Modern robots

Figure 13.7: The HRP-4 humanoid robots, which are produced in Japan by National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Kawada Industries.

Figure 13.8: A sampling of commercial and university robots: (a) Neato XV vacuum cleaning robot. (b) Kuka YouBot, which is an omnidirectional mobile base with a manipulator arm on top. (c) Aqua, an underwater robot from McGill University [65]. (d) A flying microrobot from the Harvard Microrobotics Lab [192].
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(c) & (d) \\

Thousands of different robots have been designed and built, some with very special purposes, such as cleaning windows outside of a building, and others for more general purposes, such as assisted living. Figure 13.7 shows humanoid robots that strive for anthropomorphic or ``human like'' appearance. Figure 13.8 shows a sampling of other kinds of robots. Figure 1.12 in Section 1.2 showed two more examples, which were a stereoscopic pan-tilt module and a video-streaming drone.

In addition to hardware, substantial software infrastructure exists to help developers, such ROS (Robot Operating System) and Gazebo. Almost any robot is a candidate platform from which a telerobotic VR interface could be attached. Cameras and microphones serve as the surrogate eyes and ears of the user. A gripper (also called end-effector) could serve as remote hands, if feasible and important for the application. The user can command the robot's motions and actions via keyboards, controllers, voice, or body motions. For a humanoid robot, the human body could even be tracked using motion capture (Section 9.4) and mapped directly onto motions of the humanoid. More generally, any anthropomorphic aspects of a robot could become part of the matched zone. At the other extreme, the robot allows many non-human experiences, such as becoming the size of a small insect and flying around the room, or swimming like a fish in the sea.

Steven M LaValle 2020-01-06