Robotic Tools Understand What You Want to Do, Help You Do It

By Evan Ackerman

The idea of robots that are “collaborative” is usually about robots that are safe for humans to work next to. Sometimes, a collaborative robot might assist a human by performing one step of a task while a human performs another step of the same task. What’s a bit more unusual are robots that are collaborative in that they work directly with a human, augmenting the abilities of that human with intelligence, not just strength.

The key here is really the “task knowledge”: the robot knows what you’re supposed to do, and it augments your effective skill or intelligence to help you do it. In this implimentation, the end effector of the robot can point towards what you’re supposed to do, avoid pointing towards stuff you’re not supposed to do, and even point blank refuse to allow you to do something when it knows that there’s a conflict with the task you’re supposed to be working on.  …[Read more]