“You will be able to program a robot to follow a track on the ground and manipulate a hand. You can also write little programs that will give the robots goals.”
Autonomous robots are intelligent machines capable of performing tasks in the world by themselves, without explicit human control. Examples range from autonomous helicopters to Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner. Robot that performs behaviors or tasks with a high degree of autonomy, which is particularly desirable in fields such as space exploration, household maintenance (such as cleaning), waste water treatment and delivering goods and services.
Some modern factory robots are “autonomous” within the strict confines of their direct environment. It may not be that every degree of freedom exists in their surrounding environment, but the factory robot’s workplace is challenging and can often contain chaotic, unpredictable variables. The exact orientation and position of the next object of work and (in the more advanced factories) even the type of object and the required task must be determined. This can vary unpredictably (at least from the robot’s point of view).
Our aim autonomous robots that are able to sense the environment, reason about it, and take actions to perform some tasks in cooperation with humans. The driving vision behind our research is to allow in the future robots to aid humans, for example to reduce physical effort and risks in industrial environment, help prevention and reaction in emergency situations as natural disasters, and in general simplify tasks of everyday life.