Home / Artificial Intelligence / The demise of Rethink Robotics shows how hard it is to make machines really smart – MIT Technology Review

The demise of Rethink Robotics shows how hard it is to make machines really smart – MIT Technology Review

Don’t worry, the robots are still coming.

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The demise of Rethink Robotics shows how hard it is to make machines truly smart   MIT Technology Review

It may seem like a bad sign for robotics and AI to reconsider the robots that has become a leader in the development of more intelligent and user-friendly robots, plans to shut down. But the real picture is more complicated.

Rethink chief executive Scott Eckert, told The Boston Globe that the company ran low on cash as sales of robots lived up to expectations. But think of the fate seems to many to be the industry as a whole. The Android business is, in fact, is booming. According to the latest figures from the International Federation of Robotics, an industry body, the worldwide sales of robots increased by 31% in 2017 over 2016—a new record.

All over the world, manufacturers are trying to automate more than ever important to compensate for the shortage of human labor. E-commerce giant, meanwhile, is exploring a new approach to automate the testing, packaging and processing of goods. There is a catch, though. If you visit a company using robots, you’ll find that the vast majority are not very intelligent or adaptive. They can do things accurately tirelessly, but it’s easily confused the real-world complexity often painful to program.

Apple tried to change that with two safe and very easy to use machinery, Pakistan ” and ” Sawyer. You can move one of these robots through tasks such as picking up objects from the conveyor belt, you will learn how to do it themselves. To do so is much harder than you might think, though. It requires sophisticated machine vision, this means achieving a balance between the precision with compliance in the robots’ arms grippers.

Thinking maybe it was too ambitious for the technology available today. Making the robots adaptive, intuitive and hard to pull off reliably and Apple have found very few companies willing to take risks. Even so, the company helped start the trend currently transforming industrial robots. The last few years have seen the emergence of so-called collaborative robots (“cobots”), which is not used enough force to hurt someone so that they can be used in conjunction with human workers. These machines can be easily deployed in new situations, opening new possibilities for human-robot cooperation.

Other cobots have taken off. Suitable for re-negotiation, the Danish company Universal Robots, makes the simplest cooperative arm that has sold more than 25, 000. Some of the largest robot manufacturers, including ABB the Swedish-Swiss company and the German giant cookie, we have developed cooperative systems to their own.

“Re-thinking helped to create and define collaborative robots and space,” says Rick Faulk, CEO of the topic of Robotics, a company based out of Boston specializing in mobile warehouse robots. “The contributions [of the founders] of the robots of the council, although slightly ahead of time and will continue to influence developers for many years to come. Their work opened up the minds of the potential customers to the possibility of the robots.”

Apple was founded in 2008 by Rodney Brooks, a big name in the field of Robotics, who previously ran the MIT Computer Science and artificial intelligence laboratory. In the 1990s, Brooks pioneered the ground-approach the robots that helped to push the field forward. I don’t see Pakistan was bereft of complexity in the use of industrial robots and technology is very easy to use.

“I’m proud to other industrial robots forever, bringing them out of the cage and make them so that ordinary people can get robots to do new tasks to tweak what they were doing without writing or reading a single line of code,” Brooks MIT Technology Review via e-mail. “The consequences of this new category of Android has yet to be fully explored but will be commonplace in just a few years.”

Besides the strong technical fabric, the company had some big-name backers, including GE Ventures, Highland Capital, and Bezos Expeditions, the investment company of Jeff Bezos.

The story of the Apple may also provide lessons for the future of the industry. There is growing interest in using the latest developments in AI to make the industrial robots more intelligent and more useful. Approaches such as deep learning and reinforcement learning can help the robots figure out how to complete complex tasks by themselves. Academic researchers consider this approach to make progress and give impressive performances. I wrote recently about Osaro, a startup in San Francisco that hopes to use machine learning to allow robots to understand the unfamiliar and awkward objects.

But look carefully and you will see that these technologies are at a very early stage, and that commercially published can prove very difficult. The demise of Apple doesn’t mean industrial robots is booming, or that the AI-driven progress will not be achieved. But it shows just how difficult it is to do real innovation in the field of robotics can be.

Updated 5/11 with a comment from Rodney Brooks.

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