Robotics and Mechatronics - From Space to Surgery and the Virtual World

author: Gerd Hirzinger, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
published: May 6, 2009,   recorded: March 2009,   views: 959
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Description

After briefly emphasizing the importance of mechatronics for our future societies, the talk briefly comments the development and evolvement of industrial robots over the past 20 years. It emphasizes the importance of mechatronic concepts and sensory feed-back for more precision and autonomy in the future. The progress and perspectives in space robotics are addressed next. Space technology is characterized as major driver for a new generation of power-saving ultralightweight arms and articulated hands - an important prerequisite for the emerging field of mobile production assistants and service robotics.

The technological potentials are demonstrated by DLR`s space robot experiments and the newest light weight arm and four-finger hand generation, which are fully joint-torque-controlled and thus are provided with programmable cartesian impedance - a feature which allows for new programming techniques and "human-friendly" operational modes. One of the most challenging application fields for these new technologies is surgical robotics; its state of the art and perspectives are briefly outlined.

However mechatronics is of crucial importance for artificial organs and prostheses, too. Finally the talk points out the importance of intelligent mobility - be it the development of rovers and crawlers on mars and moon, or the robotic electric cars of the future and the flying robots, which are capable of modeling the world photorealistically in 3D.

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