By Jim Adams, Manager, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
When I first saw the pictures and read the text in the Detroit Free Press online posting about the new General Motors and NASA next generation advanced robot, it immediately took me back to an American Nuclear Society’s conference on Robotics and Remote Systems that RIA had exhibited at in 2004. One of the presentations there was on the predecessor of this new Robonaut2 robot. At that time, it was a “torso-only,” humanoid-style robot designed expressly for space exploration.
So, it was good to see this “old friend” again. This time however, the new Robonaut2 can perform as an industrial robot as well, but it doesn’t look at all like the industrial robots we are all familiar with toiling in many plant and manufacturing applications. In fact, this robot is more in line with what we depicted robots would look like when we were growing up as kids. In that sense it is a leap forward. But the real news here is that robotics technology has advanced to the point where robots and humans can safely work side by side. R2, with its friendly, humanoid appearance, may also lead to a whole new way of looking at robots and herald in a new line of thinking about and interacting with them as well.
It’s nice to see RIA Platinum User member, General Motors Corporation, leading the way and on the cutting edge of robot technology, despite some recent tough times. And it’s nice to see old friends again.
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