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Living side by side with robots

[ 2013-04-16 10:33] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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In celebration of National Robotics Week, Stanford hosted the Silicon Valley Robot Block Party on Wednesday, hosting some of the best in research, industrial, and homemade robotics.

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When I walked onto the Stanford University campus this week and into the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab, I was greeted by a short, gray robot waving his two long arms -- he was looking for a high-five.

All around me robots of all sizes were roaming the floor. I was trapped -- in the future.

Billed as the Silicon Valley Robot Block Party and held during National Robotics Week, the party yesterday was a celebration of human-robot interactions. Developers, researchers, and makers shared tips and explored the very ideas of what a robot can be and do. The people I met here are interested in robots on many levels. There were startups pitching their businesses, home-brew builders looking to have some fun, high-school kids building competition robots, and Ph.D. students just exploring.

That high-fiving robot? It's the creation of Willow Garage, a founding member of the Silicon Valley Robotics group that hosted the block party. In 2010, Willow Garage announced it would be delivering 11 of its $400,000 PR-2 robots free to research groups. The program, however, which began as an open-source platform intended to encouraged roboticists to collaborate on creating a universal robot language, has quickly evolved. After just a few years, following an announcement in February, Willow Garage says it is shifting toward becoming a profitable and self-sustaining company. What's next in the lives of robots? That's the question everyone here wants to answer.

Even after the PR-2's 2010 release, within a year the stereoscopic cameras that provided the PR-2's vision were replaced with commercially available hardware -- Microsoft's Kinect, highlighting the rigorous pace of innovation. The commercial, off-the-shelf technology available to each of us today, as NASA has discovered, is fast, smart, and constantly upgraded.

And as the evolution of robotics quickens, maybe that's what events like National Robotics Week and the Robot Block Party, are all about. There's a sense that though robots are already a great part of our lives, we are still in the early stages of robotics innovation. Things are evolving quickly. For that reason, a marketplace of ideas such as this is incredibly important.

People and ideas are being connected. Across genres, robotics hobbyists are talking to startups, educators are talking with industry, and students are talking to engineers -- all with a focus on the future -- envisioning a future where automation is smarter, machines are more useful, and everyone has the technical skills to live side by side with our robot friends.




机器人也会击掌庆祝?这是Willow Garage公司的创作成果,这家公司是硅谷机器人组织的创始成员之一,同时也主办了这次的聚会。2010年,Willow Garage公司宣布将把11个价值40万美元的“第2代智能机器人”免费赠予研究小组。该项目最初是作为一个开源平台,旨在鼓励机器人专家合作创建一种通用的机器人语言,目前已经得到了迅速发展。短短几年后,Willow Garage公司在二月份发出一项声明后宣称,它正转而成为一家具有盈利性和自立性的公司。今后机器人又会出现什么样的革新呢?这里的每一个人都想知道答案。




(翻译:加菲猫爱柿子W 编辑:Julie)