Instead of looking for a helping hand, how about a helping robot?
MIT Professor Julie Shah claims the factory floor of the future may be full of robots and humans working side by side, each helping the other in common tasks, according to MIT News.
Shah, who heads the Interactive Robotics Group in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, examined airplane manufacturing, telling MIT News that “if the robot can provide tools and materials so the person doesn’t have to walk over to pick up parts and walk back to the plane, you can significantly reduce the idle time of the person.”
Robots could soon be pegged as assistants. And although each mechanic might work differently, Shah suggests a robotic assistant could effortlessly adapt to an individual mechanic’s particular style.
Shah and her team at MIT have developed an algorithm that enables robots to quickly learn an individual’s preference for a certain task, and then adapt accordingly to see that task through completion. The group’s currently using the algorithm in simulations to train robots and humans to work together, and they’ll be presenting their findings at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference in Sydney, Australia next month.
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