New techniques in robotics are teaching today’s machines to perceive depth and dexterity. So now we can expect robots to perceive spatial awareness. The new technique called deep learning is considered “a new approach to empowering a robot to learn” said Professor Abbeel of U.C. Berkley.
In short, this means robots can learn through trial and error. If an algorithm can sustain trial based learning then many new patterns of robot behavior can emerge.
Japan struggles with a low birthrate and a high life expectancy simultaneously so demands for a efficient and energized workforce are high. While the Japan’s new generations cannot be expected to fill the vacant positions that their predecessor are occupying now, a robot workforce can.
If the robots’ could fill vacant spots in industry, defense and customer care, Japan’s youth could be redirected to areas where a human touch is more valuable like Healthcare.
These new developments could replace former inefficient ways of helping robots make sense of a 3D world like pre-programming and operating simulated environments.
Not only Japan is interested in Robotics research, recently Amazon sponsored a competition in which robots had to pick items from shelves and pack them safely using autonomous methods. This is quite a challenge since robots cannot recognize more than a tiny amount of products and picking or packing using the same machine requires multipurpose robots.
Industrial Robots have problems especially with small or delicate object since the force applied to grasp them need to be recalibrated according to each item picket. 3D space awareness would allow robots, to use algorithms based on space awareness rather than bar code identifications.
In the IEEE international Conference on Robotics and Automation, held with Amazon sponsorship robots had to cope with grasping objects like paperback books witch presented problems due to the small size.
Japan has been researching robotics for decades, and has expanded robotics sales to 2.4 Trillion YEN from 600 Billion Yen (600 million $).
In the quest for Autonomous robots than could reinforce vacant jobs, China is raising the stakes , with new investments a 13 percent growth on the market share on the mainland and over 530 robotic companies. This means profits on the Asian market could shift from Japan to China.
With private companies ranging from Google and Amazon to government back projects, the robotics industry is fast growing and involves innovation we are yet to fathom
Image Source: robots.com