Perspectives and Future of Robotics
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By the dawn of the new millennium, robotics has undergone a major transformation in scope and dimensions. This expansion has been brought about by the maturity of the field and the advances in its related technologies. From a largely dominant industrial focus, robotics has been rapidly expanding into the challenges of the human world (human-centered and life-like robotics). The new generation of robots is expected to safely and dependably interact and work with humans in homes, workplaces, and communities providing support in services, entertainment, education, exploration, healthcare, manufacturing, and assistance. Beyond its impact on physical robots, the body of knowledge that robotics has produced is revealing a much wider range of applications reaching across diverse research areas and scientific disciplines, such as: biomechanics, haptics, neurosciences, virtual simulation, animation, surgery, and sensor networks among others. In return, the challenges of the new emerging areas are proving an abundant source of stimulation and insights for the field of robotics. It is indeed at the intersection of disciplines where the most striking advances happen. Further to discussing research trends and perspectives in the major geographical areas, the talk will focus on the undergoing effort to tighten academia−industry cooperation in Europe and how technology transfers are expected to boost the growth of service robotics for both professional industry and personal/domestic markets.