ROBO­COL­LEAGUE

Forbes - - Technology -

might hu­mans and ro­bots be able to co­ex­ist peace­fully af­ter all? it has gen­er­ally been too dan­ger­ous for in­dus­trial

ro­bots, with their vastly su­pe­rior speed and strength, to work along­side the weaker species. Us­ing a more ad­vanced, 3-D ver­sion of the li­dar tech­nol­ogy that helps power self-driv­ing cars, though, Waltham, mas­sachusetts–based Veo robotics has built depth-sens­ing cam­eras that track an as­sem­bly-line ro­bot and ev­ery­thing within its reach. The sen­sor en­ables a ro­bot, for ex­am­ple, to at­tach a re­frig­er­a­tor door while

a hu­man tech­ni­cian stands nearby to in­spect and drill. if the sys­tem de­tects it’s get­ting too close to an arm, say, it slows or stops; if it can’t clearly read its sur­round­ings, it de­faults to shut­ting off. it will be quite some time be­fore ro­bots fully repli­cate the dex­ter­ity and prob­lem

solv­ing skill of our frag­ile kind. for now, though, we can cer­tainly use the (safety-minded) help­ing hand—un­til the damned ma­chines rise up and take ev­ery­one’s

job, of course.

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