Robots with an autonomous soul
2011-10-31 Spirited Machine
Will a robot constructed by Polish inventor reach outer space?
Similar to Apple, which spiritus movens was Steve Jobs, Robotic Invention's successes depend on one man's talents, passion and qualifications - this man is Marek Sadowski. He graduated from International Space University, he worked for NASA Ames Research Center. Also he spent half a year in Japan, where he was a researcher in Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. He has cooperated with Polish Astronomical Society, where he acted as a vice-chairman. He successfully developed his small endeavor to even collaborate with ESA (European Space Agency).
It carries, vacuums and cuts.
An unassisted domestic vacuum cleaner - RI Vacuum was created in 2004. Regardless the fact that there are already such robots existing the RI one is superior to them - as Mr. Sadowski convinces - because of its abilities. It truly vacuums - while the others only wipes, what is more, thankfully to its precise proximity sensors can avoid colliding with furniture. Other RI robots are dedicated to military service. A-Bot, heavy tracked vehicle UGV ( unmanned ground vehicle ) class, it exists in two versions. Both are equipped with a camera and a GPS chip for setting their route. One carries payloads in rough terrain. The other patrolling-inspecting robot scouts for a chosen object and informs base about its discovered location based on image processing. A-Bot Light is a lighter, transportable version of patrolling A-Bot: small warden and scout of hardly accessible places. It searches for intruders and dangerous poundings in constructions. It weighs only 25 kilograms and moves on wheels. Its operational module might be reused for creating an autonomous lawn mower. An industrial vacuum cleaner for offices is also under constructions. There are more difficulties to create such a product than with a a house appliance since it needs to be able to operate in difficult conditions. What also differs it from a house appliance is the weight (approximate weight of 25kg/50 pounds ), it also has more powerful suction: with power consumption of 1000 watts it may work for under two hours on one charging. What all RI products have in common is RI Spirit. It is a proprietary module, that creates an autonomous robot from any mobile platform. - Idea for the name comes from Masamune Shirow's manga "Ghost in the shell" - says Mr. Sadowski - It is based on an assumption that intelligent machines are something more than electrons and programs, that they may develop their own individuality, and through that their soul. What is a machine spirit? It is a small computer that may be placed in a device equipped for example with a GPS sensor, proximity sensors, laser scanners, a satellite or radio communication module. With its software, Spirit is an artificial intelligence centre - In similar manner as a vacuum cleaner one might develop an autonomous tractor, in order to allow an operator to steer the robot using a console, or to trigger predefined set of functions. In cooperation with a foreign partner Robotics Inventions will be researching possibilities of impementing semi-autonomous system for logistics and supply purposes.
Robot for rescue
Marek Sadowski dreams about a future, when intelligent machines will aid people. - Quoting Bill Gates, for robotics occurred such time as the one that occurred for computer science in 70s. As once before passionate ones had been able to buy themselves computer components, now they are able to buy robot components. Intelligent machines at present help rescuing people and mend loses after natural disasters. PackBots from iRobot once helped lifesavers searching WTC ruins. Seaglider, from the same producer, monitored Mexican Gulf stance, after leak out from BP tanker. After an earthquake in Japan robots from Tohoku University and Future Robotics Technology Center of Technology Institute in Chiba came for rescue. The company's ambitions reach much further than that: up to the stars. Robotic Inventions is among first Polish companies that got qualified to PECS ( Plan for European Cooperating System ). This plan allows firms from countries, that do not belong yet to ESA, to participate in agency's programs. - I dream about our robot Spirit being a part of a space explorer or a planetary rover, that would scout moon or Mars - says Mr. Sadowski - I would like to develop projects for ESA or NASA. This age is destined for conquering the space.
Przekroj - Magdalena Tomkowicz
2011.10.31 - the link to an original article at the Polish Przekroj
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