The Next Big Breakthrough in Robotics

Bill Ibelle for News@NorthEastern:  While drones and driverless cars dominate the headlines, another breakthrough—robot dexterity—is likely to have an even greater impact in both business and everyday life.

“Robot manipulation is the next shoe to drop,” says Robert Platt, computer science professor and head of the Helping Hands robotics lab at Northeastern. “Imagine a robot that can do things with it’s hands in the real world—anything from defusing a bomb to doing your laundry. This has been a dream in the research community for decades, but now we’re finally getting to the point where it could actually happen.”

Recent advances in machine learning, Big Data, and robot perception have put us on the threshold of a quantum leap in the ability of robots to perform fine motor tasks and function in uncontrolled environments, says Platt.

It’s the difference between robots that can do repetitive tasks in a highly-structured factory environment and a new era of humanoid robots that can do meaningful work in the real world.  Full Article:

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