Robots today are primarily used in the factory environment, designed to perform a single task repeatedly and bolted down. To make robotics personal, robots need to move and manipulate objects in cluttered and dynamic human environments, according to Rattner. They need to be cognizant of their surroundings by sensing and recognizing movement in a dynamic physical world, and learn to adapt to new scenarios. Rattner demonstrated two working personal robot prototypes developed at Intel's research labs. One of the demonstrations showed electric field pre-touch that has been built into a robot hand. The technique is a novel sensing modality used by fish but not humans, so they can "feel" objects before they even touch them. The other demonstration was a complete autonomous mobile manipulation robot that can recognize faces and interpret and execute commands as generic as "please clean this mess" using state-of-the-art motion planning, manipulation, perception and artificial intelligence.
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