more compact, mobile robots which can perform a wider range of tasks. This can potentially be very useful in factories and manufacturing environments as well as helping cut down the carbon footprint of robots in the future.

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