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Vision for the robotic futureFrom the RoboDevelopment Conference and Exposition in San Jose, Calif., CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos takes a look at the show's most impressive robotic developments, including a robotic hand for the disabled.
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> A death-blind person like Helen Keller could actually feel at times; I have a computer in the box that translates keyboard stroke. I'm demonstrating a lightweight construction technique and hopefully I want to build the whole robot. It's made out of plastic joints so the knuckles or the joints are actually springs. >> We look at user interfaces, software for robots, so making them intelligent. >> This is an exploration Rover built to simulate a few scenarios. We just spent the summer in the Arctic so we actually took really high resolution 3D laser scans of the topography. This is called the Gigapan and it's actually a commercial unit we're developing. We want to get these out into the public so that people can take panoramas of their environments and share them. You can put pretty much any commercial point and shoot camera in there. >> This guy here essentially is where we're demonstrating an alignment, so essentially this is from a stationary camera can tell the shape of this and then as the robot moves such that it aligns perfectly with the direction that it's supposed to go. One of the big problems with robotics is where you point it, and so what you want is an overhead camera looking down or looking at the robot and identify the robot in a unique way and identify oh this is pointed in this direction, there's an operator. >> You can just see behind the curtain that he's controlling Monty and so Monty can do almost anything a person can with just some limits on dexterity. The big thing is robots in the home; robot butlers to do your laundry, cooking and cleaning. When they're driven remotely by people that doesn't require any technology that we don't know how to build. >> Talk about stuff around the house which is basically Rosie the robot doing your dishes, clearing your table, washing your laundry. The second category is called service applications. It's pick and pack, it's back office stuff, it's ready for Starbucks. The third category that's probably the nearest term is helping with disabilities and helping aging populations; in human environments having roughly humanoid average manipulation ability is good. >> Robots can kind of follow the ball so this is a 7th degree of freedom robot. It's got 7 joints and the strength of our software is that it works modular and can work with any robot, any number of joints. >> And more and more as you're looking at the voidance regence. Being able to have robots work more closely with humans you need to have good voidance and things like that. ^M00:02:40 [ Music ] ^M00:02:43