Retrospective 2016: A Robotic year rich in innovations

Biomimicry, anthropomorphic robots, robotics collaborative or still mounted in power of artificial intelligence, arrived the year 2016 first delivery robots, was rich of innovations for the industry. However it is the automotive sector which has attracted the attention of media throughout the year. The launch of the Autopilot Tesla with its first hiccups but also his first exploits has forced manufacturers of out their shadow projects and run their experiments in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The autonomous car has monopolized the media in 2016

Voici un an, lors des fêtes de Noël, Boston Dynamics publiait une vidéo montrant le traîneau du Père Noël tiré par des robots quadrupèdes conçus par la filiale d’Alphabet/Google. Pourtant, l’américain n’a pas réalisé d’avancées majeures en robotique cette année. Dans le domaine des voitures autonomes, Google s’est fait voler la vedette par Tesla mais aussi les constructeurs automobiles et des nouveaux entrants tels que nuTonomy qui a lancé un service de taxis autonomes limités à Singapour ou encore Uber qui teste activement ses véhicules autonomes aux Etats-Unis. Les avancées tant en conduite autonomes que dans la miniaturisation et la baisse des prix des composants laisse penser que de nombreux acteurs seront prêts à l’échéance 2020.

Le drone de livraison n’a toujours pas pris sons envol

Google and a certain way Amazon and Facebook have also disappointed in the field of deliveries by drones. While the latter saw its telecommunication drone crashing, Project Wing/Google obtained in August 2016 permission to test its drones in the United States, but nothing to filter for. As for Amazon, the e-commerce giant tests its drones Amazon Prime Air in the United Kingdom, merely still jumps of chips with a surrounding farm. While project leaders are the step, the challengers play boldly their chance. 7 Eleven relied on Flirtey to open its service to Reno while an alternative to the drone of delivery is emerging for urban areas, the land drone, or UGV. Starship technology has multiplied the tests in various cities in the United States or Europe. If the earthly drone presents fewer regulatory problems, two means will complement in the future as a means of delivery of the last kilometer.

Collaborative robots are needed in a growing number of sectors

In businesses, 2016 saw the rise of the collaborative robots (or cobots) in the industry, with more versatile and less costly to deploy robots. Robots ensure tasks where they were not yet relevant. Even industrial companies like Airbus now interested in Humanoids in order to assist the human operators on certain tasks. Finally, exoskeletons begin to appear in the workshops, Construction to give humans the power and endurance of the robots.

Most versatile thanks to the artificial intelligence robots

If the robots have learned to coexist with humans, are now able to learn a gesture without programming, simply being guided by an operator, the researchers want to go further. These are based on artificial intelligence and including the Deep Learning to learn themselves either through trial/error, either by watching videos of the gesture to accomplish. One day soon, it will suffice for the robot to read a manual editing or CAD file to be operational.

Biomimicry robotics, a path followed by many researchers

Others go further and imagine other robotic. These imitate nature most to design robots that are better adapted to their environment. Insects, reptiles, sea creatures and birds, engineers operate to their benefit of millions of years of evolution to create better robots. It is however an other motivation that pushes researchers to create robots that reproduce with a devestating human traits. Great Japanese specialty, these “human” robots out now of the laboratories of the University of technology of China. What will be the future for these troubling machines?

Translation : Bing Translator

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